US 3813268 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D. KERWIN May 28, 1974 MACHINE AND METHOD FOR APPLYING INDICIA TO ARTICLES Filed-Aug. 19. 1971 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 0. KE'RWIN May 28, 1974 MACHINE AND'MEI'HOD FOR-APPLYING INDICIA TO ARTICLES File'd Aug. 19. 1971 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Ml) 28, 1974 I E wm 3,813,268
MACHINE AND METHOD FOR APPLYING INDICIIQ T0 ARTICLES Filed Aug. 19. 1971 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 illllllllllHHH l May D. KERWIN MACHINE AND METHOD FOR APPLYING INDICIA TO ARTICLES Filed Aug. 19. 1971 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 J54 106a T BRAKE TIMER I v j R BRAKE &
TENSIONING VALVE puorocsu. BRAKE 155 RELAY TIMER 163 I c v & VALVE LIMIT J54 SWITCH 155 fi'fh 235$ PHOTOCELL BRAKE MANUAL PQE/SESBFE RELAY TIMER SWITCH TIMER RELAY J I 163 United States Patent Cl. 156238 18 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Thisninvention deals with a machine -or method for transferring decalcomanias (decals) from a rolled carrier web. or strip to a series of articles. The machine supports a supply reel containing the web and transports the web from the supply reel, past a decal applying die, to a takeup reel, a feed roller being provided to drive the web. Brakes on opposite sides of the die are adapted to clamp the web, and a photoelectric device actuates the brakes to clamp the web when a decal on the web is in a transfer position in front of the die. A web tensioning mechanism is provided to hold the web under tension during application of a decal. This same mechanism may also be operatedto adjust the position of the web so that successive decals are precisely at the transfer position. In instances where an interleaf or backing strip is provided on the supply reel along with a 'web, the machine removes the interleaf before the web reaches the die, and rewinds the interleaf with the web on the take-up reel.
Numerous prior art patents disclose machines for transferring indicia in the form of labels or decals from a rolled web to an article. For example, US. Pats. No. 2,356,951 and No. 2,880,538 disclose machines of this character. A number of difliculties are encountered when using prior art machines. One such difiiculty is that prior artmachines cannot readily transfer adecal to'an article havinga sharply curved surface without shifting of the webduring application, such shifting causing smearing of the decal. Another problem is that theposition of the web isnotqreadily adjustable to permit-centering of the decals relative to successive articles. Still another difficulty encountered when using such prior art machines is that theytare noteasily operated by a relatively unskilled operator. melt is therefore an object of the present invention to eliminate the foregoing difficulties by providing a machine which may be easily operated by a relatively unskilled opera or, which may be either automatically or semiautomaticallyoperated, which may be easily adjusted to center-the, decals, and which holds the web against shifting during application of a decal.
A machine in accordance with the invention comprises means for supporting web supply and take-up reels, means forming a web transport path for transporting the web from the supply reel to the take-up reel, drive means fol-"moving the web, dies which conform to the shape of an article for pressing a decal on the web onto an article, the web being moved past the dies, means for clamping the web on opposite sides of the die during application of a decal to hold the web against shifting, and means for maintaining the web taut during application of a decal and for adjusting the web position. Where a backing strip is included on the supply reel, a strip transport path is also provided from the supply reel to the take-up reel.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a method of accomplishing the foregoing. k
The foregoing and other objects of the invention will be better understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures of the drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front view of an applicator machine embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 1 but showing a different position of certain parts;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view showing the back side of the machine;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view generally similar to FIG. 3 but with the parts in the position illustrated in FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 66 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view illustrating a web of the character used with the machine; and i a FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram of a portion of the electrical control circuit of the machine.
