US 3199756 A
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Aug. 10, 1965 R v 3,199,756
PACKAGE CHAIN ASSEMBLY AND CONVEYING MEANS Filed April 9, 1963 INVENTOR Faber? I. .361 125;
ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,199,756 PACKAGE (JHAiN ASSEMBLY AND CSNVEYENG MEANES Robert E. Davy, La Mesa, Califi, assignor to Coroga Company, Anaheim, Qalifi, a corporation of California Filed 9, 1963, Ser. No. 271,666 2 Claims. ((31. 226-76) This application is a continuation in part of abandoned application Serial No. 178,054 filed March 7, 1962 for a Package Assembly.
This invention relates to a package assembly and particularly pertains to an assembly of packages for dispensing products comprising loose particles or pieces of fiakey or granular character such as are commonly distributed in sacks or bags.
An object of the invention is to provide a means and mode of packa ing merchandise of the above recited character with a multiple of packages joined together in a chain and adapted to be readily dispensed by a vending machine, and also whereby a multiple of packages of a product assembled in a chain may be initially packed in a folded arrangement within a container in such manner that the latter may serve as a magazine from which the packages may be dispensed one or more at a time for subsequent separation of the packages from the chain thereof for individual delivery.
Another object is to provide a construction wherein adjacent rectangular packages in a string thereof are joined together at the corner portions only of the contiguous margins thereof by a pair of thin, narrow, flexible, readily severable webs disposed at opposite ends of an elongate sprocket receiving aperture and wherein the marginal portions of the packages joined by the webs comprise crimped tongues extending along opposed parallel end margins of adjacent packages and consisting of adhered corrugated marginal portions or" the side walls of the packages, whereby the webs extending between the packages as well as the margins of the sprocket receiving apertures are reinforced and strengthened so as to minimize rupturing of the webs by pulling strains imposed thereon.
knother object is to unite the adjacent packages in the chain thereof in such manner that when the chain is passed around a sprocket wheel and the sprocket teeth engaged in the sprocket receiving apertures of the package chain, each package in traversing the sprocket Wheel will be supported only at its corners and thus suspended in space so as to avoid crushing of the packages and their fragile contents by pressure imposed thereon during dispensing thereof.
Another object is to provide a chain assembly of packages comprising a multiple of complementary product containing bags aligned end-to'end with adjacent bags connected together by membranes having sprocket receiving apertures therein flanked by flexible Webs or links adapted to be engaged and supported on a sprocket conveyor whereby the package assembly may be advanced.
A further object is to provide a package assembly which will greatly facilitate loading of a package dispensing machine with a multiple of packages to be dispensed.
With the foregoing object in view together with such other objects and advantages as may subsequently appear, the invention is carried into effect as illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
3,19%,756 Patented Aug. 1%, 1355 ice FIG. 1 is an isometric view showing a manner of joining together independent packages end-to-end in spaced articulate relation to each other with a sprocket receiving aperture between adjacent packages;
FIG. 2 is a view in section as seen on the line 22 of PEG. 1 showing the formation and construction of the webs uniting adjacent packages;
FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged section of the portion of FIG. 2 encompassed by the dot and dash rectangle indicated by the numeral 3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a diagram in elevation depicting the mode of forming, filling and sealing of a chain of packages and showing a mode of forming sprocket receiving apertures between adjacent packages;
FIG. 5 is a diagram depicting a multiple of packages as united to form as a whole a flexible chain of parcels adapted to be packed in folded relation to each other in a magazine, and showing'the manner in which the chain of packages is adapted to be engaged and advanced by a sprocket wheel and the packages delivered from a vending machine; and
FIG. 6 is a view in section and elevation as seen on the line 6-6 of FIG. 5 showing the manner in which the packages in a chain thereof are suspended while being advanced by a sprocket conveyor.
Referring to the drawings more specifically A indicates generally a package of merchandise here shown as consisting of a sealed bag 8 containing a product B to be vended, which bag may consist of any suitable flexible sheet material such as paper, glassine, cellophane and the like, such as is commonly employed in the manufacture of bags utilized as containers for flakey or granular substances such as potate chips, pop-corn, etc.
