US 2723775 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 15, 1955 w, VON HOFE ET AL 2,723,775
LABEL APPLYING MECHANISM Filed June 7, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet l EFT-LL.
jai U113 INVENTURS GEO/F65 144 VON/7/0FE 0 Wm/ K. WOL FF i; ATTORNEYS Nov. 15, 1955 Filed June 7. 1952 G. W. VON HOFE ET AL LABEL APPLYING MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS 650R GE 14! Vow/V055 fan/WK 14/01 FF fa; M
ATTORNEYS United States Patent 2,723,775 LABEL Arrrrme MncnANiss i George W. von Hofe, Bound Brook, and Edwin K. Wolff, Palisades Park, N. 3., assignors to New Jersey Machine Corporation, l-lloholren, N. .i., a corporation of New Jersey Application June 7, 1952., Serial No. 292,293
4 Claims. (Cl. 2216-55) This invention relates to labeling machines or the like, and more particularly, to improved mechanism for transferring from a source of supply to articles, sheet material provided with an adhesive coating on one surface, such as labels, wrappers, etc.
Labeling machines of the type with which this invention is concerned usually have a suction device for transmitting the labels from a source of supply to the place at which such labels are applied to the article. These suction devices usually include a label carrying plate provided with a plurality of transverse, vertically disposed passageways which extend through the plate and are distributed over the entire area of the plate; the inner ends of such passageways being in communication with a suction chamber provided in the head of such device. While suction devices of this type are successful in accomplishing the purposes for which they were designed, they have important drawbacks that each label carrying plate thereof must be designed for a particular sized label or there must be provided in association therewith some additional means particularly designed for each label having a surface area different from that of the carrying plate. The reason for this is that in order for such a carrying plate to properly carry a label, it is necessary either that the label cover all of the suction passageways in such plate, or the label and some additional means cover all such passageways, otherwise the suction will be reduced to such an extent that he label will be improperly held or will fall off.
The primary purpose of the present invention is to provide a universal sheet carrying mechanism capable of transferring sheets of widely varying surface configurations and dimensions without change and without the aid of additional means.
Other objects of the invention, as well as the novel features of construction thereof, will appear from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view, partly in section, illustrating one manner in which the invention may be utilized;
Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view of a suction transfer head embodying the features of the invention, the section of the sheet carrying plate of the head being taken along the line 2.2 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 3 is a bottom plan view of the sheet carrying face of the suction head;
Fig. 4- is a vertical section taken along the line 4-4 of Fig. 3 and showing in enlarged detail, the construction of a portion of the sheet carrying face of the suction head;
Fig. 5 is a view similar to Fig. 3, but on an enlarged scale, and shows a modified form of sheet carrying face; and
Fig. 6 is a side elevational view of cylindrically-shaped carrying mechanism embodying the invention.
The invention is illustrated in the drawings and is hereinafter described with respect to sheets or labels having an adhesive coating of thermo-activatable material. It
Patented Nov. 15, 1955 2 will however, be understood that the invention can be utilized to equal advantage in the application of sheets or labels provided with coatings of the usual types of adhesives. in practicing the invention, the labels, which may be of any desired form and which may have any desired surface dimensions, may either be fed in the form of a continuous web from a supply roll in a well known manner or be fed individually, as from a supply stack. in the machine illustrated in Fig. 1 of the drawings, the source of label supply is shown as an upright stack of individual labels It contained in a hopper 11 and coated on their lower faces with a heat activatable thermo-plastic material. The hopper 11 may include any conventional elevating means for raising the stack of labels 10 at P periodic intervals to thereby restore the top label in the stack to a predetermined height, and thus maintain the top labels at a substantially constant feeding level.
in accordance with the invention, the labels 9 are fed from the stack if or store thereof on the support or elev: ng means of the hopper ll to-a support 12 by re us of a pick-up device of the suction operated type it is designated generally in the drawings by the numeral l3. Suitable means may also be associated with the hopper 11 to facilitate the feed of the labels from the stack by the pick-up device 13. After a label 9 has been deposited upon the support 32, a label carrier or transfer device, generally designated by the numeral 14, transfers the label from the support 12 to the article 15, which is mounted on a suitable support, such as for example, the article supporting means designated 16 in Fig. l of he drawings. inasmuch as in this machine, the labels to be applied to the articles by the transfer device M- are obtained from the support 12 to which they are successively fed by the pick-up device 13, such support 12 may be stated to constitute a label supply or transfer station for the labels so transmitted to the articles.
