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Publication numberUS3635462 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1972
Filing dateAug 21, 1970
Priority dateAug 21, 1970
Publication numberUS 3635462 A, US 3635462A, US-A-3635462, US3635462 A, US3635462A
InventorsJoa Curt G
Original AssigneeJoa Curt G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pad-folding machine
US 3635462 A
Abstract
Disclosed herein is an apparatus for automatically folding a pad while a conveyor is moving the pad along the longitudinal axis of a base. The apparatus includes a number of guides mounted on the base to fold the pad in half and to overlap one of the end tabs of the pad across the folded ends of the pad.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 Jan. 18,1972

nited States Patent 2 x2 66 6 00 0 77/7 2202 "7 m2 m nu r mm." m m bf ryt .mmaw p n. SGSfi 6444 3666 9999 1111 2 55 1 90007 8238 93 56 -4 6 33 2333 [541 PAD-FOLDING MACHINE [72] Inventor: Curt G. Jun, Box 1121, Boynton Beach,

Fla. 33435 22 F'ld: A .21,1970 1 FOREIGNPATENTSORAPPLICATIONS 848,234 9/1960 GreatBritain...........................270/86 1,117,141 11/1961 Germany.................................270/86 [21] App]. No.:

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 763,718, Sept. 30, 1968,

Primary ExaminerLawrence Charles Attorney-Wheeler, House 84 Wheeler abandoned.

a e e mrmm m .ldu mm m .m n w H Wm H w M .w m mno m mn a m a wd adn T P C 6cm A mmn. R moo e H m.mw m a M wmm wm em n am ar. e oe i v h .m m w WORM. t 86% abm Mmhm .ww m 7 mmm w UDPam 622 826 m z a W5 .69 B3 m9 m6 8 l 0 "7 m2 UNITED STATES P ATENTS of the end tabs of the pad across the folded ends of the pad.

1,655,491 1/1928 Blake..................... ....270/67 X 7Claims,6Drawing Figures PATENTEU m r s 372 SHEET 2 BF 2 mvewrba Caer- 6. Jam

PAID-FOLDING MACHINE CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation of my copending US. Pat. application Ser. No. 763,718 filed Sept. 30, 1968, now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Pads of the type contemplated herein are typically those used in sanitary napkins, and particularly those incorporated in maternity packs as hospital O.B. pads. A filler or pad is encased within a wrapper with the end tabs extending outwardly from each end of the body of the napkin pad. Generally the napkin pad is packaged as it is received from the napkin machine. In the case of an 0.3. pad, the pad is folded in half prior to packaging, in order that a neater package can be formed, especially if other items such as cotton balls, tissues, etc., are to be included in the package. Folding of the pad has generally been done by hand. This increases labor costs and is time consuming.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention disclosed herein provides an apparatus for automatically folding a pad such as a sanitary napkin or B. pad and overlapping one of the end tabs of the pad preparatory to packaging. More specifically, the pads when received from a napkin machine are flat with end tabs extending outward from each end of the main body of the napkin. These napkin pads are fed onto the base of the apparatus of this invention transversely to the intended direction of motion of the napkin on the base. As the napkin is fed onto the base, the lead end tab is automatically underwrapped against the body of the napkin. As the napkin is moved across the base, the lead end tab is heat sealed to the main body and the main body of the pad is folded upward around a centrally disposed wire guide to an upright position by a pair of upwardly rearwardly converging wire guides. After the pad has been folded to the upright position, the trailing end tab is overlapped across the folded ends of the pad and into abutting engagement with the lead end tab by a crossover guide mounted on the base. As the now folded and overwrapped napkin approaches the end of the conveyor, the napkin is moved from the upright position to a horizontal position on the base preparatory to movement into an automatic packaging machine.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description when read in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. l is a perspective view of the apparatus of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a sanitary napkin with a section broken away.

FIG. 3 is taken on line 3-3 of FIG. ll showing the heat-sealing arrangement for securing one of the end tabs to the body of the napkin.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are taken on lines 44 and 5-5, respectively, of FIG. 1 showing the positions of the napkin as the napkin is folded in half.

FIGS. 6, 7, 3 and 9 are taken on lines 6-6, 7--7, 8-8 and 9--9, respectively, of FIG. 1 showing the progressive overwrapping of the trailing end tabs of the napkin as the napkin moves through the apparatus.

FIGS. 10 and II are taken on lines 10--10 and 11-11 of FIG. 1 showing the guide for moving the folded napkin from the upright to the horizontal position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Although the disclosure hereof is detailed and exact to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention which may be embodied in other specific structure. The scope of the invention is defined in the claims appended hereto.