In carrying out the invention a multiple of the bags, of any desired number and complementary are aligned endto-end with adjacent bags spaced apart and flexibly interconnected.
In order that a multiple of the bags 3 may be readily linked together in a chain and also stacked one upon another in a magazine or assembled side-by-side in a container, such as a box or carton, the bags are preferably rectangular and of general flat formation having opposed side walls ab of suitable flexible sheet material of the character above mentioned having its longitudinal margins c-d turned inwardly into overlapping relation and adhered together. In forming a chain of the bags adjacent bags 8 are initially interconnected at their contiguous ends by an integral flat flexible membrane C comprising the walls a b imposed on each other and adhered together. The product B occupies the interior of the bag between the membranes C at the ends thereof and by reason of its bulk the product displaces and bulges out the sides a-b of the bag relative to the membrane C, as deicted in FIG. 2.
The adhered portions of the side walls ab comprising the membrane C are crimped to provide a multiple of parallel closely arranged transverse rows E of fine corrugations which lead longitudinally across the membrane C in the direction of the length of the chain assembly whereby, together with the double thickness of adhered layers forming the membrane, the latter is strengthened and reinforced against'rupture by strains imposed on said membrane.
In carrying out the invention each of the membranes C has a transversely elongated rectangular sprocketreceiving aperture 9 flanked at its end by fiat flexible severable Webs 10-10 constituting portions of the crimped membrance C, which webs 10-10 while serving to interconnect adjacent bags 8-8 at the ends of the aperture 9 also constitute links adapted to seat on supporting shoulders of a sprocket conveyor D adapted to suspend the bags 8 from their corners on and between the webs 10-10 as shown in FIGS. -6, as will be later described.
The longitudinal margins f-f of the apertures 9 comprise corrugated tongue portions g-g of th crimped membranes C, which tongue portions seal the ends of the bags and reinforce the margins of the apertures. The corrugated tongues f-f forming the sealed ends of the bags together with the corrugated webs -10 define the sprocket receiving apertures 9.
The connecting webs 10-10 constitute unitary pliable ties on which the adjacent packages 8-8 may be swung back and forth relative to each other and thereby be disposed in either longitudinal alignment, at various relative inclinations, or in parallel relation to each other. The spacing between adjacent packages is of suflicient width and the webs of such length as to permit one of the packages being freely inverted and disposed in seated overlying relation to its neighbor whereby the several packages in the chain thereof may be successively swungalternately back and forth and the packages thereby arranged in a stack within a container E as indicated in FIG. 5, from which the chain of packages may be withdrawn longitudinally to effect discharge of one or more of the packages from the container.
The container E with its content of assembled packages is admirably suitable for use as a magazine for loading dispensing machines adapted to feed the chain of packages from the magazine and to dispense the packages one at a time from the dispenser which functions to separate the dispensed packages from its neighbor by severing the connecting webs 10-10; the invention being particularly intended for this purpose.
In FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrating a mode of dispensing the packages, wherein the sprocket conveyor D is shown as comprising a rotary shaft 11 carrying a pair of spaced rotors having radiating spokes 12 the outer ends of which are equipped with sprockets 14 projecting from inturned shoulders 15 on the spokes 12. The chain assembly of packages is extended longitudinally over the rotors circumferentially thereof with the sprockets 14-14 on opposed spokes 12-12 extended into the aperture 9 in the membrane C between a pair of bags 8-8, with the adjacent shoulders 15-15 affording supports for the webs 10-10 at the corners of the aperture, as shown in FIG.
6. The side margins of the sprockets 14 converge from their intersection with the shoulders 15 and the pair of opposed sprockets on the rotors 12-12 are inclined toward each other with their outer base portions spaced apart a distance corresponding to the distance between the ends of the apertures 9. By this arrangement, on rotation of the rotors DD with the chain assembly engaged therewith, as shown in FIG. 5, the advancing pairs of sprockets will readily ride into the apertures 9 by reason of the tapered configuration of the sprockets, and because of the inward inclination of their upper sides the inner margins of the webs 10-10, on being brought into contact with the sprockets, will be directed into a seated position at the junction of the base of the sprocket 14 and shoulder 15, thereby aligning the sprocket assembly relative to the apertures 9 and webs 10-10 of the chain assembly. As the sprocket conveyor D rotates with the package chain engaged therewith, the linked packages 8-8are withdrawn from the magazine E and advanced over the sprocket conveyor as shown in FIG. 5; the chain of packages being delivered to a cut-off mechanism F whereby the pair of webs 10-10 between an end package 8 and a succeeding package may be severed to free the end package,
An important feature of the invention attained by the provision of the webs 10-10 is that in supporting the chain of packages when traversing the conveyor solely by the webs 10-10 at the ends of the packages, the latter are suspended at their ends, clear of the conveyor as shown in FIG. 6 and thereby protected against crushing.