The label applying machine in which the above mentioned devices are embodied may be of any well known type and for the purposes of illustrating the invention, such parts have been shown as embodied in a labeling machine as is described and illustrated in the Von Hofe Patent No. 2,227,816 issued January 7, 1941. In such a machine, there is provided a carriage 17 (see Fig. 1) slidably mounted on a horizontal guide rail 33 supported on the frame of the machine. The carriage 17 is reciprocated lengthwise of the rail 18 in predetermined timed sequence by mechanism exemplified in Fig. l of the drawings by the rod 19 which is pivotally connected at 29 to the carriage. A member or plunger 21 is slidably mounted on the carriage 17 for reciprocation thereon by suitable means in properly timed relation with the associated parts, and at its lower end carries the transfer device or suction head generally designated 14. Also supported in predetermined spaced relation to the transfer device 14 on the member 21, is the pick-up or label feed device 13. The pick-up device may be mounted in any suitable fashion on the member 21, as by a supporting bracket 22 which is secured at one end to the member 21 and at its other end is provided with a depending portion 23 to the lower end of which is secured the pick-up device 13.
It will be understood from the parts of the label machine thus far described, that when in the operation of the machine, the parts are positioned as shown in Fig. 1, the pick-up device 13 has drawn a label 9 from the stack or store of such labels, the transfer device 14 has taken from the support 12 a label 9 which has been deposited on such support in the previous operation of the carriage and the member 20 has been elevated to elevate the devices 13 and 14- with the labels thereon to the positions of Fig. 1. Both the devices 13 and 14 are of the suction type and are connected by tubes 24 and 25, respectively, with a convenient source of suction which is controlled by properly timed valving means of any suitable type so that suction is effected at the label supporting surfaces of such devices while they are picking up the labels from the stack and support 12, and until the labels carried thereby have been deposited on the support 12 and the article 15. The carriage 17 is then caused to move to the left, as viewed in Fig. 1 of the drawings to bring the pick-up device 13 over the support 12 and the transfer device 14 over the article which has previously been placed on the support 16 in label receiving position. The spacing of hopper 11, support 12 and support 16 is correlated with relation to the spacing of devices 13 and 14 on the member 21 to bring the parts accurately into the positions above described. It will be noted from Fig. 1 of the drawings, that the relation of the parts is such that the edge of the label adjacent to the left hand side of the hopper 11, as viewed in such figure, will register with the left hand edge 26 of transfer device 14, as viewed in such figure, when picked up by the latter from the support 12. This relation of such edge of the labels with such edge 26 of the transfer device will hold true regardless of the size of the labels being utilized. When the pick-up device 13 and the transfer device 14 are in the said positions relative to the support 12 and the article 15, respectively, the member 21 moves downwardly on the carriage 17 to thereby cause the pick-up device 13 to deposit the label 9 carried thereby on the support 12 and to cause the transfer device 14 to deposit its label 9 upon the exterior surface of the article 15, as is shown in dotted lines in Fig. l of the drawings. When the deposition of the two labels has been completed, the suction in the devices 13 and 14 is discontinued and the latter are lifted with respect to the carriage 17 by the action of member 21. The labeled article 15 is then removed from the support 16 and the carriage 17 is retracted to bring the parts back to the positions shown in Fig. 1 of the drawings, when the member 21 will be lowered to bring the pick-up member 13 and the transfer device 14 into positions to pick up labels from the stack 9 and the support 12. The above described cycle of operations is then repeated.
As is shown more clearly in Fig. 2 of the drawings, the transfer device or suction head 14 comprises a main body portion or metal plate 30 provided at its lower end with a dove-tailed seat which extends centrally between the ends of the plate. Formed in the upper surface 31 of the dovetailed seat is a recess 32 having predetermined dimensions and shapes; the same being determined in part by the surface area of the largest label which the head is designed to carry. The recess 32 is connected by a passageway 33 formed in the upper portion of the plate 30 and conncted at its upper end by means of a suitable nipple 34 with the hose 25. The plate 30 carries a heating device composed of a pair of electrical resistance elements 35, 35 which are connected to a source of electricity by the wires 36 and which are controlled by a thermostat 37 to maintain the plate 30 at a predetermined temperature.
