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Publication numberUS3710536 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 16, 1973
Filing dateMar 8, 1971
Priority dateMar 8, 1971
Also published asCA976471A, CA976471A1, DE2211020A1
Publication numberUS 3710536 A, US 3710536A, US-A-3710536, US3710536 A, US3710536A
InventorsFurbeck W, Lee C
Original AssigneeInt Paper Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and an apparatus for automatically compressing and banding a stack of articles
US 3710536 A
Abstract
A stack of articles is fed forwardly along a path and a pair of banding or wrapper sheets are brought into engagement with stack. The stack is compressed between oppositely directed forces and ends of the two wrapping sheets are overlapped and joined to form an endless band about the articles. When the compressing forces are relieved, the articles are held in a compressed and stacked state by the band. Preferably, the stacks are compressed between a pair of endless, continuously moving belts; and individual wrapper sheets are severed from long supply webs prior to being joined into an endless band about a compressed stack.
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United States Patent [19] Lee et al. 1 Jan. 16, 1973 54] METHOD OF AND AN APPARATUS 3,440,796 4/!969 Harrison ..53 74 FOR AUTOMATICALLY 3,327,449 6/1967 Hullhorst et al. 53/124 D X A 3,355,|66 l I967 Plumb .53/389 X STACK 0F ARTICLES FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS lnvemmsi Charles Lee; Warren Ful'becki 1,023,090 3/!966 Great Britain .53 124 (0 both of Knoxville, Tenn.

[73] Assignee: International Paper Company, New Primary fg H York Attorney-Anderson, Luedeka, htch, Even & labin [22] Filed: March 8, 1971 57 ABSTRACT pp ,948 A stack of articles is fed forwardly along a path and a pair of banding or wrapper sheets are brought into en- 4 gagement with stack. The stack is compressed [52] U S Cl g gi g gii i between oppositely directed forces and ends of the [51] Int Cl B65b 13/20 two wrapping sheets are overlapped and joined to Field 4 C 124]) form an endless band about the articles. When the 53/l24 E R compressing forces are relieved, the articles are held in a compressed and stacked state by the band. Preferably, the stacks are compressed between a pair [56] References Cited of endless, continuously moving belts; and individual UNITED STATES PATENTS wrapper sheets are severed from long supply webs prior to being joined into an endless band about a KOnaI'S A co npressed stack 2,765,838 10/1956 Brown ..S3/l24 C X 10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAH 16 I973 SHEET 2 OF 2 ATTYS.

m s 0 mif TSDN/M W MJW mw ww wm M METHOD OF AND AN APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY COMPRESSING AND BANDING A STACK OF ARTICLES This invention relates to a method of and an apparatus for automatically compressing and banding an article or stack of articles.

In U.S. Pat. No. 3,513,628, which is assigned to the assignee of this application, an apparatus is disclosed for compressing articles such as, for example, cellulosic pads, creped tissues, and disposable diapers as they move along a predetermined path between a pair of converging compressing belts. More particularly, the stack height is reduced about one half thereby decreasing the bulk of the articles to facilitate handling, storage, transportation and to provide a uniform size for packaging. This compressed stack is discharged into and between a pair of stationary holder jaws. A preformed band is manually telescoped on the jaws, and then manually the stack of compressed articles and encompassing band are removed simultaneously from the holder jaws whereby the articles are free to expand into direct contact with the encircling band which holds the articles compressed.

The manual operations of telescoping the band on the jaws and removing the articles and band from the jaws limit the speed of the banding operation and involve a labor cost. Thus, it is particularly advantageous to provide equipment for automatically compressing and banding such articles as diapers at higher rates of speed and more economically. Also, it is possible to reduce costs by substituting for the preformed band, a band which is formed automatically from a continuous web of material.

Accordingly, an object of the invention is to provide an automatic compressing and banding apparatus of the foregoing kind.

' Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of an apparatus for practicing the method of the invention and embodying the novel features of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of an infeedconveying means for use with the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view of a stack of articles with wrapper sheets thereon prior to compression of the stack;

FIG. 4 illustrates a compressed and banded stack of articles;

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic illustration of a web from which wrapping sheets are separated;

FIG. 6 illustrates a knife means for severing a wrapper sheet from a web; and

FIG. 7 illustrates means for applying an adhesive to the-wrapper sheets.