Sanitary napkins 5 of the type which are to be folded by the apparatus 10 of this invention, generally include a filler pad 12 and a wrapper 14 as shown in FIG. 2. The wrapper 14 may consist of a nonwoven or nonwoven-polyethylene material bonded at the seam 16 and cut to provide end tabs 18a and 18!: extending outward from each end of the main body 20 of the pad. The end tabs l8 are thinner than the main body 20 of the pad. These sanitary napkins 5 are automatically wrapped in a wrapping machine and are moved longitudinally onto the apparatus 10 where they are automatically folded in half and the end flaps 18a and 18b are overwrapped and then conveyed to an automatic packaging machine.

More specifically, referring to FIGQ I anapkin 5 is shown being moved from a napkin machine 22 (partly shown in FIG. 1) onto the base or frame 24 of the apparatus 10 with the lead end tab 184 depending downward from the main body 20 of the napkin. As the main body 20 is pushed onto the base, the lead tab is folded under the body 20 of the napkin 5 by the engagement of the lead tab with the edge of the base. The napkin 5 is moved transversely across the base to a position in alignment with a first conveyor 26 which includes a number of dogs 28 secured to endless chains 29 and extending upward through slots 30 in the base to initially move the napkin across a portion of the base.

Means are'provided on the base to heat-seal the lead tab 18a to the main body 20 as the napkin is moved by the first conveyor 26. This means includes a heat-sealing assembly 32 having a heater roller 34 and a pressure roller 36 positioned to roll across the end of the napkin to heat-seal the lead tab 180 to the body 20 of the napkin. The heater roll 34 is heated by means of an electric heater generally shown at 38.

Means are also provided for folding the main body 20 of the napkin in half as the napkin is moved across the base 24 by the conveyor 26. This means includes a wire guide 40 which is suspended by supports (not shown) over the base 24 intermediate the dogs 28 on the conveyor 26 in a position to engage the center of the napkin 5. The end 4210f the wire guide 40 is bent upward slightly to aid in guiding the napkin under the wire guide. The napkin 5 is folded around the guide 40 by means of wire guides 44 and 46 positioned to underlie the ends of the main body 20 of the napkin 5 asseen in FIGS 4 and 5. The wire guides 44 and 46 converge upwardly and rearwardly of the base 24 to a parallel relation over a second conveyor 48 having a pair of endless belts 45 positioned on upright rollers on the base 24. The motion of the napkin across the wire guides will fold the main body 20 of the napkin around the wire guide 40 with the folded main body portions in abutting engagement to juxtapose the ends of the main body in an upright position. The conveyor 26 will push the napkin into the conveyor 48.

Means are provided to overwrap the trailing end tab 18b across the folded ends of the main body 20 while the napkin is being moved by the conveyor 48. This means includes a fourth wire guide 50 which is positioned to engage the underside of one end of the main bodyof the napkin and extends upward over the top of the folded ends of the napkin and downward on the opposite side. More specifically, referring to FIGS. 6 through 10 the wire guide 50 is shown initially (FIG. 5) on the left side of the napkin spaced below the end tab 18b. As the napkin is moved by the conveyor 48, the napkin will ride up on the wire guide 50 until the wire guide 50 underlies the end tab 18b (FIG. 6). In FIG. 7 the wire guide 50 is shown positioned above the folded napkin with the end tab 18b partly wrapped across the top of the napkin 5 and in FIG. 8 the wire guide 50 is shown on the left side of the napkin with the end tab 18b flipped over the top of the napkin in a position to be pushed into abutting engagement with the lead tab 18a. In the final position shown in FIG. 9 the wire guide 50 is positioned against the left side of the napkin with the end tabs 18a and 18b pressed against the side of the folded napkin. The conveyor 48 will move the folded napkin into a conveyor 52 having a number of dogs 55 extending upward through slots 57 provided at the end of the base 24.

Means are provided near the end of the conveyor 48 to tip the folded napkin 5 from the upright position to a horizontal position on the base 24 for delivery by a conveyor 52 to a packaging machine. This means includes a fifth wire guide 54 which is positioned to engage the left side of the napkin 5 while in the upright position in the conveyor 48 (FIG. and extends downwardly across the center of the conveyor 52 to tip the napkin to a horizontal position (FIG. 1 1). More specifically, as seen in FIG. 10, the wire guide 54 is shown at the end of the conveyor 48 in a position to engage the left side of the upright napkin. As the napkin is moved from conveyor 48 to conveyor 52, the napkin 5 is pushed to the horizontal position (FIG. 11) by the crossover section 56 of the guide 54. The folded end of the napkin is guided on the base 24 by means of an L-bracket 60 to properly align the folded napkin prior to delivery to a packaging machine.

