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Publication numberUS3556514 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 19, 1971
Filing dateOct 3, 1968
Priority dateOct 4, 1967
Publication numberUS 3556514 A, US 3556514A, US-A-3556514, US3556514 A, US3556514A
InventorsGuenther Stockmann
Original AssigneeSommer Fritz
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for manipulating labels or the like
US 3556514 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MANIPULATING LABELS OR THE LIKE 27 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

U.S. Cl 271/8, 271/74, 264/22, 18/5 Int. Cl B65h 5/10 Field of Search 271/8, 74, 10, 54, 14; 264/22; l8/5(B) References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1946 Cutler 3,324,508 6/1967 Dickinson ABSTRACT: Printed labels which are to be introduced into the cavity of a mold for synthetic plastic material are applied to the peripheral surface of a hollow cylindrical transfer member in response to movement of the peripheral surface against a deformable tape which is held in stressed condition and yields when the 'transfer member is moved against its upper side whereby a label which is placed between the tape and the transfer member is applied to the peripheral surface of the transfer member to be thereupon held thereon by suction during introduction into the female die of the molding machine. The electrostatic charge of the label is destroyed prior to application to the peripheral surface, and the label is thereupon electrostatically charged by one or more metallic strips which are applied to the peripheral surface and are connected to a source of high-voltage electrical energy during application of the label to the peripheral surface of the transfer member.

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MANIPULATING LABELS OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for manipulating labels or like sheetlike bodies. More particularly, the invention relates to a method and apparatus which can be resorted to in the application of labels or like sheets which carry symbols representing advertising matter, scales, instructions, designs, trademarks, warnings and/or other information which can used to designate the nature, mode of using and/or other characters of preferably plastic articles to which the labels are secured, either permanently or temporarily. Still more particularly, the invention relates to a method of applying labels to the peripheral surface of a preferably cylindrical transfer member which can be employed to deliver labels or like sheetlike bodies into a mold prior to filling of the mold cavity with a charge of plasticized material which is to form a cup, a box, a bottle or another plastic article.

It is often necessary to introduce labels or similar sheet-like bodies into the female dies of molding machines [as shown in the German Auslegeschtift 267,832] which are employed to form plastic articles. The labels must be introduced into the interior of a molding machine prior to introduction of plasticized material so that they adhere to or are embedded in the plastic mass before the mass hardens. As a rule, such molding machines comprise a female die which receives the label and thereupon cooperates with a male die to define a mold cavity for reception of plasticized material. To my knowledge, no apparatus are known in the art which can accurately and rapidly introduce labels or the like into the cavity of a mold for the purpose of insuring that the label is inserted in a predetermined position, for example, in such a way that it extends around the periphery of a solid or hollow cylindrical, conical, spherical and/or otherwise configurated plastic article.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present'invention to provide a simple method of rapidly and accurately applying labels to a transfer member which can be employed to introduce labels into a female die or a like receptacle or carrier for labels.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can be utilized for the practice of the just outlined method and which is capable of applying to the transfer member labels of any desired size, shape and/or consistency.

A further object of the invention is to provide a fully automatic apparatus which can apply labels to convex cylindrical or otherwise configurated surfaces of transfer members and which can apply the labels gently, without smudging and preferably in such a way that each label surrounds at least the major part of a preferably cylindrical peripheral surface of the transfer member.

An additional object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can manipulate labels consisting of highly flexible or relatively stiff metallic, plastic, paperlike or other material, or of a combination of such materials.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can apply blank (unprinted) labels or which can be used for application of labels provided with symbols representing trademarks, decorative designs, instructions and/or other indicia.

One feature of the invention resides in the provision of a method of manipulating bodies of flexible sheet material, particularly of inserting labels in to the female die of a molding machine for synthetic plastic material. The method comprises the stops of placing an imprinted label or a like body of sheet material between a shape-retaining first surface (which preferably constitutes the peripheral surface of a hollow cylindrical transfer member having a configuration complementary to that of the female die) and a deformable second surface (preferably the upper surface of a flexible tape or presser element whose end portions are held by carriages which are preferably comprises the additional step of maintaining the' second surface in substantially undeformed condition prior to movement of the one surface (preferably the first surface) against the other (second) surface. Once the body of sheet material is applied to the first surface, it is preferably held against such first surface by suction, at least until the transfer member enters the female die of the molding machine. Since the second surface is preferably subjected to elastic tensional stresses, this second surface conforms to the outline of the first surface in response to movement of the first surface against the second surface (and more particularly against the label which is placed between the two surfaces by a suitable label dispensing and feeding unit of any known design).

