Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3562067 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 9, 1971
Filing dateJul 16, 1968
Priority dateJul 16, 1968
Publication numberUS 3562067 A, US 3562067A, US-A-3562067, US3562067 A, US3562067A
InventorsKucheck Leo
Original AssigneeCompac Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Label centering apparatus
US 3562067 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 9, 197l KUCHECK 3,562,067

, LABEL GENTERING APPARATUS Filed July 16, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 luveuroa Leo KuQ-IECK Feb. 9, 1971 KUCHECK 3,562,067

' LABEL CENTERING APPARATUS Filed July 16, 1968 z Sheets-Sheet 2 5 I I I 1 INVENTOR Lao Ku CHECK M184 mem rvs.

United States Patent Office US. Cl. 156542 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Label centering apparatus usable with a label applying machine having a label receiving surface thereon, the label centering apparatus including roller means mounted for rotation on opposite sides of the label receiving surface about axes of rotation which are in a plane which is flush with or located inwardly of said label receiving surface so the confronting roller surfaces converge toward and up to the same, the closest portions of the confronting roller surfaces at the point where they are flush with the label receiving surface being equally spaced from a label centering axis on said label receiving surface and spaced apart a distance equal to the corresponding dimension of the labels to be delivered thereto. The roller means are rotated in opposite directions so they approach the label receiving surface from a position outwardly thereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to apparatus for centering labels fed to a label applying station of a label applying machine.

Labels delivered to a label applying head of a label applying machine of the type disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,093,528, granted June 11, 1963, are carried thereto on a backing strip upon which the labels are held in longitudinally spaced relation by a pressure sensitive adhesive coated on the inner surface of the labels. In this machine, the backing strip with the labels attached thereto is fed around the edge of a label peeling plate located immediately contiguous to a downwardly facing label receiving surface of the label applying head so that the labels peel from the backing strip as the path of the strip reverses in direction around the edge of the label peeling plate and come to rest against saidlabel receiving surface with the adhesive coated side thereof facing away therefrom. The labels may be held on the label applying head by suction applied through apertures in the label receiving surface thereof. The labels may be delivered to an article from the label applying head in any suitable way, preferably by application of air pressure through said apertures in the label receiving surface thereof. A photocell or label position sensing switch may control the feeding of the labels to the label applying head so that, when a label is delivered to an article, movement is automatically imparted to the backing strip until another label peels from the backing strip.

In many applications, it is important that the labels be precisely positioned upon the article involved. The longitudinal position of each label is precisely fixed on the label applying head because the label comes to rest thereon as it leaves engagement with. the backing strip. However, the particular lateral position of each label on the label applying head is determined by the lateral position of each label as it leaves the backing strip. Unfortunately, the labels are frequently inaccurately laterally positioned on the backing strip so the lateral positions thereof vary somewhat as they are fed to the label applying head. The present invention provides a relatively simple and reliable means for accurately centerin the labels on the 3,562,067 Patented Feb. 9, 1971 label applying head independently of the particular lateral position thereof on the backing strip.

In the most preferred form of the invention, label centering apparatus is provided which can be readily built into or installed upon the label applying head of existing types of label applying machines. In such case, the label centering apparatus of the invention receives each label as it peels from the associated backing strip and automatically centers the same in a lateral direction on the label receiving surface of the label applying head. In another form of the invention, the label centering apparatus is physically separate and is spaced from the label applying head and, in such case, the label peeling plate referred to above delivers the labels to the inlet end of the label centering apparatus which both centers and conveys the labels, one at a time, to an outlet end thereof adjacent to the label applying head.

The specific features of the invention will become apparent upon making reference to the specifications to follow, the claims and the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view through a label head of a well-known form of label applying machine to which head label centering rollers of one form of the invention have been applied;

FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section through the apparatus of FIG. 2, taken along section line 3-3 thereof;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a modified form of the invention which uses fixed walls instead of rollers on the label applying head of the label applying machine involved;

FIG. 5 is a vertical longitudinal section through a still further modified form of the invention where the label centering apparatus includes conveyor and centering belts which are physically separate from the label applying head of the label applying machine involved;

FIG. 6 is a greatly enlarged transverse section through the label centering apparatus of FIG. 5, taken along section line 6-6 thereof; and

