US 3645391 A
In an article-classifying apparatus of the type wherein labels formed with classifying patterns are applied onto articles to be classified, the patterns are read and the articles are classified in accordance with signals produced as a result of reading the classifying patterns, there are provided means responsive to article-classifying signals for forming article-classifying patterns on labels, means for applying the labels onto the articles when they are mounted on a first conveyor route, a second conveyor route for receiving the labeled articles from the first conveyor route, a plurality of gates in the second conveyor route, means for reading the classifying patterns on the labels while the articles are being conveyed by the second conveyor route for generating gate control signals and means responsive to the gate control signals for selectively operating the gates for classifying the articles according to the patterns.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llnle States Patent Hiralrawa et al. 1 Web. 29, 11972  ARTICLE-CLASSIFYING APPARATUS 3,438,489 4/1969 Cambornac et al ..209/1 1 1.5  Inventors: Hiroshi Hirakawa, Tokyo; Terumasa g at Kobayashi Kanagawa-ken both of Japan me 3,520,406 7/1970 Turner ..209/1 1 1.5  Assignee: Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd.,
Kawasakpshi, Japan Primary Examiner-Allen N. Knowles Attorney-Kemon, Palmer & Estabrook  Filed: Dec. 21, 1970 21 Appl. No.: 100,307 [57} ABSTRACT In an article-classifying apparatus of the type wherein labels formed with classifying patterns are applied onto articles to be  Foreign Application Priority Dam classified, the patterns are read and tlhe articles are classified Dec. 22, 1969 Japan ..44/ 102684 in accordance with signals produced as a result of reading the classifying patterns, there are provided means responsive to  U.S.Cl ..209/73,209/111.7, 101/2 ying signal f r forming articleclassifying pm- 151 1 1111.131 ..B07c 3/14 terns on labels, means for pp the labels onto the articles [581 Field of Search ..209/73, 74, 111.7, 111.6, 111.8, when are mounted first y route a Second 209/1 1 01/2; 214/1 1 conveyor route for receiving the label ed articles from the first conveyor route, a plurality of gates in the second conveyor  References Cited route, means for reading the classifying patterns on the labels while the articles are being conveyed by the second conveyor UNITED STATES PATENTS route for generating gate control signals and means responsive I v to the gate control signals for selectively operating the gates 1 RablIlOW f th ti l according t th p tt 3,366,040 l/l968 Braun et al. 3,412,838 11/1968 Jovis ..l01/2 X 6 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PAIENTEUFEB29 I912 3.645.391 I sum 1 or 8 III FIG 1 INVENTORS h'mosm HIRRKAWA BY Exam/n4 MaAms/r PATENTEDFEBZS I972- SHEET 2 OF 8 SHEET 5 BF 8 PATENTEDFEBZQ m2 on o Emmi PAIENTEOFEB29 m2 3.645.391
sum 8 or 8 FIG. 11
O O C :D O J ARTICLE-CLASSIFYING APPARATUS This invention relates to articleclassifying apparatus wherein patterns for classifying articles are marked on labels, patterned labels are applied onto articles, the patterns of the applied labels are read while the articles are being conveyed, and the signals thus read out are used to classify the articles into predetermined stations.
In flight services, passengers baggages are received before they get on airplanes and these baggages are neatly loaded in the baggage room of the airplane in order to keep them in good balanced condition during flight. Upon arrival at the destinated airport, the transported baggages are delivered to the passengers. Since many baggages of the passengers destinated to a number of different airports are received by an information office of one airport it is necessary to classify these baggages according to the airplane which carries them. It has been proposed to apply a label marked with a particular classifying mark upon each baggage and to automatically read the mark for classifying the baggage according to the destination or aircraft which transports it. However, application of such a label by handwork not only requires much labor and time but also causes application of erroneous classification labels. This is the same in air cargo brought into a air terminal.
It has been desired to provide an automatic system of applying appropriate classification marks on the labels, and applying such labels on individual baggages or cargos.
Similar requirements are also present when classifying articles or goods to be transported by trains or packed products in manufacturing factories.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an article-classifying apparatus which can correctly classify a large number of articles, for example, cargos or baggages of flight passengers according to their destinations.
Another object of this invention is to provide an article-classifying apparatus capable of promptly preparing labels carrying particular classification patterns, applying said labels onto articles and classifying the articles according to classification patterns.
