Abstract: The present invention is an epicycle dual drive apparatus comprising a frame supporting an input shaft, an output shaft and an epicycle drive coupling the input shaft and the output shaft. The apparatus has dual clutches means coupled individually to the input shaft and output shaft. The epicycle drive means includes an epicycle rack pivotally secured to said output shaft at one end and a crankshaft journaled for rotation at a second end. The output shaft may have a varying rate of rotation depending on the position of the center of the crank shaft on the epicycle rack with respect to the center of the input shaft. A Cam arrangement is used for coupling the input shaft and the crankshaft. The first clutch coupled to the output shaft allows for selective engagement of the output shaft and the second clutch is coupled to the crankshaft for selective engagement of the crankshaft. Only one clutch can be engaged at a time.
Abstract: A platen adjust apparatus for the heating, compression and cooling platens in a bag sealer assembly of a high speed bagger. The bag sealer has a plurality of platen pairs in face to face orientation with each platen pair having an adjustable platen and a stationary platen. The stationary platens are mounted to a frame and the adjustable platens are mounted to a plate. This plate is slidably mounted to the frame for movement towards and away from the stationary platens. The plate is moved towards or away from the stationary platens by a moveable wedge member until the appropriate gap between the stationary platens and the adjustable platens is achieved. The gap is adjusted simultaneously along the length of the platen pairs because the plate is moved simultaneously along its length.
Abstract: A cutting head apparatus for use in a high speed horizontal wrapper. The apparatus has two modular cutting heads each with a cutting shaft. The cutting shafts cooperate for cutting and sealing wrapping material between the products being wrapped. The cutting shafts are journaled for rotation in bearing blocks located on opposing ends of the shafts. Each modular cutting head can be mounted in at least two operative positions on a cutting head support frame. The bearing blocks of the modular cutting heads are mounted on the cutting head apparatus to permit movement of the shafts away from the cutting area in the event a product becomes misaligned and the cutting blade and anvil contact the misaligned product.
Abstract: A timing pulley having a grooved periphery having a stepped profile defining two concentric annular belt engaging surfaces. Each of the surfaces receive a separate timing belt thereon. The belt engaging surfaces carry teeth for meshing with corresponding teeth on the timing belts. When the belts are deployed on the pulley, the outermost belt is in covering relation relative to the innermost belt. The multiple belt timing pulley is for accommodating multiple timing pulleys in a common plane.
Abstract: A heat sealing machine for sealing layers of a plastic film to each other. The machine includes a pair of flexible, endless opposed heat transfer bands each fronting each other and having a gap therebetween wherein layers of plastic film travel for sealing. Heat sealing components such as heat sealing bars in communication with the heat transfer bands and disposed behind the heat transfer bands are provided with constraints for limiting the inwardly-lateral movement thereof to thereby restrict movement thereof such that a bar does not travel beyond the longitudinal mid-line of the gap. In this manner, varying thicknesses of layers of plastic to be sealed can be accommodated without misalignment and jamming.
Abstract: A packaging apparatus and method for packaging objects in such a way as to ensure that the article will not be damaged. Objects to be packaged are gripped by a plurality of pairs of vertically oriented gripping fingers each having inflatable bladders therein. The inflated bladders engage the objects with a predetermined low pressure sufficient to grasp and secure the objects. The plurality of fingers with objects gripped therein therebetween are then moved to place the objects in packaging containers. A vacuum is drawn on the inflated bladders, releasing the objects into the packaging container.
Abstract: A conveyor belt tracking and drive mechanism for use with a short, wide conveyor belt system. The mechanism has a stationary frame with first and second roller journaled for rotation at a first and second end of the stationary frame. A first moveable frame is pivotally suspended from the stationary frame. A second moveable frame is pivotally suspended from the first moveable frame. The second moveable frame has a drive roller and motor operatively connected to the drive roller. A micro-tracking adjustment screw, disposed between the first moveable frame and stationary frame, is used to adjust the tracking of the conveyor belt by laterally moving the first and second moveable frame. A belt adjustment screw located between the first moveable frame and second moveable frame allows one as to adjust the tension of the short, wide conveyor belt by movement of the power roller against or away from the short, wide conveyor belt.
