US 3553049 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. K. WOLFF 3,553,949
METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING LABELS TO BOTTLES 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Jan. 5, 1971 Filed June 2, 1967 IN VE N TOR EDWIN K. WOLFF B) i 'TO/QNEV v r F 4 T llllll L P MM .llllllb a? 1111 I 1 G F E. K. WOLFF 3553,09
METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING LABELS TO BOTTLES Jan. 5, 1971 Filed June 1967 FIG. 4
INVENTOR EDW/N K. WOLFF Jan. 5, 1971 wo 3,553,049
METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING LABELS TO BOTTLES Filed June 2, 1967 3 SheetsSheet 5 FIG. 6
INVENTOR EDWIN K. WOLFF United States Patent 3,553,049 METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYLNG LABELS TO BOTTLES Edwin K. Wolff, Stockholm, N.J., assignor to New .lersey Machine Corporation, Hoboken, N.J., a corporation of New Jersey Filed June 2, 1967, Ser. No. 643,183 Int. Cl. B65c 3/16 U.S. Cl. 156-250 16 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention provides means for successively attaching to bottles the successive terminal labels in a continuous web and means for then successively separating the terminal applied labels from the web by the application of force.
This invention relates to an improved method of labelling articles, such as bottles, and is particularly concerned with the application of labels from a continuous Web of the same.
Heretofore articles have usually been labeled with labels that are cut, stacked, and then fed from a stack in the labeling machine to the articles to 'be labeled. In view of many disadvantages which are inherent in the use of cut and stacked labels for certain labeling operations, the use of labels in the web form has assumed a greater importance in recent years. In this type of labeling, the terminal labels are usually successively severed from the web prior to their application to the articles. There are certain disadvantages which are also peculiar to this method of labeling, and the principal one of which is that the speed of labeling by the apparatus employed in the practice of such method may be inadequate for certain types of high-speed production.
It is the primary purpose of this invention to provide an improved method of and apparatus for labeling articles with labels from a continuous web thereof, reliably and properly at relatively high speeds.
Other objects of the invention, as well as the advantages thereof, will become apparent from a perusal of the following description, when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of a bottle-labeling apparatus embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view on an enlarged scale of the registering, adhesive applying and trimming rollers embodied in the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a modified form of labeling apparatus;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a further modification of the invention;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a still further modified form of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a detailed plan view on an enlarged scale of the label separating device provided in the apparatus of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is an elevational view of the device shown in FIG. 6.
In the drawings similar parts in the several embodiments shown have been designated with the same reference numerals. Referring now more particularly to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the reference numeral 10 designates a conveyor belt which is driven at a constant velocity V and on which are positioned the articles to be labeled, namely, the series of bottles designated 11. The bottles 11 are spaced on the conveyor belt 10 at a given distance by a feed screw 12 so that they are in properly spaced relation for the labeling operation. Disposed to one side of the belt 10 is a support 13 for a supply roll 14 of label material which may be ice a continuous paper web 15 that may have successive labels already provided thereon in any suitable manner, or upon which labels may be printed as such web travels through the label machine. As shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings the web 15 may include a longitudinally extending body strip 16 upon which the labels are provided and a longitudinally extending strip 18 provided with a longitudinally extending series of spaced registering holes or perforations 19 adapted to receive the registering pins 20 on a driving or metering roll 21. As the Web 15 is drawn from the supply roll 14 by roll 21 it passes through a cutting device 22 which precuts the strip 16 transversely to form transverse lines of perforations 23 between the labels so that such labels are connected along weakened lines of the web material.