According to this invention there is provided apparatus for classifying articles, comprising means for supplying label blanks adapted to be applied on articles to be classified, means responsive to article-classifying patterns on the label blanks thus forming individual labels, a first conveyor route, means for applying the labels onto the articles while they are mounted on the first conveyor route, second conveyor route for receiving the articles which have been applied with the labels from the first conveyor route, a pluralityof gates in the second conveyor route, means for reading the classifying patterns on the labels while the articles are being conveyed by the second conveyor route for generating gate control signals, and means responsive to the gate control signals for selectively operating the gates for classifying the articles according to the patterns.
The label blank may be supplied as a continuous web or as individual pieces of predetermined dimensions. Further, the label may be made of paper or magnetic tape and the classification patterns may be printed with type on the paper or magnetically recorded on the magnetic tape.
The classifying apparatus enables quick and accurate classification of many articles such as cargos or baggages of flight passengers according to their destinations.
The invention can be more fully understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic representation, partly in block form, of one embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view to show the details of the portions contained in a circle X in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view to show the details of the portions contained in a dotted rectangle Y in FIG. 1',
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of an article classified by the apparatus shown in FIG. 3 and is being conveyed by a conveyor;
FIG. 5 shows a block diagram of the pattern readout device shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 shows an enlarged front elevation of alabel applicator shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 shows the detail of the inside of the label applicator shown in FIG. 6, partly broken away;
FIG. 8 shows a section of the label applicator shown in FIG. 6 taken along a line VIII-Vlll in FIG. 6;
FIG. 9 shows a plan view of a label marked with a classifying pattern by the mark applicator shown in FIG. 7;
FIG. 10 is a time chart to explain the sequence of operation of various parts shown in FIG. 7; and
FIG. 11 shows a side view, partly in section, of a modified embodiment of a label blank supply device.
Referring now to FIG. 1 of the accompanying drawings, there is shown a preferred embodiment of the baggage or cargo (which is represented as a baggage hereinafter in the embodiment) classifying apparatus comprising a baggage information A of an airport, 21 baggage-classifying station B, a
first conveyor route interconnecting the information A and baggage classifying station B and comprised by parallel belt conveyors 1a, lb, 10 and 1d, and a second conveyor route comprised by belt conveyors 2a, 2b and 2c and tapered roller conveyors 2d. The label applicator 3 is disposed along one side of each conveyor of the first conveyor route to apply labels upon baggages conveyed thereby. Baggages received at information A are mounted on conveyors la to 1d. At the same time, labels are applied onto these baggages by label applicators and the labeled baggages are then transferred to the second conveyor route 2. Baggages are received on a table 5 at the information and the data regarding received baggages are applied to an electronic computer 4 through a buffer memory 4a by operating input keys to be described later. These data or information are displayed on respective cathode-ray tubes 6.
In the baggage-classifying station B, a plurality of baggageclassifying conveyors or lanes 7a to 7j are disposed transversely on the opposite sides of conveyor 2c. As will be described later, at each portion X is provided a gate selectively operated by a signal supplied from a classification control 8 which is connected to the electronic computer 4 through another buffer memory 4b. As will be discussed later, a pattern readout device 9 for reading the patterns of the labels applied on the baggages being conveyed is positioned near conveyor 2c at one end thereof close to the classifying station B. Signals representing the readout classifying patterns of the labels carried by the baggages which are conveyed across the front surface of readout device 9 are applied to classification control b to produce classifying signals 10. The classifying signals are applied to respective portions X to selectively operate gates in accordance with the readout signals to send them to selected classifying lanes which may take the form of suitable conveyors or chutes.
The detail of a portion X is illustrated in FIG. 2 in which a gate 1 l' is shown where classifying lane 7f is selected.
The position of label applicator 3 relative to the first conveyor route, for example, belt conveyor la, is shown in FIG. 6, wherein numeral l2 shows a conveyor route for labels and 13 a vacuum cup adapted to suck and hold labels marked with classifying patterns. When a baggage 14 which has been carried by conveyor la in the direction of an arrow reaches a point opposing the vacuum cup 13, the vacuum cup 13 is advanced toward conveyor lla to apply the label carried thereby upon the baggage 14.