Abstract: A microprocessor controlled wrapping machine including a separate SCR drive driving a corresponding permanent magnet motor, wherein an incremental optical encoder is coupled with each permanent magnet motor to provide a feedback signal indicative of motor position to a microprocessor. Both a main motor, which drives the infeed conveyor and the cutting head assembly, and a finwheel motor are used in combination with the SCR drive and an incremental optical encoder to provide a low cost alternative to a servo amplifier-controlled motor drive. Both the finwheel motor and the main motor are independently controlled from one another as a function of an oscillator, which forms a portion of the microprocessor circuit, and as a function of input switches and the respective feedback signal provided by the respective incremental optical encoder. The present invention provides a low cost alternative to wrapping machines incorporating expensive servo amplifier-controleld motor drives.
Abstract: A product feed device includes multiple drivers mounted pivotally between a pair of parallel and opposed endless chains. When pivoted to an active position, each driver engages a product and pushes the product along a path. A set of cams is disposed upstream of the path. Each of the cams is alternatively positionable in alignment between the chains, to engage successive drivers to either set or reset the drivers as they encounter the cam. The cams set and reset successive drivers in different repeating sequences, thus to enable switching from one selected spacing between actuated cams to another, depending on which cam is in the operating position. A pair of opposed guide members extend longitudinally along the path to confine the chains against transverse movement, and maintain each of the drivers in its selected orientation, whether set to active or reset to a bypass position.
Abstract: A system for controlling and modulating the pressure between members of pairs of heating and/or cooling members or bars utilized in a heat sealing machine is disclosed. Closer, more sensitive control of the inter-bar gap and allowable sealing pressure is achieved by the provision of a fluid pressure adjustable, spring-biased system which can be used to modulate the maximum force applied to the band between the bars according to the type of configuration of material to be processed.
Abstract: An improved mounting for spaced band wheels about which the sealing bands of a band sealer move is achieved by mounting at least one of the band wheels carrying each band from a double ended cylinder movable longitudinally with respect to the inter-band wheel distance to thereby allow adjustability in the distance between the drive and idler band wheels and, in turn, modulate the tension in the band and with the shortest wheel distance allow easy removal and replacement of the band.
Abstract: A conveyor system which receives products in random order at its infeed end and delivers product in a serial aligned order at its outlet end. The conveyor system comprises first and second endless belt conveyors which are longitudinally aligned and positioned such that the product exiting the first conveyor is received on the second conveyor. The first conveyor is of a greater width than the second and at the location where they meet is a third endless belt conveyor moving in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal flow direction of the other two. The machine that feeds products to the first conveyor is set at a desired product flow rate in terms of products-per-minute and the speed of the first conveyor is set to handle that capacity. The second belt is driven at a speed equal to or greater than the product-per-minute rate times the product length.
Abstract: A continuous motion, in-line stacker for positioning products, one atop the other, as the products are being conveyed from a product supply point to a high-speed wrapping machine. The stacker assembly comprises a supply conveyor which is in longitudinal alignment with a downstream stacking conveyor and a discharge conveyor. The stacking conveyor has an endless belt or chain which is trained over a series of idler rollers or sprockets so as to form an ascending flight, a horizontal flight, a descending flight and a return flight. Secured to the stacking conveyor's belt or chain at predetermined spacings therealong are a series of product platens of predetermined differing heights. In the zone of the horizontal flight are a series of vertically arranged, horizontally extending deadplates whose vertical spacings correspond to the heights of the product platens.
Abstract: A method and apparatus for increasing the performance and through-put of a high speed horizontal wrapping machine of the type having mechanically independently driven infeed, film drive and cut/seal head motors, each controlled by a shared programmed microprocessor whereby in the event that a product to be wrapped gets out of registration to the point where the machine's cut/seal head blades might otherwise engage the product being wrapped rather than only the film between two adjacent products, the condition is sensed and a software routine is called which causes the cut/seal heads to come to a stop in the open condition while the film tube continues to be fed until all the products, including the one out of registration and all those downstream from it, exit the wrapper, at which point the wrapper resumes its normal running mode. In this fashion, damage to the cut/seal head and associated down-time to clear the jam is avoided.