If desired or necessary, the marginal portions of the label can be folded against the first surface in response to movement of the one surface against the other surface so that the first mentioned or median portion of the label is applied to the first surface in response to deformation of the second surface and that the marginal portions of the label are simultaneously applied to the remainder of the first surface. The electrostatic charge of the label can be destroyed prior to movement of the one surface against the other surface to prevent adherence of the label to the deformable second surface, and the label can be electrostatically charged to adhere to the first surface during application to such first surface.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The improved apparatus itself, however, both as to its construction and its mode of operation, together with additional features and advantages thereof, will be best understood BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an apparatus which embodies the invention, a label being shown in a position ready for application to the peripheral surface of a cylindrical transfer member;

FIG. 2 illustrates the apparatus of FIG. 1 with the label in a first stage of application to the peripheral surface of the transfer member;

FIG. 3 illustrates the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2 with the label in the final stage of application to the peripheral surface of the transfer member;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the transfer member; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a molded article with a label incorporated therein.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The apparatus of FIG. 1 comprises a stationary base or main support 3 for a pair of upright holders or carriages l, 2 which are reciprocable along ways provided on the base so that they can move toward and away from each other. Helical springs 4, 5 or analogous biasing means are provided to urge the carriages l, 2 away from each other and to the outer end positions determined by the length of a flexible weblike or tapelike presser element 6 whose end portions are preferably adjustably and readily separably affixed to the carriages. The presser element 6 (hereinafter called tape for short) extends at a level above and abuts against the rounded upper end portions of two upright deforming members 7, 8 which are fixedly mounted on the base 3 in the space between the carriages l and 2. Thus, the distance between the deforming members 7, 8 is constant. The distance between the member 7 and the carriage 1 is preferably the same as that between the carriage 2 and member 8.

The carriages l, 2 respectively support two pivotable leverlike deflectors or arms 9, which extend toward each other i.e., toward theadjoining deforming members 7, 8. The arms 9, 10 serve to support marginal portions ofa label 1 1 when the carriages 1, 2 are free to assume their outer end positions shown in FIG. I. The axes about which the arms 9, 10 can pivot are normal to the longitudinal direction of the tape 6.

The transfer member of the apparatus comprises a hollow cylinder or drum 12 which is mounted in the space between the deforming members 7, 8 and is movable up and down as indicated by the double-headed arrow 12a. The drum I2 is maintained in a horizontal position and the means for moving it up anddown may include a mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic or electrical drive. The mantle or shell of the drum 12 is formed with annuli of ports 13 and its interior constitutes a chamber which can be connected with a suction fan 14a or the like by way of preferably flexible pipe 14 containing a suitable regulating valve 14b (see FIG. 4). The valve 14b can connect the chamber of the drum 12 with a compressor 140 or another suitable source of compressed gas when the chamber is disconnected from the fan 14a, or vice versa. The peripheral surface of the drum I2 is provided with metallic strips or rings which have radially outwardly extending metallic pins or analogous projections (not specifically shown) adapted to be connected with a source of high-voltage electrical energy by way ofconductors 16 (FIG. 4).

The round end portions of the deforming members 7, 8 engage ,the underside of the tape 6 and the length of each of these end portions at least equals the width of the tape.

The operation:

Prior to being placed onto the arms 9, 10 in a manner as shown in FIG. 1, the electrostatic charge of the label 11 is destroyedby any suitable means, not shown. The means for feeding the label 1 1 from a stack or dispenser onto the arms 9, is of conventional design and its construction forms no part ofthe present invention. The drum 12 is maintained in raised position so that it does not interfere with the feeding of labels onto the arms 9, 10.

In the next step, the drum 12 is caused to move downwardly toward or against the tape 6 and to'the position shown in FIG. 2 whereby the lower part of its rigid shape-retaining peripheral surface engages the median portion of the label 11 and moves such median portion into engagement with the median portion of the'upper surface of the tape 6 so that the latter is deformed by the members 7 and 8 and causes the label to be applied to the peripheral surface of the drum. Such application of the label is assisted by suction which is effective through the ports 13,'i.e., the valve 14b is then moved to a position in which it connects the chamber of the drum 12 with the suction fan 140. As the tape 6 undergoes deformation in response to downward movement of the drum 12 toward and beyond the position shown in FIG. 2, the carriages 1,2 move toward each other, i. e., toward the respective deforming members 7, 8 and cause thesprings 4, 5 to store energy. The free ends of the arms 10 move toward each other in response to movement of the carriages l1, 2 toward the deforming members 7, 8 whereby such free ends pivot and deflect the marginal portions of the label Illupwardly so that a larger part of the label is caused to move into contact with the peripheral surface of the drum 12.