The perforated web passes from the cutting device 22 and around a guide roll 29 to the metering roll 21, the register pins 20 of which enter into the holes 19 in strip 18 of the web to enable the metering roll 21 to draw the web from the supply roll 14 and to make the labels on the strip 16 come into proper registry with the 'bottles 11 at the label applying station which is designated 30. Associated with the metering roll 21 is an adhesive depositing device 31 of any suitable construction, such as, a glue container and roller for applying adhesive to the strip 16 only of the web 15 as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, or suitable heating means 'known to the art for activating a layer of thermoplastic material provided on such strip 16 as an adhesive coating. Also associated with metering roll 21 is a trimming device 32 of suitable construction known to the art and capable of severing the web 15 along the broken line 33 shown in FIG. 2 to separate the web strips 16 and 18. As illustrated the separated web strip 16 continues on to the label applying station 30, while the separated web strip 18 containing the holes 19 passes from the roll 21 to a trim rewinder 34.
As is indicated in FIG. 1 of the drawings, at the label applying station the web strip 16 passes between a bottle moving through such station at the same rate of speed V as that given the label web by the metering roll 21, and a pressure roller 35 which preferably has a label engaging periphery made of resilient material such as rubber. The roller 35 forms part of the label applicator device at the label applying station 30 and coacts with a roll 36 that is driven at a speed giving it the same peripheral velocity V It will be noted that roll 36 functions as a back-up roll for the roll 35 and coacts with the latter to adhere the web strip 16 to the bottle. Because the periphery of the roll 36, and the bottle and web strip 16 are all moving at the same velocity, the periphery of roll 36 will always be in rolling contact with an advancing bottle and the label web will be applied to the bottle without being wrinkled.
It will be understood that the portion of the web strip 16 which is being applied to a bottle constitutes the leading terminal portion of the label 17 which is adjacent and connected to the leading or terminal label on such strip and may be termed the second label, the first or terminal label 17 having advanced at that time with a preceding bottle 11' to a label separating station 40 as shown in FIG. 1. As the bottle to which the second label 17 is attached advances toward such station 40, the remainder of such second label will follow, being guided in such following movement by the roll 35 so that the leading edge of the next succeeding or third label 17" (note FIG. 2) will come into proper position for attachment to a succeeding bottle 11" when both pass between such roll 35 and the associated roll 36.
Simultaneously with the attachment of the leading or terminal end of the second label .17 to a bottle and while such terminal end is gripped between the bottle and roll 35, the leading end of the terminal or first label 17 and the bottle 11 to which the leading end of such first label has been applied, will pass between and be gripped by two rolls 41, 42 at the label separating station. As shown, roll 41 is positively driven in a counterclockwise direction to provide it with a peripheral speed V that is equal to the belt velocity V minus a given increment of such velocity V while roll 42 is driven in a clockwise direction to provide it with a peripheral velocity V that is equal to the belt velocity V plus a given increment of such velocity V The result is that the bottle 11 will be rotated in a counterclockwise direction to cause a bursting force to be applied to the first label 17 while label 17 is gripped and moving at a velocity V such force being sufliciently great to break the line 23 of weakened web material between the labels 17, 17' and separate the latter from the former and the web strip .16.
As illustrated in FIG. 1 the separated label and the bottle to which it is attached moves forwardly on the belt to a finishing station 50 where they pass between two belts 43 and 44 which roll the bottle so that the label becomes completely adhered thereto. Belt 43 is driven in a counterclockwise direction at a velocity V that is equal to the belt velocity V minus a given increment of such velocity V while belt 44 is driven in a clockwise direction at a velocity V that is equal to the belt velocity V plus a given increment of such velocity V As a result the bottles between such belts are caused to rotate counterclockwise about their axes to roll the labels thereon. Preferably the difference in the driving speeds of the two belts 43 and 44 are so chosen so that the rotational movement of the bottles is at a relatively low rate and only suflicient to effect a complete application of the labels thereto without causing the bottles to become unstable on the belt 10. The difference in the driving speeds of the rolls 41, 42 is likewise selected to accomplish the bursting operation without rendering the bottles unstable.
The embodiment shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings differs from that shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings only in the respect that roll 36 has been eliminated and the label applicator roll instead coacts with the discharge end of the feed screw 12 to apply the leading or terminal ends of the second labels 17 to the bottles. The feed screw in this embodiment therefore performs a dual function. It feeds the bottles in properly separated relation to the label applying station 30, and its discharge end forms part of the means at such station for applying the labels to the bottles passing through such station. In all other respects the parts of and the operation of the apparatus shown in FIG. 3 are similar to those described with respect to the embodiment of FIG. 1.
