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Publication numberUS3669800 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 13, 1972
Filing dateFeb 5, 1970
Priority dateFeb 5, 1970
Publication numberUS 3669800 A, US 3669800A, US-A-3669800, US3669800 A, US3669800A
InventorsGore Graves T
Original AssigneeRiegel Textile Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for fabricating sanitary napkins
US 3669800 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 13, 1972 GORE 3,669,800

APPARATUS FOR FABRIQATING SANITARY NAPKINS Filed Feb. 5, 1970 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR GEAVE$ T. GORE- ATTORNEYS June 13, 1972 5, GQRE 3,669,800

APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING SANITARY NAPKINS Filed Feb. 5, 1970 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR:

" GEAVEE) T. 6021':

ATTORNEY S June 13, 1972 G. T. GORE APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING SANITARY NAPKINS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 5, 1970 INVENTORI GRAVES T. Goat;-

% mzwa wzullgmfdq m ATTORNEYS June 13, 1972 G. T. GORE APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING SANITARY NAPKINS 5 Sheets-Sheetxi Filed Feb. 5, 1970 INVENTOR. GRAVES E GORE i Mi m mum 3 ow :mmwg

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June 13, 1972 G. T. GORE 3,669,800

APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING SANITARY NAPKINS Filed Feb. 5, 1970 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. GRAVES T. GORE- ATTORNEYS United States Patent Office 3,669,800 Patented June 13, 1972 US. Cl. 156383 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for fabricating sanitary napkins having an elongate wrapper-enclosed pad and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends of the wrapperenclosed pads including means for feeding a continuous web of pad material, means for cutting the pad material into individual pads, conveyor means for successively receiving, spacing and advancing the individual pads, means for feeding a continuous web of wrapper material and for successively receiving and positioning the pads on the wrapper material, means for folding opposite edge portions of the wrapper material in overlapping relation around the pads, means for applying adhesive between the overlapping portions of the wrapper material for securing the edge portions to each other, and cutting means for cutting the connecting wrapper tab portions intermediate successive wrapper-enclosed pads to complete the formation of the individual sanitary napkins.

This invention relates to an apparatus for automatically fabricating sanitary napkins having an elongate wrapperenclosed pad and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends of the wrapper-enclosed pad.

conventionally, in the manufacture of sanitary napkins of the type to which this invention relates, it has been necessary to carry out a series of separate steps, either manually or with separate machines. This necessarily involved a large number of personnel, time consumption, inefficiency and costliness. Another disadvantage of this type of manufacturing operation was the amount of space necessary to carry out these separate steps. Also, during these separate steps, human contact with the product was often made which is highly undesirable in the manufacture of sanitary napkins.

Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide an apparatus for automatically fabricating sanitary napkins which alleviates the shortcomings of the conventional techniques or heretofore known apparatus.

In accordance with this invention, an apparatus is provided for fabricating sanitary napkins having an elongate wrapper-enclosed pad and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends of the wrapper-enclosed pad. The apparatus includes means for feeding a continuous web of pad material along a substantially predetermined longitudinal path of travel. Cutting means are disposed adjacent the pad material feeding means for transversely cutting the continuous web of pad material into individual elongate pads of a predetermined width. The cut pads are transferred to conveyor means where the pads are equidistantly positioned in spaced apart lengthwise relation and advanced along a predetermined path of travel. A continuous web of wrapper material is fed along a predetermined longitudinal path of travel and successively receives the equidistantly spaced apart pads longitudinally of a median portion thereof in equidistantly spaced apart relation. Folding means fold opposite edge portions of the wrapper material in overlapping relation around the pads with the overlapping edge portions being adhesively sealed in overlapping relation to form spaced apart Wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions extending longitudinally between successive wrapper-enclosed pads. Cutting means then cut the connecting wrapper tab portions intermediate successive wrapper-enclosed pads to form the individual sanitary napkins.

The apparatus preferably includes transfer means cooperating with the pad material cutting means for successively transferring the individual pads from the cutting means to the conveyor means. The apparatus also preferably includes compressing means disposed adjacent the second folding means for compressing only the connecting wrapper tab portions extending between successive wrapper-enclosed pads and not the mapper-enclosed pads to compact the connecting wrapper tab portions extending between successive wrapper-enclosed pads.

Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 and 1A when combined schematically illustrate an apparatus constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of an individual elongate pad employed in the sanitary napkin fabricated by the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 1A;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a sanitary napking having a Wrapper-enclosed pad and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends thereof fabricated in accordance with the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 1A;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view with portions broken away looking in the direction of arrow 4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a reduced schematic side elevational view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 4 illustrating drive means therefor;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective view illustrating folding means and adhesive applying means of the apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1A;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of the apparatus in FIG. 6 more clearly illustrating the folding of one of the opposite edge portions and the insertion of an adhesive between overlapping edge portions for securing the overlapping edge portions together;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view of the means for inwardly folding lateral edge portions of the connecting wrapper tap portions, the means for compressing the connecting wrapper tab portions, and the means for cutting the connecting wrapper tab portions intermediate successive wrapper-enclosed pads of the apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1A;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged perspective view of the means for folding and handling the sanitary napkins after fabrication;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 10-10 of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11 is an enlarged front elevational view of a portion of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 9.

