US 3374963 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 26, 1968 J. D. CONT! 3,374,963
APPARATUS FOR SPLICING TRAVELING WEB MATERIAL Filed March 11, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet l March 26, 1968 J. D. CONT] 3,374,963
' APPARATUS FOR SPLICING TRAVELING WEB MATERIAL Filed March 11. 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 March 26, 1968 J. D. CONTI 3,
APPARATUS FOR SPLICING TRAVELING WEB MATERIAL Filed March 11, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for splicing the leading end portion of a web to the trailing end portion of a continuously advancing web without interrupting web travel and with the splicing apparatus being set in operation by means sensing the supply and/or tension of the traveling web.
The present invention relates to an apparatus for feeding and splicing continuous, traveling films, ribbons, bands and similar web materials.
A primary object of the present invention is to provide a generally new or improved and more satisfactory apparatus for splicing continuous, traveling web materials without interrupting the travel of the web materials or any I operations of machines with which the splicing apparatus is employed.
Another object is the provision of an improved apparatus in which the trailing end portion of one traveling web material is spliced onto the leading end portion of another traveling web material with a minimum of overlapping of the web materials.
Still another object is the provision of an improved apparatus for splicing traveling web materials which is made operative automatically by the web materials themselves.
A further object is the provision of an apparatus for feeding and splicing traveling web materials in which rolls of web materials are automatically spliced to each other and moved into position for proper unwinding.
A still further object is to provide a splicing apparatus for web materials which is designed to avoid premature splicing, is simple in construction and use and requires a minimum of supervision.
Still further objects will appear from the following description.
These objects are accomplished in accordance with the present invention by an apparatus in which leading end and trailing end portions of traveling web materials are spliced to each other by a pair of pressing members which are moved relatively toward each other and in the direction of movement of the traveling web materials. The web materials are supplied in roll form, with each having an adhesive leading end portion by which it may be releasably attached to one of the pressing members preparatory to splicing and to the traveling web material during the actual splicing operation. A moveable support carries the rolls of web material and is operated by an electric drive motor to place each roll in proper position for unwinding as its leading end portion is being spliced to the trailing end portion of a depleted roll. The electric motor serves also to effect movement of the pressing members and is itself energized through means which are designed to sense the depletion of web material from the individual rolls.
The pressing members include a roller, to which the adhesive leading end portion of a web material is releasably attached preparatory to splicing, and an opposing, elongated, rotary pressing shoe which, during the actual splicing operation, urges the trailing end portion of a depleted roll of web material against the adhesive end portion of a web material attached to the roller. The roller United States Patent and pressing shoe are normally stationary but during the splicing operation are simultaneously rotated by the electric motor in the direction of and at substantially the same speed as the traveling web material.
v The sensing means includes a roller which rests and rides upon the peripheral surface of the roll of web material which is being unwound and is designed to trip an electrical switch to start the motor when such roll is depleted of web material. The roller is preferably of a construction which includes rigid end members to which is secured an inflatable, flexible sleeve. This roller is only partially inflated to provide a broad area of contact between the roller and the roll of web material and serves to minimize overfeeding of web material.
In lieu of and preferably in combination with the above noted inflatable roller, the sensing means also includes a feeler which is responsive to differences in tension in the web material as its travels from the roll being unwound to the pressing members. When the tension in the traveling web material falls below a predetermined value, as for example when the trailing end portion of a web material leaves a depleted roll, the feeler trips an electric switch which completes at least a portion of an electric circuit to the motor.
The switches activated by the inflatable roller and the tension feeler are electrically connected in a series circuit so that the motor is not set into operation until both of such switches have been actuated. Thus, a reduction in the tension of the web material, as by a temporary overfeeding of a partially depleted roll of web material, may result in actuation of the switch by the tension feeler but would not by itself set the motor into operation. Similarly, premature tripping of the switch by the inflated roller, as for example when substantial windings of web material still remain on a roller core which is slightly smaller than other roll cores, would also be ineffective in starting of the motor as long as proper tension in theweb material is maintained.