Another important feature of the invention is the facility with which a dispensing machine may be loaded with the product which'is effected by positioning a magazine E containing a length of the chain product within the machine and connecting the lead package to the conveyor D, as compared with the present practice involving loading the machine with free packages one at a time arranged in a stack which practice is obviously time consuming and is so costly in some instances as to render the use of a dispensing machine unprofitable.
While various ways of providing the apertures 9 in the membrances C may be employed such may be accomplished as shown in FIG. 4 wherein the mode of forming, filling, sealing and aperturing the membrane is diagrammatically depicted, of which the illustrated forming, filling and sealing operations are now common practice but to which is added an aperturing operation to produce the invented product. As indicated in the diagram a tube 16 is formed of a ribbon of sheet material wrapped transversely around a forming hopper 17 with its margins united by a sealing roller 18. The tube 16 is extended downward between a pair of opposed reciprocal heads 19-19 adapted to be operated to press opposed portions of the tube into overlying abutting relation as indicated by the dotted lines 11; the heads 19-19 acting to adhere the abutting portions and also effect crimping thereof thereby sealing a previously formed bag and forming the closed end of a succeeding bag. This operation produces the membrane C.
A measured quantity of the product to be sacked is then delivered into the open upper end of the tube 16 through the hopper 17 by a tiltable chute 20 in the usual manner, and the recited operation repeated. It is now present practice to sever the membrane C at the time of its formation thereby successively separating the filled bags, whereas in carrying out the present invention, instead of separating the bags they are maintained connected and the membrane C punctured to produce the sprocket receiving aperture 9 therein and form the connecting webs 10-10. This operation while being subject to being effected during the formation of the separating membrane, is here shown as independently accomplished by a punch 21 and die 22 actuated in a conventional manner to puncture the membrane C and form the aper ture 9 therein flanked by the webs 10-10.
The chain assembly of connected packages A or bags 8, thus formed may be directly delivered into a magazine E with adjacent bags stacked in connected overlying relation to each other as indicated in FIG. 5 and the magazine may subsequently be set in a dispensing machine and the lead package A connected to a sprocket conveyor D whereby the assembly of packages may be delivered to discharge one at a time as before described.
This application relates to the subject matter of a copending application filed herewith bearing Serial Number 271,665 and an application bearing Serial Number 297,613 filed July 25, 1963.
1. The combination of a pair of spaced parallel rotors, a rotary shaft on which said rotors are mounted, radiating spokes on said rotors, laterally tapered inwardly inclined sprockets projecting from inturned shoulders on said spokes, the sprockets on one rotor being opposite the sprockets on the other rotor, a chain assembly of packages comprising a multiple of complementary rectangular product-containing tubular bags aligned end-to-end and having sealed ends, a pair of spaced apart narrow webs connecting the ends of adjacent bags at the corners thereof, said sealed ends and webs defining an elongate rectangular aperture between adjacent bags, said chain assembly extending longitudinally over said rotors circumferentially thereof with the sprockets on adjacent spokes extending into the apertures at the opposite ends of a package and with the webs at the ends of said apertures seated on said shoulders whereby said package is suspended solely at its corners on said shoulders by said spaced apart webs.
2. The structure called for in claim 1 in which said sprockets have converging side margins and the sprockets on opposed spokes are inclined toward each other with the base portions of such sprockets spaced apart a distance corresponding to the spacing between the inner margins of opposed of said webs, and said shoulders extend from said spokes a distance substantially corresponding to the widths of said webs.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Reising.
Williams 20656 Martin.
OMeara et a1. 221-25 David 206-56 Groves 31239 Schaef 221-25 Great Britain.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
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