US 3627195 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llni tetl States men t Inventor Kurt Hnuer VYarmbronn, Wuertternberg, Germany 7 App]. No. 857,372
Filed Sept. 12, 1969 Patented Dec. 14, 1971 Assignee Ernst Hatter dz Co.
Stuttgart, Germany- Priority Sept. 14, 1968 Germany 1? 117 86 310A ENVELOPE BLANK 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
11.5. @I 229/68 R, 229/75 lnt. Cl 865d 27/118 llield of Search 53/29, 183;
 References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 893,227 7/1908 Davies 53/29 X 1,889,958 12/1932 lFrech et a1 53/183 X 3,088,653 5/1963 Swartz, Jr. 229/68 3,329,332 7/1967 Dagher, Jr. 229/69 Primary Examiner- Donald F. Norton Attorney-Michael S. Striker ABSTRACT: An envelope blank of predetermined configuration is made from sheet material. An enclosure for an envelope to be made from the blank is placed onto the latter in predetermined orientation with reference to the same. Thereupon, the blank is converted into a finished envelope containing the enclosure. The blank is also disclosed.
mmcnmman 3 2x195 SHEET 1 [IF 4 FigoI I I I I 10a I I f7 I I I INVENTOR Izww I -MIMFQ BY .Mq I f /'1' ATTORNEY PATENTEDDECMIHH E EZTJQE SHEET 2 OF 4 Fig. 2
INVENTOR MM WA E/Q BY n/r L'Zm ATTORNEY PATENTEU Mn 1 4 ran 9 V, 9 sum 3 BF a INVENTOR I'm/W H BY [hi ATTORNEY PATENTEDBEBMBTI 3,62%195 SHEET u BF 4 INVENTOR ATTORNEY ENVELOPE BLANK BACKGROUND OF Tl-IE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to envelopes, and more particularly to blanks which are to be converted to envelopes. The invention further relates to a method of inserting an enclosure into an envelope.
It is hardly necessary to discuss mailing envelopes in detail. However, for purposes of the present disclosure it is necessary to recall that mailing envelopes have a flap which is folded over the open side of the envelope, closing the same. Such envelopes are supplied with the flap folded over but of course not sealed. To insert an enclosure the flap must be moved to open position, that is unfolded through substantially I80", whereupon the enclosure is inserted into the envelope and the flap returned to its folded-over position. Then, sealing of the envelope is effected in suitable manner. This is a procedure which is familiar to everyone who has ever mailed a letter or other material, and it is carried out by most persons purely as a matter of routine which is rarely if ever found objectionable.
The situation is different, however, when envelope-stuffing machines are considered, that is apparatus which inserts enclosures into envelopes automatically. Such machines are widely used for inserting advertising material, bills, circular letters and a great variety of other enclosures into envelopes for distribution purposes. The purpose of using machines for this operation is, evidently, to process large quantities of envelopes and enclosures at high speeds. This objective, however, is hampered by the fact that known apparatus for this purpose utilizes conventionally constructed envelopes which are supplied in the same manner in which they are supplied to individual letter writers, namely with the backflap folded over but not sealed. The apparatus must therefore move the backflap of the envelope through substantially 180 so that the envelope is open. Thereupon the back panel of the envelope must usually be lifted with a suitable suction arrangement to permit insertion of the enclosure by the inserting means provided for this purpose. Now the backflap must be returned to closure position and sealing must be effected, the adhesive means conventionally provided for this purpose having been applied and/or activated prior to the return of the flap to closure position. It is readily understandable that apparatus capable of performing all of these operations must be relatively complicated and therefore expensive and that it is impossible to avoid frequent malfunctions or breakdowns. Malfunctions are particularly prevalent in such apparatus because on inser tion of the enclosure into the open envelope the enclosure frequently will not have precisely the orientation with reference to the opening of the envelope which is necessary to permit trouble-free insertion. This leads to wrinkling of the enclosure and/or the envelope, necessitating that they be discarded. Frequently, such occurrences can lead to shutdown of the apparatus and at times they may even require repairs.
