Sélection de la langue

Search

Sommaire du brevet 2550377 

Énoncé de désistement de responsabilité concernant l'information provenant de tiers

Une partie des informations de ce site Web à été fournie par des sources externes. Le gouvernement du Canada n'assume aucune responsabilité concernant la précision, l'actualité ou la fiabilité des informations fournies par les sources externes. Les utilisateurs qui désirent employer cette information devraient consulter directement la source des informations. Le contenu fournit par les sources externes n'est pas assujetti aux exigences sur les langues officielles, la protection des renseignements personnels et l'accessibilité.

Disponibilité de l'Abrégé et des Revendications

L'apparition de différences dans le texte et l'image des Revendications et de l'Abrégé dépend du moment auquel le document est publié. Les textes des Revendications et de l'Abrégé sont affichés :

  • lorsque la demande peut être examinée par le public;
  • lorsque le brevet est émis (délivrance).
(12) Brevet: (11) CA 2550377
(54) Titre français: MACHINE A CERCLER A GUIDE D'ALIMENTATION A ACCES FACILE
(54) Titre anglais: STRAPPING MACHINE WITH EASY ACCESS AND FEED GUIDES
Statut: Périmé
Données bibliographiques
(51) Classification internationale des brevets (CIB):
  • B65B 13/06 (2006.01)
  • B65B 59/04 (2006.01)
  • B65B 13/18 (2006.01)
  • B65B 13/32 (2006.01)
(72) Inventeurs :
  • PEARSON, TIMOTHY B. (Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
  • GURAK, RONALD W. (Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
  • LOPEZ, JONATHAN (Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
(73) Titulaires :
  • SIGNODE INTERNATIONAL IP HOLDINGS LLC (Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
(71) Demandeurs :
  • ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC. (Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
(74) Agent: FINLAYSON & SINGLEHURST
(74) Co-agent:
(45) Délivré: 2009-05-19
(22) Date de dépôt: 2002-09-25
(41) Mise à la disponibilité du public: 2003-03-28
Requête d'examen: 2006-06-09
Licence disponible: S.O.
(25) Langue des documents déposés: Anglais

Traité de coopération en matière de brevets (PCT): Non

(30) Données de priorité de la demande:
Numéro de la demande Pays / territoire Date
09/966,473 Etats-Unis d'Amérique 2001-09-28

Abrégés

Abrégé français

Une machine à cercler pour positionner un matériau de cerclage autour d'une charge associée et sceller le matériau de cerclage à elle-même autour de la charge comprenant un cadre, une goulotte montée sur le cadre pour transporter le matériau de cerclage autour de la charge, un ensemble d'alimentation monté sur le cadre pour amener le matériau de cerclage, un guide configuré pour transférer le matériau de cerclage de l'ensemble d'alimentation et une tête de cerclage. La tête est configurée pour recevoir le matériau de cerclage de l'ensemble d'alimentation par l'intermédiaire du guide pendant un mode d'alimentation. La tête de cerclage comprend un corps et définit un premier chemin de transport pour le matériau de cerclage du guide à la goulotte, et un second chemin de transport pour recevoir une extrémité libre du matériau de cerclage pour sceller le matériau de cerclage à elle-même. Le second chemin de transport est défini par une pluralité de surfaces dans le corps qui définit une voie de largeur sensiblement constante à travers le second chemin de transport. La machine comprend un guide de transfert monté sur le cadre entre l'ensemble d'alimentation et la tête de cerclage et un guide d'alimentation comprenant un couvercle pour recouvrir au moins une partie de l'ensemble d'alimentation. Le guide de transfert comporte une partie fixe et une partie couvercle amovible. La partie de couvercle de guide d'alimentation comprend une paroi de guide arquée transversalement au couvercle généralement parallèle au plan d'alimentation en matériau de cerclage.


Abrégé anglais

A strapping machine for positioning a strapping material around an associated load and sealing the strapping material to itself around the load includes a frame, a chute mounted to the frame for conveying the strapping material around the load, a feed assembly mounted to the frame for feeding the strapping material, a guide configured to transfer the strapping material from the feed assembly and a strapping head. The head is configured to receive the strapping material from the feed assembly via the guide during a feed mode. The strapping head includes a body and defines a first conveyance path for the strapping material from the guide to the chute, and a second conveyance path to receive a free end of the strapping material to seal the strapping material to itself. The second conveyance path is defined by a plurality of surfaces in the body that define a substantially constant width path through the second conveyance path. The machine includes a transfer guide mounted to the frame between the feed assembly and the strapping head and a feed guide including a cover for covering at least a portion of the feed assembly. The transfer guide has a fixed portion and a removable cover portion. The feed guide cover portion includes an arcuate guide wall transverse to the cover generally parallel to the strapping material feed plane.

Revendications

Note : Les revendications sont présentées dans la langue officielle dans laquelle elles ont été soumises.



WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A strapping machine for positioning a strapping material around an
associated load and
sealing the strapping material to itself around the load, the strapping
material defining a feed
plane along a longitudinal axis and a width of the strapping material, the
strapping material the
strapping machine comprising:
a frame;
a chute defining a strap path, the chute being mounted to the frame;
a feed assembly mounted to the frame, the feed assembly configured to receive
the
strapping material from a source and to feed the strapping material
therethrough, the feed
assembly including a drive and a pair of feed wheels defining a nip at about
an infeed of the
pair of feed wheels;
a strapping head mounted to the frame independent of the feed assembly, the
strapping
head providing a conveyance path therethrough for receiving the strapping
material from the
feed assembly and feeding the strapping material into the chute; and
a removable feed guide including a cover for covering at least a portion of
the feed
assembly and an arcuate guide wall transverse to the cover generally parallel
to the strapping
material feed plane, wherein the guide wall is spaced from a periphery of one
of the feed
wheels at about an entry of the strapping material into the feed guide and
wherein the guide
wall converges toward a periphery of the one of the feed wheels as the guide
wall approaches
the nip.

