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Publication numberUS3721601 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 20, 1973
Filing dateNov 12, 1970
Priority dateNov 12, 1970
Also published asDE2155520A1
Publication numberUS 3721601 A, US 3721601A, US-A-3721601, US3721601 A, US3721601A
InventorsPituch T, Truesdell S, Winston B
Original AssigneeAvery Products Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Address labeler means
US 3721601 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 20, 1973 T. R. PITUCH ET AL ADDRESS LABELER MEANS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed NOV. 12, 1970 I lllllulll 4 a m max Nuc 2w Mmrm 2 5; MM 0 A #Z 755v. a

ArroPA/EYS March 20, 1973 T. R. PITUCH ET AL ADDRES S LABELER MEANS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Nov. 12, 1970 INVENTORS a WWW m d 0M pmm e5 6% Wm W M; 6

58% m M M M United States Patent O 3,721,601 ADDRESS LABELER MEANS Thomas R. Pituch, Blackwood, N.J., and Stanley E. Truesdell and Brian W. Winston, Mentor, Ohio, assignors to Avery Products Corporation, San Marino, Calif.

Filed Nov. 12, 1970, Ser. No. 88,673

Int. Cl. B44c 1/24 US. Cl. 156-542 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A machine and method for applying pressure-sensitive adhesive labels to fiat articles. The method and machine according to this invention are particularly suitable for applying address labels to envelopes. The apparatus includes feed rolls which are intermittently operated to deliver envelopes into a first set of pinch rolls. The first set of pinch rolls is continuously driven and grips the envelope while driving the envelope to a second set of pinch rolls. The second set of pinch rolls is driven at a speed corresponding to the speed of the first set of pinch rolls. A labeling head is positioned between the first and second pinch rollers and applies a label to the article as the article is driven between the pinch rolls. The article is gripped by at least one of the pinch rolls while the label is applied.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Machines have been designed to automatically apply address labels to flat surfaces such as postcards, envelopes, brochures, catalogues, etc. These machines automatically apply pressure-sensitive labels and eliminate time-consuming, piece-by-piece label application. Such machines generally include feed rolls which are intermittently operated to pick successive blank envelopes from a stack and deliver such envelopes to a conveyor. The conveyor consists of a plurality of parallel, constantly driven belts which carry the envelope to a labeling head. Each envelope is stopped by a gate beneath the labeling head and the head applies a label to the envelope. The gate is then removed and the conveyor carries the labelled envelope from the machine. Gravity type hold-down rolls are provided along the extent of the belts at spaced intervals to prevent any substantial misalignment of the envelope on the belt. Of course, the gate tends to properly align the envelope beneath the labeling head.

Although such machines are suitable for their intended purposes and are capable of applying up to 10,000 labels per hour on envelopes, the machines are complex, heavy, and large, due in part to the intermittently operating gate mechanism, and to the relatively long conveyor belt reach between the feed rolls and the labeling head.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTIONN This invention provides an address labeler which eliminates the need for relatively long conveyors between the feed rolls and the labeling head and which securely grasps and drives each envelope on a continuous basis through the labeling station while a label is being applied. The machine according to this invention eliminates the need for a stopping gate to properly align the envelope to thus reduce the size and complexity of the machine.

According to this invention, an addressing labeler includes means for maintaining a stacked array of envelopes and means for feeding individual envelopes from the stacked array to a label-applying position beneath a labeling head. First and second pinch roll means are located at opposite ends of the label-applying position and these pinch rolls are spaced apart a distance less than the longitudinal extent (measured in the feed direction) of 3,721,601 Patented Mar. 20, 1973 the envelope. A label is applied to each envelope while the envelope is driven and gripped by at least one of the pinch roll means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawings, a labeling machine 10 is illustrated. The machine 10 includes an envelope hopper 11 mounted between side plates 12 and 13. The hopper 11 is located at the rear or infeed end of the machine and includes side guide plates 14 and 15 and a base plate 16. The base plate 16 carries a stacked, fanned array of envelopes 18 and slopes downwardly toward a feed roll assembly 19. The side plates 14 and 15 are laterally adjustable by means (not shown) so that envelopes having varying widths may be fed through the machine.