Although the guides 44, 46, 50 and 56 have been shown separately, it should be understood that they can be combined in various ways to form integral units to accomplish the same result.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for folding an elongated pad which has a relatively thick body and relatively thin end tabs extending from the ends of the body, said apparatus comprising conveyor means for moving the pad in a direction transverse to its elongation, folding means for folding the pad longitudinally in half about the center of the body and transversely of the direction of its movement along the conveyor to juxtapose the ends of the body, wrapping means for wrapping one of the end tabs across the juxtaposed ends of the folded body and against the side of the folded body, means for folding the other end tab flat against that side of the body which is exposed after the body has been folded longitudinally about its center, said wrapping means comprising means to wrap said one end tab against said other end tab to dispose both end tabs at the same side of the folded pad body, and means for attaching said other end tab to the body before said one end tab is wrapped thereagainst.

2. Apparatus for folding an elongated pad which has a relatively thick body and relative thin end tabs extending from the ends of the body, said apparatus comprising conveyor means for moving the pad in a direction transverse to its elongation, folding means for folding the pad longitudinally in half about the center of the body and transversely of the direction of its movement along the conveyor to juxtapose the ends of the body, wrapping means for wrapping one of the end tabs across the juxtaposed ends of the folded body and against the side of the folded body, said folding means comprising elongated padfolding guides against which the pad body is pressed by the conveyor means, one of said guides engaging the pad body at its center and the other of said guides respectively engaging the pad body at points remote from its center.

3. Apparatus for folding an elongated pad which has a relatively thick body and relatively thin end tabs extending from the ends of the body, said apparatus comprising conveyor means for moving the pad in a direction transverse to its elongation, folding means for folding the pad longitudinally in half about the center of the body and transversely of the direction of its movement along the conveyor to juxtapose the ends of the body, wrapping means for wrapping one of the end tabs across the juxtaposed ends of the folded body and against the side of the folded body, said folding means comprising means for lifting the ends of the pad body about its center to an upright position in the course of folding the body in half, thus to expose the sides of the pad body.

4. The apparatus of claim3 in combination with means for turning the pad from its upright position to a horizontal position after said one end tab has been wrapped across the juxtaposed ends of the folded body and against the side of the folded pad body.

5. Apparatus for folding a pad prior to packaging, said apparatus comprising:

a base;

means for conveying a pad positioned transversely to its direction of motion;

a first guide positioned to engage the center of the pad;

second and third guides respectively positioned to engage the underside of the pad to wrap the pad about the first guide;

a fourth guide positioned to engage the underside of one of the end tabs on the pad and overwrap the end tab to the opposite side of the folded pad and into abutting engagement with the end tab on the other end of the pad.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 in which said first, second, and third guides lift the pad to an upright position, in combination with a fifth guide to turn the upright pad to a horizontal position for movement to a packaging machine, a

7. The method of folding a pad having end tabs extending outwardly from each end of the pad, said method comprising the steps of:

folding one end tab under the main body of the pad as the pad is fed onto a base to a position transverse to the direction of motion of the pad on the base;

moving the pad longitudinally along the base;

heat sealing the said one tab;

folding the pad in half; and

overlapping the other end tab of the pad over the ends of the folded pad as the pad is moved along the base.

Patent Citations
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US2065989 *May 29, 1935Dec 29, 1936Georg SpiessFolding attachment
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US3131838 *Nov 20, 1963May 5, 1964Snayberger Jr Clarence LFolding device for polo shirts
US3134587 *Oct 26, 1960May 26, 1964Sjostrom Machine CoSheet folding machine
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3803992 *Oct 19, 1971Apr 16, 1974Precision IndustriesApparatus for folding and taping box blanks
US3998447 *Sep 4, 1975Dec 21, 1976Joa Curt GMethod and apparatus for folding flaps of a sanitary pad
US4236704 *Apr 9, 1979Dec 2, 1980Bell Cyril FPaper folding apparatus
US4701156 *Mar 21, 1986Oct 20, 1987Paper-Pak Products, Inc.Method and apparatus for fabricating three-fold pads
US6015934 *Dec 22, 1997Jan 18, 2000Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Individually wrapped absorbent article and method and apparatus for its production
US7303708Apr 8, 2005Dec 4, 2007Curt G. Joa, Inc.Super absorbent distribution system design for homogeneous distribution throughout an absorbent core
US7374627Apr 7, 2005May 20, 2008Curt G. Joa, Inc.Method of producing an ultrasonically bonded lap seam
US7398870Oct 5, 2005Jul 15, 2008Curt G. Joa, IncArticle transfer and placement apparatus
US7452436Mar 9, 2006Nov 18, 2008Curt G. Joa, Inc.Transverse tape application method and apparatus
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US7537215Apr 22, 2005May 26, 2009Curt G. Joa, Inc.Method and apparatus for securing stretchable film using vacuum
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US7638014Mar 18, 2005Dec 29, 2009Curt G. Joa, Inc.Method of producing a pants-type diaper
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Classifications
U.S. Classification493/394, 493/438
International ClassificationA61F13/15
Cooperative ClassificationA61F13/15747
European ClassificationA61F13/15M6F