US 3307324 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 7, 1967 w. A. ROEHM Q 3,307,324
WRAPPING MACHINE Filed sept. '20, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR WILL/AMH- ROEHM ATTORNEY March 7, 1967 w. A. ROEHM WRAPPING MACHINE Filed Sept. 20, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 O, INVENTOR I I \m W/LLIHM H. POEHM v JMj mq M ATTORNEY M rch 7, 1967 I w. A. RQEHM 3,307,324
WRAPPING MACHINE Filed Sept. 20, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR WILL/QM fi) PoEH/v;
ATTORN E'Y March 7, 1967 w. A. ROEVHM 3,307,324
WRAPPING MACHINE Fiied Sept. 20, 1962 e Sheets-Sheet 5 I." 9 a I 45 I 3 W I 53 I I l 5.9 37 I I1 0% INVENTOR. WILLIAM A. POEHM ATTORNEY March 7, 1967 w. A. ROEHM 3,307,324
' WRAPPING MACHINE Filed Sept. 20, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 3 R 6H,. m H Q 0' n- WIMG 4 9 5 N 0 6 a 3 0 5 3 ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,307,324 WRAPPING MACHINE William A. Roehm, Rockville Centre, N.Y., assignor to Millen Industries, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 20, 1962, Ser. No. 224,982 16 Claims. (Cl. 53-181) This invention is a wrapping machine, more particularly for cylindrical articles, such as rolls of shelf paper and the like.
It has heretofore been the practice in the marketing of shelf paper to wrap the same in an appropriate covering which is usually of paper or transparent plastic material and to tuck the ends of the wrapping into the interior of the roll. This has not been a very satisfactory procedure because the wrapping frequently becomes loose and furthermore the tucking of the wrapping into the ends of the roll is unsightly and does not protect the interior of the roll from soiling by extraneous matter with which the roll may come into contact.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide an end product wrapped roll of novel construction and to also provide apparatus whereby said roll may be efliciently and economically produced.
According to this invention the articles are fed along a predetermined path, encased within thermoplastic wrapping material which is sealed longitudinally of the articles as the latter travel, after which the foremost article is rotated with respect to the next following article to twist an intervening portion of the wrapper in a manner to enclose the contiguous ends of both of such articles in pleated end closures, the twisted portions being thereafter fused to separate the articles so that they may be successively discharged from the machine in neatly wrapped condition.
An important feature of this invention resides in the fact that the twisting operation places the pleated portions of the wrapper at the end of each article under tension so that, when the twists are fused, the pleats draw tightly against the end of the article and form a neat effective seal without baggy appearance.
Features of the invention, other than those adverted to, will be apparent from the hereinafter detailed description and appended claims, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
The accompanying drawings illustrate one practical embodiment of the invention, but the construction therein shown is to be understood as illustrative, only, and not as defining the limits of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the machine of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal elevation of the machine showing certain parts in section.
FIG. 2A shows more clearly the twist and pleats formed between the ends of two adjacent articles.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged transverse section on the line 3-3 'of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged transverse section on the line 44 of FIG. 2.
panying drawings, the wrapper 1, in the form of a web of a width somewhat greater than the circumference of the articles A to be wrapped, is continuously fed through the machine from any suitable supply roll. The exterior surface of the wrapper is preferably printed with trademarks or other advertising or descriptive indicia T.M. (FIG. 2A) at successive intervals spaced apart longitudinally of the wrapper a distance approximately equal to the length of each of the Wrapped articles A. Extending along a portion of the length of the machine from the forward end thereof is a guide channel 2 of substantially U-shaped form; on the lateral flanges of this channel are mounted supporting wheels 3. These wheels permit the feed of the web and articles wholly independently of the channel without friction such as would result if the web were drawn through a trough. By so supporting and guiding the web and article, articles of different diameters may be handled by this construction without change in this part of the machine.
The unwrapped articles A are positioned upon the web as it is drawn longitudinally of the machine over the wheels 3 which serve to locate and aline the articles as they are fed with the wrapper in axially spaced apart relation through approximately one-half of the length of the machine. These wheels also maintain the articles centrally of the wrapper and also centrally transversely of the machine. As the articles are thus fed the wheels form the web into a substantially U-shaped cross section without further means for accomplishing this result.