Fitted in the dove-tailed seat of the plate 30 is a dovetailed metal plate 38 whose lower end of reduced area projects below the bottom surface of the plate 30 and whose upper surface closes the lower open end of the recess 32 to form a suction chamber. Extending through the plate 38 is a vertically disposed passageway 39 which at its upper end is in communication with the suction chamber, and at its lower end terminates at the lower face of the plate 33. As shown in Figs. 1-3 of the drawings, the passageway 39 is located centrally of the leading edge portion of the plate 38 or the left hand edge portion thereof, as viewed in Fig. l of the drawings. This edge portion has been previously indicated by the numeral 26. In Fig. 3 of the drawings, the plate 38 has been turned through an angle of ninety degrees so that such edge portion is shown at the bottom of such figure. Communieating with the lower end of passageway 39 are a plurality of shallow channels 40 formed in the label carrying face of the plate 38. As shown more clearly in Fig. 3 of the drawings, the channels 40 radiate outwardly from the passageway 39 as a center to the four corners of the label carrying face of plate 38 and to three of the edges of such face. Also radiating outwardly from the passageway 39 are a plurality of concentrically arranged channels or grooves 41, each of which intersect those radial channels or grooves 40 located in the area of the label carrying face of plate 38 which such channels 41 traverse. As shown more clearly in Fig. 4 of the drawings, the radially disposed channels 40 are substantially deeper or of substantially greater cross sectional area than the channels 41. Also as shown in Figs. 2 to 4, the concentric channels 41 at their intersections with the radially disposed channels 40 are in communication with the latter.
It will be understood from the foregoing, that when a label 9 is being carried by the plate 38, those portions of channels 40 and 41, which are covered by the label 9 will together with the latter, form a plurality of suction passageways. As has been previously described, the arrangement of the parts are such that one end of a label 9 picked up by the transfer device will always register with the edge 26 of the label carrying face of plate 38. In this position of the label, the latter will cover the passageway 39 and such portions of the channels 40 and 41 as are within the area of the label. Thus, if a label has an area equal to the area of the plate 38, it will cover the passageway 39 and all portions of the channels 40 and 41. On the other hand, if the label has an area less than that of the plate, as for instance, the label shown in Fig. 5 of the drawings, such label will cover the passageway 39, the portions of the radial channels 40 which are adjacent to passageway 39 and only those portions of the concentric channels 41 which are overlapped by the label. In either case, the label forms with the covered portions of radial channels 40, radially disposed passageways which are directly connected to the passageway 39 and form with the covered portions of the concentric channels 41 arcuate passageways which communicate with the radial passageways and through the latter with the passageway 39. Thus, the suction effect provided in passageway 39 will be extended through the passageways formed by the label and channels 40 and 41, and such suction effect will be exerted on the label at the lower end of passageway 39 and along the entire lengths of the portions of channels 40 and 41 covered by the label. In this manner any shape or size of label having a surface area less than the area of the plate 38 will be successfully and firmly adhered by suction to the surface of the plate. As leakage of the suction will occur at the ends of the passageways formed by the label and the channels 40 and 41, such channels should be quite shallow in order not to substantially reduce the suction supplied to passageway 39. For example, the radial channels 40 which are substantially deeper than the arcuate or concentric channels 41, as is indicated in Fig. 4 of the drawings, may have a depth of about .009 inch. Preferably, the combined cross sectional areas of the radial channels 40 should be less than the cross sectional area of the passageway 39. Preferably also, the cross sectional areas of the radial channels 40 should be progressively reduced from the passageway 39 in order to reduce leakage of the suction to a minimum. This will give the radial channels a tapering appearance, as shown in Fig. 5 of the drawings.
The above described type of plate 38 has been found to effectively take up and grip labels having a Wide variety of sizes and shapes and areas substantially less than the area of such plate. Labels smaller in area than the area defined by the small, completely circular channel 41 shown in Fig. 3 of the drawings, will be efficiently held by the plate 38. The plate 38 therefore provides a universal means for carrying labels of different sizes and shapes without the necessity of additional means. Due to the fact that the plate 38 is in heat conducting relation with the plate 30 and that the heat of a predetermined temperature created by the resistance elements 35 and thermostat 37 in plate 30 will be transmitted by such plates to the label carrying surface of plate 38, the thermoplastic adhesive coating on a label carried by the latter will become activated. Inasmuch as the width of the channels 40 and 41 are relatively small, the portions of thermoplastic coating overlying such channels will also become activated to the same extent as the other portions thereof so that such coating will be uniformly activated over its entire area. This activation of the label takes place before the label is applied to the article and during its transfer from the support 12 to such article.