As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the invention is embodied in an apparatus 11 for automatically compressing and banding a stack 12 of flat stacked articles 13 such as disposable diapers, cellulosic pads, creped tissues or the like as the stack is conveyed continuously or substantially continuously along a predetermined path at a relatively high rate of speed. The preferred method practiced by the apparatus 11 includes the following steps: feeding the stack 12 forwardly along a predetermined path as indicated by the directional arrow in FIG. 1 feeding banding or wrapper sheets 14a and 14b to be joined into an endless band 14 (FIG. 4) into position for engaging the stack, compressing the stack with oppositely acting forces and holding the stack compressed with wrapper sheets disposed thereon, over-lapping and joining ends of the wrapper sheets to form a continuous band about the compressed stack of articles 12, and relieving the oppositely directed forces holding the articles in a compressed state whereby the articles are held in a compressed and banded state such as illustrated in FIG. 4. Thus, a stack of articles such as shown in FIG. 3 may have its stack height reduced significantly and be quickly and automatically banded while continuously or substantially continuously moving through the apparatus 11.

The appearance of the stack is improved if the individual articles are all neatly aligned when banded. However, when articles such as disposable diapers are received from a previous operation, the individual articles within the stack may have longitudinally extending sides 13a or transverse or end sides 13b misaligned or slightly staggered. As will be explained in greater detail, the articles are aligned while the stack is being fed into position between a pair of endless compression belts l9 and 20.

Also, to reduce the cost of the band, it is preferred that each wrapper sheet 14a and 14b be severed from a continuous web 21 of banding material. The wrapper sheets 14a and 14b have adhesive or cohesive adhering areas 22 and 23 (as best seen in FIG. 3) which are overlapped and pressed into adhering engagement with each other. The adhering areas may be either cohesive strips located on the webs 21; or, as described in a second embodiment of the invention, the wrapper sheets have an adhesive applied to the ends thereof as another operation of the compressing and banding process. Also, as will be explained the wrapper sheets 14a and 14b may be severed from a continuous web by means of a pull thereon to separate the sheet from the web at a line of perforations 26, a score line, or another kind of pre-weakened area; or alternatively a knife means may be provided to cut wrapper sheets from the webs. The feeding of the wrapper sheets is made in timed relationship to the stack movement to assure registry therewith; and, to this end, it is preferred that the wrapper sheets be conveyed by the compressing belts and adhered thereto by a pressure differential as the wrapper sheets are brought into engagement with opposite sides of the stack.

Referring now in greater detail to individual elements of illustrated apparatus 1 1, a continuous stream of separated stacks 12 of diapers issue from a diaper making machine (not shown) and are brought into position at an inlet opening or mouth 31, as best seen in FIG. 2, of an infeed conveyor means 33 which is driven in timed relationship to the diaper making machine either by having a drive directly attached to the diaper making machine or by having a separated drive adjusted to have its speed coordinated with the speed of diaper stacks moving from a conveyor belt 32 into the inlet mouth 31 of the conveying means 33. The inlet conveying means 33 serves not only to convey the diaper stacks to the compression belts l9 and 20 but also is preferably formed so as to align the longitudinally extending sides 13a and transverse ends 13b of the individual articles into vertical planes to provide neat stacks.

More specifically, the illustrated infeed conveying means 33 comprises a horizontal, stationary dead plate 34, pusher means 35 and a pair of endless bands in the form of chains 37 disposed on opposite sides of the path of travel of an article stack 12 along the dead plate 34 and further comprises rear pushers 39 for pushing engagement with the rearward ends 13b of the articles and side pushers 41 for pushing engagement with the longitudinally extending sides 13a of the articles in the stack 12. The endless chains 37 are guided for movement between an idler sprocket 43 at the inlet end 31 of the conveying means and a drive sprocket 45 at a discharge end 51 of the infeed conveyor means. The chains 37 are guided along their respective forward runs to form a converging inlet mouth at the inlet sprockets 43 and a diverging discharge mouth at the drive sprockets 45. Intermediate the sprockets 43 and 45, the chains 37 are guided along a straight line horizontal path between an upstream and a downstream, smaller idler sprocket 47 and 49.

The side pushers 41 have a vertically extending wall 46 which extends the height of the stack 12 to abut each adjacent side of the articles in the stack. As an aligned pair of side pushers move about the inlet sprockets 43, they are carried along converging paths to abut first any sides of articles projecting outwardly. During the intermediate straight line movement the side pushers 41 have forced the articles into aligned positions with their longitudinally extending sides 13a aligned in parallel, vertical planes with the respective vertical walls 46 of the side pushers.