All of this is clearly undesirable but heretofore the art knows of no reliable way to prevent these problems.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly, a general object of the present invention to overcome the aforementioned difficulties.
More particularly it is an object of the present invention to provide a method of inserting an enclosure into an envelope by means of an envelope-stuffing apparatus, which method is not possessed of the aforementioned disadvantages The invention also provides an envelope blank for use in such apparatus in the carrying out of the method.
In pursuance of the above objects, and others which will become apparent hereafter, one feature of my invention resides in a method of inserting an enclosure into an envelope which, briefly stated, comprises the making of an envelope blank of predetermined configuration from sheet material, the placing of an enclosure onto the blank with predetermined orientation relative to the same, and the conversion of the blank to a finished envelope about the enclosure.
The blank may of course be stamped or die cut from sheet material in conventional manner. According to the present invention it does not have the conventional envelope backflap. It has, instead, a sheet material blank body having a first section adapted to constitute the front of the finished envelope, a second section which extends along the first section and is adapted to be folded into a superimposed position with reference thereto so as to constitute the back of the finished envelope, and transversely spaced side flaps provided on at least one of the sections adapted to be folded inwardly in direction towards one another. Adhesive means is provided for adhesively connecting marginal zones of the sections to one another.
Where folding is to occur, the blank is advantageously provided with fold lines which are scored, impressed or otherwise provided to facilitate folding.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. ii is a top plan view of a blank according to the present invention in unfolded condition;
FIG. 2 is a view of the blank in FIG. 1 but with portions thereof partially folded and with an enclosure in the process of insertion; and
FIG. 3 is a view of the blank of FIGS. 1 and 2 subsequent to conversion into an envelope with the enclosure contained therein; and
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic side elevation of an envelopestuffing machine.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Discussing the drawing in detail it will be seen that the blank shown in FIG. 1 for the novel envelopes is identified generally with reference numeral 1. As mentioned before, it may be die cut, stamped or otherwise produced from suitable sheet material. In the state shown in FIG. 1, the blank ii is planar and constitutes in effect a shaped sheet, that is a sheet having the outline illustrated in FIG. 1.
As the drawing shows, the blank 1 has a first and a second section i.e. a section 2 which in the finished envelope will constitute the front side, a section 3 which in the finished envelope will constitute the rear side, and two unitary side flaps 4 and 5 which will close the sides or ends of the envelope when the same is completed. Reference numeral 6 has been employed to designate all such portions of the blank 1 which are to be folded with reference to the section 2, that is the section 3 and the side flaps A and 5. Reference numeral '7 identifies a fold line, which may be provided by scoring, impressing or in other suitable manner well known to those skilled in the art, along which the sections 3 is to be folded with reference to the section 2 until the two sections are superimposed upon one another. Reference numerals 8 and 9 identify similar fold lines along which the side flaps 4 and 5 are to be folded with reference to the section 2. Reference numeral 10 identifies a marginal zone of the section 2 which is remote from and extends in substantial parallelism with the fold line 7; reference numeral identifies a similar marginal zone of the section 3. The drawing shows that the zones 10, 100 are spaced from fold line 7 by at least substantially identical distances. Corresponding marginal zones of the sections 2 and 3 of course extend at opposite sides of the fold line 7. Either the marginal zone 10, the marginal zone 10:: or both are provided with a layer 10' (shown fragmentarily for the sake of simplicity) of suitable adhesive, preferably a latently adhesive substance which will become activated under the influence of elevated temperatures. Such adhesive substances are well known and need not be described in detail; they do not in themselves form a part of the present invention. Similar adhesive substance may be provided on the side flaps'4 and 5, but here on those surfaces thereof which are not visible in FIG], but which will face upwardly as seen in FIG. 1 in the same direction as the surface visible for the section 2, when the folding of the side flaps 4 and is completed (see reference numeral in FIG. 3)
In the illustrated embodiment the outline of the section 2 is rectangular, whereas in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention the outline of the section 3 differs from that of the section 2 in that it tapers in direction away from the fold line 7. As a result, the length of the marginal portion 10a is somewhat shorter than that of the marginal portion 10. The side flaps 4 and 5 are provided with cutouts 12 extending from the edge 11 of the marginal portion 10 in direction towards the fold line 7. This makes it possible for the end portions of the marginal portion 10a to become adhesively connected with corresponding portions of the marginal portion 10 which would otherwise be covered by the side flaps 4 and 5 in the absence of the cutouts 12.