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the apparatus of FIGS. 6 and 7.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 3, there is shown a label applying head 2 of a label applying machine similar to that shown in said US. Pat. No. 3,093,528. The label applying head 2 has a bottom, downwardly facing label receiving surface 4a provided by an apertured wall 4. The wall 4 has apertures 4b opening onto a chamber 6 which communicates in any suitable way with a suction fan or other source of low pressure (not shown) which creates a suction at the apertures 4b which will hold a label 8 on the surface 4a when the same is delivered thereto. The chamber 6 also communicates with a source of air pressure (not shown) which becomes effective to deliver air under pressure to the chamber 6 to blow the label 8 downwardly from the bottom of the label applying head 2 when an article to be labeled is moved into position below the same.

The labels 8 are delivered to the label receiving surface 4a in the illustrated embodiment of the invention by a backing strip 10 which carries the labels 8 in longitudinally spaced position thereon. The backing strip .10 may have a suitable release coating 10 thereon, and each of the labels 8 has a coating 8a of a suitable pressure sensitive which adheres each label to the release coating 10 of the backing strip 10. At a point immediately contiguous to the inlet end of the label receiving surface 4a of the label applying head 2, there is positioned a label peeling plate 12 around Which bends the backing strip 10 carrying the labels 8. Because the labels 8 are relatively loosely held upon the release coating 10 of the backing strip 10, as a portion of the backing strip bends sharply around the edge 12a of the peeling plate 12 the rigidity of the label 8 carried thereby will cause the labels to continue to move forwardly and to peel from the backing strip 10. The label peeling from the backing strip 10 is directed beneath the label receiving surface 4a onto label centering apparatus built into the label applying head 2 and comes to rest when the trailing edge of the label leaves contact with the backing strip 10.

As in the case of the apparatus disclosed in said U.S. Pat. No. 3,093,528, the movement of the backing strip 10 is controlled in such a way that movement is automatically imparted to the backing strip as long as a label is not fully mounted upon the label receiving surface 4a of the label applying head 2. Once a label is fully positioned on the label receiving surface 4a, the feeding of the backing strip 10 ceases until the label is removed from the label applying surface 411. The backing strip 10 will then again be fed around the peeling plate 12 until a new label is fully in position upon the label receiving surface 4a. The means for controlling the intermittent movement of the backing strip 10 may be a label sensing switch as disclosed in said U.S. Pat. No. 3,093,528 or a photocell system well-known in the art.

FIG. 2 shows a label 8 on a backing strip 10 which is displaced laterally by a distance d from its desired position where it would be centered on a reference axis A1A1 centered with respect to the label receiving surface 4a of the label applying head 2. The label centering apparatus 15 will, in a manner to be explained, shift the position of the label '8 so that it is centered with respect to the reference axis A1-A1 when the label is finally moved completely upon the label receiving surface 4a.

In accordance with the most preferred form of the invention, the label centering apparatus 15 provided on the label applying head 2 includes at least one pair of rollers 16-16 mounted on opposite sides of the label receiving surface 4a by adjustable brackets 17-17. The rollers 16-16 are mounted for rotation about axes A2-A2 (FIG. 3) which are in a plane preferably located inwardly (upwardly) of the label receiving surface 4a, so that the confronting roller surfaces 16'-16 outside of (below) the surface 4a converge toward and up to the surface. The roller axes of rotation A2-A2 are preferably parallel to the reference axes A1-A1 and equally spaced therefrom. The rollers 16-16 are preferably of the same size and are cylindrical for most of their lengths. The ends of the rollers 16-16 nearest the peeling plate 12 are tapered at 18-18 so that any off-centered label 8 delivered from the peeling plate 12 will not abut the end face of one of the rollers 16, but, instead, engages the tapered outer end surface thereof as the suction applied through the openings 4b in the label applying head 2 draws the label upwardly. The confronting roller surfaces 16'-16' at the points where they are adjacent the label receiving surface 4a are spaced apart a distance equal to the corresponding lateral dimension of the labels 8 to be delivered thereto. The rollers 16-16 are rotated in opposite directions so that the converging roller surfaces 16'16' approach the label receiving surface 4a from outside (below) the surface.

