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Publication numberUS3140214 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 7, 1964
Filing dateApr 7, 1959
Priority dateApr 7, 1959
Publication numberUS 3140214 A, US 3140214A, US-A-3140214, US3140214 A, US3140214A
InventorsVon Hofe George W
Original AssigneeNew Jersey Machine Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Labeling machines
US 3140214 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 7, v1964 I I l G. w. voN Hol-'E 3,140,214

I LABELING MACHINES L Filed April 7, 1959 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 7o 'F aci. l zo L '/9/ 7653 /00 M Ng fof /o/ o 81mm fw ,02 73 Q 77 "03 zt Q do l I /4 "27 Q Z L.' 567 J4 72 y I /3 27,- Io' s 26 l@ @j Il O @j @j 4 IFF" TTFH" 'rf-h' l' L V''n ["LL'L #D /o /Z 25 T .3

[1f 4, f4 /77 ff-l ff WRI@ LABEL FEED i LABEL FEED conmoLofwcE coNmoL oEvLcE 5 INCHES A, H4 fh: 54 5 i C3 C-`4 C6' a, 3l II I 0| Q i l 5 M' s l 5v |15 I I 4. A 60' C bnl, g I T z I z o h L0 I d o I l E n? 5 I L l L +-1 a 5,. E4 l E, z L I I I L El I I p L Lsssc.

TIME IN SECONDS ICYCLE 0F MACHINE [CYCLE 0F MACHINE ICYCLE 0F MACHINE AT `300 LABELS/MIN. AT 200 LABELS/MIN. AT IOO LABELS/SEC.

.2 SEC. .4 SEC. NVENTOR.

I 650,965 W vaA/Hoff TTOKA/EKS JulyA 7, 1964 G. w. voN HoFE 3,140,214

LABELING MACHINES Filed April 7, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent Office 3,l40,2l4 Patented `luly 7, 1964 3,140,214 LABELING MACHINES George W. von Hofe, Millington, NJ., assignor to New Jersey Machine Corporation, Hoboken, NJ., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Apr. 7, 1959, Ser. No. 804,676 16 Claims. (Cl. 156-354) This invention relates to labeling machines and, more particularly, to the mechanisms in such machines for feeding and applying labels to articles presented at the label applying stations thereof.

The trend today amongst progressive manufacturers is toward greater exploitation of high speed machinery in systems that can be made as automatic in operation as is possible. This trend is plainly noticeable in the packaging industry which because of the nature of its business, is especially interested in the advantages resulting from the furtherance thereof. Some of the new packaging systems devised for this industry, however, have not met the high expectations of their promoters because of the lack of an accurate, uncomplicated, universal labeling machine capable of reliably labeling articles at speeds of from Z50-350 labels per minute. The reason for this lack will be appreciated when it is realized that at such high speeds of labeling there are created in many ofthe steps involved in such operation, problems which would not be present or are of such little consequence as not to materially affect the overall operation at substantially lower speeds of labeling. Thus, at high labeling speeds the problem of getting the labels to the labeling station becomes of great importance and especially so if it is desired to feed the labels from a single source in order to keep down the costs of the machine. Some label machine manufacturers have found that the problem of properly supplying labels from a single source to the place of application at the required high speeds was one that could not be readily solved and accordingly built machines in which the labels were fed to the article from a plurality of sources even though this greatly complicated the machines. Another problem arises when the labels are cut from a roll and it is important that they be cut with extreme accuracy in order not to cut away any part thereof as in the case of pharmaceutical labels. 1n this connection, it will be interesting to note that when a labeling machine is applying five-inch labels to bottles at the rate of 300 labels per minute, an error in the timing of the cut-olf operation of only 0.00062 second, will produce an error in the cnt of or %4 of an inch, which is the maximum tolerance permitted when cutting pharmaceutical labels. lt will be apparent therefore that at that high speed of operation, a very precise control of the web from which the labels are cut is necessary to have a commercially acceptable machine. The accuracy of the label cutting operation in many machines is also affected by changes in speed thereof. At a low level of operation, the change from a slow speed to a higher speed does not appreciably affect the accuracy of the cut-off. On the other hand, when a change is made from such slow speed to a speed of operation at Which 300 labels per minute are being applied to articles, the error in cut made by the cutting mechanism may be -1- or -1/8 of an inch. It is accordingly necessary in such cases to adjust the cut-off and this can only be done by repeatedly stopping and starting the machine until the proper timing for the new speed of operation is reached. If the labeling machine forms part of a system, this of course means that the whole line will be shut down until the proper adjustment has been made. In addition to these and other problems of control, feed and timing, the machine must be made mechanically simple so that the ordinary girl operator can readily make the adjustments necessary to cope with the wide variety of label sizes and machine speeds required by todays extremely diversified industry.

One of the objects of the present invention therefore is to provide an improved labeling machine capable of accurately and reliably applying labels of a large variety of sizes to articles at the high speeds contemplated in modern packaging systems.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved labeling machine capable of accurately cutting labels from a source roll thereof and of feeding such labels at high speed to the label applying station of such machine.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved labeling machine capable of supplying labels from a single source at high speed and with great accuracy in the form of the labels and in the timing of their feed.

A still further object of the inventionis to provide an improved labeling machine that will accurately `register and cut-olf labels from a single roll thereof to a tolerance of less than 2%;4 of an inch in a 5-inch label being supplied to a place of application at a speed comparable to a labeling speed of 350 labels per minute.

