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Patent Searching and Data

Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1995/028321
Kind Code:
For the whole-packing of groups of bottles and cans a particularly advantageous carrier carton (Figs. 1-3) has been developed, which, however, has proved difficult to handle in automatic packaging lines. According to the invention, a successful handling is achieved by the use of a matrix erection station (25) forming planar blanks (2) into upright, stabilized box members (P), which are brought further along a production line, from which the upright standing articles (38) are groupwise introduced into the laterally open box members (P); these appear with a horizontally projecting lid or front panel (10), which, during the conveyance, are slidingly supported in this position until after the introduction of the articles (38), after which they are swung down and sealed to the remaining box member for complete closing thereof.

Erik, Pedersen
Application Number:
Publication Date:
October 26, 1995
Filing Date:
April 18, 1995
Export Citation:
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Thorsted, Maskiner A/s Kristiansen
Erik, Pedersen
International Classes:
B65B5/02; B65B21/06; (IPC1-7): B65B21/02
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C L A I M S :
1. A method of producing article filled carton packings, viz. special carrier packings primarily adap¬ ted for groups of bottles or round cans for beverages and designed, in principle, as shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3, i.e. with a broad rear panel (6) and with bottom and top panels (4,8) bent out therefrom and each having projecting side flaps (14,16) which, in the finished packing, are folded up and down, respectively, so as to form inner side panel portions joined with outer side panel portions consisting of side flaps (18) partly on the rear panel (6) and partly on a front panel (10) , which is hinged to the outer edge of the top panel (8) and depends therefrom to a lower glued or welded connec¬ tion with a front edge flap (24) folded up from the free edge of the carrying bottom panel (4) , said side flaps (18) at their root areas projecting obliquely so as to form nonrightangled transitions between the vertical broad and narrow sides of the packing, characterized in that the method is carried out according to the carto nizing principle, i.e. by erecting box members, ready for filling, and conveying them along a conveying path for the articles to be received, the filling in being effected by pushing the articles laterally into the box members, which are thereafter brought further to a final closing station (58) , whereby for the said erection planar carton blanks (2) , with their broad rear panel foremost, are pushed through a forming matrix (25) during fixation of the side flaps (18) of the rear panel to the folded in side flaps (14,16) of the bottom and top panels (4,8), while the front panel (10) and the front edge flap (24) are left without further folding in from the respective top and bottom panels (8,4), the box members (P) thus erected and basically fixed then being transferred to said conveying path in upright positions and with the projecting front panel located at the upper end of the box members, projecting over the parallel conveying path for the articles in a slidingly supported manner; after the pushover transfer of the likewise upright bottle or can articles the front panel is folded down and secured by glueing or welding to the foldedup front edge flap (24) , whereafter the filled box members (P) are advanced to an angular transition unit (60) , from which, with their front panel (10) as the leading part, they are conveyed along a line (62) , where the projecting side flaps (18) on the front panel (10) are folded rearwardly and glued or welded to the side faces of the box member, whereafter the finished packings are discharged, preferably for direct palletization.
2. A method according to claim 1, whereby the pla¬ nar blanks (2) in the forming station are pushed hori¬ zontally through an upright matrix (25) for direct deli¬ very of the box members in upright positions to their conveying path.
3. A method according to claim 1, whereby the said nonrightangled transitions at the long side corners are provided as evenly rounded areas, partly by the use of a correspondingly shaped forming piston for pushing the blanks (2) through the matrix (25) and partly by ex¬ ploiting corner positioned bottles or round cans in the filled box members (P) as counter pressure members by the rearward folding of the projecting side flaps (18) by the final closing, the blanks (2) used being without folding lines (a,b) at the relevant corner areas.
4. A method according to claim 1, whereby in the forming station use is made of two or more forming ma¬ trixes arranged in parallel, for periodic delivery of two or more semierected box members (P) to the serial conveying path for these members.
5. A system for carrying out the method according to claim 1, characterized in that it is constructed in accordance with the cartonizer principle , i.e. with parallel and closely juxtaposed conveying lines for erected box members and articles to be laterally pushed into these members, respectively, wherein the box member line departs from a forming station (30) comprising one or more throughlet matrixes (25) for planar carton blanks (2) and means for delivering these in erected and upright condition on the associated conveying line, while the article conveying line is adapted for convey¬ ing and grouping of bottles or round cans in row shaped groups suited for introduction as successive horizontal layers in the box members.
6. A system according to claim 5, in which the forming station comprises two or more forming matrixes arranged in parallel and delivering box members (P) serially to the associated conveying line.
7. A system according to claim 5, in which carrier means (29) are arranged along the stretch common to the conveying lines of the box members and the article groups for slidingly supporting the front panels (10) projecting from the top edge of the box members (P) , until these panels can be folded down after the fillingin of the articles into the single box members.
8. A system according to claim 5, in which there is arranged, downstream of the filling station, a station for folding down and fixing the projecting front panel (10).
9. A system according to claim 1, comprising an angular transition unit (60) , from which the filled and partly closed box members are transferred to a conveyor line (62) , on which a final closing of the successively supplied, filled box members (P) is effected.
A method and a system for forming article filled carton packings.