g The drum 12 continues to move downwardly toward (and if necessary beyond) the position shown in FIG. 3 whereby the median portion of the tape 6 undergoes progressively increasing deformation and causes a progressively increasing part of the median portion of the label 11 to abut against the peripheral surface of the drum. The free ends of the arms 9, 10 continue to pivot and to move toward each other to thus effect further flexing of the marginal portions of the label 11 toward and into contact with the peripheral surface of the drum. The length of the label 11 can (but need not) be selected in such a way that the label ultimately surrounds the entire peripheral surface of the drum 12 or that one of the marginal portions even overlaps a part of the other marginal portion. Of course, themarginal portions of the fully applied label 11 can remain spaced, at least slightly, from each other. Suction established in the chamber of the drum 12 in response to such manipulation of the valve 14b that the drum is connected with the fan 14a suffices to insure that the label adheres to the peripheral surface of the drum 12 while the latter is thereupon returned to and moved upwardly beyond the position shown in FIG. 1. Such upward movement of the drum"12 enables the springs 4, 5 to contract and to return the carriages '1, 2 and the tape 6 to the positions shown in FIG. 1. The sprin'gs'4, 5 subject the tape to elastic tensional stresses and maintain it in substantially undeformed condition when the drum IZ re'aches or moves upwardly beyond the position shown in FIG. 1.

The drum 12 is then ready to transfer the label 11 into the female die of a mold for plastic articles or the like. The cavity of the female die is preferably surrounded by a surface which is complementary to the peripheral surface of the drum. The valve 14b continues to connect the drum 12 with the fan during such transfer of the label 11 to make sure that the label retains its cylindrical shape, i.e., that it continues to adhere to the peripheral surface of the drum. In the next step, the valve 14b is adjusted so as to connect the chamber of the drum 12 with the compressor 14c wherebythe ports 13 discharge jets of compressed gas which cause the outer sideof the label 11 to abut against the internal surface of the female die. The circuit of the pins on the rings 15 is thereupon completed so that the label 11 is electrostatically charged and is' thereby caused to adhere to the internal surface of the female die in an accurately determined position. The drum l2.is thereupon withdrawn from the female die so that the latter can cooperate with a male die to form therewith a mold cavity which is filled with plasticized material, When the thus introduced material sets, its external surface is provided with the label 11 which can carry advertising matter, one or more graduated scales, designs representing trademarks or other indicia of the owner or manufacturer, lettering or instructions to use one otherwise manipulate the articles, and/or other symbols. The symbols are applied to the outer side of the label 11, at least when the material of the label is neither transparent nor translucent.

The drum 12 is ready to accept a fresh label 11 as soon as it is withdrawn from the female die so that it can be wrapped into such fresh label during the formation of an article in the mold.

The operation of the means for feeding the labels onto the arms 9, 10 of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1--4 and of the molding machine can be programmed so that the aforedescribed steps are carried out in a predetermined sequence and in a fully automatic way. FIG. 5 shows as an example of a moulded article with a label 11 incorporated therein or bonded thereto a drinking cup 17 formed of plastic material by an injection moulding machine whereby the outer side of the label 11 forming the outer circumferential surface of the cup 17 has a design of triangular sections 18, 19 which are alternately colored black and white. This design is part of the outer side of the label 11 which forms a homogene unit with the injected plastic material.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features which fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic and specific aspects of my contribution to the art.

Iclaim:

1. In a method of manipulating bodies of flexible sheet material, particularly of inserting printed labels into the female die of a molding machine for synthetic plastic material, the steps of placing a body of sheet material between a shaperetaining first surface and a deformable second surface; and moving one of said surfaces against the other surface to thereby effect deformation of the second surface and simultaneous application of at least a portion of the body to the first surface. I

2. The steps as defined in claim 1, wherein said first surface is convex.

3. The steps as defined in claim 1, and the additional step of maintaining the second surface in substantially undeformed condition prior to movement of said one surface against said other surface.

4. The steps as defined in claim 1, and the additional step of subjecting said second surface to elastic tensional stresses.

5. The steps as defined in claim 1, and the additional step of holding said portion of the body against said first surface by suction.

6. The steps as defined in claim 1, wherein said one surface is said first surface and the additional step of subjecting said second surface to elastic tensional stresses so that the deformed second surface conforms to the outline of said first surface in response to movement of said first surface against said second surface.

7i The steps as defined in claim 1, and the additional step of folding the marginal portions of the body against said first surface in response to movement of said one surface against said other surface, said first mentioned portion of said body being located between said marginal portions thereof.

8. The steps as defined in claim 1, and the additional step of destroying the electrostatic charge of the body prior to movement of said one surface against said other surface.

9. The steps as defined in claim 1, and the additional step of electrostatically charging the body in response to application of said portion thereof to said first surface.