Another object of the invention is to provide an irnproved labeling machine which is capable of accurately cutting labels from a roll thereof and feeding the cut labels to a place of application at high speed and which is so simple mechanically that a girl operator of ordinary experience can setup and operate the machine.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved labeling machine embodying practical, reliable mechanism for accurately cutting labels from a roll thereof even though the machine may be varying in speed from very low to very high speeds.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved labeling machine having means whereby adjustment of the label feeding device may be made while the machine is feeding labels.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved labeling machine embodying label feeding means capable of accurately cutting labels and feeding them to a place of application throughout the entire range of speed of the machine and without requiring any adjustment of the label cutting mechanism.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved labeling machine having a high speed intermittently operated label feed combined with means for imprinting a control or code number in proper registered position on the labels.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved labeling machine having a terminal registering device that operates under constant conditions irrespective of the speed of the machine or size of the label.

Another object of the inventon is to provide an iinproved labeling machine constructed to use a pre-established reference plane for final registration of each label.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved labeling machine provided with a high speed intermittently operating label feeding device made completely of rotary elements rotating in one direction and being of very simple construction.

Other objects as Well as the advantages of the labeling machine of this invention will become apparent from a perusal of the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic plan view of a labeling machine builtin accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective detailed View of the label feeding mechanism of the machine shown in FIG. l; the two label feeding drums shown in FIG. 2 being similar vin all respects to the feeding drums depicted more in fb detail `in FIG. 1, and being shown schematically in FIG. 2 for the sake of clearness;

FIG. 3 is a schematic View showing the arrangement of several of the devices that are associated with the tape; and

FIG. 4 is a graph illustrating the different operations of the machine of this invention.

The labeling machine of this invention is essentially similar in construction to the labeling machine described and illustrated in the Von Hofe Patent No. 2,525,741, issued October l0, 1950. Like the machine of the aforesaid patent, the instant machine includes a main conveyor which advances the articles to be labeled, such as the bottles 11, in a single le to the right, as viewed in FIG. l of the drawings. The conveyor 10 may also transmit the articles 11 to a number of other machines in a packaging system of which the instant machine forms a part. In such event, the speed of travel of the conveyor 10 will be related to the speeds of operation of the various machines in the system. At a predetermined point (not shown) with regard to the instant machine, the articles 11 are deflected from conveyor 10 onto a moving conveyor or platform 12 which is arranged parallelly with conveyor 10 and which carries the articles past the station 13 in the machine at which the labels are applied to the articles and to a point at which the articles are returned to the conveyor 10 as is hereinafter described. In their travel towards the label applying station 13, the articles 11 are spaced apart a predetermined distance by mechanism that may comprise a drum 14 mounted for rotatable movement about a horizontal axis and provided with a helically-shaped article engaging channel 15. At station 13, the path of travel of the articles on conveyor 12 is substantially tangential with respect to an endless conveyor or drum 16 for carrying the labels to such station. The labels are fed to the drum 16 from a single source 20 through a pick-up or transfer mechanism which comprises a rotatable cylinder 21 and which transfers the labels to the conveyor or drum 16 at a transfer station 22. The drum 16 and cylinder 21 are essentially similar in construction to the corresponding drum and cylinder incorporatedin the apparatus shown in the aforesaid Patent No. 2,525,741 and cooperate in a substantially similar manner. The labels may be of any type and if provided with a thermo-activatable adhesive coating, such coating will be inactive at room or atmospheric temperatures and conditions, and consequently will not adhere to or affect the action of the cylinder 21 which is unheated and to which the label is held by means of suction exerted through apertures 26 provided in the peripheral wall thereof. As each label is delivered by cylinder 21 to the drum 16 at station 22, it is firmly abutted against one of a plurality of positioning ribs 23 provided on the periphery of such drum and is retained in this position on the drum surface throughout its travel from station 22 to station 13 by suction exerted through apertures or perforations 27 in the peripheral wall of the drum, as is explained in detail in said Patent No. 2,525,741. During such travel of the label, it is rendered adhesive to enable the ready establishment of an adhesive contact between the same and an article 11 at the label applying station 13. The label may be rendered adhesive in any suit` able fashion as by applying a suitable adhesive material thereto in a manner known to the art, or if the label is provided with a thermoactivatable adhesive coating, by activating such coating in an appropriate manner such as by one of the methods disclosed in the aforesaid patent and Patent No. 2,613,007, dated October 7, 1952. As is shown in FIG. 1, in the method of said patent, hot air or steam is directed from a pipe 100 progressively on a label 58 passing therebeneath as the drum rotates in the direction of the arrow. The discharge from pipe 100 is controlled by a valve 101 actuated through a link mechanism 102 by a pivoted arm or control member 103 provided with a roller 104 which rides on the outer periphery of a ring-shaped cam 105 carried by the drum 16. As the article passes station 13, the leading edge of the label is brought into contact with and is adhesively connected to the article. The articles with the partially aixed labels then engage an obliquely-arranged portion of belt 24 which cooperates with a covered rail 25 to rotate each article in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. l. This rotating action not only serves to press the label into rm and complete securement with the article, but also guides the labeled article back onto the main conveyor 10 which thereupon carries the article away from the labeling machine.