Referring specifically to the drawings wherein like reference characters are employed to indicate like parts, an apparatus of the present invention is schematically illustrated in combined FIGS. 1 and LA.

A sanitary napkin, generally indicated at 20, that may be fabricated by the apparatus of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 3 and comprises an elongate interior pad 21 of fibrous absorbent material adapated to absorb body fluids. This interior pad 21 may be layered, cut, folded or otherwise formed to provide this function.

In one commercially advantageous form and the form fabricated with. the apparatus to be hereinafter described, the elongate interior pad 21 is of the multi-layer type and includes a plurality of superimposed cut layers 22, 23, 24 and 25 as illustrated in FIG. 2. Preferably, the outer layers 22 and 25 are formed of fluffed fibrous wood pulp material with a ply of creped cellulosic sheet material on each side thereof. The inner layer 23 is formed of the same material as layers 22 and 25 and has substantially the same width as the outer layers 22 and 25 but is somewhat shorter in length. Layer 23 is superimposed intermediate opposed ends of the outer layers 22 and 25 and provides increased absorbency potential in the median portion of the pad 21. Layer 24 is a conventional moisture barrier of identical size as layer 23 and may be formed of any suitable fluid impervious material. It will be readily apparent that the interior pad 21 is intended to be used with layer 22 against the skin of the wearer whereby layer 23 can function to provide increased fluid adsorbency potential and the fluid impervious layer 24 can prevent the passage of moisture through the pad 21 to the clothing of the wearer.

The sanitary napkin 20 further comprises a fluid permeable wrapper 26, such as a creped cellulosic fibrous sheet material. The wrapper 26 is folded around the interior pad 21 to form a wrapper-enclosed pad and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends thereof which serve as attachment tabs for attachment to the normal belt or holding means when the sanitary napkin 20 is utilized by the wearer.

Having briefly described a sanitary napkin 20 that may be fabricated with the apparatus of the present invention, a detailed description of that apparatus will now be made. With reference to FIG. 1, four supply rolls 32, 33, 34 and 35 are provided in series. The supply rolls 32, 33, 34 and 35 contain continuous strips of open width material corresponding to the layers 22, 23, 24 and 25, respectively, of the elongate interior pad 21. It will also be noted that the width of the strips correspond to the length of layers 22, 23, 24 and 25 of the elongate interior pad 21.

The continuous strips of open width material are simultaneously fed from the supply rolls 32, 33, 34 and 35 by a pair of superimposed continuous conveyors 41 and 42 which are adapted to place the various strips in superimposed relation to form a continuous web of pad material 37 and advance the continuous web along a substantially predetermined longitudinal path of travel onto a horizontally disposed receiving plate 43, as best shown in FIG. 4.

A cutting means generally indicated at 50 (FIGS. 1 and 4) is disposed adjacent the pair of superimposed conveyors 41 and 42 in cooperating relation therewith and above receiving plate 43 for shaping and transversely cutting the continuous web of pad material 37 into individual elongate pads 21 of a predetermined width. The cutting means 50 comprises a continuously rotated cutting blade 51 that is mounted above receiving plate 43 with the cutting blade disposed for rotation in a plane transverse to the path of the continuous web for transversely cutting the continuous web of pad material 37. A pair of spaced apart vertical standards 52 are mounted on receiving plate 43 adjacent opposed sides of the web of pad material 37 being received thereon and support a horizontally extending member 53 therebetween which includes collar portions 53a slidably mounted on standards 52. The rotary cutting blade 51 is carried by the horizontally extending member 53 as at 54 and includes a drive pulley 55 which is driven by belt 56 that is in turn continuously driven by drive motor 57.

In order to enable the cutting blade 51 to cut the continuous web of pad material 37 into predetermined widths, horizontally extending member 53 is reciprocated vertically up and down on standards 52 in predetermined timed relationship to the feeding of the web of pad material 37. In particular, a pair of crank arms 58 has one end thereof pivotally connected to collar portions 53a as at 59. The other end of crank arms 58 (FIG. is pivotally connected eccentric to the center of gears 60 (only one of which is shown in FIG. 5). A motor 61 is drivingly connected to each of the gears 60 through the output gear 62 of a gear reduction box. Thus, by driving gears 60 in predetermined timed relationship to the feeding of the web of pad material 37 onto receiving plate 43, the continuously rotating cutting blade 51 will cut the web of pad material 37 into individual elongate pads 21 of a predetermined width.

In addition to cutting the web of pad material 37 into individual elongate pads 21, the cutting means 50 stamps the edges of the continuous web of pad material 37 so that the individual elongate pads 21 being formed will have convex-shaped ends which has proven to be desirable as contrasted to pads having square-shaped ends. Cutting dies 63 for so stamping the opposed edges of the web of pad material 37 are suspended by support members 64 from horizontally extending member 53 and during the reciprocation of horizontally extending member 53 stamp out opposed edge portions of the web of pad material 37 prior to the transverse cutting.

To facilitate the operation of the cutting blade 51, the receiving plate 43 includes a narrow elongate slot 43:: disposed in receiving relation to cutting blade 51 as it cuts the web of pad material 37. Similarly, the receiving plate 43 has another opening or slot 43b disposed therein in receiving relation to the cutting dies 63. In each case, the receiving plate 43 provides support for the web of pad material and facilitates the cutting thereof into the individual elongate pads 21 to be used as the interior pad of the sanitary napkin being fabricated.

