US 3572682 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventors David W. Leach;
Thomas W. McGrath, Trenton, NJ. Appl. No. 773,931 Filed Nov. 6, 1968 Patented Mar. 30, 1971 Assignee International Business Machines Corporation Armonk, N.Y.
CONTINUOUS MOTION CARD AND WEB ASSEMBLY APPARATUS 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 1. 270/52, 156/552, 270/58 Int. Cl B65h 39/14 Field of Search 270/52, 58; 156/552, 555, 302, 303
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,363,417 11/1944 Heywood 270/58X 2,528,856 11/1950 Caldwell 156/552 3,083,009 3/1963 Barret al 3,245,862 4/1966 Olis et a1 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-Paul V. Williams Attorneys-Hanifin and Jancin and H. E. Otto, Jr.
ABSTRACT: This apparatus provides a continuous form with a series of precut, longitudinally spaced record cards adhered thereto so as to be movable by conventional forms tractors through a high-speed printer. The cards have detachable marginal stub portions that are glued to the form by a heat-settable glue. After glue is applied to the form, the cards are fed onto the form. The card/form assemblage is then advanced through an elongated nip between two sets of opposing endless belts, at least one of the belts of each set being heated,
to subject the assemblage to heat and pressure for a period of time proportional to the length of the nip and speed of the belts to set and dry the glue so as reliably to seal the cards to the form. Application of the glue to the form and of the cards to the glue is performed while the form and cards are in continuous motion, providing a high throughput.
4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Patented March 30, 1971 /NVENTOR5 DAVID W. LEACH THOMAS W. McGRATH By 8 0x2, ATTORNEY Patented March 30, 1971 4 Sheets-Sheet z FIG. 2
Pgtefitd March 30, 1971 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. 3
Patented March 30, 1971 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 CONTINUOUS MOTION CARD AND WEB ASSEMBLY AlllTlUS This invention relates to an assembly apparatus for joining a plurality of similar discrete record elements, such as tabulating cards, sequentially and with a preselected spacing to a continuous form or web. The invention relates, more particularly, to such apparatus wherein gluing, superposing and adhering operations are performed while the form is continuously in motion.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION It has heretofore been proposed to manufacture cut card/continuous form documents of the type described in US. Pat. No. 3,343,535 I by applying a thermoplastic or hot-melt glue to the marginal carrier strips on the cards, positioning the cards on the drive pins that drove the form, and then passing the form with superposed cards through unheated pressure rolls. The temperature of the glue and the length of time between application of the heated glue to the card and the pressing of the form and card assemblage between the unheated rolls was extremely critical. The assemblage had poor shelf life; i.e., a high percentage of the cards separated from the fonn after a relatively short period of time. Attempts were thereafter made to use a cold" glue which was not thermoplastic; i.e., one which would remain plastic for an adequate period of time without prematurely setting. It was found that a cold glue that would remain plastic long enough not to dry in the glue applicators would not dry and adhere the card to the form unless the throughput speed of the apparatus was drastically curtailed. There is therefore a need for an apparatus that will obviate the difficulties experienced with apparatus heretofore employed, by providing, at a high throughput rate, cut card/continuous form documents having a long shelf life.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION Toward this end, and according-to the invention, there is provided an apparatus which applies a heat-settable glue by a gravure process to a moving continuous form at longitudinally spaced discrete marginal locations; and while the glue is still wet, the cards are fed sequentially onto the moving form. Then the form and overlying cards pass through an elongated nip defined between transversely spaced sets of continuously moving opposing belts via which heat is transmitted to at least one side of the cut card/continuous form assemblage to set and dry the glue. Meanwhile, the belts and their supporting structure apply a preselected degree of pressure to the moving assemblage for a period of time dependent upon the length of the nip and speed of the belts. The glue is applied repetitively according to a skip pattern preselected to assure that, for a desired space between adjacent cards, no glue will be applied to or bleed onto the form in the exposed space between such cards, inasmuch as glue in such space will impair passage of the assemblage through a high-speed printer. The opposing belts are of complementary configuration, i.e., one has drive pins that pass through the longitudinally spaced perforations in the cards and form, and the other has holes to permit the pins to pass through and travel in grooves in rolls that hold the belts a very slight distance (e.g., 0.002 inches) from shoes that conduct heat to heat the belts.