The details of one example of label applicator are illustrated in FIGS. 7 to 10. A continuous web of label paper 16 is payed out from a roll 17 via feed rollers 18a, 18b which are grouped in one group P before cutters l9 and the other group O beyond cutters 19, as will be discussed later in more detail. Along the path of travel of the label paper comprised by feed rollers 18a, 18b are disposed cutters 19, a printing station 20, a readout station 21 and a label-applicating station 22, in the order mentioned. In the printing station 20, a label 23 (see FIG. 9) is printed with a timing mark 23a, a baggage-classifying mark 23b, numerals 23c, detection marks 23d for detecting the direction of inclination of the label, and parity marks 23e. The purpose of respective marks and numerals will be described hereinbelow. As shown in FIG. 7, a pair of platelike printing hammers 24 which are parallel in the direction transverse to label paper 16 are disposed to print bar-shaped timing marks 23a, classification marks 23b corresponding to coded numerals, etc. Beyond these printing hammers 24 is arranged a type wheel 26 supported rotatably around a shaft 261: and having types 25 representing numerals 23c shown in FIG. 9 on the periphery facing the label paper 16. The type wheel 26 is driven by the classifying signals so that a particular numeral corresponding to a given classifying signal is brought to the lowermost position of the wheel. Numerals l, 2, 4 and 8 on the lower end of codes 27 shown in FIG. 9 show the correspondence between decimal-binary representations of classifying marks 23b and numerals 230. However, it is to be understood that these numerals 1, 2, 4 and 8 are not actually printed.
A printing ribbon 28 is disposed immediately beneath printing hammers 24 and a rubber pad 29 is disposed on the opposite side of the path of travel of the paper 16. Printing hammers 24 are normally urged upwardly by means of springs 30. When a magnet 33 is excited in response to an output signal from buffer memory 4a which is produced by a print command signal of a classification signal, the heads of the printing hammers are selectively struck by lever 34 to print timing mark 23a, classifying mark 23b, etc., on the paper 16. Marks 23d for detecting the direction of inclination of the label 23 and parity marks 23e are also printed at the same time by the printing hammers 24.
A printing ribbon 35 is also disposed beneath printing wheel 26 and a printing hammer 36 is mounted on the opposite side such that its head 36a opposes the printing ribbon 35. An intermediate point of printing hammer 36 is pivotally mounted on a stationary shaft 37. A head 36a including a rubber pad is mounted on one end of the hammer and a cam 38 cooperates with the opposite end. When cam 38 is rotated one revolution by a printing signal, printing hammer 36 is rotated in the clockwise direction as shown by arrow a to strike a type 25 on the type wheel 26 through printing ribbon 35 and label paper 16 so as to print numeral 230 (FIG. 9) on paper 16.
The timing marks 23a on label 23 are used for the timing control of an electrical circuit (not shown) of pattern readout device 9 whereas code marks (classification marks) 23b are utilized to represent each one order of magnitude of a decimal numeral with four marks, that is, by the binary system. Marks 23d are used to detect the direction of inclination of the label 23 or each mark 23a, 23b in order to correctly read it. Whereas parity marks 23e are utilized to make the number of the marks equal to an even number, for example. Readout member 21 for checking the result of printing comprises a photoelectric transducer including a photoelectric element 40 and an electric lamp 39 on the opposite sides of the path of travel of the label paper 16. Thus, the variation in the outputs from the photoelectric transducer which are produced as timing marks 23a, code marks 23b etc., printed on the paper at the printing station is compared with the print command signal, and a coincidence is obtained, the printed label 23 is permitted to advance. In the absence of the coincidence, however, an error lamp 43 is lighted to indicate an unsatisfactory print and to prevent a label applicator 22 (to be described later) from operating. When alarmed by error lamp 43, the operator will remove and discard the label in front of vacuum cup 13.
Label applicator 22 comprises a vacuum cup 13 having a suction member 44 closely adjacent to the path of travel of labels 23 and provided with a plurality of perforations 44a for suction under vacuum, a driving device 46 for moving the vacuum cup 13 along guide rails 45 toward conveyor Ia carrying baggages 14 and an adhesive applicator 47 including rolls for applying the adhesive to the label 23 while it is held by vacuum cup 13. Further, as shown in FIG. 8, vacuum cup 13 is connected with a vacuum pump 49 via a flexible pipe 48 and an electromagnetic valve 50 which controls the operation of the vacuum cup 13.
