Title:
APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATED MANUFACTURING OF A FOIL SLEEVE FROM A FOIL SECTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for automated manufacturing of a foil sleeve from a foil section. The apparatus includes a cylindrical shaping pipe that is configured as two separate halves, whereby one half of the shaping pipe is movable perpendicular to the axis of the shaping pipe and the other shaping pipe half is stationary. A folding apparatus includes two folding sections that are movable to and from the shaping pipe. The folding sections are configured to independently surround at least a portion of the cylindrical shaping pipe. A stationary sealing apparatus is disposed within the shaping pipe together with a movable sealing apparatus disposed on the exterior of the shaping pipe collaborate to generate a longitudinal sealed seam for a foil sleeve. The stationary shaping pipe half can include with a recess that defines the location of the longitudinal sealed seam.



Inventors:
Beinghaus, Jurgen (Wipperfurth, DE)
Schmitz, Albert (Kurten-Sulze, DE)
Application Number:
12/181059
Publication Date:
02/05/2009
Filing Date:
07/28/2008
Assignee:
LAUDENBERG VERPACKUNGSMASCHINEN GMBH (Wipperfurth, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B31B50/28; B65B51/26
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Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PARADISO, JOHN ROGER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAUL HASTINGS LLP (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for automated manufacturing of a foil sleeve from a foil section, comprising: a cylindrical shaping pipe that contains a stationary shaping pipe half and a movable shaping pipe half that are mutually divided along an axial direction of the cylindrical shaping pipe, wherein the movable shaping pipe half is configured to move perpendicular to the axis of the shaping pipe; a folding apparatus having two folding sections that are movable toward and away from the shaping pipe, and which folding sections are configured such that, independently of the other, each folding section can surround a portion of the cylindrical shaping pipe; an immovable sealing jaw disposed within the shaping pipe; and a movable sealing jaw disposed in a region exterior to the shaping pipe, wherein the movable and immovable sealing jaws are configured to collaborate to generate a longitudinal sealed seam for a foil sleeve, wherein the stationary shaping pipe half is fitted includes a recess that defines the location of the longitudinal sealed seam.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the folding sections are folding claws.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the folding sections are areas of a folding curtain.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the stationary and movable shaping pipe halves each include an integrated water cooling system.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the movable shaping pipe half is stabilized by a support during the sealing process.

6. The apparatus according to claims 1, wherein the immovable sealing jaw is stabilized by a movable support during the sealing process.

7. An apparatus for manufacturing of a foil sleeve from a foil section, comprising: a cylindrical shaping pipe that contains a stationary shaping pipe half and a movable shaping pipe half whose mutual boundary lies along an axial direction of the cylindrical shaping pipe that are mutually divided along an axial direction of the cylindrical shaping pipe, wherein the movable shaping pipe half is configured to move perpendicular to the axis of the shaping pipe; a folding apparatus having a first and a second folding section, wherein each folding section of the first and second folding sections is configured to surround at least a portion of the cylindrical shaping pipe independently of the other folding section; a stationary sealing apparatus disposed within the cylindrical shaping pipe; and a movable sealing apparatus disposed outside the cylindrical shaping pipe, wherein the stationary and the movable sealing apparatus are configured to cooperatively generate a longitudinal seam in the foil sleeve along the axial direction of the cylindrical shaping pipe, wherein the cylindrical shaping pipe includes a recess that defines the longitudinal sealed seam.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the folding apparatus is configured to move toward and away from the shaping pipe.

9. The apparatus of claim 7) further comprising a pedestal connected to the movable shaping pipe half, wherein the pedestal is configured to move along support rods in a direction perpendicular to the axis of the cylindrical shaping pipe, wherein the movable shaping pipe half is configured to move inwardly or outwardly along the direction perpendicular to the cylindrical shaping pipe in accordance with differences in a foil sleeve diameter.

10. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the first and the second folding sections each comprises a folding claw that contains a set of curved fingers, wherein the folding claw is configured to rotate from an open to a closed position about an axis parallel to the axis of the cylindrical shaping pipe.

11. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the first and the second folding sections each comprises a section of a folding curtain, wherein section of the folding curtain is coupled to a rigid portion that is configured to rotate from an open to a closed position about an axis parallel to the axis of the cylindrical shaping pipe.

12. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the stationary and movable shaping pipe halves each include an integrated water cooling system.

13. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the movable shaping pipe half is stabilized by a support during the sealing process.

14. The apparatus according to claims 1, wherein the stationary sealing apparatus is stabilized by a movable support during the sealing process.