Other features, objects and advantages will become apparent from the following more detailed description of the invention and from the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. l is a schematic elevational view of a continuous motion assembly device embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view, to enlarged scale, of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary bottom plan view, partially broken away, and to further enlarged scale, of the upper sealing unit, taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FlG. i is a fragmentary plan view, also partially broken away and to enlarged scale, of the lower sealing unit, taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is a sectional view, also to further enlarged scale, taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION As illustrated in FIG. 1, the apparatus embodying the invention comprises a platform 10 supporting a fan-folded stack of single or multiple ply continuous forms ll. The term form," as herein used, is intended to apply generically to a single or multiple-ply type of form, such as those conventionally used in high-speed printers. Form lll is advanced at a substantially constant speed along a predetermined path defined in part by an idler pulley l2, a conventional web-tensioning unit 13, a guide pulley 14, an idler pulley 15, a glue unit 16, a conventional forms tractor unit 17, a heat-sealing device 18, a swinging fan-folding unit 19, and a platform 20.
Glue unit 16 comprises a pair or more (depending upon forms configuration) of gravure-type wheels 21 that are transversely spaced on and suitably driven by a drive shaft. These wheels rotate counterclockwise through a so-called cold," heat-settable liquid glue contained in a tray 22 that is manually positionable relative to a stationary base by a hand wheel 23. Excess glue is wiped from wheels 21 by a conventional adjustable doctor blade 24 before the form 11 enters the nips between the transversely spaced rotating wheels 21 and their respective idler backup rolls 25. The pressure between glue wheels 21 and backup rolls 25 at the nip is adjustable by an adjusting screw 26 that shifts the entire glue unit 16 relative to the backup roll 25. Wheels 211 apply a series of glue dots 28 (see FIG. 4) to the form adjacent its marginal edges. The longitudinal spaces between the glue dots is dependent upon the gravure pattern on the particular wheels 21; and this pattern, in turn, is preselected according to the width of form 11 and the longitudinal spacing desired between adjacent record cards 29 that are adhered to the form in the manner presently to be explained.
Thus, if a standard record card 3% wide were spaced every 3Vzinches along the form, leaving A inch between forms, no skip would be required in the glue dot pattern. However, if one 3% inch card were to be placed every 7 inches or IOV; inches along the form, then the wheels 21 would be selected to provide a gluedot-skip pattern that would assure that no glue dots will be provided on those intervening pans of form 11 to which no card is to be adhered.
The record cards 29 are fed in parallel (i.e., long edge first) from the bottom of a bites 30 by a conventional picker knife (partially shown) into the bites of two successive sets of drive rolls 31 and idlers 32, the axes of which are spaced just slightly less than a card width apart. These rolls 31, 32 in coaction with the picker knife accelerate each card to substantially the same speed as that at which form 11 is being moved continuously along the web path.
A card guide 33 guides each card 29 as it leaves the bite of the second drive roll 31 and idler 32. This guide so deflects each card that longitudinally spaced marginal line holes 34 (see FIG. 3) in detachable marginal stub portions 35 of each card will align with longitudinally spaced drive pins 36 (FIG. 4) provided on each of a pair of oppositely arranged metal tapes or belts 37 forming part of the heat-sealing device 18 presently to be described. It should here be noted that the form ll also has marginal line holes 33 that are spaced longitudinally so as to align with holes 34) and pins 36.