It can thus be seen that, as the backing strip 10 moves a label 8 peeling therefrom onto one of the rollers 16, the upwardly directed force caused by the suction drawing the label toward the label-receiving surface 4a and the upwardly and laterally directed force of the roller 16 engaged by the label involved will cause the label to move into a properly centered position between the confronting surfaces of the rollers 16-16. The lateral component of the force of the rotating roller 16 engaging an off-centered label must be great enough to overcome the upward force of the suction applied to the label 8, so that 'the roller involved can move the label laterally into a properly centered position.

A roller 16 wiping against the longitudinal edge of an off-centered label 8 delivered to the label applying head 2 comes into contact with the adhesive 8a at the edges of the label, and there is a danger that some of the adhesive 8a will be transferred to the rollers 16-16. The transfer of this adhesive to the rollers 16-16 can cause sticking of a label to the rollers which will prevent the proper centering and transferring of the labels to the label applying head 2. To alleviate this problem, the rollers are coated with a material to which the adhesive will not readily adhere. Such materials are often referred to as release coating materials. A suitable release coating material which may be utilized is a liquid silicone containing material manufactured by a number of companies including the Dow Chemical Company which sells the same under the trademark Slipicone.

When the rollers 16-16 are made of metal, means are preferably provided for continuously applying such a release coating material to the various surfaces of the rollers 16-16. This means most advantageously comprise a pair of porous, absorbent wicks 20-20 which are initially saturated with a release coating material upon the roller surfaces, thereby preventing the ready transfer of adhesive material from the edges of the labels 8 to the roller surfaces. Each wick is held in an enclosure 23 having an upwardly facing opening 23a into which the liquid release coating material may be poured to saturate the wick. If the rollers 16-16 are made of a synthetic plastic material, the outer surface of the rollers can be made of a solid material to which the adhesive 8a will not readily adhere.

Refer now to FIG. 4 which shows a modified form of the invention wherein the converging surfaces of the rollers 16-16 are replaced by stationary converging surfaces 24a-24a formed by walls 24-24. The converging surfaces 24a-24a have placing portions 2412-2417 at the inlet ends thereof corresponding to the confronting margins of the tapered ends 18-18 of the roller 10-10 in FIGS. 1 and 2. Air blower heads 26-26 deliver streams of air to the converging surfaces 24a-24a to create an upward force on a label 8 which pushes the same into a position between the closest portions of the converging surface 24a-24a.

Reference should now be made to FIGS. 5 through 7 which show a still further modified form of the invention wherein label centering apparatus 15" is provided which is physically separate from the label applying head 2'. In FIGS. 5 through 7, the label centering apparatus 15" is located between the label peeling plate 12 and the label applying head 2'. The label peeling plate 12 feeds labels 8 one at a time to the inlet end 40 of the label centering apparatus 15" in the same manner as the peeler plate 12 in FIG. 1. The label centering apparatus 15" centers the labels and conveys the same to the inlet side of the label receiving surface 4a of the label applying head 2.

The label centering apparatus 15" includes a vacuum box 30 having a chamber 32 therein communicating with a source of low pressure (not shown) which draws air through openings 34 in a bottom wall 36 of the box. One or more perforated belts 38 move over the openings 34, the belts 38 forming a conveyor for carrying the labels 8 from the inlet end 40 of the label centering apparatus 15" to label applying head 2. The one or more belts 38 have perforations 44 therein through which the low pressure within the vacuum box 30 is applied to hold the labels by suction upon the moving section of the belt or belts 38. As the labels are moved from one end to the other of the vacuum box 30, means in the form of a pair of vertically oriented belts 43-43 positioned on opposite sides of the vacuum box 30 are operative to engage the edge of an off-centered label and guide the same into a centered position. To this end, the belts 43-43 extend immediately contiguous to the longitudinal margins of the belt or belts 38 moving under the vacuum box 30, and, at the inlet end 40 of the label centering apparatus, the belts 43-43 are spaced apart a distance substantially greater than the corresponding dimension or width of the labels 8 to be carried on the belts 38, so that any off-centered label delivered to the inlet end of the vacuum box 30 will be engaged by one of the belts 43. The belts 43-43 converge towards a central portion of the vacuum box 30 where they are spaced apart a distance substantially equal to the corresponding dimension or width of the labels 8, so that the belts 4343 will progressively center an off-centered label. The belts 4343 pass around guide rollers 45-45 at their closest points, and the belts 43-43 diverge from the roller 4545 so that, once the labels are properly centered on the belts 38, they remain in this position until they are delivered to the label applying head 2'.