The support 12 is provided with an upper label supporting plate 38' which is constructed similarly to plate 38, in that it is provided with a transverse passageway 39, radial channels 40' and concentric channels 41. The arrangement of such passageway 39 and channels 40' and 41 may be similar in construction and arrangement to the passageway 39 and channels 40 and 41 on plate 38. Passageway 39 like passageway 39 is located in the left hand edge portion of its plate, as viewed in Fig. 1, and adjacent to a point 26, which as shown in Fig. l, is directly below the edge 26 of the plate 38. The passageway 39' is in communication at its lower end with a chamber 45 formed within the support 12. The chamber 45 is connected by means of a tube 46 with a source of air supply. Suitable valve means are provided to control the air supply to the chamber 45 so as to provide a condition of suction in such chamber and consequently at the upper end of passageway 39 and in channels 40' and 41 in the same manner as described with respect to the passageway 39 and channels 40 and 41 of plate 38, when a label is delivered to plate 38' of support 12 by the label pick-up or feeding device 13, and until such label is to the delivered to the transfer device 14. The valve means is also adapted to deliver compressed air into the chamber 45 to blow the deposited label 9 into contact with the label carrying plate 38 of the transfer head 14 when the latter is properly positioned in label receiving position with relation to the plate 38 of support 12. Due to the fact that a label on support 12 is deposited thereon so that its thermoplastic coating is in engagement with plate 38 thereof, and the fact that the label carrying plate 38 of the transfer device 14 is heated, as has been previously explained, it is preferred that the transfer device 14 should not contact with the label on the plate 38', but in its pickup position be slightly spaced therefrom to prevent the labels adherence to plate 38'. In this position of the parts, the edge 26 of plate 38 will be aligned with the point or line 26' on plate 38'. When air is blown through passageway 39', the reverse of the action described with respect to passageway 39 and channels 40 and 41 will take place; the air in this case passing into the passageways formed by the deposited label and the portions of channels 40' and 41', to force the label upwardly into engagement with plate 38, at which time the described suction action through passageway 39 and channels 40 and 41 will take place to grip the label blown from plate 38'. It will be understood that when the label is not provided with a thermoplastic coating, but is to be provided with a coating of ordinary wet glue, the device 14 may be brought into contact with plate 38, in which case the said valve means may be arranged merely to cut off the suction to the chamber 45 and consequently plate 38 when the device 14 comes into engagement with the label resting on such plate.
It is believed that an understanding of the operation of the invention will be obtained from the above decription, but it might be advisable to point out that after a label 9 is blown into contact with the plate 38 of device 14, the carriage 17 is shifted on rail 18 to bring the suction head or device 14 and the label 9 held thereon by suction, to
the label applying position. During the travel of the suction head 14 to the label applying position, the label is heated in the manner previously described to adhesively activate the thermoplastic coating thereon. When the suction head 14 arrives at the label applying station, the member or plunger 21 is moved downwardly on the carriage 17 to bring the label 9 with its heat activated thermoplastic coating into surface engagement with the bottle 15, as is shown in dotted outline in Fig. l of the drawings. .The heat activated condition of the thermoplastic coating of the label causes the label to adhere to the article and at the proper moment the suction in the head 14 is cut off. After the label has been deposited on the article, the head is raised on the carriage 17 which is then shifted back to the pick-up station 12 in position to receive another label for transfer to the applying station 16.
While we have hereinabove described one form of the invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in such forms may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. Thus, any pattern of channels may be provided on the surfaces of the plates 38 and 38' to accomplish the purposes of the invention and the secondary channels 41 as well as the primary channels 40 may be tapered or otherwise formed to accomplish the results desired. Also more than one passageway 39 may be provided to communicate with the primary channels 40. An instance of this arrangement is illustrated in Fig. 5 of the drawings, which shows a label carrying plate provided with a group of transverse passageways 51, each of which is in communication with one primary or radially disposed channel 52 and provides suction for such channel or a portion thereof depending upon the length thereof covered by the label. In this construction, two passageways 51 will create a suction condition in each secondary or concentrically arranged channel 53, through the primary channels 52 connected to the ends of each such secondary channel 53. Additionally passageways 54 may also be provided within the area defined by the passageways 51 in order to obtain an effective suction condition over all portions of the label.