In this relation, the web 1 and the articles A move over the succession of supporting wheels 3 (FIGS. 1 and 3) and continue to travel on these wheels until two of the articles come into a position wherein the space between them comes beneath a hooked feeler finger 4. This finger then drops into said space and temporarily restrains movement of the following article until an electric eye mechanism 5, directed against the under side of the wrapper, indicates that said restrained article is so positioned within the wrapper 1 that the indicia T.M. printed on its under side is arranged centrally of the length of the Wrapper. When this occurs, said electric eye energizes a solenoid 6 (FIG. 1) which has a link connection 7 with the feeler finger 5. The finger is thereby lifted out of the space between the adjacent articles to permit the restrained article to proceed along the predetermined path with that and the preceding article properly spaced with respect to the printed indicia printed on the wrapper.
As the wrapper and article proceed, they pass beneath tWo free-rolling rolls 8 mounted on leaf springs which are bent intermediate their ends at about ninety degrees. These rolls are arranged in angular relation to one another (FIG. 4) and during passage beneath the rolls the wrapper is drawn circumferentially tightly about the article. While so held, said wrapper is acted upon by two spring blades 9 and 10 (FIG. 3). The spring blade 9 first acts against one side of the wrapper in slightly spaced relation from its margin to press that portion of the wrapper firmly against the article and immediately thereafter the blade 10 acts against the margins of both edges to lay the margins of both Wrappers into an overlapping joint (FIG. 3). The blades 9 and 10 serve to draw the web tightly about the article therein and at the same time form a three ply structure adapted to produce a remarkably strong joint when this joint is subsequently heat-sealed as hereinafter described. Furthermore, they serve to hold the wrapper against lateral weaving with respect to the article positioned therein.
Leaving the folding blade 10, the article and wrapper advance to bring the fold thus formed beneath a heated sealing roll 11 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 4) which traverses the fold and heat-seals the same into permanently sealed condition. If desired, silicone or some other appropriate material, which will preclude adhesion between the roll and the web during the heat-sealing operation, may be deposited upon the roll as indicated at 12 in FIG. 5. The sealing roll is a driven roll. Its spindle 13 carries a pulley 14 driven from a two step pulley 15 which is in turn driven by a belt 16 from a shaft 17 (FIG. 4.). This shaft is in turn connected bya belt drive to a variable speed drive 18 which is, in turn, driven from a motor 19 which constitutes the prime mover of the machine.
Beyond the sealing roll 12, the longitudinally sealed wrapper and the enclosed article pass to and between a set of driving rolls 20 (FIG. 6). These rolls are individually driven through flexible shafts 21 from a gear box 22 which derives power from the shaft 17. These rolls 20 are adjusted to bear against the exterior of the wrapper and to frictionally apply the propelling force by which the wrapper and articles are impelled axially through the machine. Appropriate electrical controls 22a may be conveniently supported on the gear box 22.
While the assembled articles and wrappers are advancing through the mechanisms of the machine thus far described, no rotary movement is imparted to the assembly. It simply moves forward until it passes between a series of rolls 23 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 7). These rolls are individually driven from a variable speed gear box 24 through flexible shafts 25 (FIGS. 1 and 7). The gear box 24 is supplied with power from a shaft 26 having a belt drive 27 (FIG. 2) from the shaft 17.
The rolls 23 are individually supported in yokes 28 (FIG. 7) for axial adjustment and these yokes are in turn supported on arms 29 which are mounted for tilting adjustment on supporting rods 30 which extend in rigid parallel relation longitudinally along the opposite sides of the machine. The tilting adjustment of the arms 29 regulate the pressure of the rolls 23 upon the assembled article and wrapper, while pivotal adjustment of the respective yokes on said arms permit the several rolls 23 to engage the wrapper at the desired angle. In practice this angle is such as to feed the assembled article and wrapper forwardly and concurrently produce rotation of the article and wrapping in order to effect twisting of the wrapper between the article passing between the rolls 23 and the next succeeding article as indicated at 31 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 2A).
In practice a fairly tight twist is produced during this operation, the wrapper being preferably placed under appreciable tension due to increase in speed, imparted to the articles at the variable speed box 24, so that the portion 31 of the wrapper centrally of the spacing between the articles is tightly twisted, while the wrapper is gathered into pleats 31a (FIG. 2A) between this central twist and the ends of the contiguous articles, whereby these pleats are under a fair degree of tension axially of the assembly.
