Abstract: An apparatus for erecting cases from flat blanks (20'). The apparatus includes a frame (42), a hopper (48), a vacuum arm (68), minor flap folders (80), major flap folders (90, 108), a case pusher bar (98), and a tape applicator (112). The frame includes a deck (54). The hopper is attached to the frame at an input end (144) of the frame. It includes guide members (58) to receive a stack of the flat blanks. The vacuum arm is attached near a feed end (124) of the hopper. The arm has vacuum suction cups (70) to pull the flat cases from the hopper into a tubular configuration against the deck. The trailing and leading minor flap folders are arranged and configured to fold the trailing and leading minor flaps, respectively, of a case after it has been pulled from the hopper. The top major flap folder is positioned above the deck near the feed end of the hopper. It folds the top major flap after a case has been pulled from the hopper. The bottom major flap folder is disposed beneath the deck.
Abstract: A case handling machine including a programmable controller, i.e., a controller that includes a programmable CPU, for controlling the position of movable elements of the machine based on the size of cases to be handled is disclosed. The CPU is first programmed with the position of each movable element based on the size of each of the cases to be handled. Thereafter, when a box number related to the size of a particular case is inputted to the controller by an operator, the movable elements are automatically moved to the correct position. Since the movable elements are moved along interrelated axes, that could result in a conflict if the movable elements are moved in the wrong order, the controller program includes a subroutine that sets the sequence of axes movement such that conflicts are avoided. Further, movement of the movable machine elements is monitored as they are moved in a manner that senses jams, i.e., the inability of an element to move at the command of speed.
Abstract: A machine for sealing the top and/or bottom flaps of random size cases is disclosed. The location of the front and rear of cases moved through the machine by a conveyor is continuously monitored by a programmable controller that uses the location information to control the operation of various case alignment, flap folding, and glue-applying mechanisms. Case entry is initially prohibited by a raised gate. When the conveyor reaches a predetermined position the gate is lowered and a case enters the machine. As a case enters the machine, the case is aligned along the center of the case path of travel through the machine; and a T-deck drops to allow the bottom major flaps to separate from the bottom minor flaps. Such separation is necessary for the bottom flaps to be sealed simultaneously with the top flaps. If the bottom flaps are sealed when the case enters the machine, no separation occurs.
Abstract: A case sealing machine, wherein the position of cases moving through the machine is continuously monitored by a programmable controller that uses information about case position to control the operation of various flap folding and glue applying mechanisms, is disclosed. Cases are moved through the machine by a chain-driven flight bar conveyor mechanism. Case entry is prevented by a raised gate until the flight bar conveyor mechanism is synchronized. Thereafter, the gate is lowered and a power roller feeds the case into the machine. After entering the machine, a case is pushed through the machine by the flight bar conveyor mechanism. The programmable case sealing machine can be programmed to seal the top and/or bottom of the case. If the bottom is to be sealed, the bottom major flaps of the case are separated from the bottom minor flaps by a T-deck mechanism as the case enters the machine. If the bottom of the case was previously sealed, the T-deck is rendered inoperative by the program.
Abstract: A case set-up and bottom sealing machine, including a programmable controller that controls: (a) the movement of cases from a hopper to a case set-up station and, then, to a mandrel station; (b) the erecting of cases at the case set-up station; (c) the tucking or folding of the bottom minor and major flaps of erected cases at the case set-up station; (d) the application of glue to the bottom flaps during movement from the case set-up station to the mandrel station; and (e) the application of pressure to the bottom flaps to adhere the flaps together at the mandrel station, is disclosed. If the case includes Tab-Lok top flaps, the case set-up and bottom sealing machine can be programmed to fold the Tab-Lok flaps into a position such that the Tab-Lok flaps overlap the sides of the case when the case is erected.
Abstract: A tray forming machine, including a programmable controller that controls: (a) the movement of tray blanks from a hopper (41) to a conveyor (73) that moves trays from a hopper station (31) through a glue station (33) to a mandrel station (35); (b) the application of glue to tray blanks (43) moved by the conveyor (73) through the glue station (33); and, (c) the formation of the tray blanks (43) into trays at the mandrel station (35), is disclosed. The programmable controller controls the operation of the tray forming machine in accordance with operator instructions, which include tray length, glue pattern length, margin distance and mandrel dwell time, plus on/off instructions regarding glue application and glue format (stitch or continuous). The readily changeable operator inserted instructions are entered via a control/display unit (135), which displays information about the function and changes being made when the instructions are being entered.
Abstract: A machine for forming an H-section carton (19) from three corrugated blanks--two section blanks (21a and 21b) and a main body blank (23)--is disclosed. The machine has a generally L-shaped silhouette, with one leg of the L shape generally defining the path of travel of the section blanks and the other leg defining the path of travel of the main body blank. A supply of vertically oriented section blanks are located on opposing sides of the section blank leg. The two section blanks facing one another are simultaneously moved toward the main body blank leg, along parallel paths. The section blanks are first moved past glue heads (61a and 61b), which apply glue to the center region (22a and 22b) of the facing surfaces of the section blanks. Then, section forming mandrels (85) ram the section blanks toward one another into a U and H-section forming die (87). More specifically, the section modules first deform the section blanks into a U-shape.