The forms tractor unit 17 advances the form 11 at the desired continuous speed from glue unit 116 up to the sealing device 18 to take some of the tension and strain off the form as control of its continued forward motion is assumed by the drive wheels 43, 58 forming part of device 18. As form ll leaves the forms tractor unit 17, it is entrained onto and driven by the pins 36; and the cards are successively superposed over the form with a preselected gap between them and become impaled on the pins such that the assemblage 50 defined by the form ill and superposed series of cards 29 is driven by the pins on belts 3'7.
According to a feature of the invention, and as best illustrated in FIGS. 2 to 5, the heat-sealing device 18 comprises a lower unit 4I and an upper unit 42. Lower unit 41 comprises two sets of drive wheels 43 and smooth idler wheels 44 (only one set of which is shown), those of each set being spaced transversely of the longitudinal centerline of the feed path of the cut card/form assemblage 40. Each metal belt 37 is entrained around and driven by the wheels 43, 44 of a respective one of said sets. Each drive wheel 43 has a series of circumferentially spaced, outwardly projecting tractor pins or lugs 45. These lugs 45 project into U-shaped notches 46 (FIG. 4) in the outer edges of the belts 37 to provide a driving connection with the belts. A pair of conventional pivotally mounted spring-biased tape-tensioning rolls 47 keep the belts 37 taut.
The upper runs of each belt 37 pass over and along the flat upper surface 48 of a respective shoe 49, with as little clearance as possible; i.e., preferably just enough to prevent dragging or sliding contact of the tape with said surface. Dragging contact of each belt with surface 48 is prevented by a plurality of longitudinally spaced idler rolls 50, the peripheries of which extend slightly above said surface and support the belt out of contact therewith. There are two sets of rolls 50, one for each belt 37; and the corresponding, transversely aligned rolls 50 of each set are rotatably supported on individual shafts 51 that, in turn, are joumaled in bearings carried by the respective shoes 49. Each shoe 49 preferably has longitudinally spaced vertical bores 52 between adjacent rolls 50, which bores are adapted to receive heat cartridges 53 of the plug-in type when application of heat to the lower side of the assemblage 40 is desired or required. In such case, these cartridges generate heat which is conducted through the wall of bores 52 to the upper surface 48 of the shoe to heat the metal heat-conductive belt 37. However, it is anticipated that unless the forms assemblage is quite thick (as in the case of a multiply continuous form), heating of the belts 37 via shoe 49 should not be necessary.
The upper unit 42 comprises two metal heat-conductive endless tapes or belts 55 (see FIGS. 2, 3), each overlying a respective one of the belts 37 of lower unit 41. Each belt 55 has U-shaped notches 56 longitudinally spaced along its outer edge. These notches 56 receive tractor lugs 57 that project radially from the periphery of a corresponding drive roll 58 to provide a driving connection for the particular belt 55, which is entrained around roll 58 and a smooth surfaced idler 59. The transversely aligned drive rolls 58 are driven from a common drive shaft 60; and the transversely aligned idler rolls 59 are rotatably mounted on a common shaft 61.
The lower runs of each belt 55 pass with a minimum clearance along the flat lower surface 62 of a respective lower shoe 63. A plurality of longitudinally spaced idler rolls 64 protrude slightly below the surface 62 to prevent undue frictional drag of each belt 55 therewith. Corresponding transversely aligned rolls 64 for each belt 55 are rotatably mounted on individual shafts 65 that, in turn are joumaled in bearings carried by the respective shoes 63. Each shoe has longitudinally spaced vertical bores 66 between adjacent rolls 64 to receive heat cartridges 67 of the plug-in type. These cartridges generate heat which is conducted to the lower surface 62 of the shoe to heat the heat-conductive belt 55 associated therewith. As earlier indicated, it is contemplated that in most cases only one side (preferably the upper side) of the assembly 40 need be heated, in which case no cartridges 53 would be inserted in lower unit 41.