2. The strapping machine in accordance with claim 1 wherein the cover portion
is
removably mounted to the fixed portion by at least one mechanical fastener.

3. The strapping machine in accordance with claim 2 wherein the mechanical
fastener
includes a hinge-supported portion and wherein when the fasteners is loosened
from the cover
portion the hinge-supported portion retains the fastener mounted to the fixed
portion.

18


4. The strapping machine in accordance with claim 3 including a plurality of
fasteners
having hinge-supported portions.

5. The strapping machine in accordance with claim 2 wherein the at least one
mechanical
fastener is knurled.

19

Description

Note : Les descriptions sont présentées dans la langue officielle dans laquelle elles ont été soumises.



CA 02550377 2002-09-25

STRAPPING MACHINE WITH EASY ACCESS AND FEED GUIDES
This application is a divisional application of Canadian
Patent File No. 2,405,187 filed September 25, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
100011 Strapping machines are in widespread use for securing straps
around loads. There are two principle types of strappers. One type is a
manually
operated lland tool that can be used, for example, around a job site. Another
type of
strapper is a stationary arrangement in which the strapper is fabricated as
part of an
overall apparatus. In such a strapper, the strapping head and drive mechanisms
are
typically mounted within a frame. A chute is likewise mounted to the frame,
through
which the strapping material is fed.
[00021 In a typical, stationary strapper, the strapping head is mounted
at about a work surface, and the chute is positioned above the work surface
and above
the strapping head. Strap material is fed to the strapping head by a set of
feed and
take-up wheels. The strapping material is fed, by the feed wheels past the
strapping
head, around the chute and back to the strapping head. The free end of the
strapping
material is then grasped, such as by a first part of a gripping arrangement.
The strap
is then retracted by the take-up wheels and tensioned around the load. The
tensioned
strap is then gripped by a second part of the gripping arrangement. A cutter
in the
strapping head then cuts the tensioned strap (from the source or supply) and
the
strapping head forms a seal in the strapping material, sealing the strapping
material to
itself around the bundled load.
[0003] Strapping operations are typically secondary operations in that
these operations are used for bundling or securing individual items into a
single, large
load. The straps themselves are not of commercial concern to the end user;
rather, it
is the bundled items that are of concern. As such, it is important to be able
to strap
and move the items quickly and in a cost effective manner.
100041 To this end, improvements have been made to strapping
machines. One such improvement includes an auto re-feed arrangement, such as
that
disclosed in Bell, et al., U.S. Patent No. 5,640,899, commonly assigned
herewith. In
such an arrangement, in the event of a misfeed of strapping material, the
misfed strap
is cut and ejected from the niachine. Fresh strapping material is then
autoniatically
re-fed by the feed wheels through the strapping head and around the load. It
has been
I


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

found that such an arrangement saves considerable time and labor vis-a-vis
removing
the misfed or snapped strap and refeeding strap material into the strapper.
[0005] One drawback to the known re-feed arrangements is that they
require separate feed and take-up wheels. That is, a pair of wheels (generally
one
driven and one idle) is required to feed the strapping material through the
strapping
head and the chute. A second, separate set of wheels (again, one driven and
one idle)
is required to take-up or retract the strap in order to tension the strap
around the load.
While these automatic re-feed arrangements have been found to save
considerable
time and labor, the requisite two pairs of wheels introduce additional
maintenance
concerns as well as timing arrangements with respect to the overall operation
of the
machine.

[0006] It has also been found that typically, these stationary types of
strappers are designed and constructed such that the feed and take-up
mechanism is
located near to the strapping head. Because of the proximity of the feed and
take-up
arrangement to the strapping head, two sets of feed and take-up wheels are
required in
order to meet the overall operating requirements, given the physical
constraints of the
equipment.

[0007] Present designs of stationary strappers, which include a closely
located feed and take-up mechanism to the strapping head, also include guide
paths
to, from and between components that are all fixedly mounted to the machine.
In the
event of maintenance or repair, the machine must be taken out of service for
the
duration of that work. In addition, skilled technicians are generally required
to tend to
the machine during the entirety of the maintenance or repair procedure.
[0008] It has further been observed that the guides of known strappers,
that is those portions of the strapper along which the strap material is
guided while it
is fed around the strap path tend to clog with debris from the strapping
material. This
debris can either be residue from the plastic strapping material itself, or
debris that is
carried by the strapping material into the machine. Typically, these guides
have very
small clearances between the guides themselves and between the guides and the
active
(driven or idle, rotating) machine components. As a result, it is necessary,
at times, to
shut down the machine, open the guide paths and clear these guide paths of
debris.
Known machines typically require disassembly of those portions of the machine
which, again, requires significant labor and time. In addition, strappers are
known to
occasionally jam, in which strap material may get caught at about the active
machine