The preferred pusher means 35 are shifted from an operative pushing position to an inoperative release position to deposit each stack 12 on the lower compression belt 19 for continued movement. To this end, stationary, arcuately shaped cams 53 are provided at the discharge end of the conveying means 33 to engage a cam follower roller 55 on each of the rear pushers 39 which comprises a pair of vertically spaced, pivotally mounted lever arms 57 pivoted on a vertical pivot pin 59 attached to a bracket 61 fixed to the chain. The lever arms 57 are urged by contractile springs 63 into an operative position to project into the space between the inner runs of the chains 37 to abut the trailing rearward ends 13b of the articles. In this instance, the contractile springs 63 have one end fixed to the lever arm and an opposite end fixed to an inner vertical side wall of the bracket 61 fixed to a chain 37. Each end pusher 39 is provided with a vertically extending bar 62 which is joined to the upper and lower lever arms and has a flat vertical forward face to abut and push each article and thereby slide the stack 12 forwardly on the underlying dead plate 34. Recapitulating, the rear pusher lever arms are normally biased by springs 63 into position to abut a stack 12 until a cam follower 55 thereon engages the cam 53 and pivots the lever arms outwardly from the stack, as shown at the discharge end of the conveying means 33 whereby a neat stack 12 is shifted from the dead plate 34 to the continuously moving lower compression belt l9.

The upper and lower wrapper sheets 14a and 14b are detached from upper and lower continuous webs 21 which are stripped from large supply rolls 69. To sever the individual wrapper sheets 14a and 14b and to time their movement to be precisely positioned relative to the incoming stack 12, a sensing means 71 in the form of a sonic detector having a sonic beam emitted by transmitter and received by a receiver is positioned to detect arrival of a stack 12 at a predetermined position such as when the stack is passing the sprockets 49 of the infeed conveyor means. Alternatively, an electric eye system or feeler switch may be used for the sensing means 71. A signal generated upon the sensing of the stack 12 is used to operate a selectively operable means 72 to detach the wrapper sheets from their continuous webs 21. As the wrapper sheets 14a and 14b are detached and fed in identical manners, a description of one will sufiice for a description of the other; and common reference characters have been applied to similar elements.

Prior to sensing an incoming stack 12, a leading edge 73 of the lower continuous web 21 is stationary and is projecting upwardly from the nip of a pair of first or early feed rolls 75 for movement to a feed nip established between feed roll 79 and a forward idler roll 81 for the lower compression belt 19. The detection of the stack 12 by the sensing means 71 is used to energize electro, brake-clutch units 83 for each of the early feed rolls 75 to begin to turn these rolls to feed the web 21. Similar electro, brake-clutch units 85 are also provided for a second or delayed set of second feed rolls 87 to cause them to also rotate to feed a lower portion of the web. As will be explained, the early and delayed sets of feed rolls feed the web at the same speed but are started and stopped at different times.

A line of perforations in the web 21 is disposed intermediate the early feed rolls 75 and delayed feed rolls 87 and the web is slack between these sets of feed rolls as the delayed set of feed rolls were operated for a short period of time after the first set of feed rolls were stopped. That is, the web accumulated between the sets of feed rolls is slightly longer than the spacing between their respective nips. Therefore, when the early set of feed rolls is first operated while the other delayed set of feed rolls are stationary, the slack is rapidly taken up and the web is jerked with sufficient tensile force to separate the wrapper sheet at the line of perforations between these sets of feed rolls.

The now discrete bottom wrapper sheet 14b is fed forward by the early feed rolls 75 and away from the stationary, new leading edge of the web 21 which is awaiting to be fed by the delayed set of feed rolls 87. The detached wrapper sheet 14b is fed by the early feed rolls 75 into the nip between the idler roller 79 and the compression belt roller 81, at which position, suction from a vacuum box 89 disposed beneath the forward end of the compression belt 19 becomes effective to adhere the leading end of the bottom wrapper sheet 14b to the bottom compression belt 19 to cause the same to follow the curvature of the mesh belt about the roller 81 and to engage the incoming stack 12 which is now superimposed thereon. Thus, the timing of wrapper sheet separation and speed of the feed of the wrapper sheet is so correlated to the stack movement from the sensing means 71 to a position over the compression belt 81 that the stack 12 is laid on the lower wrapper sheet 14b while the upper wrapper sheet 14a is directly overhead but spaced from the top of the stack 12. In this instance, the wrapper sheets 14a and 14b have a length less than that of the longitudinal length of the articles in the stack 12 and are preferably centered on the stack.