The embodiment of FIG. 3 has been further modified to attain the embodiment of FIG. 4 by eliminating the label separating rolls 41, 42 of FIGS. 1 and 2 and utilizing the entry ends of the bottle rolling means at the label finishing station 50 as the label applicator means of the label separating station 40 and by substituting an adjustable pressure pad 43 for the belt 43 at such finishing station 50. Thus, in this construction, the labels will be initially adhered to the bottles in the manner described with respect to FIG. 3, and such initially adhered labels will then pass directly into the entry ends of the pressure pad 43' and belt 44. Since the velocity of belt 44 is greater than that of the pad 43' which is zero, so that such belt is movable relative to the latter to cause the bottles to rotate in a counterclockwise direction on the belt 10, such pad 43' and belt 44 will initially cause the separation of the first label .17 from the web strip 16 and then complete the adhesion of such label to its bottle 11' as the bottle advances therebetween. The pad 43' and belt 44 in the embodiment of FIG. 4 therefore, have a dual function, namely as the label applying means and the means for completing the adhesion of the labels to the bottles. It will be understood that it is within the contemplation of the invention to revise the arrangement of the pad and belt shown in FIG. 4, or to substitute such a pad for either of the belts 43, 44 in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 3 or to utilize the belts 43, 44 in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 3 as both the label separating means and the label finishing means in the manner of the pad 43 and belt 44 in the embodiment of FIG. 4.
The embodiment of FIGS. 5-7 illustrate how the label separation may be accomplished by suddenly increasing the space between the bottles to which the first and second labels of the web strip 16 have been applied. While such a means may be incorporated in the apparatus in any suitable manner, as for example, in the entry ends of the devices for completing the adhesion of the labels to the bottles as taught by the embodiment of FIG. 4, such means have been illustrated by way of example in an embodiment of the type shown in FIG. 1 for the sake of clearness. The embodiment of FIG. 5 is similar to that of FIG. 1 except that the label separating rolls 41, 42 of the latter have been replaced in the embodiment of FIG. 5 by two star wheels generally designated 45 and 46. As is shown more clearly in FIGS. 6 and 7 of the drawings, each of the star wheels 45, 46 is composed of two star wheel plates 47, 47' made of any suitable material such as metal, rubber, and the like, and mounted in spaced relation on a driven vertical shaft 48. The plates 47, 47' are provided with registered recesses 48, 49', respectively, in the peripheries thereof for the reception of bottles. Mounted on each shaft 48 intermediate the pair of spaced plates 47, 57 thereon, is a circular bottle gripper 52 Which may be made of resilient material such as rubber.
In the operation of the device, the star wheels 45, 46 are turned so that as a bottle 11 with a first label 17' attached enters into the label separating station 40 a pair of registered recesses 49, 49' on the plates 47, 47 of each will move to receive the advancing bottle and the grippers 52 of each will come into gripping relation with the bottle. As the bottle 11' is so gripped, the leading end of the label 17 applied thereto will also be gripped between the bottle and one or both of the plates 47, 47 of the star wheel 46, or by the gripper 52 thereof, or by any combination of such parts, or all of them as is illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 of the drawings. When the bottle and label have been so gripped, the means turning the shafts 48 of such star wheels imparts to such shafts a quick increase in the turning movement thereof so that the bottle 11' is impelled forwardly on the belt 10 by the star wheels so as to cause the label 17' to be separated from the second label 17 on the web strip 16. The label 17' will then be completely adhered to the bottle 11' by the belts 43, 44 in the manner described with respect to FIG. 1.
While I have hereinabove described and illustrated in the drawings various forms which the invention may take, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, or the scope of the appended claims. Thus, for example, instead of utilizing both star plates 47, 47' and gripper 52 in each device 45 or 46, only one of such parts may be utilized to effect the same results. Also devices other than star wheels may be utilized to propel the bottles forwardly to effect the label bursting operation.