2


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

components or between the active and stationary machine components. In order
to
clear or remove these jams, again, the guide paths require disassembly
necessitating
time and labor.
[0009] Another concern with known strapping machines is that at
times, the strap is not aligned with itself prior to forming the seal or
"weld". In order
to achieve maximum tension strength in the strap joint the strap should be
fully
aligned with an adjacent layer of strap prior to welding. This maximizes the
area over
which the weld is performed. Known strappers rely upon an alignment of
stationary
strap guides or paths in order to properly position the strap material in this
aligned,
adjacent arrangement. However, at times, the strap shifts as it is aligned or
prior to
welding, resulting in misaligned straps and less than optimal joint strength.
[0010] Accordingly, there exists a need for a strapping machine that
utilizes modular components, specifically for the drive and sealing functions.
Desirably, such modular components are readily removed and installed in
machines to
minimize the "down time" of such machines. Most desirably, such modular
components are readily installed and removed, with minimal or no tools.
Further, a
need exists for a strapper that minimizes clogging and provides easy access to
the
guide areas. Again, most desirably, access is provided to these areas with
minimal or
no tools. Still more desirably, the guide pathway and covering therefor are
formed as
integral units further minimizing disassembly to clear these paths. In such a
strapper,
an auto re-feed arrangement is desirable without the use of separate feed and
take-up
wheels. A need further exist for a strapper in which strap alignment, prior to
welding,
is actively provided.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0011] A strapping machine positioning a strapping material around an
associated load and seals the strapping material to itself around the load.
The
strapping machine includes a frame, a chute defining a strap path mounted to
the
frame, a modular feed assembly mounted to the frame, a guide mounted to the
frame
adjacent the feed assembly, and a modular strapping head mounted to the frame
independent of the feed assembly and the guide.
[0012] The feed assembly is configured to feed the strapping material
from a source to the guide. The guide is mounted to the frame independent of
the
feed assenlbly and the strapping head. The guide is configured to receive the

3


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

strapping material from the feed assenibly and to provide a path for the
strapping
material toward the strapping head.
100131 The strapping head includes a body and provides a conveyance
path for the strapping material to the chute. In one embodiment, the strapping
head
defines a first conveyance path for the strapping material from the guide to
the chute,
and a second conveyance path to receive a free end of the strapping material
to sea]
the strapping material to itself
[0014] Preferably, the strapping head includes an anvil movably
mounted to the body and forming a part of the second conveyance path. The
anvil is
movable between a first conveying position in which the anvil is pivoted away
from
the body to enlarge the second conveyance path and a second sealing position
in
which the anvil is pivoted toward the body to narrow the second conveyance
path.
[0015] The anvil can be pivotally movable toward and away from the
body. Preferably, the anvil is biased toward the body. In this arrangement,
strapping
head includes a side plate pivotally mounted to the body. The anvil is fixedly
mounted to the side plate. The strapping head can include a cam for moving the
anvil
between the first conveying position and the second sealing position. The cam
cooperates with the side plate to pivot the anvil.
100161 The present strapping machine further contemplates an
embodiment in which a controller controls the operation of the strapping
machine.
The controller is operably connected to the feed assembly.
[0017] A sensor is disposed to sense the presence and absence of
strapping material at the strapping head. The sensor includes first and second
movable elements, preferably paddles, that cooperate with one another. The
paddles
are movable between a first position in which the sensor senses the presence
of
strapping material and a second position in which the sensor senses the
absence of
strapping material. The sensor is operably connected to the controller and
when the
sensor senses the absence of strapping material at the strapping head, a
control signal
is generated to initiate operation of the feed assembly in a refeed mode.
[0018] In a current embodiment, the sensor is mounted to the strapping
head at about a strap exit path of the strapping material from the strapping
head.
Preferably, the paddles pivot about a common pivot pin. The strapping material
engages the first paddle to pivot the paddles between the first and second
positions.

4


CA 02550377 2008-11-28

[0019] The sensor can include a proximity sensor cooperating with the
first and second paddles. The second paddle is positioned between the
proximity
sensor and the first paddle. The first paddle is biased toward the proximity
sensor and
the second paddle is biased away from the first paddle. First and second
biasing
elements bias the first paddle toward the proximity sensor and the second
paddle away
from the first paddle, respectively.
[0020] A hinge stop limits travel of the first and second paddles away
from one another. The second paddle operably contacts the proximity sensor
during
the feed mode and the take-up mode, and the second paddle is operably
separated from
the proximity sensor during a refeed mode.
[0021] A preferred strapping head includes a second conveyance path
to receive a free end of the strapping material to seal the strapping material
to itself.
The second conveyance path is defined by a plurality of surfaces within the
body. The
surfaces define a substantially constant width path through the second
conveyance
path.
[0022] An entryway precedes the second conveyance path. The
entryway has a larger path width than the conveyance path width. A gripper is
disposed at a terminal end of the conveyance path.
[0023] In a broad aspect, the invention seeks to provide a strapping
machine for positioning a strapping material around an associated load and
sealing the
strapping material to itself around the load, the strapping material defining
a feed plane
along a longitudinal axis and a width of the strapping material, and the
strapping
material. The strapping machine comprises a frame, and a chute defining a
strap path,
the chute being mounted to the frame. A feed assembly is mounted to the frame,
the
feed assembly configured to receive the strapping material from a source and
to feed
the strapping material therethrough. The feed assembly includes a drive and a
pair of
feed wheels defining a nip at about an infeed of the pair of feed wheels. A
strapping
head is mounted to the frame independent of the feed assembly and the
strapping head
provides a conveyance path therethrough for receiving the strapping material
from the
feed assembly and feeding the strapping material into the chute. a removable
feed
guide includes a cover for covering at least a portion of the feed assembly
and an
arcuate guide wall is transverse to the cover generally parallel to the
strapping material


CA 02550377 2008-11-28

feed plane. The guide wall is spaced from a periphery of one of the feed
wheels at
about an entry of the strapping material into the feed guide and wherein the
guide wall
converges toward a periphery of the one of the feed wheels as the guide wall
approaches the nip.
100241 In a further aspect, the invention provides the strapping
machine wherein the cover is removably mounted to the feed assembly by at
least one
mechanical fastener.