After separation of a sheet 14b, the new leading edge 73 of the web 21 is fed upwardly by the delayed set of feed rolls 87 into the nip between the early feed rolls 75. At this time the leading edge of the web is spaced from the trailing edge of the detached wrapper sheet 14b by a gap; and as the leading end 73 moves upward from the nip of the early feed rolls 75, it is sensed by a sensing means 91 in the form of an electric eye system which then causes an electrical circuit to switch the electric brake-clutch units 83 for the set of early feed rolls 75 to a braking position to halt further feed of the web 21 thereby. Alternatively, a sonic sensor system may be used for the sensing means 91. A short period of time later, as determined by a timer or timing circuit in the electrical circuit, the electrical brake-clutch units 85 for the delayed feed rolls are actuated to a braking position to halt further feeding of the now slack web between these sets of feed rolls. When the delayed feed rolls stop, the perforated line for severing the next wrapper sheet will then be positioned in a slack, slightly buckled portion of the web and positioned between the early feed rolls 75 and delayed feed rolls 87.

Preferably, a length of the web 21 is temporarily stored for furnishing and feeding forwardly a number of wrapper sheets 14b before having to turn the large diameter supply roll 69 to unwind additional web therefrom. In this instance, a temporary loop 93 is formed by a movable dancer roll 95 which is adapted to move between a first or full loop position, such as is shown in solid lines in FIG. 1, and a minimum loop position such as is shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1. As the web 67 is fed forwardly by the slower feed rolls 87, the dancer roll 95 is pulled by the web, to the left as viewed in FIG. 1, against a spring force which maintains a predetermined tension on the web 21. After a number of wrapper sheets 14b have been detached, the dancer roll 95 will have been moved to the minimum loop limit position shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1 at which the dancer roll 95 operates a limit switch 96 to energize a motor drive means for turning the supply roller 69. In this instance, the motor drive includes an endless belt 97 which is driven to unwind additional web from a supply roll 69 at a constant speed; and as the web unwinds a spring force pushes the dancer roller 95 to the right to expand the size of the loop until the dancer roll reaches the other limit position at which a limit switch 99 is operated to stop the belt drive 97 to prevent further unwinding of web material from the supply roll 69. Alternatively, a timer may be used to cause the drive of the unwinding belt 97 to be maintained for a predetermined period of time in which to make the loop. Thus, it is not necessary to start and stop the turning of the supply roll 69 for each time that the wrapper sheet is detached. This is preferred inasmuch as the supply roll has considerable inertia and would have to be started and stopped many times each minute for high volume production runs.

The vacuum boxes 89 extend partially about the compression belt rollers 81 and the latter have a central grooved portion to receive the arcuate portion of the vacuum box 81 to permit a pressure differential to be established across leading edges of the wrapper sheets so that they are adhered to the meshed compression belts to travel therewith without slipping or sliding thereon. Thus, the wrapper sheets 14a and 14b are maintained in registry with each incoming stack 12 of articles. The vacuum boxes 89 extend along the compression belts for a sufficient distance to assure that a stack 12 of only minimal height will be undergoing compression before the wrapper sheets are released from the pressure differential with the compressed articles holding the wrapper sheets against the upper and lower compression belts l9 and 21.

The lower compression belt 19 is a meshed belt which moves along a substantially horizontal run across a supporting dead plate (not shown) to its discharge end at which is a rearward drive roller 101. From its drive roller 101 the compression belt travels downwardly and rearwardly to an idler roller 103 and then rearwardly to the forward idler roller 81. The upper compression belt 20 travels downwardly and forwardly along an inclined path from its forward idler roller 81 with the upper wrapper sheet 14a being held thereon and spaced above the top article of the stack 12 until the stack moves inwardly of its roller 81. The upper compression belt 20 is also driven by a drive roller 101 and has an idler roller 103 in its return run to the forward roller 81. The upper compression belt 20 is also backed by a stationary dead plate (not shown) along its forward run and the stack height is gradually and continually reduced until a minimum stack height is obtained at a fixed guide 102 which holds the upper compression belt for travel along a straight line path of movement to its driving roller 101 and through the banding station.

