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Publication numberUS3261734 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 19, 1966
Filing dateAug 13, 1962
Priority dateAug 13, 1962
Publication numberUS 3261734 A, US 3261734A, US-A-3261734, US3261734 A, US3261734A
InventorsLong Arthur A
Original AssigneeDennison Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for applying indicia to plastic bottles and the like
US 3261734 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

A. A. LONG 3,261,734 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING INDICIA TO July 19, 1966 PLASTIC BOTTLES AND THE LIKE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 13, 1962 INVENTOR. flrf/fa? J7. 0 BY I} MMW July 19, 1966 A. A. LONG 3,261,734

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING INDICIA TO PLASTIC BOTTLES AND THE LIKE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 15, 1962 United States Patent 3,261,734 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING IN- DICIA T0 PLASTIC BOTTLES AND THE LIKE Arthur A. Long, Framingham, Mass., assignor to Dennison Manufacturing Company, a corporation of Nevada Filed Aug. 13, 1962, Ser. No. 216,562 4 Claims. (Cl. 156-156) While this invention is particularly useful in applying heat-transfer labels to plastic bottles with apparatus such as disclosed in the patent of Carl A. Flood, 2,981,432, granted April 25, 1961, it may be used in applying any kind of indicia to containers of stiff flexible material which can be softened with heat.

In printing containers of the type referred to it is essential that the container make good contact, throughout the entire area being printed, with the printing medium, whether it be a heat-transfer label or type; an air space of one or two thousandtbs of an inch between the container and the printing medium is enough to cause imperfections in the printing. However plastic bottles, as well as other articles of stiff flexible material which can be softened with heat, are subject to irregularities in contour and wall thickness. In areas where the wall is thin it is more flexible than in areas where it is thicker.

Objects of the present invention are to provide a method and apparatus for producing good printing on all articles of the character referred to, whether or not they have any of the aforesaid imperfections.

In one aspect the present invention involves a method which comprises feeding the containers along a predetermined path, applying indicia to surfaces of successive containers at one location along the path, subjecting each container to inflation while the indicia is being applied to it, and in advance of the aforesaid location heating each container so that the inflation presses outwardly on the aforesaid surfaces and causes all of them to make good contact with the indicia-applying medium. Preferably the indicia is applied by pressing heat-transfer labels against the heated surfaces. The temperature to which the containers should be heated varies, depending upon the composition of the containers, etc., but for most plastic containers the temperature is preferably about 160 to 180 F. or just below the flow point.

By heating the containers as aforesaid the temperature of the applicator may be lowered; and by also heating the labels before transfer the temperature of the applicator can be reduced still further.

In another aspect the invention involves apparatus comprising means for feeding bottles or other containers along a predetermined path, an applicator at one location along the path for applying indicia to successive containers, means for subjecting each container to inflation while the indicia is being applied to it, and heating means in advance of the aforesaid location for softening each container so that the inflation presses outwardly on the surface of the container and causes the applicator to make uniform contact with the container throughout the area to which indicia is applied. In the preferred embodiment the applicator comprises a heated roller to press a heattransfer label against the container. The heat-transfer labels are preferably of the type described and claimed in the patents of R. G. Shepherd, Jr. 2,862,832, granted December 2, 1958 and 2,990,311, granted June 27, 1961.

For the purpose of illustration a typical embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a label strip for use in the apparatus;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a section on line 2-2 of FIG. 2;

3,261,734 Patented July 19, 1966 FIG. 4 is a section on line 44 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 5 is a section on line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

The particular embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings is especially adapted to transfer labels from a strip S to bottles B. While any heat-transfer label strip may be employed, the strip is preferably made as illustrated in FIG. 1 where the label strip comprises a paper backing S having a marginal row of sprocket holes H, the backing being coated with oxidized wax adhesively to hold the labels L printed on the wax coating with ink which is heat activatable so that when a label is pressed against a bottle or other article by means of a hot applicator engaging the back of the strip the label is transferred from the strip to the article.

As illustrated the machine comprises a main frame 1 carrying the mechanism for feeding the label strip S from a feed roll 2 to a take-up reel 3 past an applicator A. The label strip feeds over an idler roll 7, thence over two rolls 8 and 9 at opposite ends of a reciprocating carriage 11 and thence over a feed roll 12 to the take-up reel, the carriage being reciprocated back and forth to synchronize the speed of the portion of the strip S between the rolls 8 and 9 with the speed of the applicator A and the surface speed of the bottles at the label-applying station.

