US 3574026 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 6, 1971 L. KUCHECK METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING LABEL sTocK Filed Aug. 25. 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 flueizffir' Zea fax 06 0 z g p "4 w E 4% 0 6 w w m A W 5 m mm m M J m 0/ L. KUCHECK April 6, 1971 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FABRIGATING LABEL STOCK Filed Aug. 25, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,574,026 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING LABEL STOCK Leo Kucheck, Chicago, 11]., assignor to Compac Corporation, New York, N.Y. Filed Aug. 23, 1966, Ser. No. 574,373 Int. Cl. B32b 31/18 US. Cl. 156152 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an apparatus and a method for manufacturing label stock of the type including a backing strip having separated longitudinally spaced printed labels thereon secured to the backing strip by a layer of pressure sensitive adhesive coating on the inner unprinted side of the labels. The completed label stock is usually wound into rolls for convenience in handling, storage and shipment to the ultimate user. The user places the rolls of label stock on a label applying machine and threads an unwound end of the roll through a label applying head of the machine. The label applying machine dispenses labels automatically one at a time from the backing strip as an article is moved to a labeling station of the machine. The labels readily peel from the backing strip by passing the backing strip around a sharply angled plate called a peeler plate. The rigidity of the labels causes the labels to peel from the backing strip at the point where the backing strip bends sharply back at the tip of the peeler plate. The peeled labels are received one at a time by the label applying head of the label applying machine with the pressure sensitive adhesive coated sides thereof facing away from the head which then applies each label to an article delivered to the labeling station of the machine.
In the fabrication of the label stock described above, a laminate body is initially formed .comprising the backing strip coated with a smooth surfaced release coating and a continuous unprinted label-forming strip with a pressure sensitive adhesive adhered to the release coating of the backing strip. This laminate body is fed through a printing press which imprints suitable indicia upon the outer side of the continuous label-forming strip carried on the backing strip. As the label stock leaves the printing press, the label-forming strip will have longitudinally spaced label-forming areas which must be severed from the rest of the label-forming strip to form the aforementioned longitudinally spaced labels which can be separately applied to different articles by the label applying machine described above. To this end, the printed label stock leaving the printing press is fed to severing means designed to cut through the label-forming strip around the margins of the labels printed thereon. The portion of the label-forming strip severed from the printed labels thereon is then removed from around the labels.
One of the difficulties encountered in severing the main body of the label-forming strip from the printed labels is that the severing means undesirably frequently nicked or cut through the backing strip as well as the labelforming strip. The backing strip sometimes became sufficiently weakened that the backing strip broke apart when pulled around the sharp end of the peeler plate. The undesired nicking or cutting of the backing strip also caused difficulties in the proper removal of the labels from the backing strip at the peeler plate due to the hinging of the labels onto the backing strip by the oozing of adhesive at the margins of the labels into the body of the backing strip through the breaks in the release coating thereof. The proper removal of the labels is particularly a problem where the peeled labels are received by a 3,574,026 Patented Apr. 6, 1971 label applying head where the labels are held in place by suction, as in the case of the label applying machine disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,093,528.
It is one of the objects of the invention to provide a method and apparatus for producing label stock of the type described which avoids the aforementioned difficulties heretofore encountered due to the nicking or severance of backing strips during the cutting of the label-forming strips about the printed labels thereon. A related object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for fabricating label stock of the type described which avoids nicking or severance of the backing strips entirely.
A further object of the invention is to provide apparatus for fabricating label stock of the type described which can be readily made to operate reliably at high speeds, as, for example, the speed at which the label stocks issue from high speed printing equipment.