As illustrated, each belt 55 has two transversely spaced sets 68, 69 of longitudinally spaced holes. When the record card 29 and form 11 are 8 inches wide, the tips of the drive pins 36 on each belt 37 will project through the inner set of holes 68 (as shown in FIG. 3); whereas when the card and form are 9%inches wide, pins 36 will project through the outer set of holes 69. Thus the belts 55 can be used with either size form without requiring changes in the transverse spacing of the belts and hence of the rolls 58, 59 Since the pins 36 may project through and be aligned with either set 68 or 69, two
grooves 70, 7] are provided in the periphery of the rolls 64 to selectively accommodate the projecting tips of the pins. The transverse spacing of the rolls 43, 44 of lower unit 41 must, however, be shifted axially along their respective shafts to correspondingly shift the transverse spacing of pins 36 according to the width of the cards and form being processed.
Upper unit 42 further comprises a pair of peripherally grooved rolls 72 along the flat upper surface 73 of an upper shoe 74. This surface is also heated, as by a heat cartridge 67.
Suitable means, such as hoods or shields (not shown) and/or infrared heating units (not shown) could be used around upper unit 42 to preserve or supplement the heat provided by the heat cartridges, if desired or required.
The upper shoe 74 and lower shoe 63 are resiliently interconnected by a pair of helical springs 75 that encircle guide pins 76. Pins 76 assure that as the belts 55 are heated and elongate, the shoe' 74 and rolls 72 will be biased upwardly in a prescribed vertical path to maintain the belts taut. The upper and lower shoes 74, 63 are operatively connected to a cross frame 77. Frame 77 is movable vertically upward by a pair of air cylinders 78 to shift the upper sealing unit 42 from its lower or operating position, in which it is shown, to an upper or inoperative position indicated by broken lines. Note that the positions of the shaft 60, 61 remain fixed, but the positions of the shoes 74, 63 and hence of the rolls 64, 72 and belts 55 will be shifted. The upper unit 42 is actuated to this position whenever it is desired to gain access to the area between the upper and lower belts 55, 37; e.g., to clear a jam, replace heat cartn'dges 67 or 53, etc. To adjust the distance between the opposing sets of rolls 50, 64 and hence the throat of the nip between belts 37, 55 respectively, the air cylinder 78 also can be secured in intermediate positions, by suitable means. such as mechanical stops.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION It will thus be seen that the apparatus embodying the invention comprises a sealing device 18 that is adapted to receive discrete forms, such as record cards 29, and heat seal them serially onto a continuous single or multiple ply form 11 to which a heat-settable glue has previously been applied by a glue unit 16 using a gravure process. The sealing device I8 includes metal belts 37, 55, which provide an elongated nip through which the form 11 and superposed record cards 29 are driven and subjected to heat and pressure for a period of time dependent upon the speed of the belts and length of the nip to dry and set the glue. The belts 37, 55 of the upper and/or lower units 42, M are heated. As illustrated, heat cartridges heat the shoes over which the belts are entrained, and heat is transmitted to the shoes primarily by conduction, although to minimize friction, the belts are preferably held spaced with minimum clearance away from the shoes by a series of idler rolls 50 and 64 and 72. Springs 75 amure that the upper shoe 74 and hence rolls 72 carried thereby will be pushed upwardly relative to lower shoe 63 as necessary to maintain belts 55 under tension as they elongate due to heat from the heat cartridges. The belts 37, 55 are complementary, with belts 55 having aligned holes 68 or 69 to receive the projecting ends of the drive pins 36 provided on belts 37. To selectively seal cards either 8%inches or 9%inches wide, the lower belts 37 are shifted transversely so as to project through the inner or outer set of holes 68 or 69, respectively, in belts 55; thus, selection can be effected without requiring any shifting of belts 55.
With the apparatus embodying the invention, conventional 3% inch wide tabulating cards have been adhered at the rate of over 18,000 per hour to a continuous form, with a spacing of %between cards; and long shelf life has been achieved, eliminating the problems experienced with previously known and used apparatus.