While the machine is described herein in connection with applying decals to articles having curved surfaces, it should be realized that other indicia forms, such as labels, may be used, and that the articles may have flat or irregular surfacesinstead of curved. The machine comprises a frame including a flat, vertically-extending generally rectangular plate 10 and a support member 11 for supporting the plate 10 on a table or bench indicated generally by the numeral 12 in FIG. 1. The support member 11 in the present instance is a relatively heavy cast member having a T configuration in cross-section, thus forming a flange 11a and a web 1111 along the length thereof (FIGS. 3 to 5). The support member 11 has a horizontally extending lower portion 13 (FIG. 1) which is rigidly secured to the table 12, and an upright portion 14 (FIG. 5 which extends upwardly from the rear of the horizontal portion 13. The upper end of the vertical portion 14 is curved forwardly (FIG. 5) and is rigidly'sccured to the back side of the plate 10.
Mounted-on the plate 10 of the frame are a tension pulley 16 for supporting a web supply reel 17, and a drive pulley 18 for supporting a web take-up'reel 19. A web 20 rolled on the supply reel 17 is carried by a web transport mechanism along a transport path leading from the supply reel 17 to the take-up reel 19, the transport mechanism including a first idler roller 22 ([FIG. 1), a second idler-roller 23, a take-up roller 24, the underside of a die guard 26, a second web take-up roller 27, a third idler roller 28, and a drive mechanism 29.
The drive mechanism 29 includes a drive roller 31 and a: pressure roller 32, the drive roller 31 being rotated by an electric motor 33 (FIGS. 3 to 5). The pressure roller 32 is rotatably fastened to a bar 34 by a pin 36, and the bar 34 is pivotally fastened by a pin 37 on the plate 10'. A tension spring 38 is connected between an end of the bar 34and the plate 10 and holds the pressure roller 32 against the drive roller 31. The web 20 is threaded betWeen the drive and pressure rollers, and consequently pressure of the roller 32 on the web and turning of the drive roller 31 moves the web 20 along the transport path. As will be described hereinafter, a slip or friction clutch connects the electric motor 33 to the drive roller 31 so that the web 20 and the drive roller 31 may be held stationary while the electric motor 33 is turning.
The machine further includes a photocell device 41 (FIGS. land 2) adjacent the idler roller 22. The web 20 v, is threaded between the roller 22 and the device 41, andregistration marks 42 (FIG. 7) placed at regularly spaced locations on the web 20 are detected by the device 41. Two brake mechanisms 43 and 44 on opposite sides of the die guard 26 are actuated by the device 41 and clamp the web while a decal is being applied, as will be described.
,The machine further includes at least one lower die 46 for supporting a decal receiving article and an upper die 47 for pressing a decal on the article. In the present instance, the dies are designed to handle a cylindrical article, and the upper die 47 is mounted on a vertically movable ram 48. As will be described hereinafter, when an article is positioned in the lower die 46 and a decal is centered in a transfer position below the upper die 47, the ram 48 moves the upper die 47 downwardly and presses the decal firmly on the upper surface of the article. The tension pulley 16, the drive pulley 18 and the drive roller 31 are all constructed generally similarly, and the drive pulley 18 is illustrated in detail in FIG. 6. The drive pulley 18 comprises a tubular member 51 which supports the take-up reel 19. The tubular member 51 is supported on the plate of the machine by a shaft 53 and two pairs of ball bearings 54 and 56. The shaft 53 is positioned in a hole 74 in the plate 10 and extends forwardly from the plate. The inner races of the pair of bearings 54 are fastened to the shaft 53 near its forward end, and the outer races of the bearings 54 are connected to the inner periphery of the number 51. The inner races of the pair of bearings 56 are also fastened to the shaft '53 near the plate 10 and the outer races of the bearings 56 are attached to a tubular bracket 57 which in turn is secured to the plate 10. The rearward end of the member 51 telescopes over the bracket 57. A ring 58 is formed on the shaft 53 and separates the adjacent bearings of the two sets 54 and 56, and the two bearings of each set are 'held in spaced relation by spacers 59 and 61. The spacer 59 is formed by an inwardly enlarged portion of the tubular member 51 whereas the spacer 61 is a separate tube which is fastened to the bracket 57 as by a set screw 62. The forward end of the shaft 53 has a flat washer 63 and a lock washer 64 positioned thereon and a cap screw 66 is threaded into a hole in the end of the shaft 53. When the screw 66 is tightened, it forces the washers 63 and 64 against the inner race of the forwardmost bearing 54.