The blank 1 is particularly intended for use in automatic envelope-stuffing apparatus. in such apparatus. a stack of blanks 1 will be provided, and from this stack the blanks 1 will be individually transferred-as by sliding-onto a worktable. On the worktable the section 3 and the side flaps 4 and 5 are folded upwardly about the respective fold lines 7, 8 and 9 until they are upwardly inclined with reference to the plane of the section 2, as shown in FIG. 2. Nowthe enclosure 13 is inserted from the side of the section 2 having the edge 11, suitable inserting means being providedfor this purpose. It is not essential that the section 3 and the side flaps 4 and 5 be moved to the position shown in FIG. 2 before the enclosure 13 is inserted; however, this is advantageous because they thus constitute abutments which serve to provide for proper location and orientation of the enclosure l3 with reference to the section 2. it being evident that for instance when the enclosure l3 abuts with its leading edge 14 against the upwardly inclined section 3, it is properly and fully inserted. Now, the side flaps 4 and 5 are completely folded over in direction towards one another until they overlie corresponding portions of the section 2 and of the enclosure 13, depending upon the size of the latter. Finally, the section 3 is completely folded down so as to overlie and be juxtaposed with the section 2, with the marginal portion 100 overlying the marginal portion 10 in direct contact therewith, the portions 10, 10a being located in the same plane as the respective corresponding blank sections. The adhesive layer 10 is now activated for instance by applying one or more heated instrumentalities to the marginal portions 10, 10a or both if the adhesive isof the heat-activatable type, and thereby the envelope is sealed, assuming the configuration shown in FIG. 3, with the enclosure 13 located in its interior and with the side flaps located between the sections 2 and 3. Now the sealed envelope is ejected from the machine, and the procedure repeated with another blank 1 and another enclosure 13.
If desired, the section 3 may be provided on its outer side. that is the side which is not visible in FIG. 1 but which is visible in FIG. 3, with a scoring line 15. a line which is impressed, printed or otherwise provided. to simulate the existence of a foldover flap as it is provided in conventional envelopes.
if it is not desired that the envelope be completely sealed,
for instance if printed advertising matter is to be mailed in it, only the marginal portions 10 and 100 are adhesively connected with one another whereas no adhesive connection is established between the sections 2, 3 and the side flaps 4, 5, the latter simply being folded in between the sections 2 and 3.
By resorting to the present invention the envelope blank 1 itself can be very simple and inexpensive in its manufacture, the apparatus used for filling and converting it can be simple and therefore also inexpensive, and-the filling or stuffing is no longer subject to the difficulties resulting from improper alignment of the enclosure or of envelope as discussed in the introductory portion of this specification. Accordingly, the output of apparatus utilizing the present invention can be significantly increased over what is known from the prior art.
it will be understood thateach of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of applications differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in an envelope blank, it is not to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
For better understanding an additional FIG. 4 is added which shows a side elevation of an envelope-stuffing machine in a diagrammatic drawing. The front supporting frame is omitted.
