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Automatic positioning system for filling device of filling machine

2015-02-04 16:12   Article Source:www.freepatentsonline.com   View Times:
Claims:
What is claimed is:
 
1. An automatic positioning system for a filling device of a filling machine, wherein the filling device has a plurality of filling head mounted on a support to fill a plurality of containers positioned on filling positions with a material, comprising: a first automatic positioning system for controlling the support to shift along a vertical linear route to and fro; positioning the support at a desired position in the linear route wherein the desired position includes a null position where a feeding nozzle of the filling head is positioned slightly upper than an opening of the container, a filling lowstand where the feeding nozzle inserts into the container and approaches the bottom of the container, and a filling highstand; and controlling a rising speed where the support rises to the filling highstand from the filling lowstand.
 
2. The automatic positioning system of claim 1, wherein the rising speed is constant or phased-variational.
 
3. The automatic positioning system of claim 1 further comprising a second automatic positioning system for controlling a container-supporting unit to shift along a linear route to and fro; positioning the container-supporting unit at a desired position in the linear route, wherein the desired position includes an initial position where the container-supporting unit evades the container and a supporting position; and providing a supporting force to the container.
 
4. An automatic positioning system for a filling device of a filling machine, wherein the filling device has a plurality of filling head mounted on a support to fill a plurality of containers positioned on filling positions with a material, comprising: a first moving unit assembled to a first upright brace set in a slidable way while the brace set is fixed to the a fixing component of the filling machine wherein the support is fixed to the first moving unit; a first automatic positioning system for controlling the first moving unit to shift along the brace set, positioning the first moving unit at a desired position wherein the desired position includes a null position where a feeding nozzle of the filling head is positioned slightly upper than an opening of the container, a filling lowstand where the feeding nozzle inserts into the container and approaches the bottom of the container, and a filling highstand, and controlling a rising speed where the support rise to the filling highstand from the filling lowstand.
 
5. The automatic positioning system of claim 4, wherein the rising speed is constant or phased-variational.
 
6. The automatic positioning system of claim 4, wherein the first automatic positioning system comprises a transmission and a screw rotated by the transmission wherein the first moving unit is assembled to the screw and the transmission is deposited at the top of the first brace set while the screw is fastened to the fixing component of the filling machine in a pivotable way.
 
7. The automatic positioning system of claim 6, wherein the transmission of the first automatic positioning system is a stepping motor or a servo motor.
 
8. The automatic positioning system of claim 4, wherein the first automatic positioning system is, a combination of a normal motor and an optical linear scale, a magnetic scale, or a limit switch, or a combination of a motor and a decoder.
 
9. The automatic positioning system of claim 4, wherein the first automatic positioning system is a linear motor.
 
10. The automatic positioning system of claim 4, further comprising a second automatic positioning system, which is deposited on the second brace set while the brace set is fixed to a fixing component of the filling machine, a container-supporting unit, which is fixed to the second moving unit, a second automatic positioning system, which controls the second moving unit to shift along the second brace set and positions the second brace set at a desire position wherein the desired position includes an initial position where the container-supporting unit evades the container and a supporting position where the container-supporting unit provides a supporting force to the container.
 
11. The automatic positioning system of claim 10, wherein the second automatic positioning system comprises a transmission and a screw rotated by the transmission wherein the second moving unit is assembled to the screw and the transmission is deposited at the top of the second brace set while the screw is fastened to the fixing component of the filling machine in a pivotable way.
 
12. The automatic positioning system of claim 11, wherein the transmission of the second automatic positioning system is a stepping motor or a servo motor.
 
13. The automatic positioning system of claim 10, wherein the second automatic positioning system is, a combination of a normal motor and an optical linear scale, magnetic scale, or a limit switch, or a combination of a motor and a decoder.
 
14. The automatic positioning system of claim 10, wherein the second automatic positioning system is a linear motor.
 
15. An automatic positioning system for a filling device of a filling machine, wherein the filling device has a plurality of filling head mounted on a support to fill a plurality of containers positioned on filling positions with a material, comprising: a first moving unit assembled to a first upright brace set in a slidable way and the brace set is fixed to a fixing component of the filling machine wherein the support is assembled to the first moving unit; a first automatic positioning system for controlling the first moving unit to shift along the brace set, positioning the support at a desired position wherein the desired position includes a null position where a feeding nozzle of the filling head is positioned slight upper than the opening of the container, a filling lowstand where the feeding nozzle inserts into the container and approaches the bottom of the container, and a filling highstand, and controlling a rising speed where the support rises to the filling highstand from the filling lowstand; a second moving unit assembled to a second upright brace set in a slidable way while the brace set is fixed to the fixing component of the filling machine; a container-supporting unit which is fixed to the second moving unit; and a second automatic positioning system for controlling the second moving unit to shift along the second brace set, and positioning the second moving unit at a desire position wherein the desired position includes an container-supporting unit at a desired position along the linear route, wherein the desired position includes an initial position where the container-supporting unit evades the container and a supporting position where the container-supporting unit provides a supporting force to the container.
 