1. Apparatus for labeling articles comprising means for feeding a series of articles along a path toward and past a place for label application, means for supporting a roll of web having a series of labels thereon, means for feeding the web from said supporting means and successively apply to the articles arriving at such place of application those labels adjacent to and connected to terminal labels which have been previously applied to articles and moved past such place of application, means for successively gripping these applied labels which are ad jacent to the applied terminal labels and the articles to which such adjacent labels are applied, and means spaced beyond said gripping means for successively imparting to the applied terminal labels still connected to the web a forward component of velocity sufficient to create a force capable of separating said terminal labels from said gripped adjacent labels so that the latter successively become the applied terminal labels.
2. Apparatus for labeling articles as defined in claim 1, in which said gripping means comprises an article engaging member located along one side edge of said path, and a pressing member located along the other side edge of said path and cooperable with said article engaging member to clamp an article and a label applied thereto.
3. Apparatus for labeling articles as defined in claim 2, in which said pressing member is a roll forming part of said label applying means.
4. Apparatus for labeling articles as defined in claim 2, in which said article engaging member is a movable driven member and forms partof said article feeding means.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, in which said force exerting means engages said articles and includes a movable member operable to modify the movement imparted to an article by said feeding means in a manner to apply said force to a terminal label.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, in which said movable member is located on one side of said path and has a terminal label engaging surface movable in a closed path in the same direction as the articles and at a peripheral speed greater than the velocity imparted to the article by said feeding means, and in which said force exerting means includes a second member located on the other side of said path and cooperable with said movable member to effect such modification in movement of the article.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, in which said movable member successively displaces the articles on said path in an advancing direction from their positions relative thereto prior to their engagement by said force exerting means.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, in which said force exerting means comprises a pair of members located in spaced relation on opposite sides of said article path and engaging an article with a label applied thereto fed therebetween by said feeding means in pressing relation so as to fix the label relative to the article, said members being constructed and arranged to modify the movement imparted to said article by said feeding means in a manner to apply said separating force to the label fixed thereby to the article.
9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, in which one of said members is movable relative to the other during their engagement with an article so as to rotate said article in a direction to apply such force to the article without disturbing the forward feed of such article by said feeding means.
10. Apparatus as defined in claim 9, in which said members are endless members, the peripheries of which move at speeds different from that of the bottle, and different from each other.
11. Apparatus as defined in claim 9, in which one of said members is a pressure pad, and which the other of said members has an endless periphery movable relative to said pad.
12. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, in which said pair of members are movable to displace the article in an advancing direction relative to the direction of movement imparted thereto by said feeding means.
13. The method of labeling articles comprising conveying a series of articles along a path toward and past a first place for label application, pressing successive intermediate portions of a continuous strip of adhesive labeling material successively into adhesive contact with successive articles as they move past said place for label application, and at a second place spaced beyond said place for label application successively imparting to the applied portions of the strip which have moved beyond said place for label application while said pressing action is being successively applied to successive such intermediate strip portions at said first place for label application, a forward component of velocity sufficient to create a force capable of successively separating lengths of the strip between said places.
14. The method of labeling articles defined in claim 13, including successively pressing at said second place each applied portion of said strip against the article to which it has been applied and simultaneously moving the article to apply such force through such pressed applied portion.
15. The method of labeling articles defined in claim 14, in which the article is rotated to apply such force.
16. The method of labeling articles defined in claim 14, in which the article is imparted an additional momentary motion in the direction of its movement to apply such force.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,981,278 -8/1932 Mudd 156362 X 2,686,607 8/1954 Zander 156453 3,091,245 5/1963 Rudszinat et al. 156458X 3,178,329 4/1965 Rohbogner 156250 3,235,433 2/1966 Cvacho et al. 156-354X 3,367,822 2/1968 Hofller 156-264 VERLIN R. PENDEGRASS, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.