15. An apparatus for manufacturing of a foil sleeve from a foil section, comprising: a cylindrical shaping pipe that contains a stationary shaping pipe half and a movable shaping pipe half whose mutual boundary lies along an axial direction of the cylindrical shaping pipe that are mutually divided along an axial direction of the cylindrical shaping pipe; a pedestal connected to the movable shaping pipe half wherein the pedestal is configured to move in a direction perpendicular to the axis of the cylindrical shaping pipe, wherein the movable shaping pipe half is configured to move inwardly or outwardly along the direction perpendicular to the cylindrical shaping pipe, whereby fine adjustments in a foil sleeve diameter can be made; a folding apparatus having a first and a second folding section, wherein each folding section of the first and second folding sections is configured to surround at least a portion of the cylindrical shaping pipe independently of the other folding section; a stationary sealing apparatus disposed within the cylindrical shaping pipe and configured to contact an end of the foil section; and a movable sealing apparatus disposed outside the cylindrical shaping pipe, wherein the movable sealing apparatus is configured to rotate toward the stationary sealing apparatus while the movable and the stationary sealing apparatus are heated, wherein a longitudinal seam is generated in the foil sleeve along the axial direction of the cylindrical shaping pipe.

16. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the cylindrical shaping pipe includes a recess in the stationary shaping pipe half that defines the longitudinal sealed seam.

17. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the first and the second folding sections each comprises a folding claw that contains a set of curved fingers, wherein the folding claw is configured to rotate from an open to a closed position about an axis parallel to the axis of the cylindrical shaping pipe.

18. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the first and the second folding sections each comprises a section of a folding curtain, wherein section of the folding curtain is coupled to a rigid portion that is configured to rotate from an open to a closed position about an axis parallel to the axis of the cylindrical shaping pipe.

19. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the stationary and movable shaping pipe halves each include an integrated water cooling system.

20. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the folding apparatus is configured to move toward and away from the shaping pipe.

Description:

This application claims priority to German Patent Application Nos. 202007010706.4 filed Jul. 30, 2007 and 202007012262.4 filed Aug. 31, 2007 which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to an apparatus for automated manufacturing of a foil sleeve from a foil section whereby the foil section initially is cut from a so-called “endless” foil roll.

2. Background of the Invention

In manufacturing processes that employ and “endless” foil roll, as the endless foil roll is unwound from a roll with a foil-feed, foil sections can be cut in a cutting station. The equipment necessary for this procedure is used for the manufacturing of flat bags and is well-known and available in the market place.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to an embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus for automated manufacturing of a foil sleeve from a foil section comprises an essentially cylindrical shaping pipe that is divided into two parts in an axial direction of the cylindrical shaping pipe, whereby one half of the shaping pipe is movable perpendicular to the axis of the shaping pipe and the other shaping pipe half is stationary. The apparatus further comprises a folding apparatus that contains two folding sections that are movable to and from the shaping pipes and which, independently of each other, can surround the shaping pipes. Within the shaping pipe is provided an immovable sealing jaw, which, in collaboration with a movable sealing jaw, is configured to generate a longitudinal sealed seam for a foil sleeve. The movable sealing jaw is positioned on the exterior of the shaping pipe. The stationary shaping pipe half contains a recess that defines the location of the longitudinal sealed seam. Since the folding sections can be operated independently of each other, during folding of a foil segment around the shaping pipe, it is unambiguously determinable which foil end in an overlapping area goes on the inside and which foil end goes on the outside. The split design of the shaping pipe facilitates fine adjustment for different foil qualities which changes the theoretical foil sleeve diameter. In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the folding apparatus is operated in such a manner that the overlapping area of the foil extends past the recess so that the sealing surface of the immovable sealing jaw comes into contact with the foil. To manufacture the longitudinal sealed seam, the movable sealing jaw is moved towards the immovable sealing jaw, whereby pressure, temperature and sealing time continuously are adjustable.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the folding sections are folding claws. The folding claws preferably are a set of several spaced-apart curved fingers that can surround the shaping pipe with the intermingling foil sections.

According to an alternative embodiment, the folding sections are defined by areas of a folding curtain that is rectangular, whereby the areas are separated from each other by the longitudinal axis of symmetry of the folding curtain.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the manufacturing apparatus provides for both shaping pipe halves to be fitted with an integrated water cooling system. In this manner, the heating jaw that is integrated in the interior of the shaping pipe is prevented from heating the shaping pipe halves and thereby causing the foil to adhere to the shaping pipes.