The present invention relates to a method and a system for packaging goods, particularly groups of seve¬ ral articles such a bottles, in carton packings, prefer¬ ably of thin corrugated paper board. Desires have come up as to the marketing of groups of beer or mineral water bottles or cans in whole-cartons, which should preferably be carriable by means of an integrated handle portion.

For that purpose, specialized cartons have already been developed, based on two primary requirements, name¬ ly a safe transfer of the forces between the bottom and the upper carrier area with the use of a material with¬ out exaggerated strength and a suitable shaping for the presentation of advertising in print. Another expressed desire is that the finished packings should be well suited to be piled on pallets.

The relevant cartons and the basic flat blanks of cardboard or corrugated paper are well defined struc¬ tures, given by the desired properties of the finished, closed packing, but no specific instructions have been provided for how to handle the blanks automatically in connection with the erection, filling and closing. It is rather easy to effect a manual erection and closing of the cartons in the desired shape, but as well known there may be a long way from such a manipulation to a production line, where the operations are performed fully automatically and with full accuracy and safety, e.g. with a production output of one package per second.

Such a problem may be solved in different manners, but the present invention contemplates to provide a system solution with particularly advantageous methods and means.

Already here, reference is made to Figs. 1-3 of the drawing, illustrating the relevant, particular carton.

The blank 2 shown in Fig. 1 consists of thin cor¬ rugated paper laminated with a pre-printed paper or foil on the outside. The blank comprises serially a bottom panel 4, a rear side panel 6, a top panel 8 and a front panel 10. The top and bottom panels 8 and 4 are provided with obliquely cut corners 12 and have relatively widely projecting side flaps 14 , 16 , while the front and rear side panels 10 and 6 have less widely projecting side flaps 18, which have folding lines a and b outside the corners of the oblique cuts 12.

By means of cutting lines c the top panel 8 is prepared with a transverse handle portion 20, shaped with expanded root portions 22 in the side flaps 14. The bottom panel 4 has a briefly projecting end flap 24.

In Fig. 2 the blank is shown in a lying position, with the top and bottom panels 8,4 erected and the side flaps 14,16 folded inwardly so as to be parallel with the folding line a along the side flaps 18 on the rear panel 6. Prior to the blank becoming a carton box ready for loading with articles the side flaps 18 on the rear panel 6 should be secured to the side flaps 14,16, e.g. by glueing.

In Fig. 3 the carton member 2 is shown in its up¬ right carrier position and in closed condition, in which the front panel 10 is folded down over the carton open¬ ing and is secured to the end flap 24 of the bottom panel 4, while the side flaps 18 are folded inwardly along the folding lines a and b and secured to side flaps 14,16, e.g. by means of hot melt glue.

Typically, the finished carton packing will be a flat carton containing e.g. 2x3 beer bottles or cans. The carton is suitable in use, inter alia because the glued together side flaps provide for a good carrier strength between the ends of the carrier handle 20 and

the bottom of the carton, while the oblique corner seg¬ ments, denoted 19, act reinforcing and are well suited to be integral parts of the printed decoration on the carton.