The wrapped article continues to be advanced by the rolls 23 until the previously twisted portion of the wrapper comes into position wherein the twist is acted upon by a plurality of heating elements which fuse said twist. The mechanism for accomplishing this result is shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 8 and 9 as follows:
Rigidly mounted on the supporting rods 30 are blocks 32 and supported for rotation on each of these blocks is a disk 33, the shafts of these disks being tied together by a link 34 to stiffen them during their operations. Each of the disks is driven from the gear box 24 (FIG, 1) through a shaft 35 (FIG. 8), connected to a friction-drive element 36 which bears against a friction flange 37 on the disk 33.
Projecting radially from each of the disks 33 (FIGS. 1, 8 and 9) is an arm 38, the free end of which carries an electrical heating element 39, energized to produce sufficient temperature of the element to heat-seal and fuse the twist 31 of the wrapper when momentarily engaged therewith. On the opposite sides of each arm 38 are guides and heat shields 40.
During the operation of the machine, the disks 33 are rotated through the friction drive referred to at somewhat greater speed than the travel of the article and wrapper assembly through the zone of operation of the arms 38. Consequently, as the twist approaches the sealing position, one of the guides 40 of each arm is brought into engagement with a portion of the wrapper which overlies an article and rides along on said wrapper, as shown at position P in FIG. 10, while the friction drive slips. When thus in engagement with the wrapper, these guides serve to shield the wrapper from contact with the heating elements 39.
The drive element 36 of each disk will continue to rotate, but rotation of the disks 33 will at this time be retarded by such engagement of the corresponding guide 40 with the wrapper. However, as soon as the article and wrapper move into the zone of the next twist, the friction drive will immediately become operative to move the arms 38 into the position shown in full lines in FIG. 9. In this manner the heating elements are brought into contact with the twist 31 and, as the articles and their wrappings continue to move, momentary contact between the heating elements and the twist will effectually heat-seal the twist 31 and the closely adjacent pleated portions 31a will also become heat-sealed. The twist per se will be fused and be completely disrupted.
As the articles and wrapper continue to move, the arms 38, immediately upon conclusion of the sealing and fusing operation, will rapidly leave contact with the pleated portions of the wrapper and be frictionally rotated out of contact with the following parts back to position P to await the next twist.
Inasmuch as the twist 31 has placed the pleats 31a under axial tension, the pleated portions will immediately contract when the twist has been severed, so that said pleats will withdraw against the ends of the contiguous articles and occupy substantially the planes of said article ends in a firm seal under slight remaining tension.
As the completely wrapped article continues to travel, it moves into cooperation with a set of rolls indicated at 41 (FIGS. 1 and 2). These rolls are the same in structure, mode of operation, and drive elements, as shown in FIG. 7. Their function is to discharge such article from the machine, while allowing the fused ends of the respective wrappings to separate and solidify.
It is essential that sealing of the twist by the two sealing elements 39 be coordinated, i.e., that they engage with the wrapper at the same time and place. I may assure this in different ways. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, one of the disks 33 carries an arm 42 provided at its outer end with a roller 43 adapted to be received within or mesh with a flared fork 44 on an arm 45 carried by the other disk 33. The roller 43 and fork 44 are respectively positioned directly above the two heating elements 39 and serve to assure their registering juxtaposition during the sealing of the twist.
It will be apparent from the foregoing detailed description that all of the rolls, which act upon the wrapped article in any way, are adjustable in such direction as to permit control of feeding pressures of the assembly, as well as rotation of the wrapped article, and also the application of heat to the wrapper for self-sealing purposes. These adjustments allow for control of speed of the feed of the wrapper and article through the machine and also allow for such regulation as to adapt the machine to act upon articles of different circumference and length.
It is thus possible in this machine to vary rotation speed with respect to travel of the articles so as to regulate the amount of twist between successive articles, and to also provide for different spacing between the successive articles as they travel through the machine.
An important feature of this invention is that it may be operated at relatively high speeds because of the positive nature of its successive operations and the nice synchronization of the respective operations. Consequently, the
output of the machine is materially increased and a better end product produced than has been heretofore possible with prior wrapping machines. The end product is a high- 1y superior product for the article is enclosed within a tight conforming Wrapper circumferentially of and at the ends of the article.
The foregoing detailed description sets forth the invention in its referred practical forms, but the invention shown therein is to be understood as fully commensurate with the ap ended claims.