[0025] In a still further aspect, the invention provides the strapping
machine wherein the mechanical fastener includes a hinge-supported portion,
and
wherein when the fastener is loosened from the cover portion, the hinge-
supported
portion retains the fastener mounted to the fixed portion.
[0026] Still further, the invention comprehends the strapping machine
having a plurality of fasteners with hinge-supported portions, wherein the at
least one
mechanical fastener is knurled.
[0027] These and other features and advantages of the present
invention will be apparent from the following detailed description, in
conjunction with
the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
[0028] The benefits and advantages of the present invention will
become more readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the relevant art
after
reviewing the following detailed description and accompanying drawings,
wherein:
[0029] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an improved modular strapping
machine in accordance with the principles of the present invention, the
strapping
machine being illustrated with the strapping head partially removed from the
frame,
and a portion of the frame missing at about the feeding assembly, for clarity
of
illustration;

[0030] FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of the strapping machine
function, illustrating the strap being fed around a load;
[0031] FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the modular strapping
machine feed assembly and strapping head removed from the frame for clarity of
illustration;
6


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

[0032) FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the feed assembly and
the frame portion in which it is mounted;
[0033] FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the strapping head showing the anvil
pivoted outwardly during the feed and retraction modes of operation;
[0034] FIG. 6 is a bottoin view of the strapping head anvil showing the
anvil pivoted inwardly as during the sealing (welding) operation of the
strapping
head;
100351 FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a strap sensor embodying the
principles of the present invention, the sensor being shown when in strapping
machine
is operating in the refeed mode;
[0036] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the sensor when the strapping
machine is operating in the retraction mode;
[0037] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the sensor when the strapping
machine is in the strapping mode;

[0038] FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the sensor;

[0039] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the gripper and portions of the
gripper path through the strapping head;
[0040] FIG. 12 is a side view of the gripper of FIG. 11; and
[0041] FIG. 13 is an exploded view of the gripper of FIGS I 1 and 12.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
[0042] While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in
various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be
described a
presently preferred embodiment with the understanding that the present
disclosure is
to be considered an exemplification of the invention and is not intended to
limit the
invention to the specific embodiment illustrated.

[0043] It should be further understood that the title of this
section of this specification, namely, "Detailed Description Of The
Invention", relates to a requirement of a patent specification and does not
imply, nor should be inferred to limit the subject matter disclosed herein.

[0044] Referring to the figures and in particular, to FIG. 1, there is
shown a strapping machine or strapper 10 embodying the principles of the
present
invention. The strapper 10 includes a frame 12 having a work surface or top 14

7


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

mounted thereto. The frame 12 defines a chute or strap path 16 about wliich
the strap
S is conveyed during a strapping operation. A strap supply P provides the
strap
material S for the strapper 10.
[0045] The strap S is fed froni the supply P into the strapper 10 by a
feed arrangement 18. The strap S is conveyed by the feed arrangement 18,
through a
strapping head 20 into the chute 16. The strap material S traverses through
the chute
16, and returns to the strapping head 20. The free end (that is the first fed
end of the
strap S) is, upon return to the strapping head 20, gripped by a first gripping
portion
22a of a gripper 22 in the strapping head 20. The feed mechanism 18 then
reverses to
provide tension in the strap S. When a desired tension is achieved, the strap
S is
gripped by a second portion 22b of the gripper 22. The strap S is then cut to
separate
the strap S from the source P. The strap S is then welded or otherwise sealed
onto
itself. The load L is then removed from inside the chute 16 region or strap
path and a
new load is positioned therein for strapping.
[0046] Unlike known strappers, the present strapper 10 includes a
modular arrangement in which the feed assembly 18 and strapping head 20 are
removably mounted to the frame 12. That is, the feed arrangement 18, which
includes
generally a motor 24, and a pair of feed wheels 26, 28, is mounted to a base
30 that is
in turn mounted to the frame 12. Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown an
exemplary
feed assembly 18 illustrating the motor 24, a driven wheel 26 and an idler
wheel 28.
The idler wheel 28 is mounted for free rotation with the driven wheel 26 when
the
strap material S is between the driven wheel 26 and the idler whee128 and the
motor
24 is actuated.
[0047] To assure that the feed assembly 18 is properly mounted within
the frame 12, the feed assembly 18 and frame 12 include portions of a
cooperating
aligning and mounting assembly 32. In one such arrangement, as shown in FIGS.
1
and 4, the frame 12 includes a 34 nesting member configured as a transverse
beam
element. The feed assembly 18 includes a complementary, cooperating receiving
member 36 that aligns with the transverse beam 34. In a current embodiment,
the
receiving member 36 is formed as a generally channel shaped aligning head 38
having
a pair of slots or rounded notches 40 formed therein complementary to the beam
34.
The feed assembly 18 is positioned in the frame 12 such that the notclies 40
are fitted
onto the beam 34. This aligns the feed assembly 18 in the frame 12.

