US 3537343 A
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United States Patent  Inventor David W. Woodard Hudson, Wisconsin  Appl. No. 734,605
 Filed June 5, 1968  Patented Nov.3,l970
 Assignee Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company St. Paul, Minnesota a corporation of Delaware  LABEL TAPE CUTTER 2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
52 U.S.Cl 7
83/633,83/658,83/678,83/695 51 met B26d3/00 so FieldofSearch 83/1,695,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,155,215 11/1964 Avery 197/67 3,311,209 3/1967 Pedersen 197/67 Primary Examiner- Frank T. Yost Attorney- Kinney, Alexander, Sell, Steldt and Delahunt ABSTRACT: An embossed label tape with the individual labels releasably connected forming a strip including a number of such labels and a knife and anvil structure for a tape embossing tool to form the individual labels but not separate the labels.
LABELTAPECUTTER This invention relates to a strip of label material'with the individual labels facilely releasably connected in astrip and in one aspect to the method of making the strip of'labels and the selectively operable cutting device for forming the individual labels but not severing each formed label from'the strip.
The labels, as formed on the embossing tools and machines from a strip material including an embossable polymeric tape coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive on one face, which adhesive is covered by a thinflexible release liner to label vari-' ous articles, because of their use, may have various lengths. While the presently known tools and machinesof a variety of types are all' provided with cutoff mechanisms, they all have the common characteristic of severing each embossed label after it is made from the strip material and generally all provide the severed label with a tab which may be manually grasped to permit easy removal of the liner from the label. This type of label and tab, and the type of cutoff mechanisms to form the label and tab are discussed and shown in U.S. Letters Pat. Nos. 3,133,495 (DeMan) and 3,237,494 (Norvelle). Cutoff mechanisms of other types which also provide the severing of labels from the tape strip and simultaneous formation of the tab are shown in other issued U.S. Pats. such as No. 3,276,559 (DeMan), No. 3,310,145 (Pedersen), No. 3,272,301 (Craig) and No. 3,372,787 (Humphrey et al.).
The Craig patent also illustrates the use of'a spring member between the knife edges to prevent removal of the tab during cutting and having the tab stick between the knife edges. It is also known to use spring members or release members on the outer edges of the knives to prevent the adhesive on the tape from causing the free end of the strip to stick to the knife. This will frequently cause the strip to jam and bend in the machines, when, upon release of the cutting lever, the strip is automatically advanced, as is common with many such tools.
Another problem which is common with many embossing tools is that when the label is severed, particularly with short labels, the free end of the label does not protrude from the machine to permit removal of the label from the machine. The short label is then stuck in the machine and it is necessary to shake the machine or use a picking tool to get the label out.
This is true in machines such as that shown in the Humphrey et al. patent.
The present invention provides a label forming and cutoff mechanism which overcomes the above-identified problems. The label-forming or cuttingmechanism of the present invention does not provide for the complete severance of the label of desired length from the strip material, and because there is no complete severing, it is then possible to advance the strip to move the label out of the machine, particularly with machines of the type disclosed in the patent to Humphrey et al. and others of the similar type.
The present invention provides forthe making of a series of labels with all of the labels joined together in a strip. Many advantages are provided by not severing each label as it is made from the stock of strip material. One significant advantage is the fact that one way make up a number of similar or different labels at one sitting and end up with all of the labels in a strip. The strip may then be taken to the articles to be labeled and separated from the strip one at a time by breaking the small unsevered portion of the liner between the tab and a succeeding label, and the severed label may be applied in the usual manner by grasping the tab and removing the liner, rather than carrying a number of small labels and juggling same while trying to apply each one, or having the label-making tool available to make and apply each label successively.