The rearward end of the shaft 53 extends through the hole 74 and is connected to the power output shaft 67 of an electric motor 68, the two shafts 53 and 67 being attached as by a set screw 69. The motor 68 is supported by a mounting plate 71 secured to the plate 10 by screws 72. Tubular spacers 73 around the screws 72 hold the plate 71 spaced rearwardly from the back side of the plate 10.
The bearings 54 and 56 are deep groove types WhlCh may be loaded either axially or radially. When the shaft 53 is turned by the motor 68, the member 51 Wlll also turn somewhat due to friction within the bearings 54, and the amount of this friction may be adjusted with the cap screw 66. It will be apparent from an inspection of FIG. 6 that an axial force applied to the inner race of the forwardmost bearing 54, due to tightening of the cap screw 66, will cause an axial force or loading on the balls and the outer race of this bearing. The outer race of this bearing is held against rearward movement by the spacer 59, the rearwardmost bearing 54, the ring 58, the two bearings 56, the spacer 61, and the plate 10. As previously mentioned, the amount of pressure applied by the screw 66 determines the loading on the bearings and therefore the amount of drifting torque transferred through the bearings 54 from the shaft 53 to the tubular member 51, and the loading is adjusted so that the tubular member 51 will be held stationary while the shaft 53 is driven by the motor 68 when the web is clamped by the brakes 43 and 44.
The construction of the tension pulley 16 is similar to the pulley 18 with the exception that the support shaft corresponding to the shaft 53 is not driven by a motor. The tubular member corresponding to the member 51 is turned due to the pull of the web being unwound from the supply reel 17, and the corresponding cap screw adjusts the tension on the web.
, 4 The drive roller 31 is similar to the drive pulley 18 illustrated in FIG. 6 with the exception that the central portion of the member corresponding to the tubular member 51 is enlarged slightly, and the outer surface of the enlarged central portion is preferably knurled.
The two brakes 43 and 44 are similar and each comprises a supporting tube 81 (FIGS. 1 and 2) having a generally rectangular shape in cross section. One end of each tube 81 is secured to the plate 10 and extends forwardly therefrom. Openings are formed in the vertical sides of the tubes 81, and the plungers 82 of a pair of air cylinders 83 extend horizontally through the holes, the cylinders being supported by the tubes 81. The outer end of each piston rod 82 has a U-shaped bracket 84 secured thereto which is forced horizontally outwardly of the machine when air is admitted to the air cylinder 83. A stop 86 is secured to the plate 10 in front of each U- shaped member 84, and the web 20 is threaded between the members 84 and 86. Thus, when air is admitted to the air cylinders 83 the piston rods 82 and the U-shaped members 84 are forced outwardly against the stops 86 and clamp the web'therebetween. Retraction of the piston rods 82 may be accomplished by a spring return or by admission of air to the cylinders 83 on the opposite sides of the pistons to release the web.
As previously mentioned, the machine includes an upper die 47 and a ram 48 for moving the die 47. With reference to FIG. 2, the upper die 47 in the present instance has an arcuate die surface 91 on the underside thereof, and a resilient material such as a rubber pad 92 is secured to the surface 91. The lower die 46 has an arcuate upper surface 93 and a resilient pad 94 is attached thereto. Dies having the foregoing shape are suited for holding a cylindrical tumbler or glass bottle in place while applying a decal thereto, but of course if an article having a different shape is being processed, different configuration dies would be necessary.