It is a partly regrettable fact that it is thus possible for the designers to provide packings which may well be functionally perfect with respect to stability, low material costs and good possibilities for the pre¬ sentation of advertising printing, but which, when seen from a production point of view, may be more or less impossible to handle with respect to erection, filling and closing. By way of example it is very conventional that carton members are erected to just the position shown in Fig. 2, for reception of the goods of content down through the upwardly open broad side of the carton, but here it is a complication that the relevant articles are bottles or cans. Optionally, the carton could be erected for lateral filling through one of the narrow sides, after final closing of the front panel against the bottom flap 24 and closing of the opposite narrow side, but this would imply an unsymmetrical influence during the erection, whereby the carton member could be sufficiently wry to make the oblique corners non-regu¬ lar. With the high ambition level of this packing it is absolutely necessary, both for the appearance and for a safe palletizing, that only diminutive wrynesses occur in the final product, preferably none at all.

In connection with the invention it has been found that it is possible to solve the problem in a satisfac¬ tory manner by an untraditional use of a box erection principle known per se, viz. in using an erection ma¬ trix, through which the blank of Fig. 1 is pushed with its rear panel 6 as the leading part, though doing this with the matrix in an upright position and not lying as normally. This is indicated in Fig. 3, where a relevant matrix 25 is indicated in dotted lines behind the closed

packing, the matrix having a throughpassage 26 corre¬ sponding to the height and width of the packing, and where an arrow A shows the direction of throughpushing of a planar blank 2 moved to a vertical position with its rear panel 6 centered relative the passage 26. In an only partly illustrated manner this passage is completed by a feeding guide 27 that will ensure an initial fold¬ ing of the bottom and top panels 4 and 8 followed by respective foldings down and up of the side flaps 14 and 16 immediately prior to the blank being pushed through the passage 26. The matrix 25 is modified in that at its top the passage 26 is widened by a pair of opposed hori¬ zontal slits 28, which will allow the front panel 10 with its coplanar side flaps 18, all as swung down by said throughpushing, to pass out through the matrix, as indicated by the rearwardly projecting panel 10.

Thus, the forming piston used (not shown) should push the erected box member 2 a considerable distance out from the matrix 25 to ensure that the formed member may then be moved away by a conveying movement parallel to the plane of the matrix opening. It may be an alter¬ native, however, that the slit 28 located at the deli¬ very side of the matrix (to the right in Fig. 3, see arrow B) is outwardly open, such that the rearwardly folded front piece 10,18 may leave the matrix in the said direction immediately after the pushing through of the body portion of the box member 2.

In connection with or prior to this throughpushing the relevant parts of the box member are glued, by means not shown, and/or welded together to achieve a suitable face to face binding, such that what remains for a final closing will be a folding up of the bottom flap 24, a folding down of the front panel 10 and a rearward fold¬ ing of the side flaps 18,19 thereof. By the throughpush¬ ing the erected box member is delivered to a conveyor moving in the direction B, and care is taken to keep the

upper, outwardly projecting front panel 10 in this posi¬ tion during the further steps as briefly described be¬ low, e.g. by supporting it on a carrier rod 29, Fig. 3.

As the erected box members should be self-stabi¬ lizing when they leave the matrix 25, the forming opera¬ tion may condition a reduced capacity compared with a shaping taking place in the operative conveying direc¬ tion of the box members, such that these may temporarily be retained in stabilizing holding tools. According to the invention, however, this capacity problem may be overcome in using in the erection station two or more matrix lines arranged in parallel, such that two or more box members can be delivered concurrently to the cross moving conveyor. If or when there is delivered in this manner an average of only two box members by each opera¬ tion cycle, this will correspond to an operative hand¬ ling of the double number of members per time unit com¬ pared with the capacity of each of the matrixes, and in practice just this has been found applicable for achiev¬ ing a desirable production capacity of approximately one unit per second.