As may be seen most clearly in FIG. 3, the feed roll assembly 19 includes first and second upper feed rolls 20 and 21, and a lower stationary roll 22. he feed roll is mounted on and is intermittently driven by a shaft. The feed roll 20 is a rubber knurled roll rotatably mounted in a carriage 20a which is pivoted to the shaft 24 and which is provided with a weight W. The feed roll 20 is intermittently driven by a roll 20b which frictionally engages the roll 20 and the roll 21. The stationary roll 22 is mounted on a shaft 25 which is mounted on a U-shaped bracket (not shown), which in turn is mounted on a cross bar (not shown) extending between the plates 12. and 13. The roll 22 is adjustable toward and away from the surface of the roll 21 by means (not shown) to accommodate the thickness of a single envelope 18.

Each envelope 18 is successively fed by the feed roll assembly to a first pair of pinch rolls 26 and 27. The pinch rolls 26 and 27 are mounted on and are continuously driven by drive shafts 28 and 29, respectively. Each envelope is driven by the rolls 26 and 27 across a labeling table 30 and then to a second pair of pinch rolls 31 and 32. The pinch roll 31 comprises a plurality of rollers 33, 34, and 35 which are mounted on a shaft 36. The shaft 36 is mounted in bearings (not shown) and is biased against the roll 32 by springs 37 and 38. The pinch rolls 26 and 27 also comprise an array of individual rollers corresponding to the rollers 33-35. The pinch roll 32 has a knurled surface and is continuously driven to continuously drive the pinch roll 31.

The pinch rolls 31 and 32 are spaced from the pinch rolls 26 and 27 a distance which is less than the longitudinal extent (measured in the feed direction) of the envelopes 18. The pinch rolls 26 and 27 are also spaced from the feed rolls 21 and 22 a distance which is less than the longitudinal extent of the envelopes 18. Thus an envelope passing from the feed roll assembly 19 to the pinch rolls 26 and 27 and then to the pinch rolls 31 and 32 is gripped by at least one pair of rolls 31-32, 26-27, or 2122 during its travel through the machine.

As an envelope passes along the labeling table 30, one of a series of labels 48 is applied to the envelope. Each label 48 is a pressure-sensitive adhesive label carried by a backing web 41. Thebacking web 41 is intermittently driven about a peel bar 42 so that each label 40 is peeled from the backing web 41 and is directed toward the envelope 18 as is indicated in FIG. 3. As the label 40 is peeled from the web 41, its leading edge contacts the envelope and is applied thereto by an optional weighted roller 43. The roller 43 may be omitted since, during a labeling operation, the web 41 is fed at the same surface speed as the envelope, or slightly less than the surface speed of the envelope, so that the label 40 is positively fed onto the envelope 18 and adheres thereto by its pressure-sensitive engagement. The rolls 32 and 33 insure proper adhesion between the label and envelope when the envelope passes between these rolls.

The pinch rolls 32-33 and 26-27 are continuously driven and the feed rollers 20 and 21 are intermittently driven by a mechanism which will be hereinafter explained so that their surface speeds are identical.

The web 41 is continuous and is folded in accordion fashion in a supply bin 50. The web 41 is trained from the bin 50 across first and second guide bars 51 and 52, respectively. The web 41 is then trained over a back corner of a box holder 53 which supports the bin 50 and then over a guide bar 54 which is mounted between intermediate side plates 56 and 57. In order to maintain the web 41 in a centered position as it travels over the guide bar 54, there is provided a pair of spaced guide members 58 and 59 on the bar 54.

After passing over the bar 54, the web 41 is trained through a sensing device 60 which includes a light source 61 and a photosensitive device such as a photo transistor 62. The light source 61 extends through a block 63 which is mounted on a crossbar 64 by a torsion spring 65 so that the block 63 is biased against the label carrying side of the web 41 to exert a predetermined drag on the web 41. The photo transistor 62 is mounted in a crossbar 66 which extends between the intermediate side plates 56 and 57. The purpose and function of the sensing device 60 will hereinafter become apparent.

The web 41 is then trained behind a guide bar 70 which is fixed at its ends to the intermediate side plates 56 and 57 and which includes side guide members 71 and 72. The web 41 is then wrapped around the peel bar 42, which, as may be seen most clearly in FIG. 3, has a flattened portion 73 which aids in peeling the labels from the web so that when the web is flexed over the flattened portion 73, the labels 40 will be peeled from the web.