In instances where the decals on the web 20 are heat release decals, the upper die 47 may be heated when the article is not preheated, and for this purpose holes 96 are formed therein for electrical heaters. Such electrical heaters may be connected in a power circuit including a suitable thermostat for holding the temperature of the upper die at a temperature which is sufficiently high to activate the heat release decals.
The ram 48 for moving the upper die 47 comprises an air cyclinder 101 mounted on the plate 10, a piston rod 102 of the cylinder 101 extending generally vertically downwardly from the cylinder 101 and having a bracket 103 secured to the lower end thereof as by nuts 104. The die 47 is fastened to the underside of the bracket 103. The control circuitry for the valve connected to control air pressure in the cylinder 101 may, for example, include a manually operated switch, or a limit switch may be employed for this purpose during fully automatic op-. eration of the machine.
After a decal has been applied and the ram has moved the upper die 47 upwardly, as by air pressure return, to start another operating cycle, it is necessary to release the brakes and enables the drive roller 31 to advance the web 20, and to this end a limit switch 106 is provided adjacent the air cylinder 101. The limit switch 106 in-'- cludes a button 107 which extends downwardly to a position where it is engaged by the upper surface of the bracket 103 when the bracket 103 reaches its uppermost position.
The die guard 26 comprises vertically extending plates 26a and 26b (FIGS. 1 and 4) on opposite sides of the die 47. The lower ends of the plates 26a and 26b are curved toward the die 47 and are slightly below the lower side of the die 47 when it is in its upper position. The guard thus protects an operator against accidentally touching the hot upper die 47 and it also holds the web off the hot upper die when this die is in its upper position. A transparent plate may also be attached to the two plates 26a and 26b and extend across the forward side ofthe upper die'to protect the operator.
Y As previously'rrientioned, the machine may be operated either fully automatically or semi-automatically and air paratus for semi-automatic operation is illustrated. Such apparatus includes a flat horizontal turretor turntable 111 (FIG. 1) which supports four identical lower dies 46 on the upper side thereof. The four dies 46 are angularly spaced at 90 intervals, and the turntable 111 is supported by a shaft 112 for rotation about its center on a vertical axis. An air cylinder 113 is connected by a conventional ratchet mechanismtnot shown) to turn the table 111 90 each time the air cylinder 113 is operated. A switch"(not'shown) is provided to operate the air cylinder 113 to turn the turntable 111 after a decal has been'aipplied, as will be explained laterQOne of the four dies 46 is located underneath the upper'die 47 and the diametrically opposite die is spaced forwardly from the die 47.'In such operation, anoperator stands in frontof the machine and places an article in the forwardniost' die after'removing the article previously in" this die, such previous article having had a decal applied thereto.
In fully automatic operation,'a conveyor (not shown);-
may be provided,- for example, to continuously move a succession of articles to a position underneath the upper die 47 and hold each article in position .while, a decal is being applied thereto. In such a conveyor arrangement, a limit switch maybe provided to sense the presence of an article atthe decal applying position and initiative the next operating cycle of the machine.
' An imp rtant feature ofthe invention liesina mechanism' forfoperatiiig the two take-up rollers 24 and 27, this mechanism serving both to hold the web taut during application of adecal and also to adjustthe position of, the web along its length. With reference to FIGS. 3 and 4,.the two take-up rollers 24 and .27 are respectively rotatably' mounted onthe outer ends of two links 121 and 122, the other end 'of eachof the links v 121 and 122 being secured'to two rods 123 and 124. The links 121 and 122 are on the forward side of the plate 10, and the rods 123. and 124 extend rearwardly from the links throughholes formedin the plate ,ltLTh links 121 and 122 are mounted'fo'r, pivotal movement on the plate on the same axes as the rollers 23 and 28.'The rearward ends of the, two rods 123 and 124 are" secured to ends of two levers 126 and 127, respectively, and two tie, rods 128 and 129 are connected to the other ends of the two levers 126 and 127. The" rods 128 and 129 extend "generally upwardly therefrom and the upper ends of the two tie rods are pivotally connected 'to opposite ends of a horizontally extending bracket 131. The bracket 131 is located above the upper end of the upstanding portion 14 of the support member 11 and is supported by a vertical guide rod 132 which is threaded in a hole formed generally centrally of the bracket 131. A lock nut 133 is preferably also threaded 'on the guide rod 132 below the bracket 131 to hold the bracket 131 firmly in an adjusted position on the guide rod 132.