Havin thus fully described the invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure Letters Patent is:
1. A wrapping machine for cylindrical articles and the like comprising: means for advancing a wrapper web of thermoplastic material along a predetermined path in substantially U-shaped condition with articles to be wrapped positioned in axially spaced relation on said web, means for folding the free edges of the web with respect to one another and for simultaneously drawing the web tightly about said articles, means further along said path to heat-seal the lon itudinal edges of the web in overlapped relation to one another, means for rotating one circumferentially wrapped article with respect to the following articles to twist the Wrapper in the space between that article and the next, means for thereafter heat-sealing and disrupting the twist to cause simultaneous fusion and rupture thereof to separate said articles, and means for thereafter discharging the resulting wrapped article from the machine.
2. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, comprising supporting wheels positioned below the web and articles thereon to minimize friction on the web while said web and articles are moving to and being subjected to the folding and longitudinal sealing operations.
3. A wrapping machine according to claim 11, wherein the means for advancing the web and articles along the predetermined path comprises power driven rolls bearing against the folded and circumferentially sealed web.
4. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, comprising means for uniformly spacing the articles apart within the web prior to the sealing of the articles within the web.
5. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, comprising means for retarding each article as it is fed through the machine sufiiciently to insure proper spacing between it and the next preceding article.
6. A wrapping machine according to claim 5, wherein the means for spacing such article comprises a feeler finger which retards the article until the proper spacing is obtained and then releases such article to travel with the preceding articles.
7. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, wherein the web is provided on one face with printed indicia, and an electric eye controlled mechanism to insure the positioning of the articles in predetermined relation to the indicia on the web.
8. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, wherein the means for folding the free edges of the web with respect to one another comprises folding blades positioned along the path of travel of the web and engaging successively with the opposite edges of the web to fold the margin of one edge into a fold and to overlie the other margin of the web onto said fold prior to heat-sealing of the resulting joint. 1
9. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, wherein the means for rotating one article comprises power driven rolls engaging with the web and operating in angular relation thereto to simultaneously rotate and advance the circumferentially wrapped article during the twisting operation.
10. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, comprising means for longitudinally placing the web under controlled tension between said one article and the next following article during the twisting operation.
11. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, wherein the twist in the wrapper between the adjacent articles forms radi-al pleating in the wrapper between the twist and the contiguous ends of adjacent articles, the heat sealing means comprising electric heating elements shaped to fuse the twist and simultaneously seal the adjacent portions of the pleats of the wrapper.
12. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, wherein the means for heat sealing the twist in the wrapper comprises electric heat sealing elements adapted to engage the twist and frictionally driven to move with the twist during the heat sealing thereof, said heat sealing elements also serving to fuse the twist and thus separate the foremost article at the point of twisting.
13. A wrapping machine according to claim 12, comprising guides and heat shields positioned on either side of the heat sealing elements and adapted to frictionally ride on the wrapper as the twisted portions between successive articles approach and recede from the twisting zone, and means to insure accurate coordination between the heating elements and the twisted portion of the wrapper.
14. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, wherein the web and articles are fed and successively rotated through and beyond the twisting zone by driving rolls engaging the wrapper, said rolls being individually adjustable to regulate the longitudinal rate of travel of the web and articles and the rotational speed of each of the articles in succession during the rotation of that article to form the twist.
15. A wrapping machine according to claim 1, wherein both the web and the articles therein are continuously fed during their passage through the machine.
16. A method of wrapping articles which comprises the following steps:
(a) effecting a continuous feed of a plurality of spaced articles and simultaneously wrapping said articles with a continuous web of thermoplastic material as they move in a downstream direction;
('0) rotating one of said articles while simultaneously moving said articles longitudinally, thereby effecting a twist between said article downstream of an immediate upstream article;
(c) continuing the rotation of said downstream article with longitudinal movement of said articles and applying heat and pressure at the twist to fuse the thermoplastic wrapper material thereat and to effect disrupting of said material thereat to separate said articles, and
(d) permitting the fused and disrupted portions at the adjacent ends of said articles to cool and shrink to effect a tensioned firm seal at said ends.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,091,139 3/1914 Jagenberg 206-59 1,960,962 5/1934 Wallach 206-59 2,113,078 M1938 Campbell 53-181 X 2,280,405 4/1942 Frostad 53-180 X 2,605,597 8/1952 Scheib 53-182 2,641,095 6/1953 Burbank 53-182 2,753,672 7/1956 Burbank 53-182 FRANK E. BAILEY, Primary Examiner.
ROBERT A. LEIGHEY, Examiner.
A. E. FOURNIER, S. ABEND, Assistant Examiners,