The present invention provides a strip of labels formed from a label strip material including a rigid plastic" sheeting or tape (as hereinafter indentified) coated on one side with a pressure-sensitive adhesive with a thin protective liner for the adhesive. The rigid plastic tape would be one of various types of polymers which may be cold embossed to form indicia having a color contrast raised indicia with'respect to the tape. Such tapev may be formed of thermoplastic resins such as polyvinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride-polyvinyl acetate copolymers. Each label would have some indicia embossed thereon and be: severed from the succeeding tape strip, and between each label wouldbe'a thin narrow tab followed by the succeeding label, its thin narrow tab etc. All of the labels and tabs would be secured by uncut portions or ties of the liner which may be formed of athin flexible sheet material having a low affinity for theadhesive such as polyethylene or other material having a low affinity for the adhesive. Each label is severed from its tab by cutting through' thetape and a clean cut on the tape is provided by also cutting a portion of the liner directly beneath' the cut in the embossable tape and the tab is severed from the succeeding label by cutting through the embossable sheeting and a greater portion ofthe liner than between the label and tab but leaving uncut a small portion of the liner such that the liner is continuous throughout the strip.
The method of the present invention comprises the steps of cutting the embossable strip material to the length desired for a specific l'abel after'the embossable strip material comprising an embossable tape having one adhesive coated surface protected by a releasable liner has been embossed with the desired indicia by placing the strip material between a pair of generally parallel knives extending transversely of the embossable tape and an anvil having a surface against which the strip material may bear but which surface is formed with a relief area beneath one knife and a smaller relief area below a second knife, affording relative movement between the knives and anvil with sufficient force to cut the tape and partsof the liner, embossing information .onto the succeeding strip material and again cutting the stock by placing a knife against the tape.
The cutting apparatus of the present invention comprises a pair of spaced blades having lower cutting edges disposed in a common plane, an anvil mounted for relative movement to the knives, said anvil being formed with a first recessed area below one of said knives edges and a second smaller recessed area below the second of said knives.
The above description and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent after reading the following detailed description of the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a strip of labels in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the strip of labels of FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of a label withthe liner partially removed;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a knife and anvil structurej FIG. 5 is a fragmentary detail view partly in section of an embossing tool showing the operation of the knife and anvil structure; and FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of knife and anvil structure, partly broken away to more clearly show the detail of the knife.
Referring now to the drawings, in FIG. I there is shown a strip 6 including labels 7 having various lengths and formed by embossing indicia 8 on a strip material 9 by a common form of embossing tool or machine including male and female dies as disclosed in the patents identified above, most of which tools or machines are commercially available. The strip material 9 comprises a tape 10 formed of a rigid plastic material" which may be cold embossed to form the indicia and on one surface of which is coated a pressure-sensitive adhesive 11 coveredby a thin flexible release liner 12. Between each of the labels 7 is a tab 13 defined by closely spaced transverse cuts in the'tape 10. The tab 13 associated with each label 7 facilitates removal of the portion of line 12 beneath the label 7 from the adhesive 11 when applying the label 7 to an article. i In conventional embossing tools and machines for forming individual labels corresponding to the labels 7, a cutting mechanism for cutting the tape 10 to form the individual labels and tabs uses a pair of knives which sever the label tape to form the label and the tab and the knives doing such severing do not completely sever the liner beneath the cut separat-- making the cut defining the tab and separating it from the remaining portion of the supply of strip material. The label and tab-forming mechanism of the present invention affords a cutting of the tape to form the label and to form the tab 13 but the mechanism does not completely sever the label and tab from the remaining portion of the strip material 9. Thus as each label is formed the label is still connected to the strip material 9 such that upon the subsequent embossment of the strip material to form a succeeding label, and operation of the cutting mechanism, the labels remain together in a strip. Thus the label and tab-forming mechanism form simultaneously a pair of cuts 14 and 15 through the tape 10 but do not completely sever the lining material, thus forming on the liner, although partially cut, as indicated respectively at 16 and 17, uncut areas or portions forming ties l8 connecting the liner 12 disposed beneath a label 7 to the portion of the liner beneath the tab 13, and a smaller or a lesser number of ties 19 in the liner joining the liner portion under a tab 13 to the liner portion under a succeeding label 7. This tie 19 or continuity of the liner serves to tie the successive labels 7 and their associated tab 13 together in the strip 6. The labels may be easily separated from the strip 6 by breaking the small tie 19. The tie 19 may be broken by grasping adjacent labels 7 and pulling them in opposite directions, but the uncut portions or ties between a tab 13 and one of the labels 7 is sufficiently strong that the liner does not break between a tab and its associate label.
