US 3772123 A
Apparatus for applying labels in a continuous process to magazines or the like and including a label reject mechanism selectively operative to reject, on command, an unwanted label after the label has been severed from the supply of labels but before glue has been applied to the label, and without interfering with the continuous operation of the label applying system.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 [111 3,772,123
Clark et al. Nov. 13, 1973  3,404,059 10/1968 Ritterhoff 156/567 X  Inventors: Allan B- Clark, Newburgh, NYG 2,316,008 10/1952 Ouellette 156/566 X David A. Reed, Easton, Pa.  Assignee: Harris Intertype Corporation, Primary Examiner-Philip Die! Cleveland, Ohio Att0rneyJ. Herman Yount, Jr.
 Filed: Sept. 16, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 181,036  ABSTRACT Cl 156/357, 6/366, Apparatus for applying labels in a continuous process 156/378, 1 6/567 to magazines or the like and including a label reject f B3211 B656 B650 mechanism selectively operative to reject, on com- Fleld of Search 156/350-351, 566-563, mand, an unwanted label after the label has been sev- 3 2 3 3}, ered from the supply of labels but before glue has been applied to the label, and without interfering with References Cited the continuous operation of the label applying system.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,112,236 11/1963 Hartman 156/566 X 8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented Nov .13, 1973 3,772,123
2 Sheets-Sheet 1 in T11! FIG. I
(C(XXX )(XUXXX'Y XQDLYXYY Patented Nov .13, 1973 3,772,123
2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 5
LABEL REJECT MECHANISM This invention relates to labeling apparatus and, more particularly, to a label reject mechanism for selectively rejecting unwanted labels from a continuous supply of labels.
ln magazine publishing there is an increasing desire by advertisers to direct their advertising at particular subscriber groups within a magazines total national subscription. To be responsive to this desire, the magazine publishers are faced with the problem of providing different issues of the magazine containing different combinations of advertising for different subscriber groups which, in turn, requires that for different groups of subscribers the magazine be made up of different combinations of signatures.
There is disclosed in pending application, Ser. No. 141,331, filed May 7, 1971, and assigned to the assignee herein, a method and apparatus which enables the magazine publisher to achieve the ends desired by the advertiser while minimizing magazine production, time and cost. As disclosed in that application, the system utilizes a gathering machine having different sets of signatures located in different pockets with each pocket being individually instructed to feed or not feed during each gathering machine cycle, thereby to provide the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for each individual subscriber. The magazines are fed in a continuous stream from the gathering machine to a stitcher or binder and a trimmer and, thereafter, to a labeling head where mailing labels are automatically applied. With a system of this type, each magazine arriving at the labeling head is uniquely tailored for a particular subscriber and, accordingly, the operation of the label head must be coordinated with the production system so that the mailing label applied to the uniquely tailored magazine corresponds to the correct subscriber and not to that of some other subscriber. The system disclosed in the aforementioned application contemplates the use either of a preprinted supply of subscribers labels which are arranged in the same order as the subscribers magazines are produced or an arrangement in which each subscribers label is printed concurrently with the production of that subscribers magazine. With either arrangement, the particular subscribers magazine arriving at the label head should correspond to the mailing label applied to the magazine.
If an error should occur in the gatherer, stitcher or trimmer resulting in a defective magazine for a particular subscriber, that magazine must be rejected. It will be appreciated that the rejection of a defective magazine creates a potential mismatch situation at the labeling head. To avoid this, the aforementioned patent application proposes the use of a dummy book which is selectively inserted beneath the label head to receive the unwanted label. However, a somewhat complicated mechanism is required for that system. Moreover, by applying the glued labels to a dummy book, the rejected labels cannot be collected and used, for example, on general purpose magazines which would be mailed to each subscriber whose uniquely tailored magazine was rejected.
It is the primary object of this invention to provide a label reject mechanism which may be used with a conventional labeling head and which is operative to reject an unwanted label prior to the application of glue to that label.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a label reject mechanism which is selectively operative on command to reject an unwanted label from a continuous supply of labels without interfering with the operation of the labeling apparatus.
In accordance with the principle aspects of this invention, there is provided labeling apparatus which includes a continuous supply of labels, means for feeding the labels to a label pickup station, means for severing a label from the supply, label pickup and applying means for picking up a label at the pickup station and applying the label to a magazine, glue applying means for applying glue to the label as it is carried from said label pickup station to the magazine, and label reject means selectively operable to remove the severed label from the label pickup station prior to the pickup of the label by said pickup and applying means.
In one form of a label applying mechanism, the label pickup and applying means comprises a rotating vacuum shoe which is operative to pickup the label at the pickup station, carry it past a glue applying device, and apply it to a magazine passing therebeneath. In one preferred form of the invention, the label reject mechanism may comprise a pair of wheels one of which is continuously driven and positioned beneath a label at the label pickup station and the other of which comprises a pinch wheel spaced from the driven wheel and selectively movable to a position where a label is pinched between the two wheels and the driven wheel moves the label away from the path of the vacuum shoe and deposits the label in a stack for subsequent use.