Driving device 46 for vacuum cup 13 comprises an arm having one end pivotally connected to a pedestal 53 and the other end connected to vacuum cup 13 through a pin and slot connection, a cam follower roller 54 mounted on an intermediate point of arm 55 and a rotary cam 56 cooperating with the cam follower roller 54 to move vacuum cup 13 along guide rails 46. As shown, arm 55 is biased by a tension spring 57 in the direction of arrow 58.
As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, vacuum cup 13 is arranged to have its label suction member 44 opposed to label 23 through a window 3a and is advanced as indicated by arrow 59 toward a baggage 14 on conveyor 1a and is then retracted to the original position by one revolution of cam 56.
Beneath vacuum cup 13 is disposed a guide member 60 having a groove 60a for guiding labels 23 conveyed by feed rollers 18a to 18d along the front surface of the vacuum cup 13.
Adhesive applicator roll 47 is reciprocated by a suitable device, now shown, along the suction member 44 for supplying an adhesive onto the surface of the label while it is held on the suction member 44. The adhesive is supplied to roll 47 from a reservoir 63 via a plurality of rolls 64. The driving mechanism, not shown, for the roll 47 may be identical to driving device 46 for vacuum cup 13.
An additional guide roller 65 is provided adjacent feed rollers 18d to guide the label 23 fed by feed rollers 18d to the suction member 44. Guide roller 65 is mounted on an arm 66 operated by a rotary solenoid 67 to be rotated in the counterclockwise direction as shown by arrow 68 as the vacuum cup 13 is advanced to clear its path.
Input keys 69 (FIG. 7) are provided for generating electric signals corresponding to respective marks and digits to be applied onto labels 23, these signals being supplied to buffer memory 4a and are then applied to electric computer 4 when desired. Further, a printing initiation button 70, reset button 71 and label paper feed-commencing button 72 are provided. A plurality of monitor lamps 73 which are lighted corresponding to cord marks printed on respective labels and monitoring display tubes for displaying numerals printed are also provided.
As shown in FIG. 7, a conveyor switch 75 is provided to be actuated by the leading end of the baggage 14 when it is conveyed to a predetermined position in front of the vacuum cup 13 for stopping the running of conveyor la. A print ready lamp 75 is provided which is lighted when switch 75 is actuated.
The operation of applying the labels onto baggages will now be described in detail with reference to the time chart shown in FIG. 10.
When a baggage 14 is deposited at the information A, the operator actuates an input key 69 to encode the designation number, that is the classifying data of that baggage for storing it in buffer memory 4 (see FIG. 10-103). Then, the baggage 14 is put on moving conveyor la to convey the baggage to the front side of label applicator 3 (FIG. 10-101). Upon arrival of the baggage at a position in front of vacuum cup 13, its leading end actuates conveyor switch 75 (FIG. 10-102) to stop conveyor 1a to run whereby the baggage is stopped at the definite position. Positioning of the baggage at the definite position causes print ready lamp 76 (FIG. 7) to light to indicate stopping (FIG. 10-104). Responsive to this lighting, the operator actuates initiation button (FIG. 10-105) to simultaneously start various feed rollers 18a through 18d to advance at a constant speed label paper 16, the front end thereof has been arrested by cutters 19 (FIG. 111-1116). When a predetermined length of the label paper is payed out the operator actuates print command switch (start button) 70 to intermittently energize at an equal spacing magnet 33 for driving printing hammer 24 for printing timing marks 23a. Further, another magnet 33 for driving another hammer 24 for printing code marks 23b is energized in synchronism with the printing operation of timing marks 23a in accordance with the baggageoclassifying data stored in buffer memory 4a. Consequently, timing marks and code marks are printed on the label together with marks 23d and 23e (FIG. -108, 109). When the portion of the label printed with code marks 23b is brought beneath type wheel 26, the wheel is rotated to bring the type 25 corresponding to the printed code mark 23b to the lowermost position, while at the same time hammer 36 is driven upwardly by the rotation of cam to print the numeral of the type at the lowermost position below code marks 23b (FIG. 10-110). In this manner, the label is successively printed with marks 23a, 23b, 23d, 23e and numeral 230 while it is advanced until its printed surface reaches the print check read out portion 21 whereby the printed code mark is read and converted into an electrical signal which is compared with the previously stored input signal to sequentially check whether the code mark is printed correctly or not (FIG. 10-111).