As the individual pads 21 are successively cut, transfer means, generally indicated at 70, cooperates with the cutting means 50 for successively transferring the individually elongate pads of predetermined width therefrom. The transfer means 70 comprises a pair of spaced apart rotatably mounted transfer arms 71 which are mounted on receiving plate 43 adjacent the cutting means 50. As the continuous web of pad material 37 is cut into individual elongate pads 21, successive pads 21 are forced by the oncoming web of pad material 37 in between transfer arms 71. Drive means (not shown) causes transfer arms arms 71 to continuously rotatate about axis 72 in timed relationship to the advancement of individual elongate pads 21 therebetween so that the transfer arms 71 will engage opposite end portions of successive elongate pads 21 and successively transfer them from adjacent the cutting means 50.

Conveyor means, generally indicated at (FIGS. 1 and 4), is positioned in receiving relation to transfer means 70 for successively receiving the individual elongate pads 21, spacing the pads in equidistantly spaced apart lengthwise relation, and advancing the pads in equidistantly spaced apart relation along a substantially predetermined path of travel. The conveyor means 80 includes a portion of the receiving plate 43 which extends beyond transfer means 70 and receives the individual elongate pads 21 from the transfer means 70. Another elongate slot 43c is disposed in receiving plate 43 and extends transverse to the path of the continuous web of pad material 37 in parallel relation to the individual elongate pads 21 cut by cutting means 50. An aligning member 82 is mounted on receiving plate 43 adjacent the elongate slot 43c and extends transverse to the direction which the transfer means 70 advances the individual elongate pads 21 and cooperates with the receiving plate 43 for aligning successive elongate pads lengthwise in overlying relation to slot 430 as the individual elongate pads 21 are received from the transfer means 70.

To successively remove the individual elongate pads 21 from overlying relation to slot 43c, a continuous conveyor chain 83 is disposed beneath the receiving plate 43 in alignment with elongate slot 430 and may be driven by any suitable means (not shown). The conveyor chain 83 includes pad engaging members 84 mounted thereon at equidistantly spaced points which communicate with the slot 43c in receiving plate 43 for successively engaging and advancing individual elongate pads 21 as they are aligned in overlying relation to slot 43c whereby the pads will be equidistantly spaced apart lengthwise and advanced along a substantially predetermined path of travel as determined by the path of travel of conveyor chain 83. It will be readily apparent that conveyor chain 83 must be driven in predetermined timed relationship to the pad material feeding means and transfer means 70 so that successive elongate pads 21 will be successively received thereby and equidistantly spaced apart lengthwise thereon. A guide bar 82a is also mounted on receiving plate 43 adjacent slot 430 in guiding relation to conveyor chain 83 and facilitates in maintaining the elongate pads 21 in overlying relation to slot 43c as they advanced along the predetermined path as determined by conveyor chain 83.

With the individual elongate pads 21 now equidistantly spaced apart lengthwise relative to each other on conveyor chain 83, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 6, the conveyor chain 83 communicates with means for feeding a continuous web of wrapper material 26 along a substantially predetermined longitudinal path of travel. The wrapper material feeding means is generally indicated at 85 and comprises a continuous rotating conveyor 86. As shown in FIG. 1, a supply roll 87 of wrapper material 26 is disposed beneath conveyor 86 and is continuously fed onto conveyor 86 where the conveyor chain 83 communicates therewith. Since the continuous web of wrapper material 26 is advancing in superimposed relation to conveyor 86 at the point of communication with conveyor chain 83, the individual elongate pads 21 (FIG. 6) are successively received in equidistantly spaced apart relation on the continuous web of wrapper material 26 longitudinally of a median portion thereof. The wrapper material feeding means 85 thus, in addition to feeding the wrapper material 26, also feeds the pads 21 along a predetermined path of travel through the remainder of the apparatus.

As the web of wrapper material 26 and elongate pads 21 advance along the predetermined path of travel, the outer edges thereof are engaged by a folding means comprising serially-arranged elongate folding rods 88 and 89, which diverge in the manner illustrated in FIG. 6 to cause opposite edge portions of the wrapper material 26 to be folded in overlapping relation around the individual elongate pads 21. It will be noted that a guide rod 890 cooperates with folding rod 89 to properly guide one of the opposite edges of the wrapper material 26 into folding relation with folding rod 89. As the first folding rod 88 folds one of the edge portions of the wrapper material 26 around the individual elongate pads 21, a reinforcing strip 90 is fed onto the top of the folded over portion and as shown in FIG. 6 is continuously drawn from a supply means 91. The reinforcing strip is formed of a generally inextensible material such as a textile yarn, an extruded plastic filament or any other suitable material which will provide the desired inextensible and strength features to restrict the normal tendency of the wrapper material 26 to elongate during use of the sanitary napkin.