Fig. 6 of the drawings illustrates the application of the invention to cylinders or drums for feeding labels from a source of supply to the articles to be labeled. The drum 60 in Fig. 6 is essentially similar in construction to the drum shown in the Von Hofe Patent No. 2,525,741 issued October 10, 1950, for carrying labels to the label applying station and is arranged in a labeling machine in a manner similar to such drum of the said prior patent. Drum 60 differs from the drum disclosed in said patent in that instead of being provided with a plurality of suction holes distributed over its entire peripheral area, each peripheral surface portion 61 thereof intermediate the label placement ribs 62 is provided with a row of suction holes or passageways 63 which is located adjacent to the face 64 of the rib 62 against which the leading edge of a label to be carried by such surface portion 61 is to abut and which is arranged in parallel relation to such face 64. The row of passageways 63 start adjacent one end of the rib 62 and extend for only a portion of the latters distance across the surface of the drum. It will thus be noted that the face 64 of each rib and the edge 65 of each surface portion 61, like the previously described edge 26 of plate 38, constitute the registering means with which the edges or edge portions of the different sized labels to be carried by such surface portions 61 are to be registered and thereby properly positioned on the surface portions 61. The label supporting and feeding means disclosed in the aforesaid patent can accomplish this purpose if the moving platform or chain of the label supply mechanism and the feeding mean-s or label-transfer drum 67 are arranged in the manner shown in Fig. 6, so that the top surface 66 of the stack-supporting frame and the bottom edges of the drums 67 and 66 are in alignment or contained within the same plane.
The holes or passageways 63 are each in communication with a primary channel 68 formed in the face of the surface portion 61 and each primary channel 68 may have connected thereto one or more secondary channels 69. The primary and secondary channels 68, 69 are arranged on the surface portion 61 so that they will cover such entire surface portion. Channels 68 and 69 are comparable to the previously described channels 40 and 41, respectively, and operate in a fashion similar to the latter to adhere a label to the surface portion 61 when suction is exerted through the holes or passageways 63.
Having thus described our invention and illustrated its use, what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In a machine for applying adhesive coated sheet material to articles, a suction transfer device having a universal sheet carrying surface capable of carrying sheets of different sizes and shapes and of areas substantially less than the area of such surface, means for providing on said surface a variable suction area dependent on the size of the sheet carried thereby including means for creating a suction condition in a portion of such surface smaller in area than the area of the smallest sheet which said surface is designed to support, a plurality of primary open face channels formed in said surface, said primary channels being in direct communication with said creating means and extending outwardly from said surface portion to adjacent the periphery of said surface, a plurality of secondary open face channels formed in said surface in spaced relation to said suction creating means and located between and connected to said primary channels, said primary channels having a cross-sectional area substantially greater than the cross-sectional area of said secondary channels, said primary and secondary channels coacting with a sheet carried by said surface to form passageways for extending the suction effect created in such surface portion to restricted portions of the sheet lying beyond such surface portion, the passageways formed by said primary and secondary channels communicating with the atmosphere at the periphery of any given sheet on said surface of an area less than the area of such surface and the total cross-sectional area of said primary and secondary channels at the periphery of such sheet being less than the area at which the suction effect is initiated in such surface portion by said creating means so that the total leakage of air from such passageways at the periphery of a sheet is not sufficient to prevent the desired holding effect of the suction condition created on the sheet.
2. A machine such as defined in claim 1 in which said primary channels extend outwardly in diverse directions from said surface portion, have a cross-sectional area in the region of such surface portion substantially greater than the cross-sectional area of said secondary channels, and become progressively smaller in cross-sectional area away from such surface portion.
3. A machine such as defined in claim 1 which said surface portion is located adjacent to and bounded by one edge of said sheet carrying surface, and in which said primary channels extend in substantially straight paths and in diverse directions from such surface portion toward a plurality of other edges of said sheet carrying surface.
4. A machine such as defined in claim 1 in which said primary channels radiate outwardly in different directions from said surface portion, and said secondary channels consist of a plurality of spaced, concentrically arranged grooves formed in said surface in spaced relation to said suction creating means and connected to said primary channels.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 661,840 Baker Nov. 13, 1900 1,250,902 Krueger Dec. 18, 1917 1,638,768 Hitchcock Aug. 9, 1928 1,683,250 Hitchcock Sept. 4, 1928 1,870,694 Strickler Aug. 9, 1932 2,443,987 Morrison et a1 June 22, 1948 2,446,295 Morrison Aug. 3, 1948 2,525,741 Von Hofe et al Oct. 10, 1950 2,578,329 Von Hofe Dec. 11, 1951 2,590,044 Schaller Mar. 18, 1952 2,615,492 Holmwood et al. Oct. 28, 1952 Ave:-