The speeds of the compression belts 19 and 20 are correlated so that there is no slipping or differential movement between the upper and lower articles in the stack during compression. Thus, the compression belts apply oppositely directed forces to the top and bottom of the stack to reduce the stack height while carrying the same forwardly.

At the folding station 15, lower folders in the form of curved plates 109 engage the outwardly extending ends of the lower wrapping sheet 14b and cam the same upwardly along cam surface 111 to generally vertical positions along the longitudinally extending sides 13a of the stacked articles with cohesive areas 23 thereon facing outwardly and positioned at about the center of the stack height. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the compression belts l9 and 21 are wider than the wrapper sheets and the wrapper sheets are wider than articles. .The width of the wrapper sheets is preferably equal and sufficient to provide over-lapped adhered ends whenthe band 14 is formed therefrom as seen in FIG. 4. The width of the upper and lower sheets may be different if desired. Shortly after the folding of the lower wrapping sheet, ends of the upper wrapping sheet are folded inwardly and downwardly by an upper folder 1 13 in the form of a curved plate which earns the edges of the upper wrapper sheet downwardly to position its cohesive areas 22 outwardly of but aligned with the cohesive areas 23 on the lower wrapper sheet.

To assure a good tight adhesion against separation of the adhered ends of the wrapper sheets 14a and 14b, cohesive areas 22 and 23 are pressed tightly against each other by a pair of rotatable sealing rollers 115 journaled to turn about vertically extending shafts 1 17. The compression rollers 115 are idlers, i.e., not driven in this instance, and are spaced to have the rolling peripheral surface thereon at a distance to force the over-lapped ends tightly against the vertically and longitudinally extending sides of the stack 12. As the compressed and banded articles discharge from the compression belts 19 and 20 at the discharge roller 101, the articles are held in banded and compressed state by the now endless band thereabout formed by the joined wrapper sheets 14a and 14b. The stack height may expand slightly from that height it has at discharge.

In accordance with a further embodiment of the invention, the cost of the endless band may be further reduced by elimination of the printed cohesive areas 22 and 23 on the web 21 and by the substitution of means 125, FIG. 7, for applying an adhesive onto the ends of at least one wrapper sheet immediately prior to the pressing of the overlapped ends of the wrapper sheets together to be bound by the applied adhesive which may be a glue or hot resinous plastic. In this embodiment of the invention, the web 21 for the wrapper sheet may be a web of paper material or a plastic film without any adhesive or cohesive material previously printed thereon.

As a further alternative to having perforations or other weakened areas in the web 21, the latter may be a continuous, uninterrupted web, i.e., without such perforations or weakened areas and a knife means 126 may be used to sever the web at the location at which the perforations were located between the sets of feed rolls 75 and 87. The illustrated knife means 126 has a first blade 127 for cooperation with a second blade 129 to sever a wrapper sheet from the web 21. By eliminating both the printed cohesive areas and the perforations in sheet, the cost of the wrapping material may be used.

As an aid to understanding the invention, a brief review of the operation of the illustrated apparatus will be given. A stack of articles such as disposable diapers are moved continuously forward from a diaper machine by an infeed conveyor means 33 which has a pair of pusher means 35 movable to abut rear pushers 39 against the vertical ends 13b of the stacked diapers while simultaneously the side pushers 41 engage the longitudinally extending sides 13a of the articles and force the sides and ends of the articles into respective vertical planes thereby forming a neatly aligned stack.

The stack is pushed along the dead plate of themfeed conveyor means 33 by the pusher means 35 and is discharged therefrom onto the lower compressing belt 19. As the stack is discharging from the infeed conveyor means 33, a sensing means 71 senses the position of the stack and operates electro brake-clutch units 83 to operate the upper and lower sets of early feed rolls 75 which take up the slack in the web and exert sufficient tension forces on the webs 21 to separate wrapper sheets 14a and 14b from the respective webs 21. The early feed rolls 75 feed the wrapper sheets forwardly to the forward rollers 81 for the respective upper and lower compression belts 19 and 21 to which they are adhered by suction pressure differentials imparted by the vacuum boxes 89. When the trailing ends of the separated wrapper sheets are separated from the new leading ends of the webs projecting from the delayed feed rolls 87, the latter are turned with energization of their electro brake-clutch units 85 to feed the new leading web end into and through the nip of the early feed rolls to be sensed by the sensing means 91 which then actuates the brake-clutch units 83 to the braking position. After a short time delay, the brake-clutch units 85 are actuated to stop rotation of the delayed set of feed rolls 87 with slack now present in the web between the sets of feed rolls and with a line of perforations now positioned between these sets of feed rolls.