The inextensible strip 90 may be coated with an adhesive for securing the overlapping edges of the wrapper together. Any type of suitable adhesive may be employed, such as a hot melt glue or the like. However, in the present apparatus, separate means, generally indicated at 100, are provided for applying an adhesive between the overlapping edge portions of the wrapper material for securing the edge portions to each other. More particularly, the adhesive applying means 100 is disposed in cooperating relation with elongate folding rod 89 and comprises a supply roll 101 of a suitable strip of adhesive 102 such as a hot melt glue which is continuously drawn. from a supply roll by any conventional feeding means 103 and is passed through a heating chamher 104 for activation of the strip of adhesive 102 and is then fed between the overlapping edge portions of the wrapper material 26 as the elongate folding rod 89 folds the second edge portion in overlying relation to the first edge portion. To insure that the overlapping edge portions are secured together, a continuous conveyor 105 is mounted in superimposed relation to conveyor 86 and compresses the overlapping edge portions against the pad 21. Thus, the first folding means and adhesive applying means 100 cooperating therewith form spaced apart wrapper-enclosed pads 21 and connecting wrapper tab portions extending longitudinally between successive wrapper-enclosed pads.

Following the folding means and adhesive applying means 100, the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions are advanced to a second folding means, generally indicated at (FIGS. 1A and 8), positioned for inwardly folding opposed lateral sides of the connecting wrapper tab portions extending between successive wrapper-enclosed pads. With reference to FIG. 8, the second folding means 110 comprises a pair of complementary drive shafts 111 and 112 and rigidly mounted eccentric discs or cams 113 and 114 mounted thereon, respectively, of identical shape and size. The drive shafts 111 and 112 are driven at substantially equal speeds in opposite directions by any conventional drive means (not shown) such that the eccentric discs 113 and 114 move in synchronism with each other so that identical portions are opposed at all times.

The shafts 111 and 112 are spaced such that the peripheral edges of the discs 113 and 114 penetrate into opposed lateral sides of the connecting wrapper tab portions extending between successive wrapper-enclosed pads for inwardly folding the opposed lateral sides as the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions are advanced therebetween. It will be noted that the discs 113 and 114 are so shaped that they are out of contact with the wrapper-enclosed pads as they pass between the discs 113 and 114 and begin inwardly folding the connecting wrapper tab portions. The greatest amount of inward folding occurs substantially half-way between pads so as to form connecting wrapper tab portions which are tapered towards the center of the connecting wrapper tab portions.

From the second folding means 110, the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions are advanced to compressing means, generally indicated at 120, disposed adjacent the second folding means 110 for cornpressing only the folded connected wrapper tab portion extending between successive wrapper-enclosed pads to compact the connecting wrapper tab portions. With reference to FIG. 8, the compressing means comprises a plurality of pairs of spaced apart serially-arranged superimposed rotatable pressing rolls 121 and 122 for receiving the wrapper-enclosed pads and the connecting wrapper tab portions between each of the pairs of rolls. The lower roll 121 of each of the pairs of rolls is rotated in synchronism by a common drive chain 123 drivingly connected to each of the rolls 121 by identical gears 124 and drive shafts 125. The drive chain 123 may be driven by any conventional drive means and is preferably driven at a speed so as to rotate the peripheral surface of the lower roll 121 of each of said pairs at a speed substantially equivalent to the rate at which the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions are fed by the wrapper and pad feeding means 85.

The upper roll 122 of each of the pairs is independently mounted for movement into and out of pressing engagement with the lower roll 121 of each of the pairs in timed relationship to the advancement of the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions therebetween so that only the connecting wrapper tab portions will be compressed. More particularly, the upper roll 122 of each of assasoo the pairs has a fluid operated, double-acting piston and cylinder assembly 126 drivingly connected thereto for moving the upper roll 122 into and out of pressing engagement with the lower roll 121. Each of the doubleacting piston and cylinder assemblies 126 is connected by conduits 127 to a four-way valve 128 for controlling the operation thereof and which is connected to a conventional fluid pressure source 129.

Each of the valves 18 includes a spring biased core 130 which has a cam follower 131 disposed on one end thereof that follows a cooperating cam 132. Cam 132 is driven in timed relationship with the advancement of the wrapperenclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions between the rolls 121 and 122 of each of the pairs and are shaped to actuate the valve 128 to operate the piston and cylinder assemblies 126 to move the upper roll 122 of each of the pairs into and out of pressing engagement with the lower roll 121 in such a manner as to compress only the connecting wrapper tab portions.

Preferably, as illustrated in FIG. 8, at least two of the pairs of rolls are spaced apart a distance greater than the length of the wrapper-enclosed pads so that the rolls 121 and 122 of at least one of the pairs will be in pressing engagement with a connecting wrapper tab portion at all times and thus facilitate in the advancement of the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions through the compressing means 120.

As the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions emerge from compressing means 120, the connecting wrapper tab portions are cut between successive wrapper-enclosed pads by a second cutting means, generally indicated at 140 (FIGS. 1A, 8 and 9), to form individual sanitary napkins 20 including a wrapper-em closed pad 21 and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends thereof. More particularly, the second cutting means 140 comprises a rotary cutting bed 141 disposed in series with the compressing means 120 over which the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions are advanced. The rotary cutting bed 141 has a cutting blade 142 disposed in the periphery thereof and which extends parallel to the axis of rotation thereof for reasons to be hereinafter explained. The second cutting means further comprises a rotary cutter 143 superimposed in cooperation with cutting bed 141 and includes a cutting blade 144 disposed parallel to the axis of rotation thereof. The rotary cutting bed 141 and rotary cutter 143 are rotated in synchronism with each other and are spaced so that the cutting blade 144 contacts the cutting blade 142 of cutting bed 141 during each revolution. In addition, they are rotated in timed relationship to the advancement of the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions such that as the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions are received therebetween the connecting wrapper tab portions will be cut substantially half-way between successive wrapper-enclosed pads to form leading and trailing wrapper tabs for each wrapper-enclosed pad. Preferably, for reasons hereinafter to be explained, the rotary cutter 143 also includes a cam operated clamping device 145 training the cutting blade 144 or any other suitable means for holding the leading wrapper tab of successive wrapper-enclosed pads thereon as the rotary cutter 143 rotates.