The drum 16 is continuously driven or rotated by mechanism substantially similar to the mechanism for rotating the corresponding drum in the apparatus shown in the aforesaid Patent No. 2,525,741. As is shown more clearly in FIG. 11 of said Patent No. 2,525,741, such driving mechanism includes a vertical driving shaft 4S comparable to the vertical shaft 30 shown in FIG. 2 herein, and connected by gears, pulleys and belts to the driving motor 109, to drive the drum with a peripheral speed related to the production rate of the machine. The production rate or speed of operation of the machine, it will be understood, is a variable which is dependent upon the lengths of the labels and the rate at which they are fed to the label applying station. For example, the labels may range in length from 1/2 inch to 5 inches. It is apparent that these longer labels, when fed at the same rate as the shorter labels, will require a higher operational speed of the machine than the shorter labels. Regardless of size, the labels may be fed to the articles at rates ranging from per minute to approximately 350 labels per minute. At the higher rates the drum 16 must be rotated at a considerably higher speed than that required for applying the labels at the lower rates. The shaft 30 has connected thereto a gear 31 which meshes with and continuously drives a bevel gear 32 provided on one end of a rotatably supported horizontal shaft 33. The other end of shaft 33 has affixed thereto a gear 34 which drivingly engages a gear 35 secured to a horizontal shaft 36 rotatably supported in substantial parallcl relation to shaft 33. Mounted on one end of shaft 36 is a cylindrically-shaped cam 37 provided with twin threads 38 forming a short spiral track 39 of approximately one convolution and which is successively engaged by pins 40 depending from a gear 41 provided on a vertically disposed stub shaft 42. The construction and arrangement of cam 37 and gear 41 are such that as the cam is continuously rotated, the pins or cam rollers 40 on gear 41 successively come into engagement with the entry end of cam track 39 while others of such pins 40 are leaving the track. The ends of the track are overlapped to the extent that an entering pin will be locked in position before a pin leaving the track is unlocked therefrom so that the cam 37 and gear 41 are always locked together. The entry and discharge ends of the track 39 are disposed at right angles to thc axis of cam 37 so that while the pins or cam rollers 40 are positioned therein no motion is imparted to the gear 41. This condition of dwell of gear 41 exists for approximately a 60 revolution of cam 37. When an entering pin 40 moves from the entry end of track 39 into the pitched body portion thereof gear 41 is caused to rotate in the direction of arrow 43, at which time the pin passing through the discharge end of the track will have left the gear. This rotational movement will continue until the pin in the pitched body portion moves into the discharge end of the track, when simultaneously a new pin 40 of gear 41 will move into the entry end of track 39. It will thus be evident that as the cam 37 is continuously rotating, an intermittent rotational movement will be imparted to gear 41 which is continuously interlocked with such cam. The intermittent movement of gear 41 is transferred to a gear 45 provided on the lower end of a vertical shaft 46, and then through a gear 47 provided on the upper end of such shaft and a driven gear 48 associated with the cylinder 21, such intermittent movement being imparted to the latter.

The continuously rotating shaft 36 is also provided with an eccentric t) to the strap of which is connected the lower end of a link 51 and which advances and retracts such link vertically as the shaft rotates. The upper end of link 51 is connected to an arm 52 mounted for pivotal movement about the axis of shaft 53. Arm 52 is integral with a cutting blade 54 that is cooperatively arranged relative to a fixed cutting blade 55 mounted on the bearing bracket supporting arm 52 and movable blade 54. Accordingly as shaft 36 continuously rotates, the movable blade 54 will be closed and opened relative to the fixed blade 55 through eccentric 50, link 51 and arm 52. The construction Vand arrangement of these parts are such that the cutting operations of blades 54 and 55 will occur at the same instant in each rotational movement of shaft 36 and during the dwell periods of the cylinder 2l. The blades 54 and 55 are placed adjacently to the pick-up station 56 so that as the end label to be cut off or terminal label 58 in FIG. 2 of the drawings of the web 57 feeding from roll 20 moves into proper position at the cutting station the leading end of such label becomes fastened to cylinder 21 by means of the suction exerted through the preipheral wall of such cylinder. Thus as the end or terminal label 5S is being severed from the web 57 such label is securely held to the periphery of cylinder 21. On the next rotative step of cylinder 21, the severed label will be advanced by cylinder 2l to the transfer station 22 for delivery to drum 16. By the time the label has reached the transfer station 22, the velocity of the cylinder 21 will have been increased to the extent that the velocity of the label will approximate the velocity o-f the continuously moving drum 16. Thus, when the label is transferred to drum 1.6 it will be traveling at the velocity required to maintain the production rate of the labeling machine.

The shaft 36 is further provided with a sprocket 62 that engages with the lower end of a vertically disposed endless drive chain 63 which is meshed at its upper end with a sprocket 64 rotatably mounted on a shaft 65. Sprocket 64 forms part of an electric clutch 66 of suitable construction and which when energized secures sprocket 64 in driving relation to shaft 65 to cause the latter to be rotated at a velocity which is related to the production rate of the labeling machine. The electric clutch 66 is electrically connected and controlled by a photoelectric registering control device lSti which is actuated at the start of each cycle of rotation of shaft 36 by a reset switch 69 which is intermittently actuated by a projection 70 provided on a cam 71 mounted on the outer end of shaft 36. Cam 71 is formed to actuate switch 69 to signal the photoelectric register control which energizes clutch 66 and thereby drivingly connect shaft 65 to shaft 36 at the start of each cycle of rotation of the latter. After cam 71 has so actuated switch 69 it exercises no further control over the latter until it again comes into operation to actuate switch 69 at the start of a new cycle. When shaft 65 is connected to shaft 36 in the manner aforesaid, it drives a pair of web feed rolls 72, 73 at a speed related to the production rate of the labeling machine. The feed rolls are connected to shaft 65 through a bevel gear 74 provided on one end of such shaft and a gear 75 secured to the shaft of feed roll 72. It will be noted from FIG. 2 of the drawings that the feed rolls 72, 73 are placed adjacently to the cutting blades 54, 55 which are located between such feed rolls and the cylinder 2l, and that such rolls are mounted for rotational movement about vertical axes arranged in substantial parallelism with the axis of rotation of cylinder 21. Preferably the feed rolls are spaced from the cutting blades a distance less than the length of the labels being severed so that as the terminal label is being severed from the web the web will be supported on one side of the cutting blades by such feed rolls.

f5 Thus the web will be supported on both sides of the line of cut by the feed rolls and the cylinder 21 and the feed rolls will be positively engaged with the next succeeding terminal label of the web after such line of cut has been made.