a With particularly reference to 'FIG. 5, the guide rod 132 extends upwardly through and is slidably supported by. a rod support 136. which is fastened to the plate 10 of the machine. A head 137 is provided on the upper end of the-rod-132 which, when manually turned, screws the bracket 131 either upwardly or downwardly relative to the rod 132, depending upon the direction of rotation.
' The bracket 131 is urged to a downwardly displaced position by an aircylinder 141 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5) fastened to the support 136, the cylinder 141 having a piston rod142 whichextends downwardly therefrom and engages thenuppersurface of the bracket 131.
.fiheair cylinder .141 is a single acting cylinder with air pressure applied to the upper side of the piston and atspring return on the lower side, and air pressure is controlled by a two-position three-way valve. A "relief valve in the-exhaust port-ofthe three-way valve holds the cylinder pressure at reduced value when the cylinder is exhausted. When air is admitted under high pressure to the air cylinder 141, the piston rod 142 forces the bracket 131 downwardly to its lowermost position, shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, wherein the lower end of the rod 132 engages the upper surface of the frame member 11 which forms a stop. At a point in the operation of the machine as will be described, the brakes 43 and 44 clamp the web and at this time the three-way valve is moved to exhaust the cylinder 141, and the air pressure in the air cylinder 141 is thus reduced and held by the relief valve at a pressure of, for example, 20 p.s.i. The tension on the two take-up rollers 24 and 27 caused by the web 20 as the upper die 47 forces the web 20 downwardly (FIG. 4) is sufiicient to swing the take-up rollers 24 and 27 downwardly and toward each other to the positions shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. The air pressure in the cylinder 141 is however sufficient to maintain downward pressure on the bracket 131, which tends to swing the take-up rollers 24 and 27 outwardly away from each other and maintain tension on the web 20 during application of the decal. When the ram is up and the brakes are not applied, a high pressure of, for example, 100 psi. is exerted on the piston rod 142 to positively prevent the web from pulling the rollers 24 and 27 inwardly.
Considering the operation of the machine as a whole, a supply reel 17 loaded with a web having a series of decals on one side thereof is positioned on the tension pulley 16. As shown in FIG. 7, the web 20 has a series of regularly spaced decals 21 on one side thereof and the dark registration marks 42 on the other side thereof. The spacing for the decals and for the marks is of course the same. The operator of the machine threads the web along the web transport path previously described to the takeup reel 19 and turns the power on in the machine. The web is bowed across the tension rollers 24 and 27 which are urged against the web to maintain tension on it when the brakes are applied. When the brakes are disengaged,
the friction clutch in the pulley 16 tensions the web.
Where a heat release decal is employed and the article isnot preheated, the upper die 47 becomes heated and thedrive motors connected to the drive pulley 18 and to the drive roller -31 are energized. The drive'roller 31 pulls the web 20 along the web transportpath andthe' web is wound on the take-up reel 19, and the operator feeds the web through the machine until a decal 21 is in the transfer position directly under the upper die 47 and a registration mark 42 on the web is adjacent thephoto electric device 41. The photo-electric device "41 senses the presence of the registration mark 42 and actuates the control circuit to apply the brakes 43 and 44. With the two brakes 43 and 44 applied, the web 20 is clamped tightly on opposite sides of the upper die 47. Since the web 20 cannot move, the friction clutches of the drive rollerl31 and the drive pulley 18 slip and thus enable their two drive motors to continue operating.