It will be apparent that as the individual wrapper-enclosed pads and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends thereof emerge from second cutting means 140, the formation of the sanitary napkin 20, illustrated in FIG. 3, is complete. However, it is advantageous that the wrapper tabs be folded over against the wrapperenclosed pad so that the sanitary napkins are rendered more compact to facilitate their subsequent handling and packaging. For this purpose, the apparatus of the present invention further includes means for folding the wrapper tabs over against the wrapper-enclosed pad, generally indicated at 150, means for turning the wrapper-enclosed pads over so that the folded-over wrapper tabs will be held in place, generally indicated at 160, and a continuous conveyor, generally indicated at 170, for successively receiving the wrapper-enclosed pads from the turning means 160 and successively advancing them along a predetermined longitudinal path of travel to any suitable packaging apparatus (not shown).

With reference to FIG. 9, the means for folding the wrapper tabs over against the wrapper-enclosed pad comprises a pair of superimposed continuous conveyors 151 and 152 horizontally disposed in series with cutting means 140. Each of the conveyors 151 and 152 includes top runs 151a and 152a and bottom runs 151b and 152b, respectively, with the top run 151a of conveyor 151 running parallel with the bottom run 152b of conveyor 152 in spaced apart superimposed relation as illustrated in FIG. 9. As previously indicated, the leading wrapper tab of successive wrapper-enclosed pads is held by the clamp 145 on rotary cutter 143 and rotates therewith as the wrapperenclosed portion passes between the rotary cutting bed 141 and rotary cutter 143. Rather than the wrapper-enclosed pad following the contour of the rotary cutter 143, its weight causes it to pass outwardly from between the cutting bed 141 and cutter 143 to be received between the superimposed conveyors 151 and 152.

As the wrapper-enclosed pad advances between the superimposed conveyors 151 and 152, the leading wrapper tab is released from clamping device 145 on the rotary cutter 143 to cause the leading tab of the wrapper-enclosed pad to be folded back over the wrapper-enclosed pad. Thus, the leading wrapper tab of successive wrapperenclosed pads will be folded back over against the wrapperenclosed pad as they are received between superimposed conveyors 151 and 152.

Another continuous conveyor 153 is disposed adjacent superimposed conveyors 151 and 152 in receiving relation thereto. As illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 11, conveyor 153 includes a top run 153a and bottom run 153b with one end portion of the top run 153a extending beneath the bottom run 151!) of the lower conveyor 151 in close proximity thereto while the other end portion is spaced from the superimposed conveyors 151 and 152 at a higher elevation than the one end portion. Continuous conveyor 153 is driven in a direction opposite to that of the lower conveyor 151 so that the top run 1530 is traveling in the same direction as the bottom run of the lower conveyor 151. As the successive wrapper-enclosed pads having the leading wrapper tab folded over against the wrapper-enclosed pad emerge from between the superimposed conveyors 151 and 152, they will be successively dropped on the top run 153a of conveyor 153 with the unfolded trailing wrapper tab now leading and resting against the end of the lower conveyor 151 as illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 11. As the wrapper-enclosed pads pass under the bottom run 1511: of the lower conveyor 151, the unfolded wrapper tab will be folded over against the wrapper-enclosed pad.

Following the folding over of the wrapper tabs against the wrapper-enclosed pad, the sanitary napkins are turned by turning means More particularly, the turning means 160 comprises a rotary cylindrical member 161 horizontally disposed adjacent the one end of conveyor 153 for receiving the sanitary napkins from conveyor 153 thereon with the longitudinal axis of the sanitary napkin extending parallel to the axis of rotation of the cylindrical member 161 with the folded over wrapper tabs facing away from the cylindrical member 161. Cylindrical member 161 may be rotated by any conventional means (not shown). The turning means 160 also includes an arcuate guard 162 (FIGS. 9, 10 and 11) concentrically disposed about cylindrical member 161 and extending from where the cylindrical member 161 receives the sanitary napkins substantially half-way around the circumference in the direction of rotation of cylindrical member 161. The space between the cylindrical member 161 and guard 162 defines a path for the sanitary napkins as they are being turned. In addition, a stop plate 163 is disposed at the end of the cylindrical member 161 furthermost from conveyor 153 and has a diameter slightly greater than the cylindrical member 161 and prevents a sanitary napkin being received from conveyor 153 from passing out of the path defined between the cylindrical member 161 and arcuate guard 162.