It should be understood that numerous modifications may be made in the most preferred forms of the invention described above without deviating from the broader aspects of the present invention.

I claim:

1. In a label applying machine having a label receiving surface from which labels are to be dispensed in a centered position about a given reference axis on said surface, and means for delivering labels to said surface, the improvement comprising label centering apparatus for centering labels along said reference axis as they are delivered to said surface, said label centering apparatus comprising: roller means mounted for rotation on opposite side of said label receiving surface about axes of rotation which extend generally parallel to said reference axes and label receiving surface and are in a plane which is flush with or located inwardly of said label receiving surface so the confronting roller surfaces viewed in a plane transverse to said reference axis and label receiving surface converge towards and up to the same, the closest portions of said confronting roller surfaces at the point when they are flush with said label receiving surface being equally spaced from said reference axis and spaced apart a distance equal to the corresponding dimension of the labels to be delivered thereto, and means for rotating said roller means in opposite directions so the confronting surfaces of the roller means located outwardly of said label'receiving surface move towards the same to move an off-centered label delivered thereto into a position centered with respect to said reference axis.

2. The label centering apparatus of claim 1 wherein the axes of rotation of said roller means are located inwardly of said label receiving surface a distance which is much less than the radii of the rollers, so the confronting roller surfaces converge to and beyond said label receiving surface at a small acute angle.

3. The label centering apparatus of claim 1 wherein said roller axes of rotation are parallel to said reference axis and said roller surfaces at the widest points of the rollers are cylindrical surfaces.

4. The label centering apparatus of claim 1 where the labels to be delivered thereto have an outwardly facing exposed layer of pressure sensitive adhesive material, and there is provided a supply of release coating material to which said pressure sensitive material does not readily adhere, and there is provided means for automatically transferring said release coating material to said rollers to inhibit transfer of adhesive material from the edges of a label to said roller means as the rollers engage the edges of the label.

5. The label centering apparatus of claim 1 wherein the label receiving surface with which the apparatus is, associated faces in a direction other than upward, and the labels are held against said surface by suction producing means acting on said surface, the suction force being sufficiently light that the centering force of said roller means on the labels is greater than the suction force.

6. In a label applying machine having a label receiving surface from which labels are to be dispensed in a position centered about a given reference axis on said surface, and means for delivering labels to one end of said surface and then moving the same generally parallel to and along said surface until fully positioned thereon, the improvement comprising label centering apparatus for centering labels along said reference axis as they are delivered to said surface, said label centering apparatus comprising: a pair of cylindrical rollers mounted for rotation on opposite sides of said label receiving surface about axes of rotation which are generally parallel to said reference axis and label receiving surface and in a plane which is flush with or located inwardly of said label receiving surface so the confronting roller surfaces viewed in a plane transverse to said reference axis and label receiving surface converge towards and up to the same, said confronting roller surfaces at the points where they are flush with said label receiving surface being equally spaced from said reference axis and spaced apart a distance equal to the corresponding dimension of the labels to be delivered thereto, said cylindrical rollers being tapered at the ends thereof facing said one end of said surface to which the labels are initially delivered, the tapered ends of the rollers receiving and guiding the labels to the cylindrical portions of the rollers, and means for rotating said rollers in opposite directions so the confronting surfaces of the rollers located outwardly of said label receiving surface move towards the same to move an off-centered label delivered thereto into a position centered with respect to said reference axis.

7. In a label applying machine having a label receiving surface from which labels are to be dispensed centered about a given reference axis on said surface, and means for delivering labels to said surface, the improvement comprising label centering apparatus for centering labels along said reference axis as they are delivered to said surface, said label centering apparatus comprising: a pair of confronting label guiding surfaces extending outwardly of and located on opposite sides of said label receiving surface, said label guiding surfaces viewed in a plane transverse to said reference axis and label receiving surface converging towards said label receiving surface and, at the points where they are flush with said label receiving surface, being equally spaced from said reference axis and spaced apart a distance equal to the corresponding dimension of the labels to be delivered thereto, and label forcing means for forcing a label moved in an off-centered position upon one of said label guiding surfaces towards said label receiving surfaces, whereby the label guiding surface involved will guide the same into a centered position.

8. The label centering apparatus of claim 7 wherein said label forcing means includes means for causing a stream of air to move against an off-centered label engaging one of said label guiding surfaces.