lf-the'machine has been properly set up, adecal 21 on the web 20 appears at the transfer position'directly below the upper die 47 when amark 42 is adjacent photomell41. If, however; a decal is not precisely at this position but is displaced to one side or the other of the transfer position, an adjustment may be made by the operator to center the decal at the transfer position. This is accomplished by turning the head 137 to screw the bracket 131 either upwardly or downwardly on the screw 132. If the screw, 132 is turned to move the bracket 131 upwardly slightly, the levers 126 and 127 and the links'121 and 122 will swing to draw the two rollers 24 and 27 toward each other, thus permitting the portion of the web the decal slightly, the screw 137 would be turned to lower the bracket 131 slightly rather than raise it.
Assuming that the web has been adjusted to place a decal directly below the upper die 47 as described, a registration mark 42 on the web is adjacent the photocell 41 and results in application of the brakes 43 and 44. After an article has been placed in the lower die, the operator presses a manually operated cycle switch which causes the ram 48 to move the upper die 47 downwardly and press the decal firmly against the article. The control circuit for the ram 48 includes a time delay circuit which holds the ram downwardly sufficiently long for the decal to tightly adhere to the article. As soon as this time delay has expired, the ram 48 moves the die 47 upwardly and the limit switch 106 is actuated, thus causing the brakes 43 and 44 to disengage. The control circuit has another time delay circuit therein which de-activates the photocell 41 for, for example, approximately .2 second after deenergization of the brakes, thus enabling the drive roller 31 to pull the web sufiiciently far that the registration mark 42 is removed from the photocell 41 before the device 41 again becomes active. It will be apparent that if this time delay were not provided, the photocell 41 would immediately re-apply the brakes as soon as the brakes were released and hold the brakes applied as long as a registration mark 42 is adjacent the photocell 41.
The foregoing cycle of operation is then repeated so long as the operator continues to place articles in the lower die 46 and actuate the cycle switch.
The control circuit for operating the pneumatic cylinders 83 of the brakes, the cylinder 101 of the ram 48, and the tensioning cylinder 141 is illustrated schematically in FIG. 8. Briefly, the cylinders 83 of the brakes and the cylinder 141 are controlled by a solenoid valve 151 which is connected to two power lines 152 and 153 through contacts 106a of the limit switch 106. When the ram 48 is up, the contacts 106a connect a solid state brake timer 154 to the power lines and when the ram 48 is displaced downwardly the valve 151 is connected to the lines 152 and 153. The valve 151 may also be connected to the lines 152 and 153 by a relay 156 of the photocell 41 and a relay of the timer 154.
The air cylinder 101 of the ram 48 is controlled by a solenoid valve 158 which is connectable across the lines 152 and 153 by another pair of contacts 106b of the limit switch 106, a manually operated switch 161 and a relay 162 of a solid state pressure dwell timer 163. The valve 158 may also be energized through a parallel circuit including another relay 164 of the photocell 41, another relay 165 of the brake timer 154, another manual switch 166, the switch 161 and the relay 162.
Assume that the operator has closed the switch 161 to start operation, and that the ram 48 is up. The contacts 106a connect the timer 154 to the power lines 152 and 153 and the timer 154, after energization for a short timing period, closes the relay 157. A registration mark 42 on the web, adjacent the photocell 41, results in closing of the relay 156, energization of the solenoid valve 151, application of the two brakes 43 and 44, and exhausting of the cylinder 141 to a relatively low pressure.
The contacts 106b are open when the ram is up, the relay 164 is closed by the registration mark, and the relay 165 is closed because the timer 154 is energized. When the operator momentarily closes the cycle switch 166, the ram valve 158 becomes energized and the timer 163 starts its timing cycle. Movement of the ram away from the limit switch 106 causes closing of the contacts 106b and movement of the contacts 106a to connect the solenoid valve 151.to the lines 152 and 153. De-energization of the timer 154 causes opening of the relays 157 and 165 but the valves 151 and 158 remain energized through the limit switch 106 contacts.