A continuous conveyor 170 including a conveyor belt 171 is disposed in receiving relation to turning means 160 and successively receives the sanitary napkins as they emerge from the path defined by the cylindrical member 161 and arcuate guard 162 with the folded over wrapper tabs facing downwardly against the conveyor belt 171 of conveyor 170 so that they will be held in their folded over position. A support roll 172 is mounted for rotation beneath conveyor belt 171 in contact therewith and in alignment with cylindrical member 161 to provide support for conveyor belt 171 as the sanitary napkins are received thereon. The conveyor 170 advances the sanitary napkins along a predetermined path of travel to any suitable collection means such as a packaging apparatus (not shown).

In the drawings and specification, there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes limitation.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for automatically fabricating sanitary napkins having an elongate wrapper-enclosed pad and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends of the wrapper-enclosed pad, said apparatus comprising means for feeding a continuous web of pad material along a substantially predetermined longitudinal path of travel,

cutting means disposed adjacent said pad material feeding means and cooperating therewith for transversely cutting the continuous web of pad material into individual elongate pads of a predetermined width, transfer means cooperating with said cutting means for successively transferring the individual elongate pads of a predetermined width from said cutting means, conveyor means positioned in receiving relation with said transfer means for successively receiving the individual elongate pads, spacing the pads in equidistantly spaced-apart lengthwise relation, and advancing the pads in the spaced-apart relation along a substantially predetermined path of travel,

means for feeding a continuous web of wrapper material along a substantially predetermined longitudinal path of travel and communicating with said conveyor means for successively receiving the equidistantly spaced-apart pads and positioning the pads on the web of wrapper material longitudinally of a median portion thereof in equidistantly spaced-apart relation and for feeding of the wrapper material and pads along a predetermined path of travel through said apparatus,

folding means cooperating with the wrapper material and pad feeding means for folding opposite edge portions of the wrapper material in overlapping relation around the pads,

means cooperating with said folding means for applying adhesive between the overlapping edge portions of the wrapper material for securing the edge portions to each other to form spaced-apart wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions extending longitudinally between successive wrapper-enclosed pads, and

cutting means disposed adjacent said wrapper material and pad feeding means for cutting said connecting wrapper tab portions intermediate successive wrapperenclosed pads to form individual sanitary napkins, said tab portion cutting means comprising a rotary cutter bed over which the wrapped-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions are advanced and a rotary cutter cooperating with said rotary cutter beds for cutting the connecting wrapper tab portions between successive wrapper-enclosed pads to form leading and trailing wrapper tabs for each wrapper-enclosed pad, said rotary cutter having means for bolding the leading tab of successive wrapper-enclosed pads as the wrapper-enclosed pads are advanced between said cutter bed and said cutter.

2. Apparatus for automatically fabricating sanitary napkins having an elongate wrapper-enclosed pad and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends of the wrapper-enclosed pad, said apparatus comprising means for feeding a continuous web of pad material along a substantially predetermined longitudinal path of travel, cutting means disposed adjacent said pad material feeding means and cooperating therewith for transversely cutting the continuous web of pad material into individual elongate pads of a predetermined width,

conveyor means positioned in receiving relation with said pad cutting means for successively receiving the individual elongate pads from said pad cutting means, spacing the pads in equidistantly spaced apart lengthwise relation, and advancing the pads in the spaced apart relation along a substantially predetermined path of travel,

means for feeding a continuous web of wrapper material along a substantially predetermined longitudinal path of travel and communicating with said conveyor means for successively receiving the equidistantly spaced apart pads and positioning the pads on the web of wrapper material longitudinally of a median portion of the web of wrapper material in equidistantly spaced apart relation and for feeding of the wrapper material and the pads along a predetermined path of travel through said apparatus,

first folding means cooperating with said wrapper material and pad feeding means for folding opposite edge portions of the wrapper material in overlapping relation around the pads,

means cooperating with said first folding means for applying adhesive between the overlapping edge portion of the wrapper material for securing the edge portions to each other to form spaced apart wrapperenclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions extending longitudinally between successive wrapperenclosed pads.

second folding means positioned for inwardly folding opposed lateral sides of the connecting wrapper tab portion extending between successive wrapper-enclosed pads,

compressing means disposed adjacent said second folding means for compressing only the connecting wrapper tab portions extending between succesive wrapper-enclosed pads and not the wrapper-enclosed pads to compact the connecting wrapper tab portions extending between successive wrapper-enclosed pads, and

cutting means disposed adjacent said compressing means for cutting the connecting wrapper tab portion intermediate successive wrapper-enclosed pads to form individual sanitary napkins.

3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said compressing means comprises at least one pair of superimposed cooperating rotatable pressing rolls for receving the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions therebetween, means for rotating at least one of said rolls, and

means for moving the other of said rolls into and out of pressing relationship to the advancement of the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions so that only the connecting wrapper tab portions will be compressed.

4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said means for moving said other roll comprises a fluid operated, double-acting piston and cylinder assembly operatively connected to said other roll for 1 1 moving said other roll into and out of pressing relationship with said one roll,

valve means connected to said piston and cylinder assembly for controlling the operation thereof, and

cam means rotating in timed relationship with the advancement of said wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions operatively associated with said valve means for actuating said valve means to operate said piston and cylinder assembly to move said other roll into and out of pressing engagement with said one roll in such a manner as to compress only the connecting wrapper tab portions.