10. In an apparatus for manipulating bodies of flexible sheet material, particularly for inserting printed labels into the female die of a molding machine for synthetic plastic material, a combination comprising a deformable presser element of flexible material; and a transfer member having a peripheral surface and movable in a direction against one surface of said presser element whereby a body of sheet material which is located between said surfaces is applied to the peripheral surface of said transfer member in response to latters movement against said one surface of said presser element.

11. A combination as defined in claim l0, further comprising means for tensioning said presser element.

12. A combination as defined in claim 10, further comprising a pair of deflectors arranged to engage and to fold the marginal portions of the body against said peripheral surface in response to deformation of said presser element.

13. A combination as defined in claim 10, wherein said presser element comprises two end portions and further comprising movable carriages each supportingly connected with one end portion of said presser element.

14. A combination as defined in claim 13, further comprising guide means for said carriages, said carriages being movable toward and away from each other along said guide means, and means for biasing said carriages away from each other to thereby subject the presser element to elastic tensional stresses.

15. A combination as defined in claim 14, wherein said carriages are arranged to move toward each other in response to deformation of said presser element by said transfer member whereby said biasing means urges the body of sheet material against said peripheral surface when said presser element is deformed by said transfer member.

16. A combination as defined in claim 10, wherein said transfer member is hollow and is provided with port means extending through said peripheral surface thereof, and further comprising suction generating means arranged to draw air by way of said port means during movement of said transfer member against said presser element to thereby hold said portion of the body against said peripheral surface by suction.

plied to said peripheral surface.

19. A combination as defined in claim 18, wherein said charging means comprises at least one metallic strip provided on said peripheral surface and having outwardly extending projections engaging the body which is applied to said peripheral surface, and means for connecting said strip to a source of high-voltage energy.

20. A combination as defined in claim 10, wherein said transfer member is reciprocable along a predetermined path and further comprising a pair of deforming members flanking said path and arranged to deform intermediate portions of said presser element in response to movement of said transfer member toward said one surface.

21. A combination as defined in claim 20, wherein said deforming members are equidistant from said path and wherein each of said deforming members is arranged to engage the presser element along the full width of the presser element, at least when the latter is deformed by said transfer member.

22. A combination as defined in claim 21, wherein said presser element has end portions extending outwardly beyond said deforming members and further comprising a pair of carriages each connected with one end portion of said presser element and each movable toward the adjoining deforming member in response to deformation of said presser element on movement of said peripheral surface against said one surface.

23. A combination as defined in claim 22, wherein the distance between one of said carriages and the adjoining deforming member at least approximates the distance between the other carriage and the other deforming member.

24. A combination as defined in claim 10, wherein said presser element comprises a pair of end portions and further comprising a pair of carriages each supportingly connected with one of said end portions, said carriages being arranged to move toward each other in response to deformation of said presser element, and a pair of deflectors, each carried by one of said carriages and each arranged to fold one marginal portion of the body against said peripheral surface in response to movement of said carriages toward each other.

25. A combination as defined in claim 24, wherein each of said deflectors is pivotable with reference to the corresponding carriage about an axis which is normal to the direction of reciprocatory movement of said carriages.

26. A combination as defined in claim 24, further comprising a pair of stationary deforming members flanking said transfer member and each having an end portion abutting against said presser element, at least while the latter is deformed by said transfer member, said deflectors having free end portions which are adjacent to the end portions of said deforming members in undeformed condition of said presser element.

27. A combination as defined in claim 26, wherein the marginal portions of the body of sheet material are arranged to rest on the end portions of said deflectors in undeformed condition of said presser element, said presser element being located at a level below and said transfer member being normally located at a level above said deflectors.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2396988 *Nov 13, 1944Mar 19, 1946Jacob CutlerMechanism for removing blanks from magazines and transferring the blanks to mandrels
US3324508 *Apr 17, 1964Jun 13, 1967Union Carbide CorpApparatus for positioning a label in a mold
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4236954 *Jan 18, 1979Dec 2, 1980Vinyl Clad Proprietary LimitedLabel applicator
US5169653 *Jul 22, 1991Dec 8, 1992Hoover Universal, Inc.Label transfer mechanism for blow molding machinery
US5614146 *Nov 14, 1995Mar 25, 1997Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd.Method and apparatus of supplying labels to injection mold
US6007759 *Mar 24, 1997Dec 28, 1999Simco Nederland B.V.Method for manufacturing an injection moulded article
US8246895 *Nov 30, 2006Aug 21, 2012Keter Plastic Ltd.Injection molding method
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/8.1, 425/174, 264/484, 271/194, 425/500, 425/504, 425/174.80E
International ClassificationB29C45/14, B29C51/00, B29C45/00, B29C31/00, B29C45/16, B29C35/00
Cooperative ClassificationB29C2045/14918, B29C45/14008, B29C2045/14106, B29C2045/14057
European ClassificationB29C45/14B