The feed rolls 72, 73 will be driven at a velocity related to the production rate of the machine until a suitable photoelectric registering control device Si? of known construction is operated by one of a series of registering elements 79 on the web 57 to deenergize electric clutch 66 and simultaneously to energize an electric clutch 8l of known construction. The deenergization of clutch 66 breaks the driving connection between chain 63 and shaft 65 so that the feed rolls 72, 73 will no longer be rotated at a velocity related to the production rate of the machine. The clutch Sl is also mounted on shaft 65 and when energized connects such shaft in driven relation to a sprocket 82 supporting one end of a chain 83 which is connected at its other end to the driving shaft of an electric motor S4 rotating at a constant speed. The motor 84 will therefore immediately pick up the drive of shaft 65 and cause the latter and consequently the feed rolls 72, 73 to rotate at a constant velocity which is independent of and bears no relation to the production rate of the machine. The electric motor S4 will continue to drive the feed rolls 72, 73 at this constant velocity until a second photoelectric registering control device 85 of known construction is operated by a second registering element of the series of registering elements 79 on the web 57. The control device `85 controls an electric brake 86 which is mounted on shaft 65 and connected to an associated frame member 87. The brake 86 is of known construction and when energized is of sutiicient power to stop the rotational movement of shaft 65 and consequently of the feed rolls 72, 73. Simultaneous-ly, control device 85 causes the declutching of the driving electric clutch S1 so that when the electric brake 86 is applied to shaft 65, the driving connection of motor 84 with such shaft will have been broken. When the feed rolls have been reduced to zero velocity, both the feed rolls, the cylinder 21 and the web 57 will be in a condition of dwell. The cutting blades 54, 55 then will come into operation to cut oif the terminal label 5S. Following this operation the cam 71 will again actuate switch 69 to reactivate the feed rolls and release clutch 86, thereby also releasing brake 87 and causing such feed rolls to operate at the production rate velocity of the machine in the manner previously described.

The two photoelectric devices 8) and 85 are arranged in predetermined relation with respect to a portion of the web which is traveling in a substantially vertical plane. It will be noted from FIGS. l and 2 of the drawings, that the roll 20 from which the web 57 is drawn is mounted on a horizontally disposed shaft 90 so that as the web is drawn from such roll it is disposed substantially horizontally. The web 57 as it is fed from the roll 20, passes between a pair of horizontally disposed guide rolls 91 and into a depending loop 92 Where it is placed under tension by a constant tension member 93 of appropriate construction, such as for example, a roller biased at a constant tension by a suitable spring. The web 57, under tension, is drawn from the loop 92 and over a guide roll 94 inclined at an angle of 45 to the horizontal and arranged so that as the web emerges from the loop it is turned down through an angle of 90 into a vertical plane. The vertically disposed portion of the web is fed downwardly in an inclined manner toward the pick-up cylinder 21. The cutting blades 54, 55, feeding rolls 72, 73 and photoelectn'c control devices Si) and 85 are all associated with this vertical run of the web 57 between such cylinder 21 and the inclined guide roll 94.

As has been previously indicated, the web or tape 57 is constituted of a plurality of connected labels, the lengths of which are indicated in FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings by the spacings between the registering elements 79 on the tape. The registering elements 79 may be constituted of apertures, as illustrated, or may be portions of the tape treated to have light transmission qualities different from that of the remainder of the tape, or may be made in any other suitable fashion. The registering elements 79 may be located at any suitable place within the areas of the labels, or they may be located at the lines of juncture of the labels, as illustrated, so that the line of cut of the cutting blades 54, 55 will pass through the registering element 79 positioned between the terminal label 58 and the label adjacent thereto. As previously stated, the blades 54, 55 are positioned from the pick-up cylinder 21 a distance less than the length of the space between the registering elements or of a label so that when the registering element at the juncture of the terminal label with the tape arrives at the cutting station in the step-by-step feed of the tape, the leading edge of such label will come into engagement with the peripheral surface of the pick-up cylinder 21 to be secured thereto by suction. The feed rolls '72, 73 are positioned from the cutting blades a distance less than the length of the space between registering elements so that when a registering element is located at the cutting station the trailing label adjacent to the terminal label will be engaged by such feed rolls.

The photoelectric registering control device 80 is spaced upstream from the cutting station at a distance equal to the combined length of a plurality of the spaces between successive registering elements, for example, tive spaces, plus an additional adjusted distance, indicated by the arrows 95--95 in FIG. 3, upstream from the furthest of such successive registering elements from the cutting station. This adjusted distance corresponds to the time it takes to decelerate the feed rolls from the velocity related to the production rate of the machine at which they are driven by shaft 36 to the constant velocity which is to be imparted to such feed rolls by the constant speed motor 34. It will be evident that this deceleration time is a function of the production speed and will vary directly with the latter. In order that the machine may be operable without adjustment under all conditions of production speed, the adjusted distance is made long enough to take care of the time it will take the feed rolls to decelerate to the constant speed level from the highest velocity they will operate at in the production requirements of the machine. In determining this it is necessary to select a predetermined constant speed which is lower than the lowest production speed at which the feed rolls will operate at in the production requirements of the machine. The device 80 is set at the desired maximum adjusted distance, by rst placing it at an arbitrary distance from the cutting station greater than the combined length of the selected number of labels. The machine is then run at the operational speed required to label articles with the longest labels to be handled by the machine and at the maximum rate of labeling for which the machine was designed. The deceleration of the feed rolls is then experimented with until the proper adjusted distance 9595 is found. This distance will always be less than the length of the space between adjacent registering elements so that the control device 80 will be positioned from the cutting station a distance equal to the combined length of the selected number of labels, plus an additional selected adjusted distance less than the length of a label.