5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said Compressing means comprises a plurality of pairs of spaced apart serially-arranged superimposed cooperating rotatable pressing rolls for receiving the wrapper-enclosed pads and the connecting wrapper tab portions between each of said pairs of rolls,

means for rotating at least one roll of each of said pairs in synchronism, and

means for independently moving the other roll of each of said pairs into and out of pressing engagement with said one roll of each of said pairs in timed relationship to the advancement of the wrapperenclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions so that only the connecting wrapper tab portions will be compressed.

6. The apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein at least two of said pairs of rolls are spaced apart a distance greater than the length of said wrapper-enclosed pads so that the rolls of at least one of said pairs will be in pressing engagement with a connecting wrapper tab portion at all times to facilitate in the advancement of said wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions.

7. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said conveyor means comprises receiving plate means positioned in receiving relation to said first cutting means for successively receiving the elongate pads, said plate having an elongate slot disposed therein,

aligning means cooperating with said plate for successively aligning the elongate pads lenthwise in overlying relation to said slot,

a continuous conveyor chain disposed beneath said plate in alignment with said elongate slot, said conveyor chain having pad engaging members mounted thereon at equidistantly spaced points, said pad engaging members communicating with said slot for successively engaging and advancing the cut pads as they are aligned in overlying relation to said slot whereby the pads will be equidistantly spaced apart lengthwise and advanced along a substantially predetermined path of travel.

8. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 including transfer means cooperating with said pad material cutting means for successively transferring the individual elongate pads of a predetermined width from said first cutting means to said conveyor means.

9. The apparatus as set forth in claim 8 wherein said transfer means comprises a pair of spaced apart transfer arms disposed adjacent said first pad material cutting means and adapted to successively engage opposite end portions of the individual elongate pads and successively transfer the individual elongate pads from said first cutting means to said conveyor means.

10. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said tab portion cutting means comprises a rotary cutter bed disposed in series with said compressing mean over which the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions are advanced,

a rotary cutter cooperating with said rotary cutter bed for cutting the connecting wrapped tab portions between successive wrapper-enclosed pads to form leading and trailing wrapper tabs for each wrapperenclosed pad,

12 said rotary cutter having means for holding the leading tab of successive wrapper-enclosed pads as the wrapper-enclosed pads are advanced between said cutter bed and cutter.

11. The apparaus as set forth in claim 10 further com prising means disposed in cooperation with said tab portion cutting means for successively receiving and folding the leading and trailing wrapper tabs of each wrapperenclosed pad over against the wrapper-enclosed pad.

12. The apparatus as set forth in claim 11 wherein said means for folding the leading and trailing wrapper tabs of each wrapper-enclosed pad over against the wrapper-enclosed pad comprises a pair of superimposed cooperating upper and lower continuous conveyors, each of said conveyors having a top run and bottom run, said conveyors being horizontally disposed in series with said rotary cutter bed and rotary cutter for successively receiving the wrapper-enclosed pads between said superimposed conveyors, said superimposed conveyors stripping the leading wrapper tab of successive wrapperenclosed pads from said rotary cutter and folding the leading wrapper tab of successive wrapper-enclosed pads back over against the wrapper-enclosed pad, and

another continuous conveyor having a top run and bottom run disposed adjacent the lower of said superimposed conveyors, the top run of said last named conveyor having one end portion disposed beneath the bottom run of the lower of said superimposed conveyors in close proximity thereto and having the other end portion thereof spaced from said superimposed conveyors at a higher elevation than said one end, said last named conveyor being driven in a direction opposite to that of the lower of said superimposed conveyors whereby successive wrapper-enclosed pads will be received by the top run thereof and the trailing wrapper tab of successive wrapperencloed pads will be folded over against the wrapperenclosed pad as the wrapper-enclosed pads are successively advanced along the top run of said last named conveyor and the bottom run of the lower of said superimposed conveyors.

13. Apparatus as set forth in claim 12 including means cooperating with said last named conveyor for turning over the wrapper-enclosed pads and folded over wrapper tabs comprising a rotary cylindrical member disposed adjacent said last named conveyor for successively receiving the wrapper-enclosed pads and folded over wrapper tabs thereon with the longitudinal axis thereof parallel to the axis of rotation of said cylindrical member with the folded over wrapper tabs facing away from said cylindrical member,

an arcuate guard concentrically disposed in spaced relation about said cylindrical member and extending from where said cylindrical member receives the wrapper-enclosed pads substantially halfway around said cylindrical member, the space between said cylindrical member and guard defining a path for the wrapper-enclosed pads and folded over wrapper tabs, said cylindrical member being rotated in the direction to advance the wrapper-enclosed pads and folded over wrapper tabs along said path, and

means communicating with said cylindrical member and arcuate guard for successively receiving the turned wrapper-enclosed pads and folded over wrapper tabs therefrom.