It will be apparent that the foregoing and other changes may be made without departing from the spirit, scope and teaching of the present invention. Accordingly, the apparatus herein disclosed is to be considered merely as illustrative, and the scope of the invention is to be limited only as specified in the claims.
1. Apparatus for joining a plurality of substantially similar discrete record cards successively at substantially equal distances to and along a manifold continuous form, said cards and form being of the type having similarly spaced alignable line hole perforations adjacent both longitudinal edges, said apparatus comprising:
means for moving the form continuously at substantially constant speed along a predetermined path:
means for applying adhesive in a discontinuous preselected pattern to the form as it advances;
means for thereafter advancing the cards sequentially onto the form at a speed substantially equal to that of the form; and
sealing means for applying heat to at least one side of the assemblage defined by the moving form and overlying cards and concurrently applying pressure to the assemblage to set and dry the adhesive to adhere the cards to the form while both are continuouslymoving, said sealing means including:
a first set of members engaging one side of the assemblage longitudinally along the adhesive pattern;
another set of members engaging the other side of the assemblage to pinch the assemblage between it and said first set for a preselected time interval proportional to the length of the nip defined between said sets; and
at least one of said sets of members being of heat-conductive material to transmit heat as well as apply pressure to said assemblage, and at least one of said sets of said members moving continuously in an elongated endless path and including belts with drive pins that protrude through the aligned perforations in the form and cards.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, including:
means for mounting the respective'sets of members; and
means for adjusting the spacing between the respective sets of members to thereby adjust the degree of pressure exerted on the assemblage while within the nip.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said sealing means comprises:
a shoe providing a substantially flat surface;
means for heating said surface;
at least one elongated endless belt of heat-conductive metal entrained past said surface and around said shoe; and
a series of idler rolls rotatably supported by said shoe for maintaining the belt spaced with minimal clearance from the surface to minimize friction 'while permitting heat transfer from the surface to the belt.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means for moving the form continuously along said path includes endless means having tractor pins that engage and drive the belts by which the form and cards are driven.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein:
the adhesive is a glue which is wet at the time the cards are advanced onto the form; and wherein the adhesive-applying means is of the gravure type and applies the glue in a selected pattern corresponding to the preselected length of the cards and spacing between them on the form.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said sealing means comprise:
a pair of shoes faces;
means for heating at least one of said surfaces;
at least one set of juxtaposed elongated endless belts, those of each set passing around a respective one of the shoes and with very slight clearance over and along said surfaces;
means for spacing the belts from said surfaces to provide said slight clearance to minimize friction; and
means for heatingat least one belt of each set. 7. Apparatus for oining a plurality of substantially similar discrete record cards sequentially on a continuous form, which web and cards have similarly spaced alignable line hole perforations adjacent opposite longitudinal edges, comprising: means for moving the form continuously at substantially constant speed along a predetermined path; gravure means for applying a heat-settable glue in a discrete gravure pattern at preselected longitudinal intervals on the moving form;
means for thereafter advancing the cards sequentially onto the form at a speed substantially equal to that of the form;
said means for moving the form including juxtaposed endless means providing an elongated nip into which the assemblage defined between moving form and overlying cards is advanced,
one of said juxtaposed means including drive pins that protrude through the aligned perforations in the form and cards;
at least one of said juxtaposed means being of a heat-conductive material; heating means for heating the heat-conductive material; and such that heat is applied to at least one side of the assemblage while it is concurrently being subjected to fusing pressure for a period of time proportional to the length of the nip so as to set and dry the glue to effect adhesion of the cards to the form while both are in continuous motion. 8. Apparatus according to claim 7, wherein: said juxtaposed means comprises opposed sets of metal belts, one set of which has the drive pins, an another set of which is heat conductive; and a said means for moving the web'further comprises endless means having tractor pins that engage and drive said one set of belts.
9. Apparatus according to claim 7, including means for controlling the spacing between said juxtaposed endless means to thereby adjust the throat of the nip from a preselected minimum to a maximum amount.
providing substantially parallel facing sur-