Abstract: A rotary transfer device includes a rotating transfer disc and a valve plate overlying and concentric with the disc. A series of fluid conduits extend radially inward from the disc perimeter, or from a face of a disc near the perimeter, and are open at their inward ends to the disc top surface beneath the valve plate. An arcuate vacuum groove, and a spaced apart air pressure groove, are formed in the bottom surface of the valve plate and open to a vacuum source and pressurized air source, respectively. Rotation of the disc brings the inner end of each conduit into intermittent fluid communication with the vacuum groove at an object acquiring position where the outer end of the conduit is near the feed station. Further rotation of the disc brings the inner conduit end into fluid communcation with the pressure groove, with the outer conduit end near an object discharge position.
Abstract: A bag closing container device applies a strip of closure tape to a container, and sews stitches through the tape and container walls, as the container is moved past a closure station. A first sensor, located near an encoder disc driven by the container transport motor, generates a signal proportional to the container transport speed. An idler roller frictionally engaged with the closure tape carries an indicator wheel, which generates in a second sensor a signal proportional to the tape speed. The thread used in stitching the containers is wrapped around a detector wheel on its way to the closure station, and is frictionally engaged with the wheel. Wheel rotation generates in a third sensor a signal proportional to thread speed. The device includes a microprocessor which receives the signals as inputs, continually compares container transport speed and thread speed, and generates a thread fault indication if the thread and container speeds deviate from a preselected ratio.
Abstract: For use with an automatic high speed packaging machine in which products are wrapped and sealed, a control system for a feed conveyer for precisely positioning the incoming products to be wrapped relative to the wrapper's in-feed conveyer. The automatic feeder system leading to the wrapper's in-feed conveyer consists of a plurality of belts and photoelectric eyes are used to sense the presence or absence of product on the belts. The signals from the electronic eyes are applied to a control network to either increase or decrease the speed of selected belts relative to a preceding one to ensure that the product will be fed in a steady stream and at appropriately spaced intervals into the pushers of the wrapper's in-feed conveyer.
Abstract: A multi-sectioned conveyor for receiving serial products from a supply conveyor, inspecting and rejecting out-of-tolerance products and adjustably conveying the products so as to establish a predetermined spacing therebetween, before transferring the products from supporting belts to the individual flights of a pusher member containing conveyor and from which the product flow is synchronized relative to an infeed conveyor to a wrapping station. The feeder comprises a microprocessor controlled, DC driven accumulation, transition and backlog conveyors, along with wrapper driven separation, transfer and infeed conveyors.
Abstract: A conveyor system having a segmented lengthwise supply conveyor comprised of a plurality of dual transpositors, whereby product from the supply conveyor is redirected laterally to a plurality of cross-feed conveyors that, in turn, supply product to stacking and wrapping stations. Overlying each cross-feed conveyor is a primary transpositor drive end having a retractable nose roller and below which a secondary transpositor conveyor having a retractable nose roller is mounted for temporarily storing product before retracting and dropping the product onto the cross-feed conveyor, thereby facilitating a continuous through put of product to each of said wrapping stations. Photo electric transmitter/receiver and a programmable controller ensure system synchronization.
Abstract: In a packaging machine of the type in which a "tin-tie" strip is affixed to a bag to allow repeated reclosures of the bag, a machine for cutting a continuous strip of tin-tie material into predetermined lengths and feeding the cut lengths into a bonding station where they are adhesively bonded to the bag proximate its top opening. The machine comprises a frame supporting a pair of electromagnetic clutches, one for selectively coupling a continuously driven shaft to an output shaft to which a tin-tie strip feedwheel is attached and the other for selectively coupling a continuously driven shaft to an output shaft to which a rotary cutting head is secured. Passage of a bag past a sensor triggers the two clutches which function to withdraw a predetermined length of tin-tie material from a supply reel and to sever the strip while feeding the cut length to the bonding station at the same speed as the bag is moving.