16. The automatic positioning system of claim 15, wherein the rising speed is constant or phased-variational.
 
Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field
 
  The present invention relates to filling machines for filling containers with liquid materials that includes liquid or pastes with variously high or low viscosities. The present invention improves a filling device of the filing machine by providing an automatic positioning solution thereto.
 
2. Description of Related Art
 
   As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, plural filling heads 10 of a conventional machine are mounted on a support 11 and capable of shifting horizontally for aligning to openings of plural containers 13 positioned on predetermined filling locations, respectively. Each of the filling head 10 is communicated to a material source (no shown) by way of a material feeding pipe 14 so as to pour material into the container 13. The support 11 is assembled to a moving unit 15, which is controlled by a manual screw 16 so as to shift vertically. The support 11 may be defined at a null position (a) by a user where a feeding nozzle 101 of the filling head 10 is slightly upper than the opening of the container 13 so that a conveyer 12 can convey the container 13 to the filling location without clashing with the feeding nozzle 101. The support 11 is further controlled by a power cylinder 17 so as to automatically descend to a filling lowstand (b) where the feeding nozzle 101 inserts into the container 13 and approaches the bottom of the container 13. At the filling lowstand (b), the feeding nozzle 101 starts to pour the material to the container 13, and meanwhile, the power cylinder 17 rises the support 11 in the manner that the support 11 returns to the null position (a) at the time that the filling operation is finished.
 
   During the filling operation, when the feeding nozzle 101 departs from the liquid surface for a particular distance, the risk that lather is generated in the material can be significantly increased. The foresaid conventional filling machine may have such problem because the stepping value of the power cylinder 17 (or the cam system) it implements is fixed. In other words, the displacement value of the support 11, i.e. that distance between the point (a) and the point (b), is unadjustable. Thus, for making the conventional filling machine applicable to containers with various heights, the stepping value of the power cylinder 17 (or the cam system) is typically set for agreeing with the shortest commercially-available container. Therefore, when the filling machine is used to fill a relatively higher container, the support 11 at the lowstand (b) positions the feeding nozzle 101 excessively far away from the bottom of the container, resulting in lather generated at the initial stage of the filling operation.
 
   Besides, constant material-feeding speed may result in different rising speeds of the water level of the material in the container. Upon this principle, when the conventional devices is applied to a known contoured bottle, the rising speed of the water level of the material in the bottle may vary with the variation of the diameter of the bottle. However, the rise of the support 11 controlled by the power cylinder 17 is not flexible to meet the rising speeds. Therefore, at a place where the diameter of the bottle is grater, the rising speed of the water level is smaller than the rising speed of the support 11. As a result, the feeding nozzle 101 departs from the liquid surface for a distance and lather is consequently generated in the material.
 
   Moreover, the conveyer 12 is equipped with a pair of short revetments for fixing a short wide-mouth container 13. However, a tall narrow-mouth bottle, such as a mineral water bottle or a PET bottle, may have problem to be fixed by the short revetments 121 and be liable to tilt and shake during conveying or filling operation resulting in spill of materials.
 
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

   The present discloses an automatic positioning solution for a filling device in order to solve the problems of the prior arts.
 
   An automatic positioning system is provided for a filling device of a filling machine, wherein the filling device has a plurality of filling head mounted on a support to fill a plurality of containers positioned on filling positions with a material. The automatic positioning system comprises a first automatic positioning system controlling the support to shift along a vertical linear route to and fro and positioning the support at a desired position in the linear route. The first automatic positioning system further controls the rising speed of the support. The automatic positioning system also comprises a second automatic positioning system for controlling a container-supporting unit to provide containers with a supporting force.
 