The separated wrapper sheets 14a and 14b are aligned with the stack 12 and move with the compression belts l9 and 21 forwardly while the upper wrapping sheet 14b is moved downwardly and forwardly into engagement with the top of the stack whereupon the stack will be compressed as it is carried forwardly between the compression belts l9 and 21. As the stack is moving forwardly, the webs 21 are feeding forwardly be means of the slower feed rolls 87 until a sensing means senses the leading edge 73 of each web 21 and stops further feeding movement by deenergizing the clutches for the feed rolls 87.

As the stack 12 moves into the folding station 15, it is now completely compressed, e.g., to about one-half its original uncompressed height. At the folding station the wrapper ends are folded into the overlapped relationship and the adhesive or cohesive areas are brought into engagement by means such as the sealing rollers 115. Thus, the compressed and banded stack is discharged from the apparatus 11.

The various drives for the compression belts 19 and 21, the infeed conveyor 33, and the sets of feed rolls 75 and 87 are preferably of the variable speed kind to enable small and delicate adjustments of speeds, e.g., adjustment of the compression belts relative to one another and to the infeed conveyor means 33, to prevent wrinkling or misalignment of the wrapper sheets 14a and 14b. Also, it is preferred to have adjustable time delays in the electrical circuits used to operate the electro brake-clutches for the sets of feed rolls 75 and 87 so that the time period from the sensing of the stack by the sensing means 71 and the stack arrival to the juxtapose sheets may be synchronized. Also, the time period between the operation of the feed rolls 75 and feed rolls 87 is adjustable to control the slack and the size of the gap formed between the trailing end of a wrapper sheet and the newly formed leading end 73 for the web 21.

From the foregoing it will be seen that stacks of articles may be automatically banded and compressed without the use of preformed endless bands or the manual labor used heretofore with the compressing and banding operation disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,513,628. The speed of banding may be increased significantly from that of a manual operation and the cost per band itself may be reduced by the use of a continuous web of banding material in the formation of the band during the compressing process. The movement of the stack and of the wrapper sheets is closely controlled and timed so that the wrapper sheets are centered on the compressed stack and their fastened ends neatly aligned and adhered to each other to form a continuous neat appearing band and package stack.

While a preferred embodiment has been shown and described, it will be understood that there is no intent to limit the invention by such disclosure but, rather, it is intended to cover all modifications and alternate constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A method of compressing and banding a stack of compressible articles comprising the steps of feeding the stack of articles forwardly along a given path, conveying wrapper sheets on upper and lower compression belts while applying a pressure differential across at least the upper compression belt to hold a wrapper sheet thereon for movement into engagement with the top of a stack, moving the wrapper sheets into engagement with the stack, compressing the stack with oppositely acting forces and holding the stack compressed with wrapper sheets disposed thereon, folding portions of the wrapper sheets into an overlapped relationship and joining the overlapped ends by adhering the ends together to form an endless band and releasing the oppositely directed forces whereby the band holds the articles in a compressed state in a banded stack.

2. A method of banding and compressing a vertical stack of articles with an endless band comprising the steps of: continuously feeding a stack of compressible articles forwardly along a given path, sensing the position of the stack as it moves into a compressing and banding station, separating wrapper sheets from at least one continuous web of wrapper material, positioning a lower wrapper sheet beneath the stack and an upper wrapper sheet on top of the stack, compressing the stack of articles to reduce the height of the stack, folding the ends of the lower wrapper sheet upwardly to and about the sides of the stack and folding the ends of the upper sheet downwardly, overlapping and bonding the ends of the wrapper sheets and applying pressure to cause the wrapper ends to adhere to each other to form the band, and releasing compressing forces whereby the articles are held in a compressed state in the stack.

3. An apparatus for compressing and banding a stack of compressible articles comprising, means for conveying a stack of articles forwardly along a given path, means for moving wrapper sheets into engagement with the stack, means for compressing the stack with the wrapper sheets thereon and for moving the stack, means for bringing the ends of the wrapper sheets together for causing the same to be joined and thereby to hold the articles in a compressed state, said means for compressing the stack comprising a pair of endless, air permeable belts which compress the stack therebetween while moving the same forwardly along said path whereby a pressure differential established across at least one of said air permeable belts holds an associated wrapper sheet against movement relative thereto while moving the same into engagement with said stack of articles.