In the printing station 20, when all of the marks 23a, 23b, etc., and numerals 23s are printed on paper 16, cutters 19 are operated (FIG. 10-112) to separate a printed label from the paper 16. The separated label is further advanced by rotating feed rollers 10d (FIG. 10-107). However, feed rollers 18a, 18b and 100 are stopped to rotate concurrently with the operation of cutters 19 (FIG. 10-106) thus stopping the feeding of paper 16.
The label 23 is continued to be advanced by still-rotating feed rollers 18d during which the printings thereon are checked (FIG. 10-107). The label is then brought in front of vacuum cup 13 with its leading end guided by guide roller 65 and grooves 60a of guide member 60. The label is continued to be advanced until the printings are finally determined to be correct or not. When the result of print check is found to be satisfactory when the label 23 is positioned in front of vacuum cup 13 (FIG. 10-113), electromagnetic valve is opened to connect the vacuum cup with vacuum pump 49 thus attracting label 23 (FIG. 10-11 1). Then, rotary solenoid 67 is energized to remove guide roller 65 away from the front surface of the vacuum cup (FIG. 10-116). Concurrently therewith, adhesive application roll 47 supplied with the adhesive through rolls 6 1 is advanced to apply the adhesive to the rear surface of label 23 and is thereafter returned to the original position (FIG. 10-115). Then the driving device 46 for vacuum cup 13 is actuated to advance the cup while holding the label to urge it against a side surface of the baggage. After applying the label onto the side surface of the baggage, electromagnetic valve 50 is closed to release the label and to restore the vacuum cup to the original position (FIG. 10-117).
Then reset button 71 is operated to interrupt the signal from conveyor switch 75 for restarting conveyor 1a thus transforming the labeled baggage to conveyor 2a of the second conveyor route. Baggage 1 1 will then conveyed by conveyors 2a, 2d, 212,211 and 2c to portion Y shown in FIG. 1.
The detail of portion Y is shown in FIG. 3. As shown there is provided a position-aligning device comprising aligning rollers 78 and an aligning belt 7'9. The rollers 90 are slightly inclined with respect to the width of the conveyor path and the plane interconnecting the upper surfaces of these rollers is at the same level as the surface of belt 2c. Accordingly, these rolls convey the baggage 14 along its path of travel with its longitudinal axis slightly inclined with respect to the path of travel.
The pattern readout device 9 is disposed to the right of belt 79 so that the baggage is conveyed with the label 23 applied thereon faced to the pattern readout device 9. The relationing the front end 83 comprises a source of light 030 and a light-receiving unit 03b.
When the baggage is conveyed to the position shown in FIG. 3, means for detecting the front end 03 operates to reset the electric circuits of the first and second read units 00 and 01 to prepare them for reading the label 23. The label 23 is brought in front of the first read unit 00 whereby respective marks 23d, 23a, 23b, etc., of label 23 are successively read. Thus, the variations of the light reflected from these marks are converted into the variations in the voltages by means of the photoelectric transducer element and the voltages are amplified by an amplifier. The first amplified signal corresponds to the inclination detection mark 23d which requires simultaneous presence of the timing mark and the code mark and the signal is utilized to control the cutout timing of the signals corresponding to marks 23a, 23b, etc., which are read subsequently. These signals are sequentially applied to a register 8 1a, shown in FIG. 5 to be stored therein.
The label 23 which has been read by the first read unit 00 is then read by the second read unit 81 in the same manner as above described and the readout signals are temporally stored in a second register 46, FIG. 5, and the data stored in the first and second registers 84a and 84b are compared by a comparator 05.
When two data compared coincide with each other the signal 86 from comparator 35 is applied to a decoder 07 where decimal data are converted into binary display data.
With reference now to FIG. 5, the photoelectric transducer element, the amplifier, for the output of the photoelectric transducer element, and the label inclination direction detector contained in the first read unit are designated by reference numerals 00d, 00:: and 30f, respectively and those of the second read unit 81 are designated by reference numerals 81d, 81e, 81f, respectively. The photoelectric transducer element, the amplifier for the output from this element and the read-timing control device of the device for detecting the front end shown in FIG. 3 are designated by reference numerals 87a, 87b and 070, respectively.