   It is one objective of the present invention to provide the first automatic positioning system that allows the null position and the filling lowstand of the filling head to be adjusted according to the heights of various containers. As the filling lowstand is the position where the feeding nozzle of the filling head approaches the bottom of the container, the disclosed subject matter makes a filling machine substantially applicable to fill containers with various heights. During the filling operation, the first automatic positioning system further controls the rising speed of the filling head so that the filling head can rise corresponding to the rising speed of the water level of the material filled in the container. Thereby, a balance state is achieved that the feeding nozzle is kept from departing from the liquid surface of the material while the material is prevented from lather. The so-called rising speed of the filling head may be constant or phased-variational. Particularly, the phased-variational rising speed of the filling head is applicable to a contoured bottle while maintains the mentioned balanced state during the filling operation. Further, as the filling head of the first automatic positioning system can be digitally positioned, the disclosed subject mater is compatible to filling containers with various heights so that the disadvantage of the conventional automatic filling machines that accessory replacement and complicated adjustment have to be conducted for the filling machine is applied to diverse bottles.
 
   It is another objective of the present invention to provide the second automatic positioning system to control the container-supporting unit so as to provide a narrow mouth bottle with a supporting force and keep the bottle standing still at the filling position without tilting or shaking.
 
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
   The invention as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a conventionally filling machine;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the conventionally filling machine showing the motion thereof;
 
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the filling machine according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the filling machine according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the filling machine according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is one side view of the filling machine according to the present invention showing the motion thereof;

FIG. 7 is another side view of the filling machine according to the present invention showing the motion thereof;

FIG. 8 is another side view of the filling machine according to the present invention showing the motion thereof;

FIG. 9 is further another side view of the filling machine according to the present invention showing the motion thereof;

FIG. 10 is yet another side view of the filling machine according to the present invention showing the motion thereof; and

FIG. 11 is still another side view of the filling machine according to the present invention showing the motion thereof.
 
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
   As shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the disclosure of the present invention primarily includes a conveyer 20, a support 25, a first moving unit 30, a first automatic positioning system 35, a second moving unit 40, a container-supporting unit 45 and a second automatic positioning system 47.
 
   The conveyer 20 conveys a plurality of bottle containers 13 to filling positions. A plurality of slots 251 is provided to the support 25 for fixing a plurality of filling heads 26 therein. The filling heads 26 can shift along the slot 251 horizontally for aligning to openings of the containers 13 positioned at the filling positions. Each of the filling heads 26 is communicated to a material supply unit (not shown) by way of a material-feeding pipe 261 so as to pour a material into the container 13. The support 25 is assembled to the first moving unit 30. The first moving unit 30 is assembled to a first upright brace set 31 in a slidable way. The brace set 31 is fixed to a fixing component 90 of the filling machine. The container-supporting unit 45 is assembled to the second moving unit 40. The second moving unit 40 is assembled to a second upright brace set 41 in a slidable way. The brace set 41 is fixed to the fixing component 90 of the automatic filling machine.
 
   The first automatic positioning system 35 controls the first moving unit 30 to shift along the first upright brace set 31 and to position at a desired position. The desired position may be a null position (A) (as shown in FIG. 5) where the feeding nozzle 262 of the filling head 26 is positioned upper than the opening of the container 13, a filling lowstand (L) (as shown in FIG. 6) where the feeding nozzle 262 inserts into the container 13 and approaches the bottom of the container 13, and a filling highstand (H) (as shown in FIG. 7). The null position (A) allows the conveyer 20 to convey the container 13 to the filling location without clashing with the feeding nozzle 262. The filling lowstand (L) is an initial position of the filling operation.
 
   The second automatic positioning system 47 controls the second moving unit 40 to shift along the second brace set 41 and to position at a desired position. The desired position may be an initial position (C) (as shown in FIG. 8) where the container-supporting unit 45 is positioned slightly upper than the opening of the container 13, and a supporting position (D) (as shown in FIG. 9) where the container-supporting unit 45 can provide a supporting force to the container 13. The initial position (C) allows the conveyer 20 to convey the container 13 to the filling location without clashing with the container-supporting unit 45. The supporting position (D) allows the container-supporting unit 45 to provide a supporting force to the container 13 so that the container 13 can be supported without tilting or shaking.
 
   FIGS. 3 through 5 illustrate a transmission 351 and a screw 352 rotated by the transmission 351 of the first automatic positioning system 35. The first moving unit 30 is assembled to the screw 352 by a nut 32. The transmission 351 is deposited at the top of the first brace set 31 and the screw 352 is fastened to the fixing component 90 of the filling machine in a pivotable way. Thereby, the screw 352 can be rotated to make the first moving unit 30 move along the first brace set 31 vertically. Also shown in the figures are a transmission 471 and a screw 472 rotated by the transmission 471 of the second automatic positioning system 47. The second moving unit 40 is assembled to the screw 472 by a nut 42. The transmission 471 is deposited at the top of the second set upright brace 41 and the screw 472 is fastened to the fixing component 90 of the filling machine in a pivotable way. Thereby, the screw 472 can be rotated to make the second moving unit 40 move along the second brace set 41 vertically. The first and second automatic positioning systems 35, 47 both involve a central digital control system (not shown), which implements an embedded program to control the first and second automatic positioning systems 35, 47 to operate according to commands thereof.
 