The photoelectric registering control device S located between the feed rolls 72, 73 and the control device 80 is preferably spaced downstream from the latter a distance at least equal to the combined length of two labels and is spaced upstream from the cutting station a distance equal to the combined length of a plurality of labels plus a predetermined distance less than the length of a label and indicated in FIG. 3 of the drawings by the arrows designated 96-96- Thus, the control device 85` may be spaced downstream from the device 80 a distance slightly greater than the combined lengths of two labels and may be spaced upstream from the cutting station a distance slightly greater than the combined lengths of three labels as shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings. The predetermined distance 96-96 at which the control device S5 is positioned beyond the distance equal to the length of a plurality of labels from the cutting station, is a function of the length of time it takes to decelerate the feed rolls to zero velocity after the control device has signaled the declutching of the electric clutch 81 to disconnect electric motor 84 and the application of the electric brake 87. This predetermined distance can readily be determined by experimenting with the machine and preferably is determined before any attempt is made to determine the adjusted distance -95. Accordingly, once the distance 96-96 has been determined, it requires no adjustment of the machine to determine the distance 95--95 and the location of the control device S0. With regard to the spacing of the control devices 80, 85, this has been made sufficiently great, i.e., at least two label lengths, to give the motor 84 and the feed rolls 72, 73 sucient time to bring the speed of travel of the tape to the desired constant velocity for a substantial interval. Thus any errors of slippage and velocity which may have been created by the deceleration of the feed rolls, will be absorbed and corrected by the operation of the control device 85 which always takes place under constant conditions. As is also shown in FIGS. l to 3 of the drawings, there is associated with the web upstream from the control device 80 an imprinting device of known construction and contained in the circuit of the control devices 80, 85 so that it is caused to operate when the feed rolls 72, 73 and consequently the web 57 have been brought to a dwell condition. The imprinter 97 is located at a predetermined distance from the cutting station dependent upon the location of the label area on which the imprint is to be made. Thus, if the imprint is to be made at a label portion in substantial registry with the associated registering element 79, as illustrated, the imprinter 97 will be positioned from the cutting station a distance equal to a multiple of the label length. On the other hand, if such label portion is offset from the registering element, the offset distance is taken into account in positioning the imprinter.

It is believed that an adequate understanding of the operation of the machine of this invention will have been obtained from the foregoing description. However, it is believed advisable to summarize its sequence of operations with reference to the curves shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings. The curves A, B, and C in FIG. 4 give a graphical analysis of the label feed operation at different machine velocities using the same length label in all three operations. Thus, let us assume that curve A represents the maximum production velocity of the machine, i.e., 300 labels per minute, while curve B represents a production velocity of 200 labels per minute, and curve C represents a production velocity of 100 labels per minute, the minimum production velocity of the machine. Let us also assume that five inch labels were being applied by the machine in the plotting of curves A, B and C. The reference letter D indicates the start or actuation of the feed rolls, and as the graph indicates, it takes 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 second for the machine to complete one cycle and consequently to apply a label to an article at the velocities indicated by curves A, B and C, respectively. This difference in time is reflected in the differences in the steepness of the initial portions of the three curves, which portions indicate the initial velocities at which the machine runs in the three tests until the first conrol device 80 is activated at the ends of the periods designaed A1, B1 and C1. During the intervals designated Al-Az, Bl-BZ and C1-C2 the velocities of the feed rolls are decelerated to the constant velocity at which they will be driven by the electric motor 84. It will be noted that this interval varies, dependent upon the initial velocity of the feed rolls; the time required for this deceleration in degrees per cycle being reduced at the production velocity is reduced. As has previously been explained, the distance 95-95 takes care of this variation so that the three runs illustrated can be made without any adjustments to the machine. At the points A2, B2 and C2 the feed rolls have started to rotate at the constant velocity and will continue at such velocity to the points A3, B3 and C2, respectively. It will be noted that while the new velocity is the same in all these cases, the intervals A2-A3, B2-B3 and C2-C3 also vary and such variance is caused by the time that is required in each case to decelerate the feed rolls to the constant velocity. At the points A3, B3 and C3 the second control device 85 comes into operation to cause the electric brake 87 to be applied. The length of time required for the brake 87 to decelerate the feed rolls to zero velocity in each case in indicated by the intervals AB-A4, B2-B4 and C3-C4. It will be observed from the curves A, B and C, that the intervals A3-A4, B3-B4 and C3-C4 thereof, respectively, are of the same length of time and indicate the same velocity characteristics. It may be pointed out here, that the accuracy of the present system resides in the fact that the relationship of these particular intervals is the same under all operating conditions of the machine. The cutting of the labels in the several operations illustrated takes place at the points on the curves designated A5, B5 and C5.

The curve E is a graphical analysis showing the machine operating at the rate of 100 labels per minute, that is, at the same time cycle as that illustrated by the curve C, but applying shorter labels of approximately Vs length to articles. The points El, E2, E3, E4 and E5 correspond respectively to points C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 on curve C. It will be noted from a comparison of these two curves, that while there is a difference in the duration of the initial velocity because of the smaller length of the label, the intervals of deceleration, constant velocity and brake application are substantially the same as the corresponding intervals in the curve C. Because the feed rolls will stop sooner as a result of the smaller label, the interval E4-E5 between the stoppage of the feed rolls and the cutting operation in curve E will be substantially larger than the corresponding interval in curve C.

While I have hereinabove described and illustrated a preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

l. In a high speed labeling machine, means capable of applying labels at widely varying production velocities and having a high speed of label application of at least 250 labels per minute to individual articles, a first driving means for continuously driving said applying means at the operating production velocity of the machine, a single source of labels constituted of means for supporting a single roll of labels, cutting means between said source and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels from a web of labels being fed from said source at any one of a number of the operating production velocities of the machine, means for intermittently feeding said web from said source to said cutting means at a rate conforming to one of a number of the operating production velocities of the machine and including means engageable with the web for feeding the same, means driven by said first driving means for causing said engageable means to advance the Web at a rate conforming to said production velocity, a second driving means independent of said first driving means associated with said driven means and operable to provide rotational movement of given constant velocity, braking means associated with said driven means, and means including electrical control means controlled by said web and operative successively to substitute the driving action of said second driving means for said first driving means on said driven means, and to substitute the braking action of said braking means for the driving action of said second driving means on said driven means, and thereby to enable said cutting means to cut individual labels from said web within an accuracy of at least iga inch at said operating production velocity of the machine, means for transferring the individual cut labels from said cutting means to said applying means, and means associated with said applying means to render such individual cut labels adhesive as they are advanced to the place of application to individual articles.