Between the two supporting frames 16 from which-as said-only one is shown, a number of rollers is arranged about which the blanks 1 respectively the enclosures 13 are transported through the apparatus. The rollers are supported in the supporting frames 16. The blanks 1 are fan-shaped stacked on a feedboard 17. Always one blank 1, that is a full plane sheet, is brought to the driving rollers 19, 20, 21, 22 through a feed roller 18 which pivots in rhythm. The driving rollers 19 to 22 transport it further as long as its edge 11 comes behind a gradation 23 of the feedboard 17. The roller 24 under the feed roller 18 does not rotate yet it is displaceable in the direction vertically to the feedboard 17 to adjust the split between the rollers 18 and 24 in that manner that utmost one sheet goes through the split. In order to stop the blank 1 when the edge 11 reaches the gradation 23 a photocell control is provided which is combined with an electromagnetically controlled roller 25. During the way until behind the gradation 23 the side flaps 4 and 5 will be directed approximately to the plane of transport through folding arrangements not shown. This position will be seen dash-dotted approximately in the midst of the figure. The section 3 which constitutes the rear side firstly comes on the inclined plane 26 and then will be pressed vertically to the plane of the feedboard 17 through a turn of this plane about a joint 27. For this purpose a clamping bar 28 is pressed against the fold line 7 which separates the section 2 (front side) from the section 3 (rear side).
On a further feedboard 29 enclosures 13 will be conveyed over driving rollers 30, 31, 32, 33. 34, 35 which finally arrive over the driving rollers 21 and 22 into the prepared envelope-that is the blank 1-with the turned-up side flaps 4 and 5 and the section 3. By the lead-in to the envelope the roller 36-as in dashed lines shown-is turned up around the joint 37. As soon as the enclosure 13 lies in the envelope the roller 36 will press itself against the roller 25, the clamping bar 28 will be put in its extended position. The roller 25 starts and the envelope will be transported under the raised inclined plane 26 together with its enclosures after finally turning-up of the side flaps 4 and 5. At last the envelope arrives over the rollers 38 and 39 at a buffer 40 on a pressure plate 41. The buffer 40 and the roller 42 are in this situation in the dash-lined position.
While now already a new blank 1. through the pivoting in rhythm of the feed roller 18, is led in into the apparatus the envelope with the enclosure inside will be pressed against a heating plate 43 through the vertical moving-up of the pressure plate 41 so that the adhesive of the heat-activatable type melts and the envelope will be closed. Now the pressure plate 41 lowers, the buffer 40 turns up around the joint 44 in the position full-lined in FIG. 4 and the roller 42 which is to be turned around the joint 45 places itself against the roller 46 so that after starting of the roller 46 the closed envelope will arrive at last over the rollers 47, 48, 49, 50 upon a depot board 51.
Below the conveyor track is a driving motor 52 with a gear not shown before the various rollers and the like as well as an electronic control 53 which is likewise shown only in diagrammatic drawing. The envelope-stuffing machine stands with bases 54 upon an assembly plane 55, that is a table or the like.
1. An envelope consisting of an envelope blank including a sheet material blank body having a main portion provided with a fold line, a pair of spaced-parallel side edges extending transversely of said fold line and a pair of spaced-parallel longitudinal edges extending in parallelism with said fold line, said fold line subdividing said main portion into a first and a second section having respective transversely spaced marginal portions extending along said fold line inwardly of the respec tive longitudinal edges and being spaced from said fold line by at least substantially identical distances, and longitudinally spaced side flaps on one of said sections located along and outwardly of the respective side edges and being unitary therewith; said envelope blank being folded along said fold line with said first and second sections of said main portion of said blanit superimposed upon each other, with said marginal portions thereof located in direct contact with each other and in the same plane as the corresponding sections of said blank and said longitudinally spaced side flaps folded inwardly towards one another along said side edges so as to be located between said first and second sections; and adhesive means on at least one of said marginal portions for connecting the same to one another when said sections are folded to superimposed positions along said fold line with said marginal portions located in the same plane as the corresponding sections.
2. An envelope as defined in claim 1, wherein said side flaps each extend from the one longitudinal edge having said marginal portion of said one section toward said fold line, and further comprising cutouts in said side flaps in the region of said one longitudinal edge of said one section and extending in direction toward said fold line.
3. An envelope as defined in claim 1, wherein said second section converges slightiy in direction from said fold line towards said marginal portion of said second section.
4. An envelope as defined in claim 1, wherein said adhesive means is a latently adhesive substance.
5. An envelope as defined in claim t, wherein said adhesive means is a heat-activatable adhesive material.