9. In a label applying machine having a label receiving and applying station from which labels are to be dispensed centered about a given reference axis, the improvement in label conveying and centering apparatus for delivering labels to said station in a centered position comprising: a perforated conveyors belt means extending to said station and having a belt surface with a width no greater than a given dimension of said labels; means for moving said conveyor belt means to carrying labels thereon to said label receiving and applying station; a means for delivering labels to a surface of said conveyor belt means which faces in a downward direction and in a manner so the labels are conveyed by the belt means in a flat condition and so said given dimension of said labels extends transversely of the length of said belt surface; a suction box over which said conveyor belt means passes; and a pair of label centering means on opposite sides of said conveyor belt means, which means have confronting label engaging surfaces extending adjacent to the longitudinal margin of said conveyor belt means so one of them will engage an off-centered label projecting beyond said belt surface, said label centering means having portions converging in the direction of movement of said labels on said conveyor belt means, said label engaging surfaces of said converging portions of the label centering means being spaced apart at their points of maximum spacing a much greater distance than said given dimension of the labels and being spaced apart at their points of minimum spacing a distance equal to said given dimension of said labels, said label engaging surfaces of said label centering means being spaced the same distance from a reference axis on said belt surface which establishes a label position which ensures centering of the label at said label receiving and holding station when delivered thereto by said conveyor belt means; and said suction box holding the labels by suction ap plied through the perforated conveyor belt means with a sufiiciently light force that said label centering means can push the labels into a centered position against said suction force.

10. The label conveying and centering apparatus of claim 9, wherein said label centering means on opposite sides of said conveyor belt means are belts and there is provided means for moving the label engaging surfaces of said belts at the same speed and in the same direction as the adjacent surface of said conveyor belt means carrying said labels.

11. The label conveying and centering apparatus of claim 9 wherein the labels are delivered to a surface of said conveyor belt means which does not face upwardly, the portion of said conveyor belt means carrying said labels extending along a suction box which holds the labels by suction on said conveyor belt means with a sufiiciently light force that said label centering means can push the labels into a centered position against said suction force.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,248,856 12/1917 Henry 271-49 2,490,085 12/1949 Nordquist et a1. 271-49 2,528,106 10/1950 Albrecht 27149 3,093,528 6/1963 Reich 156-285 3,329,550 7/1967 Kucheck 156-1285 BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner I. M. HANLEY, Assistant Examiner U.S Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3767510 *Oct 27, 1971Oct 23, 1973Matherson Selig CoLaminating apparatus
US3885705 *Mar 12, 1974May 27, 1975Compac CorpLabel applicator with retention means for flexible air tubes
US3971686 *Mar 27, 1975Jul 27, 1976Joseph Edward KienelLabel applying method
US3984277 *Sep 15, 1972Oct 5, 1976Compac CorporationLabel applicator
US4015843 *Oct 14, 1975Apr 5, 1977Tennant James RNewspaper streamliner
US4046613 *Mar 8, 1976Sep 6, 1977Label-Aire Inc.Matrix label applicator
US4248656 *May 16, 1978Feb 3, 1981Glasmatec AgDevice for manufacturing an insulating glass plate
US4680082 *Oct 4, 1985Jul 14, 1987Markem CorporationLabel applicator
US5232539 *Feb 22, 1991Aug 3, 1993Grand Rapids Label CompanyObject labeling machine
US6142208 *Jun 10, 1999Nov 7, 2000Premark Feg L.L.C.Seal pickup station
US9302459 *Feb 28, 2013Apr 5, 2016United States Postal ServiceApparatus and method for removing pressure adhesive labels from backing and affixing to target substrate
US20130240151 *Feb 28, 2013Sep 19, 2013Khalid X. HussainApparatus and method for removing pressure adhesive labels from backing and affixing to target substrate
DE2708353A1 *Feb 24, 1977Sep 15, 1977Label Aire IncEtikettiervorrichtung
EP0114697A2 *Jan 23, 1984Aug 1, 1984Kabushiki Kaisha Ishida Koki SeisakushoDevice for suction-sticking display labels
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/542, 226/182, 271/240
International ClassificationB65C9/42, B65C9/18, B65C9/08, B65C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65C9/42, B65C9/1876
European ClassificationB65C9/42, B65C9/18B4