To intermittently advance the web 41, there is provided a pull roll assembly 74. The pull roll assembly 74 includes an intermittently driven roll 75 and an idler roll 76 which is biased against the roll 75 by spring means (not shown). The roll 76 is mounted on a shaft 77 and the roll 75 is mounted on an intermittently driven shaft 78. The web 41 is trained around the rolls 75 and 76 in the manner indicated in FIG. 3, and the web 41 then extends to a spent web take-up spool 79. To aid in initially training the web through the assembly 74, there is provided a threading shoe 74a. The threading shoe 74a guides the web 41 around the roll 76. The take-up spool 79 is rotatably mounted on the intermediate side plate 56 and has a projecting end portion 80 which is driven by a belt (not shown) extending between the spool 79 and the shaft 78 to wind the web 41 about the spool 79 as the web 41 is fed through the machine.

To aid in initially training the web 41 through the machine, means are provided to tip the intermediate side plates and their associated elements in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1, so that the peel bar 42 and the roller 43 are raised from the labeling plate 30. To this end, the side plates 56 and 57 are rotatably, and therefore pivotally, mounted on the shaft 78 by bushings (not shown) in the side plates 56 and 57 and the center of gravity of the side plates 56 and 57 and the elements carried thereby tend to tip in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1. The side plates 56 and 57, however, are restrained by a stop bar 83 which extends between the side plates 12 and 13 and which abuts recessed portions 81 and 82 in the side plates 56 and 57, respectively.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 4, a drive arrangement for the machine 10 is illustrated. The drive includes a motor and a speed reducer 91. The speed reducer 91 has an output shaft 92 with a first sprocket 93 mounted thereon. The output shaft -92 extends through the side plate 12 and carries a second sprocket 94 at its end. The sprocket 93 engages a chain 95 which drives a sprocket 96. The sprocket 96 is associated with a clutch 97 mounted on a cross shaft 98, which extends between the side plates 12 and 13. Adjacent the side plate 13, there is provided a brake 99 for the shaft 98. The shaft 98 extends through the side plate 13 and has a sprocket 100 mounted thereon. A chain 101 extends from the sprocket 100 and drives a sprocket 102 which is mounted on an end of the shaft 78 which extends through the side plate 13.

As was previously indicated, the shaft 78 is intermittently driven, and the clutch 97 and the brake 99 are pro vided for the purpose. Thus, as an envelope is fed across the labeling table 30, the leading edge of the envelope breaks a light beam provided by a light source 105. The light beam 105 is directed toward a photosensitive device such as a photo transistor 106 which is mounted on the stop bar 83. When the intensity of the leight beam is changed, the photo transistor, through suitable circuitry (not shown), operates switch means (not shown) to release the brake 99 and engage the clutch 97 so that the shaft 78 drives the pull roll assembly 74 in the direction indicated by the arrows in FIG. 3. The switch means which operates the brake 99 and the clutch 97 is provided with an adjustable time delay device (not shown) to permit the envelope to be driven to a predetermined labeling position on the table 30. This permits a label to be applied to a predetermined portion of the envelope (measured in the feed direction). To apply a label to different lateral portions of the envelope, the entire labeling head may be shifted by sliding the plates 56 and 57, and therefore their associated elements, along the shaft 78.

By driving the web 41 in the foregoing manner, a label 40 is dispensed onto a predetermined portion of the envelope passing along the table 30. As the web 41 moves, the sensing device will alternately sense a dark area (a label) and a light area (a space between adjacent labels), and activate the photo transistor 62. When the cell 62 senses a change from dark to light to dark, and after a short time delay to thereby permit the leading edge of the next dispensed label to be partially peeled from the web 41, the cell 62, through suitable circuitry (not shown), releases the clutch 97 and engages the brake 99 to stop the drive of the pull roll assembly 74.

As was previously indicated, the feed roll assembly 19 is intermittently driven and the pinch rolls 26, 27, 32, and 33 are continuously driven. This is accomplished in a manner which will now be explained.

Referring particularly to FIG. 4, a chain 110 is engaged by the sprocket 94 and extends to sprockets 111 and 112. The sprocket 112 is mounted on an end of the roll 32, which extends through the side plate 12 and, since the chain 110 is continuously driven, the roll 32 is continuously driven. The sprocket 111 is rotatably mounted on a stub shaft 113, which is fixed in the side plate 12. There is provided a spur gear 114 on the end of the shaft 113. The spur gear 114 drives a gear 115 which is rotatably mounted on a stub shaft 116 fixed in the side plate 12. A gear 118 is rotatably mounted on the shaft 116 and is fixed to the gear 115. The gear 118 drives a gear 117, which is mounted on an end of the shaft 29 extending through the side plate 12. The shaft 28 extends through the side plate 12 and carries a gear 120, which cooperates with the gear 117 so that the pinch rolls 26 and 27 are driven at the same peripheral speed.