2. In a high speed labeling machine, means capable of applying labels at widely varying production velocities and having a high speed of label application of at least 250 labels per minute to individual articles, a first driving means for continuously driving said applying means at the operating production velocity of the machine, a single source of labels constituted of means for supporting a single roll of labels, cutting means between said source and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels from a web of labels being fed from said source, means for intermittently feeding said web forwardly from said source to said cutting means comprising variable feeding means and said first driving means for feeding said web at any one of a number of the operating production velocities of the machine, a second driving means independent of said rst driving means and operable to provide rotational movement of given constant velocity, means for substituting in said feeding means said second driving means for said first driving means to change such viariable feed of the web without interrupting the forward movement of the latter for a portion of each cycle of the machine to a predetermined constant velocity at said operating production velocity of the machine, and means controlled by a part of said web located behind the portion of the web to be cut for stopping the uninterrupted forward feed of the web for the cutting operation while the web is being fed at such constant velocity to register the advancing portion of the web to be cut with said cutting means, means for transferring the individual cut labels from said cutting means to said applying means, and means associated with said applying means to render such individual cut labels adhesive as they are advanced to the place of application.

3. In a labeling machine for accurately cutting and applying labels at high speed, means capable of applying 1/2 to 5 inch labels to individual articles at widely varying production velocities ranging upwardly from labels per minute, a first driving means for continuously driving said applying means at the operating production velocity of the machine, means for supporting a roll of labels, means between said supporting means and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels to be delivered to said applying means from the web of labels fed from such roll, means for transferring the individual cut labels from said cutting means to said applying means, and means for intermittently feeding the web of labels from such roll to said cutting means including means comprising said driving means to feed said web at any one of a number of the operating production velocities of the machine to advance a portion of the web to be cut to said cutting means, and means controlled by a part of said web located behind the advancing portion thereof to be cut to convert such feed of the web without interrupting its forward movement into one of constant velocity that is independent of the label length or rate of application thereof, said controlled means including a motor independent of said driving means and electrical control means controlled by said web and operable to substitute for the action of said driving means on said web, the action of said controlled means thereon, and braking means controlled by said electrical control means for stopping the driving action of said independent motor.

4. In a labeling machine for accurately cutting and applying labels at high speed, means capable of applying 1/2 to 5 inch labels to individual articles at widely varying production velocities ranging upwardly from 100 labels per minute, a rst driving means for continuously driving said applying means at the operating production velocity of the machine, means for supporting a roll of labels, means between said supporting means and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels to be delivered to said applying means from the web of labels fed from such roll, means for transferring the individual cut labels from said cutting means to said applying means, and means for intermittently feeding the web of labels from such roll to said cutting means, said feeding means being operable to feed the web at two different velocities in its travel from such roll to said cutting means without interrupting the forward movement of the web and including a web feeding device, said driving means operably connectable to said device to feed the web at a rate conforming to the production velocity of the machine, and a second driving means independent of said first driving means and separably operably connectable to said device to feed the web at a selected constant velocity that is independent of the label length or rate of application thereof, said feeding means including means operable by a part of said web located behind the leading end thereof to effect such change of velocity by substituting said second driving means for said rst driving means.

5. In a labeling machine for accurately cutting and applying labels at high speed, means capable of applying 1/2 to 5 inch labels to individual articles at widely varying production velocities ranging upwardly from 100 labels per minute, a first driving means for continuously driving said applying means at the operating production velocity of the machine, means for supporting a roll of labels,

means .between said supporting means and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels to be delivered to said applying means from the web of labels fed from such roll, means for transferring the individual cut labels from said cutting means to said applying means, and means for feeding the web of labels from such roll to said cutting means including means comprising said driving means to feed said web at any one of a number of the operating production velocities of the machine, and means comprising a second driving means independent of said first driving means to convert such feed of the web into one of constant velocity that is independent of the label length or rate of application thereof without interrupting the forward movement of the web, and braking means independent of said first and second driving means for stopping the feed of said web to bring the advancing terminal label in the web into proper relation in the field of operation of said cutting means, said braking means including means operable by a part of said web located behind said terminal label and being operable while said feeding means is feeding the web of labels at said constant velocity.

6. In a labeling machine for accurately cutting and applying labels at high speed, means capable of applying 1/a to 5 inch labels to individual articles at widely varying production velocities ranging upwardly from 100 labels per minute, a first driving means for continuously driving said applying means at the operating production velocity of the machine, means for supporting a roll of labels, means between said supporting means and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels to be delivered to said applying means from the web of labels fed from such roll, means for transferring the individual cut labels from said cutting means to said applyingmeans, and means for feeding the web of labels from such roll to said cutting means including said driving means, means comprising a second driving means independent of said first driving means to lock the velocity of feed of said web into a constant reference velocity without interrupting the forward movement of the web and prior to the registering of the leading terminal label in the web in the field of operation of said cutting means, and means controlled by a part of said web located behind said terminal label and operative while said web is traveling at said constant reference velocity to register such advancing terminal label relative to said cutting means.