8


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

[0048] At a rear end 42 of the feed assembly 18, the aligning and
mounting assembly 32 includes a clamp 44. The clamp 44 can be fornied, for
example, as a handle 46 that is mounted to a threaded stud 48. The frame 12
can
include a base portion 50 having a notch 52 formed therein. The notch 52 has
an
enlarged or V-shaped opening 54 to readily permit aligning the stud 48 in the
notch
52. As the feed assembly 18 is positioned on the frame 12, the aligning
notches 40
are positioned immediately forward of the beam 34 and the stud 48 is
positioned in
the open end 54 of the V-opening. The feed assembly 18 is then urged forward
until
the notches 40 are positioned on the beam 34 and the stud 48 is positioned in
the base
notch 52. The handle 46 is then rotated to clamp the feed assembly 18 securely
in
place on the frame 12. In this manner, a discharge area 56 of the feed
assembly 18 (as
illustrated in FIG. 3) is properly aligned with a strap guide (the transfer
guide 58) or
strap guide for transport of the strapping material S to the strapping head
20.
[0049] The strapping head 20 is mounted to the frame 12 in a similar
manner. To this end, the strapping head 20 and the frame 12 include portions
of a
cooperating aligning and clamping assembly 60. The frame 12 includes an upper
base
or shelf 62 having a transverse, forward lip 64. The lip 64 has an opening 66
therein
for receiving the strapping head 20. The opening 66 is formed by a pair of
walls
68a,b having aligning slots or notches 70 formed therein.
[0050] The strapping head 20 includes an aligning or nesting member
72 that, when the head 20 is moved forwardly in the frame 12, resides in the
aligning
slots 70. In a present embodiment, the aligning member 72 is formed as a beam
or
like member, and the aligning slots 70 in the walls 68a,b receive the beam 72.
A rear
end 74 of the shelf 62 includes a notched opening 76 having an enlarged or V-
shaped
entrance 78. The strapping head 20 includes a clamp 80 such as the exemplary
threaded stud 82, and a handle 84 for threading the stud 82. As with the feed
assembly 18, when the strapping head assembly 20 is urged forward, the beam 72
is
urged into the slots 70 as the stud 82 is urged into the clamping notch 76.
Once the
strapping head 20 is properly positioned, the handle 84 is rotated to clamp
the
strapping head 20 in place on the frame 12.
[0051] The present arrangement has a number of advantages over
known strappers. First, the modular, tool-less arrangeinent permits readily
changing
out either the strapping head 20 or the feed assembly 18. As such, as
maintenance or
repair is required on either the strapping head 20 or the feed assembly 18,
that portion
9


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

of the strapper 10 can be removed and a spare inserted in its place. In this
manner, the
operational "down-time" of the machine 10 is minimized. That is, the strapping
head
20 or feed assembly 18 can be removed and a spare installed in, perhaps less
than a
minute. That portion of the strapper 10 requiring maintenance or repair (e.g.,
the feed
assembly 18 or strapping head 20) can then be removed and taken away, for
example,
to a maintenance shop, where the necessary work can be carried out, away from
the
strapping machine 10 and other operations.
[0052] Another advantage provided by the present strapper 10 is that it
establishes a distance between the feed assembly 18 and the strapping head 20.
Those
skilled in the art will recognized that, at times, strapping material becomes
jammed or
are misfed into the strapper 10. When this occurs, it is most desirable to
have a
strapper 10 having an auto eject and re-feed arrangement. In such an
arrangement, the
misfed strap is automatically ejected from the strapper and the strap feed is
automatically restarted to place the strapper 10 back into operation. Thus,
operator
time and attention is minimized by automatically ejecting the misfed strap and
automatically refeeding from the strap supply. An exemplary auto refeed
arrangement is illustrated in the aforementioned Bell, et al., U.S. Patent No.
5,640,899.

[0053] One drawback to known auto refeed arrangements is that there
must be a sufficient distance between the feed wheels and the strapping head
to
prevent the strap material from being ejected beyond the feed wheels (by the
take-up
or tension wheels). This is of particular concern in that the machines operate
at
relatively high speeds and the detecting instruments and control system have
certain
reaction time constraints. That is, because the strap is conveyed so quickly
through
the machine, after a misfeed is detected, the strap can be ejected from the
machine by
the take-up wheels beyond the feed wheels, thus defeating the auto-refeed
function.
In other words, if there is insufficient distance between the strapping head
(which is
the location of the misfeed detector) and the feed wheels, the take-up wheels
will eject
the strap beyond the feed wheels. As such, there will not be fresh strap
material to be
fed through the feed wheels to the strapping head.

[0054] The present arrangement provides the necessary distance
between a strap misfeed detector 86 (mounted on the strapping head 20) and the
feed
wheels 26, 28. As such, only a single set of wheels (e.g., the pair of wheels
26, 28) is
required for both the feed and retraction functions. In this manner, when
ainisfeed is


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

detected, the feed wheels reverse to eject the misfed strap from the strapping
head 20.
When the jammed or misfed strap is cleared, there is sufficient distance
between the
detector 86 and the feed wheels 26, 28 for the feed wheels 26, 28 to be
stopped (from
the reverse direction) and returned to the forward feeding direction.
[0055) Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 7- 10, the strap detector 86
assembly cooperates with the feed assembly 18, that is the feed wheels 26, 28,
to stop
forward movement of the strap material S when a misfeed is detected, reverse
the
wheels 26, 28 to eject misfed strap, and subsequently reinitiate forward
movement
(refeed) of the strap material S after the misfed strap is ejected. The
misfeed detector
86 is mounted at about the top 88 of the strapping head 20 and includes a
proximity
sensor 90 and first and second biased elements 92, 94, respectively. In a
present
embodiment, the biased elements 92, 94 are first and second paddles that are
biasedly
mounted to a base 96 at a detecting end of the proximity sensor 90. The
paddles 92,
94 are hingedly or pivotally mounted to the base 96 by a common pivot pin 98.
[0056) The paddles 92, 94 are mounted such that the second paddle 94
is positioned between the first paddle 92 and the base 96. A biasing element
100,
such the exemplary first spring biases the first paddle 92 away from the base
96 and
the proximity sensor 90. A second biasing element 102, such as the exemplary
second spring biases the second paddle 94 away from the first paddle 92. In
this
manner, in order to maintain the second paddle 94 in contact with the
proximity
sensor 90, a force must be exerted on the paddles 92, 94 against the force of
the first
spring 100.