Once the electric drive motor is operative, the inflated roller is retracted so that the movable support may place a new roll of web material in proper position for unwinding. The switch which had been actuated by such roller is opened during the roller retraction. However, this switch is connected in a parallel circuit to another switch which is closed by a timing disk during the initial operation of the motor. Thus, while the switch actuated by the inflatable roller assists in initiating motor operation, the timing disk maintains and determines the duration of motor operation.
The retraction of the inflated sensing roller and the desired movement of the pressing members must be effected rapidly, and, especially in the case of the pressing members, at a substantially uniform speed. This objective is best achieved by employing drive means which includes cams having straight but abrupt camming surfaces.
The splicing apparatus of the present invention may be utilized, for example, with a film winding apparatus where web materials from smaller rolls are spliced together and wound into a roll of larger diameter. The splicing apparatus is particularly useful with package wrapping machines since no interruption in wrapping operations is occasioned. Moreover, once the leading end portion of a roll of web material is releasably attached to the pressing roller, the splicing apparatus can remain unattended insofar as the sensing means will operate automatically to effect the splicing of the web materials at the proper time.
In the drawing,
FIGURE 1 is a side view of the apparatus of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a view of the apparatus as seen from the side opposite to that of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is a front view of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 2.
With reference to the drawing for a more detailed description, the web material, feed and splicing apparatus 11 of the present invention is designed for use with conventional article or package wrapping machines, such as is indicated generally at 13. The machine 13 is intended to wrap articles or packages 15 which are conveyed, as by an endless belt 17, to suitable wrapping means, not shown, where desired lengths of wrapping material are severed from a continuous supply of film of like material 19 and then enveloped and sealed about the individual articles or packages 15.
The splicing apparatus 11 is carried by a plate 21 which is, preferably, fixed to the machine. 13 along one side of the belt 17, thus leaving the opposite side of the machine 13 open for easy access by the operator. The wrapping or web material 19 is Supplied as individual rolls 23, each having a core 25 which is rotatably carried on a rod 27 of a movable support or spider 29. This spider includes arms 33, from which the rods 27 project and is fixed to one end of a shaft which extends through and is rotatably supported by the plate 21. A spur gear 37 is fixed to the opposite end of the shaft 35 and is periodically driven, as more fully described hereafter, by an electric motor 39 to rotate the spider 29 and sequentially place the individual rolls 23 in proper position for unwinding. Preferably, the radiating arms 33 of the spider 29 are each provided with a spring catch 41 which cooperates with a suitable socket formed in the face of the plate 21 for releasably holding the spider 29 in adjusted position.
An idler roller 43 rests, under the force of gravity, upon the peripheral surface of the roll 23 of web material which is being unwound and includes a shaft 45 which is supported for vertical movement by a pair of upstanding guides 47. Preferably, the shaft 45 is provided with roller bearings 49 to insure free movement of such shaft along the guides 47 One function of the roller 43 is to minimize overfeeding of the web material and a roller having a flexible, inflatable sleeve attached to rigid end plates, has proved to be satisfactory for this purpose.
The roller 43 also functions as a sensing means which. upon depletion of the web material from the roll 23 being unwound, serves to activate the motor 39. This particular objective is achieved through a switch 51 which is electrically connected to the motor 39 and lies in the path of the shaft 45. Thus, when the roller 43 is at its intended lowermost position, as for example when the roller 43 engages the last one or more windings of web material on a roll core, it actuates the switch 51 and completes an electric circuit to the motor 39.
Once the motor 39 has been started, the roller 43 is rapidly retracted along the guides 47 into its uppermost position by a pair of racks 53 which are driven by pinion gears 55 fixed to a shaft 57. The racks 53 are attached to the shaft 45 through bearings 59, which facilitate free rotation of such shaft, and are maintained in meshing relationship with the pinion gears 55 by a fixed guide bar 61. The shaft 57 is rotatably supported by bearings 63 and carries at one of its ends a pinion gear 65 which is driven by a rack 67. At its lower end, the rack 67 is pivoted at 69 to one end of a bell crank lever 71 and is guided for vertically reciprocating movement by a roller 73.