Furthermore advantageous is the fact that the movable shaping pipe half is stabilized during the sealing process by a movable support. In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the immovable sealing jaw may also be stabilized during the sealing process by means of a movable support.

Below, examples of embodiments of the invention will be described in further detail by means of the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following, the invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the attached figures.

FIG. 1 shows an implementation of the present invention, wherein an apparatus for automated manufacturing of a foil sleeve from a foil segment is depicted in an open position.

FIG. 2 shows the apparatus depicted in FIG. 1 in a closed position, according to an implementation of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows an additional implementation of the present invention, wherein an apparatus for automated manufacturing of a foil sleeve from a foil segment in depicted in an open position.

FIG. 4 depicts the apparatus shown in from FIG. 3 in a closed position, according to an implementation of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 1 depicts an apparatus 1 for automated manufacturing of a foil sleeve in an open position. In particular, FIG. 1 shows how a foil segment 80 which, for example, has been picked up from a cutting station (not shown) by a servo-driven linear unit (not shown), and sent to a folding position, where the foil is placed between a folding apparatus 50 and an upright standing shaping pipe that contains two sections 10, 20. The shaping pipe is fitted with a movable shaping pipe half 10 that is movable on a pedestal 140. Pedestal 140 forms part of an adjustment unit and can be moved along two rods 142, 144 by means of a tie-bar 146. It is thus possible to finely adjust for different foil qualities, Together, shaping pipe halves 10, 20 form a cylinder whose interior contains an immovable sealing jaw 110 that is disposed behind a recess 22 located on the stationary shaping pipe half 20 in such a way that sealing jaw 110 comes into contact with the adjacent foil end of the foil segment 80. The recess 22 is configured to define the longitudinal sealed seam of the foil sleeve to be manufactured. The apparatus in FIG. 1 is brought to a closed position when the folding apparatus 50 is moved towards the shaping pipes 10, 20 (see FIG. 2). For this purpose, apparatus 1 contains two folding claws 52, 54, which each have several curved fingers that are separated from each other. Folding claws 52, 54 are movable independently of each other by means of respective drives 40, 120, so that after precise folding it is possible to unambiguously determine which foil end of the foil segment 80 goes on the inside and which goes on the outside. The longitudinal sealed seam is generated as the movable sealing jaw 130 is moved towards the immovable sealing jaw 110 and both sealing jaws 110, 130 are heated. During the sealing process, the movable shaping pipe half 10 is stabilized by a support 90 which has a fork-like recess that is configured to hold the upper area of the shaping pipe 10. The support 90 is moved to the stabilizer position by a drive 160, which is only shown schematically here. Drive 160 is moved away from the stabilizer position after the sealing process. Similarly, the immovable sealing jaw 110 is stabilized by a support 100, which is pivoted by a drive 70.

The folding claws 53, 54 open after the sealing process and are moved away from the shaping pipe 10. A finished foil bag 30, as is schematically shown in FIG. 1, can be moved into a holding and transport unit (not shown) by means of, e.g., gripper tongs, which are not shown. In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, adhesion of the foil bag 30 to the shaping pipe is prevented by use of a water cooling system integrated into the shaping pipe half 10, 20.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, FIGS. 3 and 4 show an apparatus for automated manufacturing of a foil sleeve in which the function of the folding claw is replaced by a folding curtain 150. Folding curtain 150 is placed in tension on both longitudinal sides over a frame by means of springs 170, 172. The folding curtain 150, which preferably is made from Teflon silk, is essentially rectangular. Folding curtain 150 is split into two parts 152, 154 along its longitudinal centre axis 156. The two parts 152, 154 are movable independently of each other using respective drives 40, 120 that are each coupled to only one of the parts 172. Thus, a consistent fold of the foil segment 80 on the shaping pipe 10, 20 can be achieved. In the open position, the folding curtain 150 lies against a snap-on slat 182. In this manner, the foil segment 80 lies backlash-free on the entire circumference of the shaping pipe 10, 20, whereby a longitudinal sealed seam is generated in an overlapping area of the foil ends, as has been described in connection with the embodiment of the present invention disclosed in FIGS. 1 and 2. All other structural embodiments in the implementations in FIGS. 3 and 4, in particular with regard to the physical form of the shaping pipes 10, 20, correspond to the implementations in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The characteristics of the invention revealed in the above specifications, in the drawings, as well as in the patent claims, could be significant for the realization of the invention individually as well as in any combination.