Other objects, features and aspects of the invention will be more apparent upon a complete reading of the following description which together with the attached drawings discloses but a preferred form of the invention.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals indicate like parts in the various views:
FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a label head positioned over a conveyor chain carrying a continuous stream of magazines.
FIG. 2 is a simplified schematic illustration of a label head and a reject mechanism constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention.
FIG. 3 is a plan view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
Referring now more in detail to the drawings, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a labeling station, indicated generally by the reference numeral 110, in a system for continuously producing magazines or the like. As is conventional, the magazines fed to the labeling station are carried by a pair of conveyor chains 12 each of which is provided with a plurality of lugs 14.
The labeling station 10 includes a label applying head, indicated generally at 16, positioned over the path of the magazine carried by the conveyor chains 12. An appropriate drive indicated at 18 operates the label head in synchronism with the rest of the system.
The label applying mechanism may be of a conventional construction such as a Model A6l Single Width Label Head available from Magnacraft Corporation, Chicago, Illinois. As is conventional with label applying heads of this type, a rotatably supported vacuum pickup and applying means 20 is provided to pickup the label and apply it to the magazine as the magazine passes beneath the label head. The label pickup mechanism 20 includes a vacuum shoe 22 which is operative in a known manner to engage the label and by vacuum retain the label on the shoe as it is transported from the pickup station to the label applying position.
The pickup station is illustrated as a label tray 24 on which the label L rests with a spring biased snubber 26 frictionally maintaining the label on the tray until it is picked up by the vacuum shoe 22. The label resting on the tray 24 is engaged by the shoe as it reaches a vertical position and is drawn off the tray as the vacuum shoe continues to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2. As the vacuum shoe carries the label L away from the pickup station, it passes a glue applicator wheel 30 which applies glue to the exposed undersurface of the label. As is conventional with apparatus of this type, the vacuum shoe has a pair of recesses 28 which cooperate with a pair of male projections 32 on the glue applicator wheel 30 so that as the label passes by the applicator wheel, two strips of adhesive are applied to the label. In the event no label is on the vacuum shoe 22 as it passes the applicator wheel 30, the clearance between the male ribs on projections 32 and the recesses 28 avoid application of glue to the surface of the shoe 22.
With the glue applied to the label, the label carried by the vacuum shoe 22 passes to the position shown in dotted lines in PK}. 2 where the label is applied to the magazine passing therebeneath.
it is contemplated that the labels will be fed in a continuous stream to the pickup station in conventional manner as by a toothed wheel 40 cooperating with appropriate apertures 42 in the roll of labels. To sever each label from the continuous supply of labels, a conventional knife 44 which may be of the guillotine type is positioned adjacent the label tray 24. The knife is operated in synchronism with the rest of the label applying apparatus so that as the vacuum shoe 22 picks up and withdraws a label from the label tray 24, anothe. label moves on to the tray and the knife 44 severs that label from the label supply. The vacuum shoe 22 applies the glued label and moves back up to the pickup station where another label is waiting for pickup. To make certain that the vacuum shoe picks up the label, it is necessary that the label be accurately positioned so that it will cooperate with the vacuum apertures in the face of the shoe 22 to render the vacuum effective to retain the label on the shoe as it is carried down to the label applying position.
Turning now to the label reject mechanism for rejecting unwanted labels and referring particularly to FIG. 2, a driven wheel 46 is positioned beneath the label tray 24. The wheel 46 is continuously driven in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the vacuum shoe 22 with the periphery of the wheel 46 positioned immediately adjacent the surface of a label resting on the label 24. The periphery of the wheel d6 may be in very light running engagement with the label but should be normally ineffective to displace the labe from its frictionally retained position between the snubber 26 and the tray 24.
Positioned directly above the continuously rotating wheel 46 is a pinch wheel 48 carried by an arm 50 which is pivotedly supported intermediate its ends at 52. A suitable actuator mechanism such as a solenoid 54 is connected to one end of the arm 50 and is operative in the de-energized condition to maintain the pinch wheel 48 separated from the driven wheel 46. Upon energization of the solenoid 3, the arm 50 is pivoted to move the pinch wheel 48 down toward the driven wheel 46 thereby pinching the label between the two wheels. Due to the firm frictional engagement of the label with wheel 46, the wheel 46 imparts a movement of the label to the right, as viewed in FlG. 2, causing the label to be moved away from the path of rotation of the vacuum shoe 22 and into a suitable receptacle 56.
As noted previously, the feeding, severing and pickup of the labels is a closely timed coordinated sequence of operation. The described label reject mechanism is designed to be operative to reject a label within that closely timed sequence. H6. 2 illustrates the relative positions of the parts when the rejection is made. At this point, the vacumm shoe 22 is approaching the vertical pickup position. However, the continuously driven wheel 46 is immediately effective to commence displacement of the label as soon as the wheel 48 moves down into engagement with the label. Moreover, it is necessary for the label to be displaced only a small distance, such as one-fourth inch, in order to prevent pickup of the label by the vacuum shoe 22. More particularly, the label need only be moved to the right a distance sufficient to prevent the label from cooperating with the vacuum openings at the forward edge of the shoe. If this is accomplished, the vacuum applied to the shoe is ineffective to draw the label onto the shoe and the driven wheel 46 can complete its displacement of label L away from the label station while the vacuum shoe passes by the pickup position.