In accordance with a broad aspect of the invention, label release problems are reduced or eliminated in a laminate label stock including a backing strip having attached thereto through a pressure sensitive bond a printed body of label-forming material by temporarily removing the printed body of label-forming material from its backing strip and then almost immediately relaminating it upon the same backing strip. In the most preferred form of the invention, the printed body of label-forming material secured to the backing strip is the continuous strip of labelforming material secured to a backing strip as it issues from a printing press. In such case, the aforementioned operation which severs the printed labels from the rest of the label-forming strip is carried out during the temporary removal of the label-forming strip from the backing strip. In such case, the cutting operation which severs the label-forming area of the label-forming strip from the rest of the strip cannot cut or nick the backing strip which is unattached to the label-forming strip during the cutting operation. The severed printed labels and the main body of the label-forming strip severed therefrom are most advantageously carried together to a relaminating station by conveyor means most advantageously comprising one or more moving perforated conveyor belts which have suction applied to the inner sides thereof which hold the printed labels and the severed label-forming strip against the moving belt. The waste portion of the label-forming strip surrounding the printed labels (referred to as a skeleton) is preferably separated from the printed labels at the relaminating station by directing the path of the conveyor belt sharply away from the plane of the printed labels. The various driven parts of the equipment taking part in the relaminating, severance and delaminating operations of the preferred form of the invention where this equipment operates on the label stock issuing from a printing press are operated in synchronism with the printing press by using the printing press motor as the source of the motive power therefor.
The above and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent upon making reference to the specification to follow, the claims and the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating the most preferred application of the invention where it is used in conjunction with a printing press;
FIG. 2 is a broken away perspective view of the label stock fed through the printing press shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a preferred form of delaminating and relaminating equipment shown in box form in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the equipment shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view through the label cutting station of FIG. 4, taken along section line 5--5 therein;
FIG. 6 is a bottom broken away view of a portion of the equipment shown in FIG. 4, as seen along line 66 therein; and
FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the relaminating station of the equipment shown in FIG. 6 as seen along line 77 therein.
Referring now more particularly to FIG. 1, a conventional type printing press represented by box 2 is shown receiving labels stock 4 from a roll 6 of such label stock. The feed rollers and other moving parts of the printing press are driven by suitable drive motor 8 which is coupled by suitable gearing 10 to the moving instrumentalities of the printing press 2. As shown in FIG. 2, the label stock 4 fed through the printing press comprises a backing strip 12, which may be made of a suitable paper, coated with a release coating 12a of well known composition. Secured upon the release coating 12a is a label-forming strip 14 made of a suitable paper and having a coating 14a of a suitable pressure sensitive adhesive of well known composition. The pressure sensitive adhesive 14a releasably attaches the label-forming strip 14 to the backing strip 12. The printing press 2 imprints various indicia upon longitudinally spaced areas 141) of the label-forming strip 14, the portions of the strip 14 forming the labels being indicated by dashed lines 14c surrounding the label-forming areas 14b.
In the preferred form of the invention, the label stock 4 is preferably fed directly to delaminating and relaminating equipment 16 (FIG. 1) where the label-forming strip 14 is removed from the backing strip 12 and subjected to a cutting operation which severs the stripalong the label margin lines 140, and where preferably only the severed areas 14b of the strip 14 are relaminated upon the same backing strip 12. In such case, the backing strip 12 with the labels 14b attached thereto forming a completed label stock 4' are wound into a roll 20. The portion of the label-forming strip 14 referred to as a skeleton severed from the label-forming areas 14]; thereof is preferably wound into a separate roll 22. In the less preferred form of the invention, the skeleton may remain with the labels 14b when wound upon the roll 20, the skeleton being subsequently removed from the roll. This may have some advantages for very small labels, but generally the skeleton is permanently separated from the labels 1411 at the point where the labels are relaminated upon the backing strip 12. The various moving parts of the delaminating and relaminating equipment 16 to be described are preferably operated in synchronism with the motor 8 driving the printing press 2, and, to this end, suitable gearing 23, connects the motor shaft 8a with the delaminating and relaminating equipment.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4 which show the most preferred construction of the delaminating and relaminating equipment 16 of FIG. 1, the label stock 4 comprising the continuous label-forming strip 14 and the backing strip 12 are fed through a pair of drive rollers 24 and 26 which constitute a delaminating station 27 at which the label-forming strip 14 is separated from the backing strip 12. Backing strip guide means in the form of one or more idler rollers 30 are provided to guide the portion of the backing strip 12 separated from the label-forming strip 14 along a suitable path between the delaminating station 27 and a relaminating station 32 which may comprise a pair of drive rollers 3436. The various drive rollers 2426, 34-36, etc. are driven at the same peripheral speed as the linear speed of movement of the label stock 4 through the printing press 2.