The bottles B are fed to and from the label-applying station through chutes 13 and 14. At the 1abel-applying station is a turret 16 having peripheral recesses to receive the individual bottles. In the feed chute 13 the bottles are pressed against the turret so that a bottle enters each empty recess as the recess passes the chute and as each bottle reaches the delivery chute 14 it is discharged through that chute. The bottles are fed to and from the turret by conveyor belts 17 and 18. The applicator A has two raised portions 19 the circumferential lengths of each of which is preferably equal to the length of each label and the labels are fed to the label-applying station in synchronism with the rotating applicator so that the leading edge of each raised portion 19 engages the leading edge of the label and as the two move in unison the label is pressed against the bottle at the label-applying station, the bottle being rotated in synchronism with the applicator. At the label-applying station there is a gap between the guides 13 and 14 through which the labels are applied and to keep the bottles from moving through the gap a leaf spring 20 projects into the gap (FIG. 2).

When the carriage 11 is stationary the label strip S is advanced by the drive roll 12 at a constant continuous speed. However the advance of the label strip past the label-applying station should be arrested after each bottle has been labeled while the next bottle is being brought into position to be labeled. This is accomplished by moving the carriage back and forth lengthwise of that portion of the path of the label strip extending from the roller 8 to roller 9.

As shown in FIG. 2 the carriage 11 carries brackets 21 and 22, upon which the rollers 8 and 9 are mounted. Mounted on the rear side of the carriage is a cam follower 23 sliding in a slot 24 on the front side of an adjustable cam 26 which is rotatably mounted on a slide 27 which slides horizontally in a U-shaped guideway in the frame 1. The turret 16 is actuated by a similar carriage 11' similarly mounted on the lower end of the slide 27 and carrying a similar cam follower 23'.

This mechanism is described and claimed in the aforesaid patent and the description need not be repeated for a full understanding of the present invention.

The turret 16 is mounted on a shaft 28 journaled in the main frame 1 (FIG. 4). Engaging the lower end of the shaft is a friction brake 29 to prevent overthrow of the turret as it is advanced step by step. The shaft 28 is rotated step by step by a rack 31 and pinion :32 (FIG. 5

The rack 31 is reciprocated by the carrier 11' (FIGS. 1 and through the medium of a plunger 33 and spring 34. Fast to the pinion 32 is a gear 35 upon which is mounted a dog 36 engaging a ratchet 37 fast to the shaft 28. When the rack reciprocates to the right it advances the turret one step and as it reciprocates to the left the dog 36 slides over the ratchet 37. Should the turret jam on the advance stroke the spring 34 is compressed without advancing the rack 31.

Under the turret 16 is a table 41 having two openings 43 at an indexing station I (FIG. 1) and the applicator station respectively. As the bottles are pushed over the table 41 by the turret they are moved into the openings in the table when the turret pauses between steps. In the opening at the applicator station is a rotor 44 which is pressed upwardly against the bottom of the bottle by means of a spring 46. The cup 44 is rotated by means of a pinion 47 meshing With the gear 35 fast to the shaft 28. In the opening 42 at the applicator station is a similar rotor rotated by another pinion meshing with the gear 35. Thus as the carriage 11' reciprocates to the left during each pause of the turret the bottles at the indexing and applicator stations are rotated in the direction of the arrows in FIG. 2, the rate of rotation being equal to that of the applicator A and the speed of the label strip past the applicator station. The upper surface of the cup 44 is knurled to prevent slippage but the cup 49 should be smooth to permit slippage when the cup is indexed to the proper position.

In labeling collapsible bottles they should be inflated while the labels are being applied and this may be accomplished as shown in FIG. 4 by an air nozzle 62 reciprocable in a casing 63 mounted on an arm 64 fast to a post 66 (FIGS. 2 and 4). The upper end of the nozzle 62 carries a piston 67 slidable in the casing 63, the nozzle being pressed downwardly to the operative position shown in FIG. 4 by means of a spring 68. The casing 63 has two inlets 69 and 71, the inlet 69 being supplied through a valve 56 and a pressure reducing valve 72 and the inlet 71 being supplied through a pressure reducing valve 73. The pressure at the inlet 69 should be greater than that at 71 so as to lift the nozzle against the action of the spring 68 and the air pressure above the piston 67. The cam 57 opens the valve 56 during each advance of the turret to lift the nozzle and close the inlet 71. When the turret stops the valve 56 is closed thereby permitting the spring 68 to move the nozzle to operative position in which air enters the bottle through inlet 71 and nozzle 62.

The aforesaid apparatus is described and claimed in the copending application of Carl A. Flood, Ser. No. 1,376, filed January 8, 1960.

According to this invention the bottles B are heated just before being inflated. While they may be heated in any suitable manner, in the illustration they are heated by passing them through a tunnel comprising inner and outer walls 72 and 73 through which a current of heated air is circulated through a circuit including a blower 74, a heater 75 and a filter 76. The heated air is introduced to the interior of the inner wall 72 through a conduit 77 near the exit end of the tunnel, thence flows through the interior of the inner wall to the entrant end of the tunnel, thence 4. flows through openings 78 to the space between the two walls 72 and 73 and thence flows out through conduit '79.