The gear 115 cooperates with a clutched gear 121. The gear 121 is constantly driven and is associated with an electrically operated clutch 122. The clutch 122 is positioned between the gear 121 and a gear 123 which is mounted on a stub shaft 124. The gear 123 is intermitently operated by engagement of the clutch 122 and the clutch 122 is, in turn, operated in response to actuation of a finger switch 125 (FIG. 3). The actuating end of the finger switch 125 is positioned between the pinch rolls 26 and 27 and the switch 125 is electrically actuated when the actuating end of the switch senses the absence of an envelope between those pinch rolls.

When the finger switch 125 senses the absence of an envelope, the clutch 122 is engaged so that the gear 123 is driven with the gear 121. The gear 123 then drives a gear 132 which is mounted on a projecting end of the shaft 24 to thereby drive the feed roll 21, and therefore the roll 20.

The feed rolls 20 and 21 are driven in this manner at the same peripheral speed whenever there is an absence of an envelope depressing the switch, and therefore an absence of an envelope 18 between the pinch rolls 26 and 27. When there is such an absence, the feed roll 20 slides the topmost envelope along the base plate 16, between the stationary roll 22 and the driven roll 21 and then to the pinch rolls 26 and 27. Immediately after the envelope has been gripped and is being driven by the pinch rolls 26 and 27, the finger switch 125 is actuated and the clutch 122 is disengaged so that the feed rolls 20 and 21 idle as the envelope is drawn through them.

The invention is not restricted to the slavish imitation of each and every detail set forth above. Obviously, devices may be provided which change, eliminate, or add certain specific details without departing from the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. Label applying means including means for maintaining a stacked array of flat articles, feed means for feeding individual articles from said stacked array to a label applying position beneath a labeling head, feed drive means for intermittently operating said feed means, first pinch roll means for positively gripping and moving articles from said feed means to said label applying position, second pinch roll means for positively gripping and moving articles from said label applying position, said first and second pinch roll means being spaced apart a distance less than the longitudinal extent (measured in the feed direction) of the articles, said labeling head being positioned between said first and second pinch roll means so that an article passing beneath said head is driven and gripped by at least one of said roll means while a label is applied to the article, sensing means for detecting the presence and absence of an article gripped by said first pinch roll means, means responsive to said sensing means for operating said feed drive means when an article is not detected at said first pinch roll means and for stopping said feed drive means when an article is detected at said first pinch roll means.

2. Label applying means according to claim 1, including means to continuously drive said first 'and second pinch roll means.

3. Label applying means, including means for maintaining a stacked array of fiat articles, feed roll means for removing successive articles from said stacked array, feed roll drive means for intermittently operating said feed roll means, first and second pinch roll means for positively gripping and moving articles from said feed means, label head means between said first and said second pinch roll means adapted to apply a label to each article moving between said first and second pinch roll means, said first pinch roll means being positioned between said second pinch roll means and said feed roll means and being spaced from said second pinch roll means and said feed roll means a distance less than the longitudinal extent (measured in the feed direction) of the articles, whereby an article fed through said label applying means is driven and gripped at all times by at least one of said roll means, sensing means for detecting the presence and absence of an article gripped by said first pinch roll means, means responsive to said sensing means for operating said feed roll drive means to drive said feed roll means when an article is not detected at said first pinch roll means and for discontinuing the operation of said feed roll drive means to stop the drive of said feed roll means when an article is detected at said first pinch roll means.