   The transmissions 351, 471 of the first and second automatic positioning systems 35, 47 are both motors. More particularly, the motor is one with its number of turns of rotation controllable, e.g. a stepping motor or a servo motor. Thereupon, the transmissions 351 can set the null position (A), filling lowstand (L) and filling highstand (H), so as to position the support 25 at these positions. However, a linear motor, a combination of a normal motor and an optical linear scale, magnetic scale, or a limit switch, or a combination of a motor and a decoder may be implemented to realize the first automatic positioning systems 35. If a stepping motor, a servo motor or a speed-control motor is used, the rising speed where the support 25 rises to the filling highstand (H) from the filling lowstand (L) may be set as constant or with multiple-phased variation.
 
   FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show the filling operation of the aforesaid device applied to a short wide-mouth container 18. In FIG. 5, the container 18 is positioned at the filling position and the first automatic positioning system 35 positions the support 25 at the desired null position (A) so that the container 18 can be conveyed to the filling position without clashing with the feeding nozzle 261. Referring to FIG. 6, to prepare for the filling operation, the first automatic positioning system 35 controls the support 25 to descend to the filling lowstand (L) and then the feeding nozzle 261 starts to pour the material into the container 18. As shown in FIG. 7, during filling operation, the first automatic positioning system 35 controls the support 25 to rise to the filling highstand (H) with a constant rising speed. In the drawings, the container 18 is one with a consistent diameter, so the constant material-feeding speed makes the water level in the container rise with a correspondingly constant rising speed. Hence, when the rising speed where the support rises to the point H from the point L is constant, the feeding nozzle 262 can be kept from departing from the liquid surface of the material and material shall not have lather generated during the filling operation.
 
   FIGS. 8 through 11 depict the filling operation of the aforesaid device applied to a tall narrow-mouth container 19 with an inconsistent diameter. In FIG. 8, the container 19 is positioned at the filling position and the first automatic positioning system 35 positions the support 25 at the desired null position (A1) so that the container 19 can be conveyed to the filling position without clashing with the feeding nozzle 261. Referring to FIG. 9, to prepare for the filling operation, the first automatic positioning system 35 controls the support 25 to descend to the filling lowstand (L1) and the feeding nozzle 261 starts to pour the material into the container 19. As shown in FIG. 10, during the filling operation, the first automatic positioning system 35 controls the support 25 to rise to the filling highstand (H1) (as shown in FIG. 11) with a phased-variational speed varied with the variation of the diameter of the container 19. For example, according to the variation of the diameter of the container 19, a first stage St, a second stage S2 and the third stage S3 are defined. It is obvious that the diameter of the container 19 corresponding to the second stage S2 is the smallest, so the first automatic positioning system 35 may control the support 25 to rise with a rising speed relatively higher than those of the first and third stages S1, S3. Thereupon, during the filling operation, the feeding nozzle 261 shall not depart from the liquid surface of the material and therefore, the material will not have lather generated during the filling operation.
 
   Moreover, FIGS. 8 to 11 further provide the motions of the second automatic positioning system 47, the second moving unit 40 and the container-supporting unit 45. Referring to FIG. 8, the container 19 is positioned at the filling position and the second automatic positioning system 47 positions the container-supporting unit 45 at a desired initial position (C) so that the container 13 can be conveyed to the filling position without clashing with the feeding nozzle 45. As shown in FIGS. 9, 10 and 11, during the filling operation, the second automatic positioning system 47 controls the container-supporting unit 45 to descend to a position where the container-supporting unit 45 supports the container 19 to prevent the container 19 from tilting or shaking.
 
   The present invention implements the central digital control system to control the first automatic positioning system 35 so as to control the rising speed of the filling head 26 and the material-feeding speed. For instance, at an initial stage of the filling operation, when the feeding nozzle 262 of the filling head is adjacent to the bottom of the bottle, it feeds the material in a relatively slower material-feeding speed. Later, when the feeding nozzle 262 is immerged in the material, the material-feeding speed and the rising speed of the filling head 26 can be enlarged so as to ensure that no lather-occurs in the material.
 
   Although a particular embodiment of the invention has been described in detail for purposes of illustration, it will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that numerous variations will be possible to the disclosed embodiments without going outside the scope of the invention as disclosed in the claims.



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