[0057) The paddles 92, 94 are positioned to lie across the strap path as
indicated at 104, e.g., on the top of the strapping head path, when there is
no force
exerted against the first spring 100. Conversely, when a strap S is in the
strap path
104, and the paddles 92, 94 are in the feed position (as seen in FIG. 9),
first paddle 92
is urged against its spring 100 force, toward the proximity sensor 90. The
second
paddle 94 is operably connected to the first paddle 92 such that any force
exerted on
the first paddle 92 urges the second paddle 94 into contact with the proximity
sensor
90. Although the second paddle 94 is biased away from the first paddle 92, the
spring
force of the first spring 100 is greater than the spring force of the second
spring 102.
As such, the first paddle 92 forces the second paddle 94, against the spring
force of
the second spring 102, into contact with the proximity sensor 90.

ll


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

100581 In the take-up position, as illustrated in FIG. 8, there is
sufficient slack (or lack of tension) in the strap S to permit the first
paddle 92 to
"drop". However, because some tension remains in the strap S, the first paddle
92
does not "drop" fully to rest on the top 88 of the strapping head 20. Thus,
even
though the first paddle 92 has moved down (but not fully dropped) the spring
force of'
the second spring 102 maintains the second paddle 94 in contact with the
proximity
sensor 90.
[0059] Referring now to FIG. 7, the paddles 92, 94 are shown in the
refeed position, in which the strap S is fully full missing from the strapping
head path
104. In this position, the first paddle 92 fully "drops" to rest on the top 88
of the
strapping head 20, as urged by the force of the first spring 100. Even though
the force
of the second spring 102 urges the second paddle 94 away from the first paddle
92
(upward, toward the proximity sensor 90), a hinge stop 106 on the first paddle
92 at
the hinge region 108 (best seen in FIG. 10) contacts a flat 110 on the second
paddle
94 at the hinge region 108, thus preventing further separation of the paddles
92, 94
from one another. In this arrangement, contact of the hinge stop 106 with the
flat 110
prevents the paddles 92, 94 from separating from one another beyond an angle
of
about 45 . In this manner, when the strap S is fully missing from the
strapping head
path 104, because the spring force of the first spring 100 is greater than the
spring
force of the second spring 102, and due to the engagement of the hinge stop
106 with
the flat 110, the second paddle 94 is pulled from contact with the proximity
sensor 90.
This initiates a refeed sequence in the strapping machine controller 112.
[0060] This dual paddle 92, 94 arrangement provides for continued
contact of the second paddle 94 with the proximity sensor 90 when the strapper
10 is
in the feed mode, and the take-up or retraction mode. As will be recognized by
those
skilled in the art, when there is a reduced tension on the strap material S,
the first
paddle 92 may move away from the second paddle 94, however, it will not move
so
far as to permit the second paddle 94 to disengage from or lose contact with
the
proximity sensor 90. Also as will be recognized by those skilled in the art,
when there
is a misfeed of strap S, when the seal or weld fails, or when the strap S
breaks, the
first paddle 92 will move fully away from the proximity sensor 90, allowing
the
second paddle 94 to break contact with the sensor 90.
[0061] When the detector 86 detects a misfed strap S (i.e., when the
second paddle 94 breaks contact with the sensor 90), the strapper S may be
controlled
12


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

such that the strapper 10 automatically operates in an ejection mode, in which
any
strap S remaining within the strapping head 20 is ejected therefrom. Following
ejection, the auto refeed sequence can start in which strap material S is
automatically
refed by the feed wheels 26, 28 up to the strapping head 20. Detector
arrangements
other than that illustrated will be recognized by those skilled in the art and
are within
the scope of the present invention.

[0062] Referring now to FIG. 3, the present strapper 10 includes
multiple easy access guides 58, 114. As their references suggest, these guides
58, 114
provide ready access to the strap path in order to, for example, clean debris
and/or
clogs from the path. Unlike known strappers, the guides 58, 114 are formed as
part of
removable sections of the strapper 10. That is, while in known strappers,
doors
provide access to a fixed guide, the present guides 58, 114 are formed as part
of the
removable portions of the machine 10. As seen in FIG. 3, a feed guide 114 is
formed
as part of the removable section covering the feed wheels 26, 28.
[0063] The feed guide 114 includes a curved or arcuate guide portion
116 (shown in phantom lines) that extends from an entryway 118 below the feed
wheel motor or drive 24 to about a nip 120 of the wheels 26, 28. At the
entryway
118, the guide portion 116 is spaced from a periphery of the driven whee126.
Traversing along the arc of the guide 114 toward the nip 120, the guide
portion 116
approaches the periphery of the driven whee126. Referring to FIG. 3, it can be
seen
that the strapping material S enters the feed guide 114, traversing below the
feed drive
24. The strapping material S is guided by the guide portion 116 into the nip
120 for
feeding to the strapping head 120.

100641 In a current embodiment, the guide 114 is retained in place on
the feed assembly 20 (covering at least a portion of the feed wheels 26, 28)
by a
plurality of threaded fasteners 122, illustrative of which are the three
fasteners shown.
The fasteners 122 are preferably knurled to permit installation and removal
without
the use of tools, e.g., by hand. The fasteners 122 can be supported on hinged
or
pivoting supports 124 that, once loosened, permit pivoting the fasteners 122
away
from the guide 114 to permit removal. In this manner, the fasteners 122 are
maintained affixed to the feed assembly 18, thus preventing inadvertently
misplacing
the fasteners 122.