7. In a labeling machine for accurately cutting and applying labels at high speed, means capable of applying l. to 5 inch labels to individual articles at widely varying production velocities ranging upwardly from labels per minute, a rst driving means for continuously driving said applying means at the operating production velocity of the machine, means for supporting a roll of labels, means between said supporting means and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels to be delivered to said applying means from the web of labels fed from such roll, means for transferring the individual cut labels from said cutting means to said applying means, and means for feeding the web of labels from such roll to said cutting means including means comprising said driving means to feed the terminal label in the web at a given velocity for a selected interval of time in each cycle of operation of the machine, means comprising a second driving means independent of said first driving means to feed the terminal label in the web at a constant reference velocity different from said given velocity prior to the registry of such label at said cutting means, means responsive to label registry marks located on the web behind said terminal label to transfer the feed of the web from said given velocity means to said reference velocity means without interruption in the forward movement of such web, braking means independent of said first and second driving means for stopping the feed of the web to bring the advancing terminal label into registry with said cutting means, and a second means responsive to label registry marks located on the web behind said terminal label to discontinue the feed of the web by said reference velocity means and to cause said braking means to actuate to stop the feed of the web.

8. In a labeling machine for accurately cutting and applying labels at high speed, means capable of applying 1/z to 5 inch labels to individual articles at widely varying production velocities, ranging upwardly from 100 labels per minute, a first driving means for continuously driving said applying means at the operating production velocity of the machine, means for supporting a roll of labels indexed by registering elements, means between said supporting means and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels to be delivered to said applying means from the web of labels fed from such roll, means for transferring the individual cut labels from said cutting means to said applying means, and means for feeding the web of labels from such roll to said cutting means, said feeding means including a plurality of feed rolls located adjacent to said cutting means, a first means including said driving means to drive said feed rolls at a velocity related to any one of the possible operating production velocities of the machine, and dependent on the size of the labels in such web and the desired rate of application thereof to articles, a second means including a second driving means independent of said first driving means to drive said feed rolls at a velocity constant for all operating productive velocities of the machine, a control device positioned alongside the web behind the'terminal label thereof and responsive to the registering elements thereon to change a driven connection of said feed rolls with said first driving means to one with said second driving means without interrupting the forward feeding movement of the web, braking means separate from said first and second driving means for stopping the drive of said feed rolls thereby to bring the terminal label of the web into registry with said cutting means, a second control device alongside the web behind the terminal label thereof and responsive to the registering elements thereon to discontinue the connection of said second driving means with said feed rolls and to cause said braking means to operate to reduce the velocity of said feed rolls to zero so that the terminal label in the web is advanced without interruption of its forward movement into registry with said cutting means, and means connected to said cutting` means and operable to actuate the same during the dwell period of said feed rolls.

9. The method of accurately cutting and feeding labels in a labeling machine from a roll of such labels to a place of application of such labels to articles, comprising feeding the web fromsuch roll in each cycle of operation initially at a high velocity that is dependent on the length of the labels and the rate of application thereof to the articles and then without interrupting the advance movement of the web at a lower velocity independent of the label length and rate of label application, and while the web is feeding at such lower velocity rapidly decelerating the web to cause the terminal label thereof in its advancing movement to come to a stationary registered position in the field of action of cutting devices, severing the terminal label while the web is in a dwell condition, and then feeding the severed label lengthwise to the place of application.

10. The method of controlling the feed of labels in a labeling machine from a roll constituted of a web of such labels and having registering elements thereon into the field of action of cutting means, comprising associating a control device responsive to registering elements on the web from such roll in cooperative relation with such web at a distance from said eld of action equal to a multiple of the length of the labels plus a given constant amount less than the length of a label and corresponding to the time it takes the web feeding means to decelerate the speed of the label web to zero velocity from a given constant velocity less than a given velocity related to the production rate of the machine, setting up a second control device responsive to such registering elements in cooperative relation with such web at a distance from said field of action equal to a different multiple of the length of the labels plus a variable amount greater than said constant amount and corresponding to the time it takes the web feeding means to decelerate the speed of the label web from said given velocity related to the production rate of the machine to said given constant velocity, and then controlling the operation of the web feeding means by the successive operations of said control devlces.

11. In a high speed labeling machine capable of producing accurately cut labels and of applying such labels at a high speed of label application of at least 250 labels per minute to individual articles, means including a label applying member capable of applying individual labels to individual articles at said high speed, a first driving means to drive said label applying means at the number of variable operating velocities required in the operation of the machine to provide the desired speed of label application, a source of labels for said label applying means composed of means for supporting a roll of labels, cutting means between said source and said applying means and operable to intermittently cut individual labels from a web of labels being fed from said source at any one of the number of operating velocities of the machine, means for feeding said web intermittently from such source to said cutting means including said driving means, means engageable with the web for drawing the same from said roll of labels, a second driving means independent of said first mentioned driving means and connectible in driving relation with said engageable means to cause it to draw said web at a given constant velocity independent of the variable operating velocities of said first driving means, electrical control means responsive to registering elements on said web and positioned adjacent to said web at a place behind said cutting means, and means rendered operative by said control means to cease the drawing action of said engageable means by said second driving means, said cutting means being operative to cut the web when such drawing action has ceased, and means for feeding the cut labels to said label applying means.

12. VIn a high speed labeling machine capable of producing accurately cut labels and of applying such labels at a high speed of label application of at least 250 labels per minute to individual articles, means including a label applying member capable of applying individual labels to individual articles at said high speed, a rst driving means to drive said label applying means at the number of variable operating velocities required in the operation of the machine to provide the desired speed of label application, a single source of labels for said label applying means composed of means for supporting a single roll of labels, cutting means between said source and said applying means for intermittently cutting individual labels from a web of labels being fed from said source, means connected to said iirst driving means for intermittently operating said cutting means at any one of the number of operating velocities of the machine, means for intermittently feeding said web from said source to said cutting means including said driving means and means engageable with the web Vfor drawing the same from such roll of labels, a second driving means separate from said first driving means and connectable in driving relation with said engageable means to cause it to draw said web to a given constant velocity independent of the variable operating velocities of said first driving means, electrical control means responsive to registering elements on said web and positioned adjacent to said web at a place behind said cutting means, and means rendered operative by said control means to cease the drawing action of said engageable means by said second driving means, said cutting means being operative to cut the web when such drawing action has ceased, and means for feeding the cut labels to said label applying means.