The lever 71 is supported for rocking movement on a stud 77, which projects from the plate 21, and has a follower roll 79 which rides along the edge of a plate cam 81. This cam 81 is fixed to the shaft 35, along with the gear 37, and is formed with three radiating arms 83 having straight, abrupt camming surfaces 85 for imparting a rapid and substantially uniform movement to the shaft 57 through the lever 71, rack 67 and pinion 65, as more fully described hereafter.
Actual splicing of a leading end portion of a full roll of web material to the trailing end portion of a depleted roll is achieved by pressing members 87 and 89. The member 87 is a roller having three similar sections which are carried at one end of a shaft 91 rotatably supported by a bearing 93 and extending through the plate 21. The center roller section 95 is fixed to the shaft 91 and 1eleasably supports the leading end portion of a full roll of web material, as for example by means of a strip having an adhesive coating on opposite sides. The two outer sections 97 of the roller are idlers which are adapted to be engaged and rotated by the traveling web material.
The opposite end of the shaft 91 extends through a sleeve 99 of a gravity pawl clutch 101 and is provided with a pinion gear 103. The clutch 101 includes a plate 105 having a pawl 107 which is engaged by gravity with the gear 103 and drives the same as more fully described hereafter. A pinion gear 109 is also fixed to the sleeve 99 and is driven in one direction, counterclockwise as viewed in FIGURE 2, by a rack 111. A pawl 113 is pivoted at 115 to the plate 21 and, by gravity, is engaged with the pinion gear 109, to prevent the same from rotating when the rack 111 is retracted after performing its driving movement. A brake 117 is supported from the plate 21 and serves to prevent undesired movement of the shaft 91, as for example by the web material as it is advanced over the center roller section 95.
The rack 111 is supported for reciprocating movement by idler guide rollers 119 and is driven by a segment gear 121 which is pivotally mounted on the stud 123 projecting from the plate 21. A lever 125 is made integral with the segment gear 121 and has a follower roll 127 which is urged against the edge of a cam 129 by a tension spring 131 connected to the gear 121 and the plate 21- The cam 129 is similar in construction to the cam 81 heretofore described in that it includes three radiating arms each having abrupt straight camming surfaces 135 which are designed to permit the segment gear 121 to move with a rapid and substantially uniform motion.
The cam 129 is rotatably mounted on a stud 137 together with a sprocket 139 to which the cam 129 is fixed. An endless chain 141 is trained over the sprocket 139 and a sprocket 143, the latter of which is fixed to a spur gear 145 and rotatably mounted on the stud 77, heretofore mentioned. A spur gear 149, rotatably mounted on a stud 151, meshes with the gears 37 and 145 and is made integral with a gear 153 which is driven by an output gear 155 of the motor 39.
Mounted also on the stud 137 and fixed to the cam 129 is a timing disk 157 which engages with a Switch 159 connected in a parallel circuit with switch 51. The disk 157 has spaced peripheral camming surfaces 161 which maintain the switch 159 closed once the motor 39 has been started, notwithstanding the retraction of the roller 43. Rotation of the disk 157, and thus operation of the motor 39, continues until a particular camming surface moves beyond the switch 159, at which time the electric circuit to the motor 39 is opened.
As best seen in FIGURES 2 and 3 the pressing member 89 is in the form of an elongated, arcuate shoe 163 which radiates from and is made integral with a sleeve 165 rotatably carried by a shaft 167. A spur gear 169 is fixed to the sleeve 165 and is turned through one complete revolution during the splicing operation by a similar spur gear 171 fixed to the shaft 91. As illustrated, the pressing surface of shoe 163 is of arcuate configuration having a radius substantially equal to that of the opposing roller section 95.
Mounted for free rotation on the shaft 167 is a feeler 173 which is adapted to engage with and sense differences in tension in the traveling web material as it is advanced between the pressing members. A switch 175 is carried by the shaft 167 in position to be tripped by the feeler 173 when the tension in the traveling web material falls below a predetermined value.