[0065] As will be appreciated from the figures, because the guide 114
itself includes that surface 116 on which the strapping material S travels
during

13


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

operation, the gii ide 114 can be readily removed from the feed assembly 18,
and the
surface 116 cleaned of debris. The guide 114 can then be readily replaced on
the feed
assembly 18. Again, this is unlike known guides which are fixed in place and
are
only accessible by pivoting door or access panel. In that, as set forth above,
the
tolerances are rather small and the spaces rather narrow through the strap
path, the
present easy access feed guide 114 provides numerous, readily appreciated
advantages over the prior known guide access arrangements.
[00661 A bridging or transfer easy access guide 58 extends, as set forth
above, between the feed assembly 18 and the strapping head 20. In that this
portion
of the feed path extends between the two modular components, it is fixedly
mounted
to the frame 12. However, this guide 58 is positioned in a region of the
strapping
machine 10 that is readily accessible even with the feed assembly 18 in place.
In this
manner, the path itself is readily accessibly to perform maintenance or, for
example,
to dislodge debris or jammed strap material S.
[00671 Additionally, the guide 58 is configured so that it is easily
opened or uncovered to permit ready access to the strap path. The guide 58
includes,
as provided above, a fixed portion 126 that extends between the feed assembly
18
discharge and the entrance of the strapping head 20. A cover 128 is mounted to
the
fixed guide portion 126 that covers the fixed pathway 126. Preferably, the
cover 128
is hingedly mounted to the fixed portion 126, by hinges 129 (one shown) so
that it is
readily pivoted open. In a preferred arrangement, mechanical fasteners 130,
such as
the hinge-supported fasteners used for the feed guide 114, are disposed on the
fixed
portion 126, to maintain the cover 128 in place. Thus, to remove the cover
128, it is
necessary only to loosen the fasteners 130 (by hand, without the need for
tools) and
pivot them out of the way. The cover 128 can then be pivoted from the fixed
path
portion 126 (again, by hand, without the need for tools) to provide access
thereto.
100681 Also unlike known strapper path access doors, the present
transfer guide cover 128 permits access to the strap across the width of the
strap S.
Conventional strapping machines include access doors that open to permit
access to
the strapping material at the thickness (i.e., the gauge measurement
dimension) of the
strap. Thus, grasping the strap can be a difficult and arduous task. As will
be
appreciated by those skilled in the art, providing access to the strap S at
the width
dimension provides a larger area in which to work and greatly facilitates
access to
debris or pieces of strap material S that may be lodged in the strap path 126.

14


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

[00691 Referring now to FIGS. 5-6, the present strapper includes a
novel strapping head assembly 20 that utilizes a moving anvil 132. As will be
recognized by those skilled in the art, the anvil 132 is that portion of the
strapping
head 20 against which the strapping material S is pressed during the sealing
or
welding operation. In order to increase the speed and efficiency of the
operation of
strappers generally, the strap path at this point is generally narrow and is
typically
sized only slightly larger than the strap S itself. To this end, known
strapping
machines include a constriction or throat at about the entrance to the at
which debris
can collect. Over time, the collection of debris at this area constricts the
entrance to
the anvil generally resulting in increased strap misfeeds and eventual
maintenance of
the machines.

[00701 The present strapper 10 includes a number of improvements
that are directed to minimizing or eliminating this debris collection problem
and
minimal strap path size problem. Referring to FIGS. 5-6, there is shown a
bottom
view of the strapping head 20. The head 20 includes two openings for receiving
strap
S. The first course of strap enters the strapping head 20 through a first
opening
indicated generally at 134. As the strap S is conveyed through this opening
134, it
passes beyond the anvil 132. That is, it traverses through that portion of the
head 20
that fonns the anvil 132.

[00711 The strap S then traverses beyond the head 20, through the
chute 16 and around the load L. The strap S is then directed into second
opening
indicated generally at 136. Once the strap S enters the second opening 136, it
is
grasped at the free end by the gripper 22 and tension is provided by the take-
up
operation of the feed assembly 18.

[00721 The anvil 132 is mounted to the strapping head 20 in a pivoting
arrangement. That is, when the strap material S is fed through the strapping
head 20,
the anvil 132 pivots outwardly, away from the strap path to enlarge the size
of the
opening 136 through which the strap material S traverses. In this manner, an
increased area is provided for the material S to move through the strapping
head 20.
Specifically, the width dimension w of the path is increased, as is,
consequently, the
height h dimension. Once the material traverses through the chute 16 and back
up
through the gripper opening 136, the anvil 132 then pivots back into place. A
guide
edge 137 of the anvil 132 urges the strap material S into place (to overlie
the prior
course of strap S) and the strap S is sealed to itself.



CA 02550377 2002-09-25

[00731 This novel pivoting anvil 132 arrangement provides a number
of advantages over fixed anvils. First, as set forth above, it increases the
area of the
opening 136 through which the strap material S traverses, thus, reducing the
possibility for inisfeeds. Second, the pivoting anvil 132 moves the strap
material S
into position so that the first and second courses of strap materials overlie
one another
for sealing or welding. This increases the assurance that the first and second
courses
of strap material S will overlie one another without misalignment, to provide
optimum
strap sea] strength.

[0074] In a current embodiment, the anvil 132 is fixedly mounted to a
side plate 138 of the strapping head 20. The side plate 138 is pivotally
mounted to the
strapping head body 140 by a pivoting arrangement, such as the exemplary pivot
pin
142. The plate 138 is biased toward the body 140. A cam 144 is positioned
within
the strapping head body 140 and cooperates with the side plate 138. During the
feed
cycle, the cam 144 rotates and a lobe 146 on the cam contacts the side plate
138,
urging the side plate 138 away from the body 140. This, in turn, pivots the
anvil 132
away from the body 140, thus enlarging the opening 136. During the gripping,
take-
up and sealing (e.g., welding) cycles, the cam shaft 144 further rotates such
that the
lobe 146 disengages from the side plate 138, thus, allowing the anvil 132 to
pivot
back into place. Those skilled in the art will recognized other arrangements
by which
the pivoting anvil 132 can be provided, which other arrangements are within
the scope
and spirit of the present invention.