A signal from decoder 87 is applied to baggage classification control 0 and the outputs 89a, 89b are applied to respective gates of baggage-classifying lanes 7a, 7b Thus the baggages are automatically transfered onto appropriate lanes 7a to 7j dependent upon their classifying marks, that is, code marks.
Although use of only one read unit is sufficient, use of two such units as in this embodiment enables duplicate checking so that even a slight change of the label can be accurately read out. Further, in the foregoing embodiment the label paper 113 was cut into labels after printing patterns thereon, but the patterns may be printed on individual labels after cutting. If only one first route is provided, the first route and a second route may be continuous.
The label paper is not always be required to be a long web. For example, as shown in FIG. 11, a plurality of blanks of labels 91 may be stacked in a magazine box so as to successively feed the uppermost blank to its path of travel by means of a feed roller 92. In this case, the uppermost blank is always maintained at the same level as the path of travel by means of springs 93 or equivalent means. This modification eliminates the use of cutters 19. Instead of paper, the blank may be comprised by a magnetic tape on which the patterns of the marks can be formed magnetically. Of course, in this case, magnetic beads are used for recording and reading marks on the label.
Instead of applying adhesive for sewing labels to articles to be classified, a suitable substance manifesting adhesiveness when contacted with a special liquid may be applied on the back of the label. In this case, when applying the label the liquid is applied to the back by means of a roller, for example, alternatively the surface of the label may be coated with an ad hesive and the adhesive may be covered with a film which is removed at the time of applying the label onto the article.
Instead of using straight bar-shaped marks as the classification pattern, such marks may take various forms, for example,
dots, letters or appropriate symbols so long as they can be read or identified by the readout device.
What we claim is:
1. Apparatus for classifying articles, comprising means for supplying label blanks adapted to be applied on articles to be classified, means responsive to article-classifying signals for forming article-classifying patterns on said label blanks thus forming individual labels, a first conveyor route, means for applying said labels onto said articles while they are mounted on said first conveyor route, a second conveyor route for receiving said articles which have been applied with said labels from said first conveyor route, a plurality of gates in said second conveyor route, means for reading said classifying patterns on said labels while said articles are being conveyed by said second conveyor route for generating gate control signals, and means responsive to said gate control signals for selectively operating said gates for classifying said articles according to said patterns.
2. Apparatus for classifying articles comprising means for feeding a continuous web of a label blank, means for cutting said web into label blanks of a predetermined length, means responsive to article-classifying signals for forming articleclassifying patterns on said label blanks before or after cutting said continuous web thus forming individual labels, a first conveyor route, means for applying said labels onto said articles while they are mounted on said first conveyor route, a second route for conveying said labeled articles, a plurality of gates in said second conveyor route, means for reading said classifying patterns while said articles are being conveyed by said second conveyor route for generating gate control signals, and means responsive to said gate control signals for selectively operating said gates for classifying said articles according to said patterns. 4
3. An article-classifying apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said means for forming said classifying patterns comprises means for encoding decimal numerals into binary patterns, means for printing decimal numerals corresponding to said binary patterns onto said label blanks and means for forming equally spaced-apart timing patterns for determining the timing of said reading.
4. An article-classifying apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said means for applying said labels into said articles comprises a vacuum suction head, guide means for guiding said labels to a predetermined position in front of said vacuum suction head, means for moving said vacuum suction head in a direction perpendicular to said first conveyor route so as to bring said head close to said articles when they are in said predetermined position and to move said head away from said articles, and means for applying adhesive on said labels for applying said label onto said articles when they are in said predetermined position.
5. An article-classifying apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said label blank supplying means comprises a stack of label blanks each cut to predetermined dimensions, and means for intermittently supplying one label blank to said means forming article-classifying marks from said stack.
6. An article-classifying apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said first conveyor route comprises a plurality of parallel conveyors and to each one of said conveyors are associated means for supplying thereto said label blanks, means for forming classifying patterns on said label blanks so as to form individual labels and means for applying said labels onto said articles carried by said one conveyor.