This web material tension-sensing means may be employed in lieu of and preferably in combination with the roller 43 and switches 51 and 159 to insure that the motor 39 is energized at the proper time and is maintained operative for a desired period. This is best achieved by electrically connecting the switches 51 and 175 in Series with the motor 39 and together in parallel with the switch 159. With the use of such circuit, the motor 39 is made operative only after both the switches 51 and 175 have been actuated and is maintained in operation by the tlming disk holding the switch 159 closed until the desired sequence of movements is completed.
With the sensing means described above, any unintentional slack in the traveling web material due, for example to an overfeeding of a supply roll 23, may cause the feeler 173 to actuate the switch 175 but will not render such motor operative since both the switches 51 and 159 remain open. On the other hand, variations in the size of the cores 25 of the supply rolls 23 may Cause the switch 51 to be tripped well before all of the web material is unwound therefrom. In this instance, the tension in the still continuous, traveling web will prevent the feeler 173 from tripping the switch 175 so that the motor 39 will remain inactive.
In the operation of the above described apparatus, the roller 43 is elevated after which three separate rolls 23 of the web material 19 are mounted on the rods 27 of the spider 29. The roller 43 is then lowered and permitted to rest on the peripheral surface of the roll 23 which is directly below. The leading end portion of the web material from this particular roll of web material i then laced beneath the tension feeler 173, in between the pressing members 87 and 89 and into the wrapping means of the machine 13.
The operation of the wrapping machine 13 causes web material 19 to be drawn from the roll 23 and then enveloped about the articles or packages which are to be wrapped, as they are conveyed through the machine by the endless belt 17.
The roll 23 of web material below the roll which is being unwound may be now prepared for splicing. The opposite sides of the leading end portion of this new and still full roll of web material are rendered tacky, for example by being coated with an adhesive or by having a conventional double-coated pressure sensitive tape folded over or projecting beyond its end. One of the adhesive sides of the web material is then releasably attached to the center roller section 95 at a location close to but still spaced away from the path of the web material which is being unwound. The top tacky surface of this leading end portion of web material is now in position for adhering to the trailing end portion of the web material which is being unwound as more fully described hereafter. Once these preparatory steps have been taken, splicing of the web materials will occur automatically at the proper time and thus the apparatus requires no further supervision by the operator.
As heretofore mentioned, overfeeding of the web material from the roll 23 which is being unwound is minimized :by the weight and extensive contact made therewith by the roller 43. The roller 43 is, of course, spaced well above switch 51 and the tension in the travelling web material maintains the feeler 173 removed from the switch 175 so that the motor 39 is in inoperative condition.
With continuous unwinding of web material from the roll 23, the shaft 45 of the roller 43 gradually approaches the switch 51 until one or perhaps a small number of windings of web material remain on the roll core. At this time, the roller shaft 45 actuates the switch 51. Operation of the motor 39 requires that both the switches 51 and 175 be closed. Thus, operation of the motor 39 may be momentarily delayed after the switch 51 has been closed until the web material becomes sufficiently slack to release the feeler 173 and effect closing of the switch 17 5.
Once the motor 39 is in operation, the meshing pinion gears 153 and 155 cause the train of spur gears 37, 145
and 149 to turn. The cam 129 is rotated clockwise, as viewed in FIGURE 2, by the endless chain 141 and sprocket 139 and 143 during the initial operation of the motor 39. With a very small movement of the earn 129, the follower roll 127 is released, allowing the loaded tension spring 131 and segment gear 121 to drive the rack 111 and meshing pinion gear 109. This in turn causes the gravity pawl clutch 101, the shaft 91 and the center roller section of the pressing member 87 to be rotated one complete revolution in a counter-clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 2, to urge the adhesive leading end portion of the web material into contact with the trailing end portion of the depleted roll 23.
As a result of the rotation of the shaft 91, the sleeve is also rotated on the shaft 167 through gears 169 and 171 to also carry the arcuate pressing shoe 163 through one complete revolution in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 2. This movement of the shoe 163 urges the trailing end portion of the depleted roll of Web material snugly against the adhesive leading end of a fresh roll of web material and thus effects the desired splicing.
