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US4163354: Method and apparatus for filling capsules
44 Claims, No Drawings
A machine is disclosed for filling capsules having first and second sections that are telescoped within each other and which define an enclosed volume in the assembled condition. At least one and preferably a plurality of capsule filling stations are provided in a rotatable table. Each capsule filling station includes a first portion that is rigidly fixed to the table within a bore formed therein. The first portion receives the capsule section having the smaller transverse dimension. A second portion of the capsule filling station is D-shaped and is positioned within the same bore as the first portion. The second portion is selectively rotatable and is arranged to receive the capsule section having the larger transverse dimension. The flat surface of the second portion is arranged to sweep the material from a recess defined by the upper surface of the first portion and the sidewall of the bore in the table into the capsule section having the smaller transverse dimension which has been previously been separated from the other capsule section by means of a suction force. With the two capsule sections in alignment with each other, the filled lower capsule section may then be telescoped into the upper capsule section which is prevented from moving axially. The filled capsule is then ejected from the filling station. Means may be provided for detecting the absence of a capsule at the filling station to thereby prevent the sweeping of the capsule material. In addition means may also be provided for "overfilling" the capsule by selectively varying the space between the two capsule sections when they are in the filling station.
- 1. A machine for filling capsules having a body section telescoped within a cap section and defining an enclosed volume when assembled, said machine comprising:(a) a table;(b) drive means for rotating said table; and(c) at least one capsule filling station that is positioned at least partially within said table and rotatable together therewith, each said capsule filling station including:(1) a first member for receiving the capsule body section;(2) a second member for receiving the capsule cap section, said second member cooperating with the portion of said table to define, in combination therewith, a recess that is adapted to receive a supply of medicament with which the capsules are to be filled;(3) means for separating the two capsule sections;(4) means for angularly displacing said second member relative to said first member when the two capsule sections are separated whereby said second member rotates within said recess and sweeps the medicament therein into the capsule body section;(5) means for telescopingly coupling the two capsule sections to each other after the filling thereof; and(6) means for discharging the filled capsule.
- 38. A method for filling capsules having a body section telescoped within a cap section, said method comprising the steps of:(a) receiving the capsule sections in a two part capsule filling station formed in a table that is rotatable about a first axis, one of the parts of the capsule filling station being rigidly secured to the table for rotation together therewith about the first axis, the second part of the capsule filling station being coupled to the first part for rotation relative thereto about a second axis that is parallel to and spaced from the first axis, a portion of the first and the second parts of the capsule filling station in combination with a portion of the table defining a recess for receiving the material with which the capsule is to be filled, the second part of the capsule filling station being rotatable within the recess;(b) depositing a supply of the material with which the capsule is to be filled into the recess;(c) axially separating the two capsule sections from each other whereby the capsule body section is contained entirely within the first part of the capsule filling station and whereby the capsule cap section is contained entirely within the second part of the capsule filling station;(d) rotating the second part of the capsule filling station with respect to the first part of the capsule filling station about the second axis whereby the material deposited in the recess is swept by the second part of the capsule filling station into the capsule body section;(e) axially displacing the capsule body section relative to the capsule cap section whereby the two capsule sections are telescoped one into the other; and(f) ejecting the filled capsule from the capsule filling station.
U.S. Patent Documents
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