The group of box members thus delivered in parallel to the conveyor cannot be expected to be supplied with such an accuracy that the mutual distance of the box members on the conveyor will correspond exactly to the distance or location accuracy which may or will be re¬ quired for the later filling in of the articles. On this background, according to the invention, the conveying path of the box members comprises an accumulation path, in which the members are brought closely together, and then an acceleration path along which the members are separated in a well defined manner prior to their ar¬ rival on the conveyor path, along which the filling in of the goods takes place, based on article groupings built up with a corresponding spacing on a parallel conveyor system.

In return, it will be a superior advantage that the said conveyor should not be equipped with a high number of conventional, troublesome holding tools for the box members, but only with simple entrainment members for these, as the box members will be prestabilized.

In the following the invention will be described i more detail with reference to the drawing, in which:-

Figs. 1-3 illustrate the already discussed carton package, and

Fig. 4 is a schematic top view of a system for erecting, filling and closing such carton packages.

In the system shown in Fig. 4 two forming matrixes 25 are placed next to each other in a forming station 30, with associated carton blank magazines 31 for blanks 2, which are successively brought to a position outside the rear of the matrixes 25. The blanks are pushed through by means of forming pistons 32, and the erected members P with their projecting front panel 10 and and bottom flap 24 are pushed further, for delivery to a conveyor 33. The latter is provided with one or more stops, at which the members P can be brought together, including means for ensuring a controlled overlapping between the projecting lateral portions 18 of the pro¬ jecting front panels 10.

The conveyor 33 moves the box members P to an ini¬ tial acceleration conveyor 35 in a filling station 34, where the members are timed onto a continuously moving conveyor chain 36, on which they are conveyed in parallel with a conveyor system for the articles, 38, to be filled into the box members.

The articles 38 are supplied on a belt 40 passing underneath the blank magazines 31 and from which the products are laterally transferred to a broad conveyor belt 41, on which they are distributed out into rows, double as many as the number of rows to be housed in the cartons. At the ends of these lanes 42 portions 45 of

articles 38 are timed out by means of releasable stops 43. The articles are lined up by means of side guides 44 and, in the longitudinal direction, by means of an over¬ head chain with entrainment members.

For each row of articles is arranged an obliquely directed side belt 50 bringing the article groups 45 onto another belt 51, which is provided with both front and rear entrainment members 52 for the article groups 45. The groups 45 are moved from the belt 51 into the box members on the conveyor belt 36 by means of an oblique side belt 53. This belt 53 is pivotable to the position shown in dotted lines, such that overturned articles 38, if any, can be sorted out.

In principle, the single belts 50 could bring the article groups directly into the box members, which would just imply that an already filled in article row would be pushed further into the box by the action of the next row being filled in.

Upon the filling of the box members P, the front panel 10 is guided downwardly, at 54, to an almost ver¬ tical position, and the bottom flap 24 is bent upwardly and supplied with hot melt glue on its side facing the front panel 10. A side chain 55 with entrainment members 56 ensures that the front panel 10 is correctly glued to the bottom flap 24. Pressure rollers 57 urge the front panel 10 against the bottom flap 24 while the glue har¬ dens. Thereafter the box member continues on the convey¬ or into a closing station 58.

In this station the filled box member is moved to an angular transition unit 60 and therefrom out on a conveyor chain 62 and past a non-illustrated station for applying hot melt glue to the side flaps 18 of the front panel 10. Thereafter the packing is moved between two side belts 63, whereby the side flaps 18 are fastened to the side flaps 14 and 16, the filled packing now being closed and ready for palletizing.

By the use of the folding lines a and b in Figs. 1 and 2 it is possible to provide the oblique corners on the cartons, but another possibility will be to obtain a rounded shape of the corner areas without these folding lines; in the forming station the forming piston 32 should then be shaped with rounded corners, while in the closing station the outermost articles in the packing can be used as rigid forming surfaces, i.e. the round- ings will be obtained automatically by the folding in of the side flaps 18, when the box members arrive at the side belts 63.

In principle, the box members may be erected in being pushed down through a lying matrix, but then they will have to be tilted to the upright position, this only being an additional and thus unnecessary operation.

The invention will provide for the possibility of filling two or even more layers of article groups into the upright box members P, if a suitable, vertical dis¬ placement of the supply lines is arranged once the lower article group has been introduced.