In the most advantageous form of the invention being described where the label stock 4 carried to the relaminating and delaminating equipment 16 comprises a continuous label-forming strip 14 secured to the backing strip- 12, the label-forming strip is fed by conveyor means 39 to a severing station 40 at which the label-forming areas 14b on the label-forming strip 14 are severed along the lines 140 forming the perimeters of the desired labels. The
conveyor means 39 may include a belt 44 with perforations 44a (FIG. 4). The belt 44 moves in a continuous path around a series of rollers 48, 50 and 53 (FIG. 3) one or more of which are drive rollers. The belt 44 passes beneath the open bottom of a suction box 52 which creates a suction transferred through the perforations 44a of the belt 44 to the label-forming strip 14 which is thereof held upon the moving belt. A suitable suction line 56 leading to a vacuum pump connects with the box 52 to provide suction within the box 52. The adhesive side of the label-forming strip 14 faces outwardly or downwardly away from the belt 44, which contacts the printed side of the label-forming strip.
The severing station 40 may comprise a cutter wheel 45 having a number of knife edged sections 45a spaced upon the periphery thereof, the knife edged sections being shaped in the label-forming strip 14. The peripheral speed of the cutter Wheel 45 is equal to the speed of movement of the label-forming strip 14. The knife edged sections 45a of the cutter wheel 45 operate in close proximity to a driven back-up roller 47. The back-up roller 47 may be backed up to a much larger driven back-up roller 49 for wide and heavy label stock. A suitable lubricant may be fed to the cutter wheel 45 by means including a transfer roller 51 engaged by a wiper blade 54. The transfer roller 51 is engaged by a roller 56 dipping into a supply 58 of lubricant.
Conveyor means 39' similar to conveyor means 39 move the label-forming strip 14 from the severing station 40 to the relaminating station 32. Thus, the conveyor means 38 includes a belt 44 with perforations 44a passing around guide or drive rollers 48', and 53'. A portion of the belt 44 passes beneath a vacuum box 52' connected to the aforementioned vacuum pump by a line 56'.
There are gaps between the vacuum boxes 52 and 52' and the parts of the severing and relaminating stations 40 and 32 (like the rollers 34-36) which must be spanned by the labels 14b to keep the labels from falling away from the strip 14.
Once the label-forming areas 14b have been severed from the rest of the label-forming strip 14, the severed labels are carried with the rest of the strip 14 which surrounds the same up to the relaminating station. The skeleton severed from the labels 14b is moved along a path which bends away from the relaminating station 32. To this end, the skeleton is passed over a suitable idler roller 60 (FIG. 3) and then around a driven take-up drum 64. The severed labels 14b do not follow the change in path of the skeleton at the relaminating station 32, but rather continue straight-on between the aforementioned drive rollers 3436. The drive rollers 34 and 36 press the adhesive coated side of the labels 14b against the backing strip 12 which also passes between the rollers 34 and 36. The relaminated web is then formed into the roll 20 supported upon a driven taken-up drum 68.
It is apparent that the present invention eliminates the problems heretofore encountered in connection with the nicking or severance of the backing strip. In the preferred form of the invention, this is achieved by cutting the labelforming strip while the strip is temporarily removed from the backing strip.
It should be understood that numerous modifications may be made in the most preferred form of the invention described above without deviating from the broader aspects of the invention.