The label strip of the present invention may be formed by the tape cutting mechanism illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. This cutting mechanism comprises a knife member 21, illustrated as U-shaped and formed with cutting or knife edges 22 and 23 on the two spaced depending legs, which knife edges are disposed in a common plane and extend the length of the member 21, which length is greater than the transverse dimension ofthe strip material to be cut. An anvil member 24 having dimensions equal to or greater than the length and width dimensions of the knife is adapted to support the strip material 9 during the label-forming operation, permitting the cutting of the tape 9 by the knife edges 22 and 23. The anvil 24 however is formed in a manner to prevent the complete severing of the liner l2 beneath each knife edge as the knife edges are moved against the anvil. To accomplish this the anvil, as illustrated in the drawing, is formed with recessed areas in its otherwise generally planar supporting surface 27 beneath each of the knife edges 22 and 23. The recessed area in the surface 27 beneath the knife edge 22 is larger than the recessed area positioned between the knife edge 23. These recessed areas are depressions, slots, or grooves formed in the member 24. The recessed area beneath the knife edge 22 is formed by a pair of grooves 28, and the recessed area under the knife edge 23 is formed by a single groove 29 in the face 27 generally centrally of the path of the strip material across the surface of the anvil member 24.
In an embossing tool the knife member 21 and the anvil member 24 may be supported on a pair of spaced discs in the same manner as the female and male embossing dies of the tool. When it is desired to form the embossed label the discs are rotated to position the knife member and anvil member above and below the strip material 9 respectively, and then upon actuationof a pivoted lever 31 a plunger 32 is actuated by the lever 31 to cause upward movement of the anvil 24 with removal of the formed label 7 from the tool in the event the label is very short, by the advancement of the strip material 9 through the tool 4 The tape cutting mechanism illustrated in FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment having an anvil 34, corresponding to the anvil 24, and a movable knife member 36. In this embodiment the anvil is fixed in the path of the strip material 9 and the knife member 36 is moved across or transversely of the path and against the face 37 of the anvil. The knife member 36 comprises a small rotatable cutter-wheel 38 mounted in a channelshaped slide bar 39 adapted to be positioned for sliding movement on an embossing tool. The wheel 38 is grooved and formed with a cutting edge at the periphery of each axially spaced face, which faces are spaced to the desired width of the tab 13. Movement of the wheel 38 across the face 37 of the anvil cuts the tape and liner but portions of the liner positioned above the grooves or recessed areas in the anvil face 37 are not cut, by being forced into the grooves, to form the ties l8 and 19.
A strip 6 of labels 7 may thus be formed on the embossable strip material 9 by embossing indicia into the rigid tape and then placing an unembossed area of the tape in position relative to the knife member and the anvil member and moving the knife member and the anvil member relative to each other to cut the tape transversely with theknife edges of the knife member not cutting portions of said liner which are positioned above the recessed areas defined by the grooves in the anvil. The tape 10 is then embossed with additional indicia and again the strip material is placed between or adjacent the knife member and the anvil member and the same are moved relative to each other to cut the tape and portions of the liner. This provides for the production of a strip formed of separate labels which are easily separated from the adjacent labels in the strip such that they may be easily handled when taking a number of labels to an area containing the articles to be labeled.
l. A label tape cutting mechanism comprising a knife member having a pair of spaced knife edges disposed in a plane, an anvil having a size at one surface to support a tape to be cut, said anvil having a generally planar surface and having means defining recessed areas in said one surface in the path of movement of each of said knife edges, said means defining the recessed area in the path of one of said knife edges defining a single groove disposed between two recessed areas in the path of the other of said knife edges, and means supporting said knife member and said anvil for relative movement to move the knife edges against said one surface of said anvil to cut a tape placed on said anvil except for the portions of a said tape which may be forced into said recessed areas.
2. A label tape cutting mechanism according to claim 1 wherein said knife edges are parallel and said recessed areas are grooves formed in the anvil surface beneath the knife edges and extend generally perpendicular to said knife edges.