[00751 In addition to the pivoting anvil 132, as best seen in FIGS. 11-
13, the present strapping head 20 includes a novel gripper path indicated
generally at
148, through which the first course of material traverses for gripping, prior
to
tensioning and sealing. Unlike known strappers in which the path tapers
downwardly
toward the gripper, in the present strapper 10, the strap path 148 is formed
from
parallel walls 150, 152 that provide a constant path width through the path
148 toward
the gripper 22. Although conventional design teaches away from such a constant
cross-sectional path, it has been found that the benefits achieved by this
path 148
configuration, that is less opportunity for debris collection and malfunction,
far
outweigh any of the disadvantages.
[0076] In the present disclosure, the words "a" or "an" are to be taken
to include both the singular and the plural. Conversely, any reference to
plural items
shall, where appropriate, include the singular.

16


CA 02550377 2002-09-25

[0077] From the foregoing it will be observed that numerous
modifications and variations can be effectuated without departing fi-om the ti-
ue spirit
and scope of the novel concepts of the present invention. It is to be
understood that
no limitation with respect to the specific embodiments illustrated is intended
or should
be inferred. The disclosure is intended to cover by the appended claims all
such
modifications as fall within the scope of the claims.

17

Dessin représentatif
Une figure unique qui représente un dessin illustrant l'invention.
États administratifs

Pour une meilleure compréhension de l'état de la demande ou brevet qui figure sur cette page, la rubrique Mise en garde , et les descriptions de Brevet , États administratifs , Taxes périodiques et Historique des paiements devraient être consultées.

États administratifs

Titre Date
Date de délivrance prévu 2009-05-19
(22) Dépôt 2002-09-25
(41) Mise à la disponibilité du public 2003-03-28
Requête d'examen 2006-06-09
(45) Délivré 2009-05-19
Expiré 2022-09-26

Historique d'abandonnement

Il n'y a pas d'historique d'abandonnement

Historique des paiements

Type de taxes Anniversaire Échéance Montant payé Date payée
Requête d'examen 800,00 $ 2006-06-09
Enregistrement de documents 100,00 $ 2006-06-09
Le dépôt d'une demande de brevet 400,00 $ 2006-06-09
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 2 2004-09-27 100,00 $ 2006-06-09
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 3 2005-09-26 100,00 $ 2006-06-09
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 4 2006-09-25 100,00 $ 2006-06-09
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 5 2007-09-25 200,00 $ 2007-09-04
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 6 2008-09-25 200,00 $ 2008-09-03
Taxe finale 300,00 $ 2009-03-06
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 7 2009-09-25 200,00 $ 2009-09-02
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 8 2010-09-27 200,00 $ 2010-08-30
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 9 2011-09-26 200,00 $ 2011-08-30
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 10 2012-09-25 250,00 $ 2012-08-30
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 11 2013-09-25 250,00 $ 2013-08-30
Enregistrement de documents 100,00 $ 2014-04-11
Enregistrement de documents 100,00 $ 2014-08-29
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 12 2014-09-25 250,00 $ 2014-09-22
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 13 2015-09-25 250,00 $ 2015-09-21
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 14 2016-09-26 250,00 $ 2016-09-19
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 15 2017-09-25 450,00 $ 2017-09-18
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 16 2018-09-25 450,00 $ 2018-09-24
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 17 2019-09-25 450,00 $ 2019-09-20
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 18 2020-09-25 450,00 $ 2020-09-18
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - nouvelle loi 19 2021-09-27 459,00 $ 2021-09-17
Titulaires au dossier

Les titulaires actuels et antérieures au dossier sont affichés en ordre alphabétique.

Titulaires actuels au dossier
SIGNODE INTERNATIONAL IP HOLDINGS LLC
Titulaires antérieures au dossier
GURAK, RONALD W.
ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC.
LOPEZ, JONATHAN
PEARSON, TIMOTHY B.
PREMARK PACKAGING LLC
Les propriétaires antérieurs qui ne figurent pas dans la liste des « Propriétaires au dossier » apparaîtront dans d'autres documents au dossier.
Documents

Pour visionner les fichiers sélectionnés, entrer le code reCAPTCHA :



Pour visualiser une image, cliquer sur un lien dans la colonne description du document. Pour télécharger l'image (les images), cliquer l'une ou plusieurs cases à cocher dans la première colonne et ensuite cliquer sur le bouton "Télécharger sélection en format PDF (archive Zip)" ou le bouton "Télécharger sélection (en un fichier PDF fusionné)".

Liste des documents de brevet publiés et non publiés sur la BDBC .

Si vous avez des difficultés à accéder au contenu, veuillez communiquer avec le Centre de services à la clientèle au 1-866-997-1936, ou envoyer un courriel au Centre de service à la clientèle de l'OPIC.


Description du
Document 
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd) 
Nombre de pages   Taille de l'image (Ko) 
Abrégé 2002-09-25 1 29
Description 2002-09-25 17 849
Revendications 2002-09-25 3 100
Dessins 2002-09-25 7 206
Dessins représentatifs 2006-09-01 1 16
Page couverture 2006-09-08 2 64
Description 2008-11-28 17 862
Revendications 2008-11-28 2 59
Page couverture 2009-05-04 2 65
Correspondance 2006-07-21 1 37
Cession 2002-09-25 4 119
Correspondance 2006-09-06 1 15
Poursuite-Amendment 2006-10-27 1 26
Poursuite-Amendment 2008-06-13 2 69
Poursuite-Amendment 2008-11-28 10 380
Correspondance 2009-03-06 1 34
Cession 2014-04-11 6 158
Cession 2014-04-15 45 2 993
Cession 2014-07-04 4 120
Cession 2014-08-29 6 218
Cession 2014-09-15 6 169