4. An apparatus for compressing and banding a stack of compressible articles comprising, means for conveying a stack of articles forwardly along a given path, means for moving wrapper sheets into engagement with the stack, means for compressing the stack with the wrapper sheets thereon and for moving the stack, means for bringing the ends of the wrapper sheets together for causing the same to be joined and thereby to hold the articles in a compressed state, means for supporting and unwinding a web of wrapper material from a supply roll, means for severing individual wrapper sheets from said web of wrapper material for application to said stack in timed relationship to the movement of said stack along said path, said means for severing wrapper sheets from said web including first and second sets of feed rolls spaced longitudinally along said web for feeding said wrapper sheet and said web, said web having weakened areas therein for separating upon the application of said tensile forces to said web when said web is in the nip of both said first and second sets of feed rolls, means for sensing an incoming stack for compression, means operable by said sensing means to cause said first and second sets of feed rolls to feed said web and to sever a wrapper sheet from said web, and means for sensing movement of said web and for positioning another weakened area between said first and second sets of feed rolls for separation with the next feeding operation of the sets of feed rolls.

5. An apparatus in accordance with claim 4 including selectively operable means for unwinding said web from said supply roll and tensioned control means associated with said web to operate said selectively operable means to unwind said web from said supply roll.

6. An apparatus in accordance with claim 5 in which said tensioned control means includes a dancer roll movable between a first limit position to cause said selectively operable means to unwind further web and another limit position at which the unwinding of said web is terminated.

7. An apparatus for compressing and banding a stack of compressible articles comprising, means for conveying a stack of articles forwardly along a given path, means for moving wrapper sheets into engagement with the stack, means for compressing the stack with the wrapper sheets thereon and for moving the stack, means for bringing the ends of the wrapper sheets together for causing the same to be joined and thereby to hold the articles in a compressed state, and aligning means for aligning sides of said articles in said stack prior to compression thereof, said aligning means including end pushers for pushing against rearward sides of said articles and side pushers for pushing against the longitudinally extending sides of said articles.

8. An apparatus in accordance with claim 7 including a pair of endless bands positioned along opposite sides of said path of travel for said stack, said endless bands carrying said end pushers and said side pushers into engagement with said stack for moving the stack along said path of travel.

9. An apparatus for compressing and banding a vertical stack of disposable diapers, said apparatus comprising aninfeed conveying and article aligning means having a pair of endless belts between which the stack of diapers are moved along a predetermined substantially horizontal path of movement, pushers carried by said endless bands for movement into engagement with the stack to push the same into alignment while being conveyed along said path, means for sensing the movement of said stack into position for receiving wrapper sheets, a means operable by said sensing means to separate an upper and lower wrapper sheet from continuous web of wrapper material, an upper and lower continuous air permeable compression belt for compressing the stack materials to bond together the ends of the upper and lower wrapper sheets, said endless compression belts discharging said compressed and banded diapers.

10. An apparatus in accordance with claim 9 in which said means for separating said sheets comprises first and second sets of spaced feed rolls with said first set of feed rolls operable to apply a tension force to said web held by said second set of feed rolls thereby separating the web at a predetermined weakened area 0 between said sets of feed rolls.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3837138 *Feb 23, 1973Sep 24, 1974Johns ManvilleMethod and apparatus for compressing material and enclosing the same in a plastic film
US4328655 *Feb 19, 1980May 11, 1982Paper Converting Machine CompanyMethod of manufacturing a packaged web product and apparatus therefor
US5092108 *Dec 6, 1990Mar 3, 1992Moore Business Forms, Inc.Compression and affixing of carton lid
US5979145 *May 9, 1996Nov 9, 1999Isover Saint-GobainMethod and device for compressing and packaging compressible products
US6170635Feb 22, 1999Jan 9, 2001Fameccania.Data S.P.A.Device for handling objects, for example hygienic and sanitary articles
US6662533 *Jul 29, 1999Dec 16, 2003Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A.Method of shrink film wrapping
US6708465Feb 22, 2000Mar 23, 2004Glenn GustafssonDevice and method for wrapping soft elements
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/399, 53/74, 53/582, 53/590, 53/530, 53/526
International ClassificationB65B27/08
Cooperative ClassificationB65B27/08
European ClassificationB65B27/08