Upon completion of the label reject operation, the solenoid 54 is de-energized and the wheel 48 moves upward thereby permitting another label to move on to the label tray for severing by the knife 44 and subsequent pickup by the vacujm shoe.
Operation of the solenoid 54 may be controlled in various ways. For example, a photocell located immediately prior to the entrance of a magazine into the labeling station may be used to inspect the conveyor chain 12 for the presence or absence of a magazine. Upon detection of any empty chain spacing, the signal from the photocell 60 could be used, by appropriate circuitry, to energize the solenoid 54. Where the detection of defective magazines is accomplished further upstream, energization of the solenoid 54 may be controlled by other means such as a signal from a computer at the appropriate time.
The described reject mechanism has several advantages which should be noted. The reject mechanism is of a simple construction and can be readily incorporated in conventional label heads with a minimum of alterations. Moreover, the reject mechanism is relatively rapid in response so that it can be used in a relatively high speed system. Still further, the rejection of the labels prior to the application of glue permits subsequent use of the labels accumulated in the receptacle 56. For example, at the conclusion of a run, the rejected labels may be manually applied to appropriate magazines for each subscriber whose magazine was diverted during the production run.
While the label reject mechanism has been described with reference to a particular type of labeling head and a specific system of magazine production, it will be appreciated that the principles of the invention may be utilized in any system where it is desired to have the capability of selective rejection of labels in a continuous label feeding and applying operation. Accordingly, while the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, neither the embodiment illustrated nor the terminology employed in describing it is intended to be limiting; rather, it is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims,
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed 1. In labeling apparatus for applying labels to articles and wherein the apparatus includes means movable between a label pickup position and a label applying position for picking up a label and applying the label, and glue applying means for applying glue to the label as it is carried from said pickup position, the improvement comprising,
reject an unwanted means selectively operative to reject label before glue is applied to the unwanted label,
said reject means comprising means selectively engageable with the unwanted label and operative to displace the unwanted label away from said means for picking up the label.
2. Labeling apparatus for labeling articles and includa label pickup station,
means for feeding labels to the pickup station,
means for picking up a label at the pickup station and applying the label to an article,
glue applying means for applying glue to the label after it is carried from said pickup station, and label reject means selectively operative to remove an unwanted label at the pickup station,
said label reject means comprising a continuously rotating wheel adjacent said pickup station and means for selectively engaging an unwanted label with said wheel whereby said wheel displaces the unwanted label away from the unwanted pickup station.
3. Labeling apparatus for labeling articles and including,
a label pickup station,
means for feeding labels to the pickup station,
means for picking up a label at the pickup station and applying the label to an article,
glue-applying means for applying glue to the label after it is carried from said pickup station, and label reject means selectively operative to remove an unwanted label at the pickup station,
said means for picking up a label comprising a rotating vacuum shoe and said label reject means is operative to move an unwanted label away from the path of rotation of said shoe.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said label reject means comprises a continuously rotating wheel adjacent said pickup station,
said wheel rotating in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of said shoe, and means for selectively engaging a label with said wheel whereby said wheel becomes effective to displace the label out of the path of rotation of said shoe. 5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said last mentioned means comprises a pinch wheel supported for movement toward and away from said continuously rotating wheel.
6. A system for applying uniquely tailored labels to uniquely tailored magazines, said system comprising,
a label pickup station, means for feeding labels to the pickup station in a predetermined sequence, a label applying station, means for feeding magazines to the label applying station in a sequence corresponding to the sequence in which said labels are fed, means for picking up a label at the pickup station and transporting the label to the applying station, means for applying glue to the label, means for detecting an error in the sequence of magazines being fed, and label reject means responsive to the detection of an error for rejecting the label affected by the error, said label reject means being effective to reject the label before glue is applied to the label, said reject means comprising means selectively engageable with the label and operative to displace the label away from said means for picking up the label. 7. The system of claim 6 wherein said pickup means comprises a rotating vacuum shoe,
said label reject means includes a continuously rotating wheel adjacent said pickup station, and means for selectively engaging the wheel with the label at the pickup station whereby said wheel displaces the label out of the path of rotation of said shoe. 8. The system of claim 7 wherein said last mentioned means comprises,
a pinch wheel supported for movement toward and away from continuously rotating wheel, and solenoid means for actuating movement of said pinch wheel toward said continuously rotating wheel upon detection of an error whereby the label is pinched between said wheels.
UNITEE STATES PATENT oFmoE CERTEFIQATE U??? QGRREE'HQN Dated Paten 3 $772.12?
Inventor(s) Allan Bo Clerk anal David Ac Reed It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 5, line 13, after "reject delete an unwanted-- Column 5, line 11%, aftex "jest insert an unwanted Signed and sealed this 1st day of October 1974.
McCOY M. GIBSON JR Ca MARSHALL DANN Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 u.s. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: Hi9 oJs6-354,
ORM PO-l 050 (10-69)