14. Apparatus for automatically fabricating sanitary napkins having an elongate wrapper-enclosed pad and wrapper tabs extending longitudinally from opposed ends of the wrapper-enclosed pads, said apparatus comprising means for feeding a continuous web of pad material along a substantial predetermined longitudinal path of travel,

cutting means disposed adjacent said pad material feeding means and cooperating therewith for transversely cutting the continuous web of pad material into individual elongate pads of a predetermined width,

a pair of spaced apart transfer arms disposed adjacent said first cutting means and adapted to successively engage oppoosite end portions of the individual elongate pad and successively transfer the individual elongate pads from said first cutting means,

receiving plate means positioned in receiving relation to said pair of transfer arms for sucessively receiving the elongate pads, said plate having an elongate slot disposed therein,

aligning means cooperating with said plate for successively aligning said elongate pads lengthwise in overlying relation to said slot.

9. continuous conveyor chain disposed beneath said plate in alignment with said elongate slot, said conveyor chain having pad engaging members mounted thereon at equidistantly spaced points, said pad engaging members communicating with said slot for successively engaging and advancing the cut pads as they are aligned in overlying relation to said slot whereby the pads will be equidistantly spaced apart lengthwise and advanced along a substantially predetermined path of travel,

means for feeding a continuous web of wrapper material along a substantially predetermined longitudinal path of travel and communicating with said conveyor chain for successively receiving the equidistantly spaced apart pads and positioning the pads on the web of wrapper material longitudinally of a median portion of a web of wrapper material in equidistantly spaced apart relation for feeding of the wrapper material along a predetermined path of travel through said apparatus,

first folding means cooperating with said wrapper material and pad feeding means for folding opposite edge portions of the wrapper material in overlapping relation around the pads,

means cooperating with said first folding means for applying adhesive between the overlapping edge portion of the wrapper material for securing the edge portions to each other to form spaced apart wrapperenclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions extending longitudinally between successive wrapperenclosed pads,

second folding means positioned for inwardly folding opposed lateral sides of the connecting wrapper tab portions extending between successive wrapper-enclosed pads,

a plurality of pairs of spaced apart serially arranged i superimposed cooperating rotatalble pressing rolls for receiving the wrapper-enclosed pads and the connecting wrapper tab portions between the rolls of each of said pairs.

means for rotating at least one roll of each of said pairs in synchronism.

means for independently moving the other roll of each of said pairs into and out of pressing engagement with said one roll of each of said pairs in timed relationship to the advancement of the wrapper-enclosed pads and connecting wrapper tab portions so that only the connecting wrapper tab portions will be compressed, and

cutting means disposed adjacent said plurality of pairs of pressing rolls for cutting the connecting wrapper tab portions intermediate successive wrapper-enclosed pads to form individual sanitary napkins.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,131,808 10/1938 10a l56519 X 3,139,365 6/1964 Andrews 156295 X 2,010,997 8/1935 Jurgensen 156-464 X 2,086,757 7/ 1937 Williams 156374 X BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner J. J. DEVI'I'I, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 128-284; l56464, 519

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,669,800 Dated June 13, 1972 Graves T. Gore Inventor(s) It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 2, line 47, "tap" should be --tab-; Column 5, line 17, after "they" insert -are-; Column 7, line 9, "18" should be l28--;

line 11, second occurrence of "Cam" should be -Cams-; line 58, "training" should be -trai-ling; Column 9, line 72, "wrapped-enclosed" should be -wrapperenclosed-; and Column ll, line 7, after "portions" insert --and-.

Signed and sealed this 26th day of September 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER ,J'R. ROBERT GOI'TSCHALK Attestlng Officer Commissioner of Patents

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4069821 *Mar 22, 1976Jan 24, 1978Colgate-Palmolive CompanyAbsorbent article
US4268340 *Mar 7, 1979May 19, 1981Colgate-Palmolive CompanyDisposable
US4823783 *Feb 16, 1988Apr 25, 1989The Procter & Gamble CompanyAdhesive-free bonding of continuously moving webs to form laminate web and products cut therefrom
US5059277 *Feb 28, 1986Oct 22, 1991The Procter & Gamble CompanyAdhesive-free bonding of continuously moving webs to form laminate web
US6513221May 15, 2001Feb 4, 2003Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Garment side panel conveyor system and method
US6846374Apr 5, 2001Jan 25, 2005Kimberly-Clark WorldwideMethod and apparatus for making prefastened and refastenable pant with desired waist and hip fit
US7175584Nov 6, 2002Feb 13, 2007Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Refastenable bonding of garment side panels
US7387148Nov 22, 2002Jun 17, 2008Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Garment side panel conveyor system and method
EP0234658A1 *Feb 20, 1987Sep 2, 1987THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANYAdhesive-free bonding of continuously moving webs to form laminate web and products cut therefrom
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/383, 604/358, 156/464, 156/519, 19/145
International ClassificationA61F13/15
Cooperative ClassificationA61F13/15682
European ClassificationA61F13/15M4C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 12, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: GEORGIA-PACIFIC CORPORATION
Effective date: 19880801
Owner name: POPE & TALBOT, WIS., INC., 1200 FOREST ST., EAU CL
Aug 12, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: POPE & TALBOT, WIS., INC., 1200 FOREST ST., EAU CL
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:GEORGIA-PACIFIC CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004929/0715
Effective date: 19880801
Owner name: POPE & TALBOT, WIS., INC., A CORP. OF DE, WISCONSI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GEORGIA-PACIFIC CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004929/0715
Oct 11, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: GEORGIA PACIFIC CORPORATION, 133 PEACHTREE STREET,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:RIEGELTEXTILE CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004474/0616
Effective date: 19850930