1. Apparatus for fabricating laminate label stock including a backing strip having attached thereto through a pressure sensitive adhesive bond a continuous label-forming strip having longitudinally spaced printed label-forming areas, said apparatus comprising: a delaminating station to which an incomplete label stock is fed comprising said backing strip and a strip of label-forming material printed on the outside thereof to form said longitudinally spaced label-forming areas and adhered to the backing strip by a pressure sensitive adhesive coating on the inside thereof, said delaminating station including backing strip guide means for guiding said backing strip away from the label-forming strip, a relaminating station spaced from said delaminating station, additional backing strip guide means for guiding said backing strip in a path extending between said delaminating and relaminating stations, a label severance station at .which said longitudinally spaced label-forming areas of said label-forming strip are to be severed from the rest of the strip, conveyor means for moving said label-forming strip separated from said backing strip at said delamination station between said delaminating and said label severance stations and for moving at least said severed label-forming areas of said labelforming strip from said severance to said relaminating stations, said severance station including cutting means for severing said longitudinally spaced label-forming areas of said label-forming strip from the rest of the strip, said delaminating station including means for relaminating the severed label-forming areas of the label-forming strip on said backing strip delivered to the relaminating station, and feeding means for moving said backing strip between said delaminating and relaminating stations at the same speed as said conveyor means moves said severed labelforming areas of said label-forming strip to said relaminating station.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 in combination with a motor driven printing press which feeds said label stock through the press at a given rate and prints said label-forming areas on said label-forming strip, said conveyor and feeding means operating to move said severed label-forming areas of the label-forming strip and said backing strip at the same speed as the incomplete label stock is fed through the printing press.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said printing press has a motor for driving the moving portions of the printing press, and means for driving said conveyor and feeding means in timed relation with the operation of said printing press comprising means coupling said motor means to said conveyor and feeding means to operate the same in synchronism with the operation of the printing press.
4. The machine of claim 1 wherein said feeding means moves the portion of said label-forming strip severed from the label-forming areas thereof between said severance and relaminating stations, and there is provided means for directing the label-forming strip severed from the labelforming areas thereof away from said severed-label-forming areas at said relaminating station wherein the backing strip leaving said relaminating station contains only the label-forming areas of the original label-forming strip.
5. The machine of claim 1 wherein the portion of said conveyor means which moves said severed label-forming areas of the label-forming strip between said severance and relaminating stations comprises a perforated belt forming a continuous loop, the belt moving over a path which includes the desired path of movement of said labelforming strip between said severance and relamination stations, means for creating suction on the inner surface of the portion of said belt moving along the latter path for holding the severed label-forming areas of said labelforming strips thereto as it is moved along the path.
6. The machine of claim 5 wherein said last mentioned means includes a stationary suction box having an open side over which said belt portion passes, and means for drawing air from said suction box.
7. A method of handling a laminate label stock including a backing strip having attached thereto through a pressure sensitive adhesive bond a printed body of label forming material having an unsticky printed surface with label-forming indicia thereon, the method comprising the steps of continuously moving said label stock between a delaminating station and a relaminating station, delaminat ing said body of label-forming material from the backing strip at said delaminating station, keeping said body of label-forming material and backing strip apart between said delaminating and relaminating stations, and relaminating the separated body of label-forming material on said backing strip at the relaminating station, wherein said body of label-forming material forms a continuous strip upon said backing strip when delivered to said delaminating station, there being longitudinally spaced label-forming areas on said continuous label-forming strip to be severed therefrom, and between said delaminating and relaminating stations where the body of label-forming material is separated from the backing strip severing said longitudinally spaced areas of the label-forming strip from the rest of the strip, said severed label-forming areas being relaminated to said backing strip at said relaminating station.
8. The method of claim 7 wherein the portion of the label-forming strip severed from the label-forming areas thereof is directed away from said relaminating station so only said severed label-forming areas of the labelforming strip are relaminated onto said backing strip.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,304,787 12/1942 Avery l56-248 3,051,604 8/1962 Andrews 156l52 2,608,503 8/1952 Meyer 156-452 JOHN T. GOOLKASIAN, Primary Examiner I. C. GIL, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.