It should be understood that the present disclosure is for the purpose of illustration only and that this invention includes all modifications and equivalents which fall within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. For applying indicia to preformed containers made of stiff flexible material which can be softened with heat, the method which comprises feeding the containers successively along a predetermined path, at one location along said path applying indicia to surfaces of successive containers, subjecting each container to inflation while the indicia is being applied to it, and in advance of said location heating each container so that said inflation presses outwardly on said surfaces.

2. For applying a label to preformed containers made of stiff flexible material which can be softened with heat, the method which comprises feeding the containers successively along a predetermined path, at one location along said path pressing labels against surfaces of successive containers, subjecting each container to inflation while a label is being applied to it, and in advance of said location heating each container so that said inflation presses outwardly on said surfaces.

3. For applying indicia to preformed containers made of stiff flexible material which can be softened with heat, apparatus comprising means for feeding the containers successively along a predetermined path, at one location along said path an applicator for applying indicia to successive containers, means for subjecting each container to inflation while the indicia is being applied to it, and heating means in advance of said location for softening each container so that said inflation presses outwardly on the surface of the container and causes the applicator to make uniform contact with the container throughout the area to which indicia is applied.

4. For applying a label to preformed containers made of stiff flexible material which can be softened with heat, apparatus comprising means for feeding the containers successively along a predetermined path, at one location along said path an applicator for pressing labels against successive containers, means for subjecting each container to inflation while a label is being applied to it, and heating means in advance of said location for softening each container so that said inflation presses outwardly on the surface of the container and causes the applicator to make uniform contact with the container throughout the area of the label.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,052,081 2/1913 Miltner 15622l 1,744,438 1/1930 Benson 156-118 2,601,700 7/1952 Pinsky 1835 2,632,202 3/1953 Haines 264- EARL M. BERGERT, Primary Examiner.

R. I. SMITH, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1052081 *May 21, 1910Feb 4, 1913Rubber & Celluloid Harness Trimming CoManufacture of handles of plastic material.
US1744438 *Jan 25, 1928Jan 21, 1930Fisk Rubber CoMolding inner tubes
US2601700 *Jun 20, 1950Jul 1, 1952Plax CorpApparatus for molding plastic bottles
US2632202 *Oct 19, 1950Mar 24, 1953Injection Molding CompanyMachine for and method of forming hollow plastic articles
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3503826 *Jan 17, 1968Mar 31, 1970ErcaProcess for labelling hollow objects
US4077355 *Jun 7, 1976Mar 7, 1978Miller Vincent PCylinder striping device
US4175993 *Nov 9, 1977Nov 27, 1979Ethyl Development CorporationArticle decorating machine and method
US4290519 *Oct 27, 1978Sep 22, 1981Diamond International CorporationArticle support system
US4307761 *Aug 22, 1979Dec 29, 1981Diamond International CorporationArticle inflating system including an endless belt assembly
US5503706 *Sep 7, 1993Apr 2, 1996Avery Dennison CorporationUniversal labeling and container inflation apparatus
US8458874 *Jun 9, 2010Jun 11, 2013Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Article selection and placement assembly and method
US8726964May 9, 2007May 20, 2014Decoral System Usa Corp.Apparatuses and methods for decorating objects
US20100306988 *Jun 9, 2010Dec 9, 2010Kelly ZieglerArticle Selection And Placement Assembly And Method
DE4125579A1 *Aug 2, 1991Feb 4, 1993Alfill GetraenketechnikLabelling machine for various bottle types - has suspended holders and top acting rotary drive means
DE4125579C2 *Aug 2, 1991Apr 19, 2001Omega Produktions Und GetraenkEtikettiervorrichtung
EP0183440A2 *Nov 14, 1985Jun 4, 1986Ajinomoto Co., Inc.Transfer printing
EP2218648A2 *Jan 28, 2010Aug 18, 2010Krones AGMethod and device for labelling containers
WO2007129210A2 *May 9, 2007Nov 15, 2007Viv Int SpaApparatuses and methods for decorating objects
WO2014094925A1 *Sep 12, 2013Jun 26, 2014Khs GmbhMethod and container treatment machine for equipping containers with equipment characteristics
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/156, 156/542, 156/499, 101/38.1, 156/322
International ClassificationB65C3/00, B41F17/14, B41F16/00, B65C3/26, B41F17/08
Cooperative ClassificationB65C3/26, B41F17/14, B41F16/00
European ClassificationB41F16/00, B65C3/26, B41F17/14