13. In a high speed labeling machine having a high speed of label application of at least 250 labels per minute to individual articles, means for continually feeding a succession of separate labels to a place of label application, first driving means for continuously driving said label feeding means to cause the latter to deliver the labels to the place of label application at a rate conforming to the operating production velocity of the machine, a single source of labels constituted of means for supporting a single roll of labels, means for feeding the web forming said roll of labels comprising a pair of feed rolls for advancing the label web to said feeding means, and means driven by said continuous rst driving means for causing said rolls to advance the web at a rate conforming to said production velocity of the machine, a second driving means independent of said first driving means and connectable to said driven means to cause said roll to advance the web at a given constant velocity, means including electrical control means controlled by said web and operative to disconnect the driving relation of said iirst driving means with said driven means and to` connect said second driving means in driving relation therewith without interrupting the operation of said driven means to cause the web to continue its advancement at a rate conforming to said given constant velocity, braking means associated with said driven means, means including second electrical control means controlled by said web and operative to disconnect the driving relation of said second driving means with said driven means and to apply said braking means thereto and thereby stop the operation of said driven means and said drawing rolls, and means between said feed rolls and said label feeding means and operative to cut the web in the dwell of said drawing rolls to provide a label for said feeding means.

14. In a high speed labeling machine capable of accurately cutting and applying '1/2 to 5 inch labels at producvtion velocities ranging upwardly from labels per minute to individual articles at a label applying station, means for feeding a succession of separate labels to a place of label application, means including continuously operating driving means for causing said label feeding means to deliver cut labels to the place of label application at a rate conforming to the operating production velocity of the machine, means for supporting a rolled web of labels, means adjacent to said label feeding means for cutting individual labels from the web of labels fed from the roll thereof, means for feeding the web from the roll to said cutting means comprising a pair of rotatable members cooperative to cause the advancement of the web to said cutting means and movable to a separated condition to disrupt the web feeding action of said web feeding means, means connecting one of said rotatable members in driven relation to said continuously operating driving means, electrical control means located alongside said web and responsive to register means provided on said web, and means controlled by said electrical control means and operative when the latter responds to a register means to separate said rotatable members and thereby stop the web feed action of said web feeding means, means connecting said cutting means to said continuously operating driving means and operable to actuate said cutting means to cut the web when said rotatable members are separated, and means operable by said continually operating driving means to automatically restore the separated rotatable members to cooperative condition for causing advancement of the web after said cutting means has cut a label from the web.

15. In a high speed labeling machine capable of accurately cutting and applying 1/2 to 5 inch labels at production velocities ranging upwardly from 100 labels per minute to individual articles at a label applying station, means for feeding labels to a place of label application, means for driving said label feeding means, means for supporting a rolled web of labels, means adjacent to said transporting means for cutting individual labels from the web of labels fed from the roll thereof, means for feeding.

the web from the roll to said cutting means comprising a pair of rotatable members cooperative to cause the advancement of the web to said cutting means and movable to a separated condition to disrupt the web feeding action of said web feeding means, means connecting one of said rotatable members in driven relation to said driving means, electrical control means located alongside said web and responsive to register means provided on said web, and means controlled by said electrical control means and operative when the latter responds to a register means to separate said rotatable members and thereby stop the web feed action of said feeding means, means connecting said cutting means to said driving means and operable to actuate said cutting means to cut the web When said rotatable members are separated, and means operable by said driv- T; it'

ing means to automatically restore the separated rotatable members to cooperative condition for causing advancement of the web after said cutting means has cut a label from the web.

16. In a high speed labeling machine capable of accurately cutting and applying 1/z to 5 inch labels at production velocities ranging upwardly from labels per minute to individual articles at a label applying station, means for feeding labels to a place of label application, means for driving said label feeding means, means for supporting a rolled web of labels, means adjacent to said label feeding means for cutting individual labels from the web of labels fed from the roll thereof, means for feeding the web from the roll to said cutting means comprising a pair of rotatable members cooperative to cause the advancement of the web to said cutting means and movable to a separated condition to disrupt the web feeding action of said web feeding means, means connecting one of said rotatable members in driven relation to said driving means, an electrical circuit including electrical control means located between said web supporting means and said cutting means in operative relation to said web and responsive to register means provided on said web, and electric means controlled by said electrical control means and operably connected to said rotatable members and operative when said electrical control means responds to a register means to separate said rotatable members and thereby stop the web feed action of said web feeding means, mechanical means connecting said cutting means to said driving means and operable to actuate said cutting means to cut the web when said rotatable members are separated, and means including a switch contained in said electrical circuit, and operable by said driving means to automatically restore the separated rotatable members to cooperative condition for causing advancement of the web after said cutting means has cut a label from the web.

References Cited in the lile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,564,794 Humphreys Dec. 8, 1925 2,003,027 Wright May 28, 1935 2,482,711 Jensen Sept. 20, 1949 2,525,741 Von Hofe et al Oct. 10, 1950 2,527,272 Lyon et al Oct. 24, 1950 2,569,101 Hoppe Sept. 25, 1951 2,738,007 Power et al Mar. 13, 1956 2,873,117 Croseld et al Feb. 10, 1959

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Classifications
U.S. Classification156/351, 156/448, 156/DIG.330, 156/368, 156/354
International ClassificationB65C9/08, B65C9/18
Cooperative ClassificationB65C9/1819
European ClassificationB65C9/18A4B