Once the rack 111 has completed its driving function, it is again urged upwardly, against the action of the spring 131, by the cam 129. The pawl 113 engages, by gravity, with the gear 109 and thus prevents reverse movement of the shaft 91 as the rack 111 is retracted.
Concomitantly with the splicing of the web materials, the rotation of the gear 37 carries an arm 83 of the cam 81 against the follower roll 79 of the bell-crank lever 71. This causes the lever 71 to lower the rack 67, thus rotating the pinion gears 65 and 55 and elevating the pair of racks 53 and roller 43 rapidly and at a substantially uniform speed. Notwithstanding the opening of the switch 51 by upward movement of the roller shaft 45 and also opening of the switch 173 by restoration of tension in the web material, the motor 39 remains in continuous operation as determined by the engagement of the timing disk with the switch 159.
Simultaneously with the retraction of the roller 43, the gear 37 causes the spider 29 to rotate to thereby place the roll carrying the now spliced web material into the position previously occupied by the depleted roll. The operator is now free to adhesively attach the leading end of a new roll of web material to the center roller section 95 of the pressing member 87, as heretofore described, and can replace the depleted roll with a new roll of web material. It will be noted that the actual splicing operation is achieved automatically and at the proper time without requiring any manipulation by the operator and without necessitating any reduction in the speed of package wrapping machine.
It is to be understood that changes and variations may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.
1. Apparatus for splicing the leading end of a web material to a continuous, traveling web material without interrupting the travel of the latter including a movable support for carrying a plurality of rolls of web material having adhesive leading end portions, means for continuously advancing a web material away from one of the rolls of web material, means including an electric motor for moving said roll support for placing a full roll of web material in position for unwinding as an adjacent roll becomes depleted, a pair of spaced and normally stationary pressing mem'bers between which the web material is advanced, one of said pressing members serving to releasably support the leading end portion of a full roll of web material preparatory to splicing, sensing means engaged with the advancing web material for actuating said motor when the roll being unwound is depleted, drive means for moving said pressing members relatively toward each other and together in the direction of travel of the continuously advancing web material to press together the trailing end portion of web material from a depleted roll and the adhesive leading end portion of a web material releasably supported on one of said members without interruption in the advancement of web material, and means interconnecting said drive means with said motor for etfecting operation of said drive means when said motor is actuated.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said sensing means includes a roller maintained in engagement with the surface of a roll of web material which is being unwound, and means for closing an electrical circuit to said motor activated by said roller as such roll of web materialr'becomes depleted.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein 'said sensing means includes a tension feeler positioned be tween said roll support and said pressing members for continuously engaging the advancing web material, and means actuated by said feeler for completing an electrical circuit to said motor when the tension in the advancing web material falls below a predetermined value.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said sensing means includes a roller maintained in engagement with the surface of a roll of web material which is being unwound, a switch actuated by said roller as such roll of web material becomes depleted for completing a portion of an electric circuit to said motor, a tension feeler for continuously engaging the advancing web material, and a switch actuated by said feeler for completing another portion of said electrical circuit to said motor when the tension in the web material falls below a predetermined value.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said pressing members include a roller to which the leading end portion of a full roll of web material is releasably attached and adapted to be rotated by said drive means, an elongated shoe rotatably carried by a shaft disposed substantially parallel to said roller, said shoe having an arcuate pressing surface defining a segment of a circle, locking means normally holding said roller in stationary position, and means connecting said roller and said shoe for simultaneous'rotation in opposite directions by said drive means.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein said drive means includes a clutch for rotating said roller and shoe one complete revolution in the direction of advancement of the web material during splicing.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 4 further including means operated from said motor for rapidly retracting said roller away from a depleted roll.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 further including a timing member operated by said drive means, and a timing switch engaged with said timing member for maintaining the electric circuit to said motor closed after said roller has been retracted.
9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 wherein said switches actuated by said roller and tension feeler are electrically connected in series with each other and together connected in parallel with said timing switch.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,201,057 8/1965 Ryan 24258.1
LEONARD D. CHRISTIAN, Primary Examiner.