4. Label applying means according to claim 3, including means to continuously drive said pinch roll means.

5. Label applying means including means for maintaining a stacked array of flat articles, feed roll means for removing successive articles from said stacked array, means to intermittently drive said feed roll means, first and second pinch roll means for positively gripping and moving articles from said feed roll means, means to continuously drive said pinch roll means, label head means between said first and second pinch roll means adapted to apply a label to each article moving between said first and second pinch roll means, said label head including a peel bar, drive means for incrementally moving a continuous web over a portion of said peel bar, said web carrying a multiplicity of spaced pressure-sensitive labels thereon, whereby the labels are successively removed from said web as said web passes over said bar, first sensing means for detecting the presence and absence of an article gripped by said first pinch roll means, means responsive to said first sensing means for driving said feed roll means when an article is detected at said first pinch roll means, second sensing means for detecting movement of an article from said first pinch roll means to said second pinch roll means, means responsive to said second sensing means for actuating said drive means to thereby advance said web, and means responsive to the advancement of a single label across said peel bar to stop said drive means and the advancement of said web.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,547,537 7/1925 Vidaver 156-361 3,429,764 2/1969 Bragga l56361 3,335,047 8/1967 Wilkes 156521 RALPH S. KENDALL, Primary Examiner C. WESTON, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3833448 *Sep 8, 1972Sep 3, 1974Burroughs CorpApparatus for automatically attaching a magnetizable, machine readable stripe to a commercial document
US3883380 *Jun 18, 1973May 13, 1975Kirk Rudy IncMethod of labeling
US3883385 *Jun 19, 1973May 13, 1975Kirk Rudy IncLabeling machine
US3970506 *Jul 23, 1974Jul 20, 1976Bunker Ramo CorporationMagnetic patch arrangement apparatus
US3995847 *Apr 28, 1975Dec 7, 1976Joseph SchiffOffice machine including retractable feeder
US4019935 *May 14, 1975Apr 26, 1977Diamond International CorporationAutomatic feeding of labels for application to bottles or other containers
US4082595 *Apr 29, 1976Apr 4, 1978Slater John WPressure sensitive label applicator
US4104105 *Oct 28, 1976Aug 1, 1978Burroughs CorporationAutomatic overlay attaching apparatus
US4183779 *Sep 2, 1977Jan 15, 1980Datafile LimitedAutomatic indicia applying machine
US4188252 *Aug 31, 1977Feb 12, 1980Automecha Ltd.Label positioning and applying apparatus
US4214937 *Jun 8, 1978Jul 29, 1980Dennison Manufacturing CompanyApplication of indicia to articles
US4240854 *Oct 31, 1978Dec 23, 1980Avery International CorporationFan-folded labeling technique
US4264396 *Jul 27, 1978Apr 28, 1981Monarch Marking Systems, Inc.Labelling machines
US4267004 *Mar 8, 1979May 12, 1981Datafile LimitedPressure sensitive adhesive
US4607833 *Sep 14, 1984Aug 26, 1986Bell & Howell CompanyDemand document feeder
US4627218 *Jul 9, 1985Dec 9, 1986Esselte Security SystemsMethod of automatically banderoling bundled sheet objects and apparatus for carrying out the method
US4758303 *Aug 29, 1986Jul 19, 1988Investment Technology, Inc.Hand crank labeling apparatus for cassettes
US4954203 *Dec 5, 1988Sep 4, 1990Kanzaki Seishi Co., Ltd.Labelling system
US5133396 *Nov 20, 1990Jul 28, 1992Astro Machine CorporationLabel feeding machine
US5141593 *Mar 1, 1991Aug 25, 1992Fowler Robert EManually operable label-transfer apparatus
US5314567 *May 12, 1993May 24, 1994Noll Marvin HModular apparatus for preparing articles to be mailed
US5338387 *Dec 9, 1993Aug 16, 1994Noll Marvin HModular apparatus for preparing articles to be mailed
US5996664 *Jan 23, 1998Dec 7, 1999Neopost IndustrieCompact mail-processing machine having a special transport path
US6090034 *Jul 2, 1998Jul 18, 2000Martin Yale Industries, IncorporatedTabber apparatus with removable shaft and retaining member
USRE29335 *Aug 19, 1976Aug 2, 1977Burroughs CorporationApparatus for automatically attaching a patch to a commercial document
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/542, 156/363, 156/521, 156/541, 271/4.3, 156/361, 156/442
International ClassificationB65C1/00, B65C9/18, B65C9/08, B65C1/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65C9/1869, B65C1/025
European ClassificationB65C9/18B2, B65C1/02D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 15, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: QUADREL, INC., KENTUCKY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AVERY INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005179/0397
Effective date: 19890503
May 15, 1989AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: AVERY INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
Effective date: 19890503
Owner name: QUADREL, INC., 300 INDUSTRIAL RD., P.O. BOX 486, C
Feb 19, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: LITTON INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION SYSTEMS, INC.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:KIMBALL SYSTEMS, INC.;LITTON INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS INC.;LITTON DATAMEDIX, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004554/0550;SIGNING DATES FROM