The ram 48 moves down to apply a decal and remains down until the timing period of the timer 163 expires and opens the relay 162. The period of the timer 163 may be adjusted between, for example, .1 and 10.0 seconds. Opening of the relay 162 causes de-energization of the valve 158, reversal of the air connections to the cylinder 101, and retraction of the ram 48. If the machine is provided with the turntable 111 including the air cylinder 113, the valve (not shown) controlling the cylinder 113 may be actuated to turn the turntable when the ram 48 rises. This may be accomplished, for example, by having the pressure dwell timer 163 acuate another switch or relay (not shown) at the same time that it opens the relay 162, such other relay actuating the valve for the cylinder 113 to turn the turntable 111. When the ram reaches its uppermost position again, the limit switch 106b and disconnecting the valve 151 from the lines 152 and 153. The brakes are then disengaged but the timer 154 is energized through the contacts 106a, and at the end of the timing period of the timer 154 the relay 157 is again closed. This period may, for example, be .2 second. As soon as the valve 151 is de-energized, the brakes are disengaged and high pressure is again applied by the cylinder 151, and the web 20 is pulled forwardly by the drive pulley. As soon as the registration mark 42 is moved away from the photocell 41 the relay 156 opens. However, the next succeeding mark 42 moving to the photocell 41 results in closing of the switch 156 and reapplication of the brakes, and the beginning of the next cycle.
The foregoing discussion has been concerned with operation using a heat-sensitive decal. Where a pressuresensitive decal is used, the heaters in the upper die 47 are not turned on. A reel of pressure-sensitive decals on a web also includes a backing strip or interleaf between adjacent layers of the web to prevent the decals from sticking to the next layer of the web. With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the backing strip, indicated by the numeral 170, is unpeeled from the web 20 between the rollers 23 and 24 and is threaded across an idler roller 171, upwardly and across the tops of the two reels 17 and 19, downwardly to an idler roller 172 and a pivotable roller 173, and is then rejoined with the web 20 before the web passes the roller 28. The advantage in rejoining the web 20 and the strip 170 at this point is that a missed decal on the web will again be covered by the strip 170 and therefore cannot foul the brake 44 and the drive roller 31. As shown in FIG. 3, the roller 173 is mounted on the end of a link 176 which is pivotally fastened to the plate 10 by a pin 177. An arm 178 and a spring 179 tend to pivot the roller 173 laterally outwardly and thus maintain tension on the strip 170. The
pivotable roller 173 is also necessary because the length of the strip changes as the diameters of the rolls on the reels 17 and 19 changes, and the roller 173 pivots to take up any slack in the strip 170.
It will be apparent that a useful applicator machine and method having novel features have been disclosed. The machine holds a web taut during application of a decal and also positively prevents it from slipping during such application.'The two tension applying rollers are connected together and therefore apply equal pressure and swing equal distances to prevent shifting of the web. The tension applying mechanism is further operable to adjust the web position. Where a backing strip is provided, the strip is unpeeled and then rejoined with the web at advantageous positions.
1. The method of transferring indicia from a web to an article comprising positioning an article adjacent a die, moving a web along a web transport path which leads past a first brake, then past a first web tensioning means, then between said die and the article, then past a second web tensioning means and then past a second brake, applying pressure on said first and second web tensioning means in order to tension the web, applying said brakes to clamp the web on opposite sides of the die when indicia on the web i's'between the die and "the article, moving the die and the'art'icle toward each other to press the indicia against the article,-and simultaneously with said last-mentioned movement moving the first and second tensioning means by equal amounts; whereby the indicia is transferred to the'article withou't srnearing of the indicia. 4
2. The method according to claim 1, andfurther in cluding the steps of applying an increased pressure on said first and second web tensioning'means when said brakes are not applied, and lowering said pressure on said tensioning means when said brakes are applied.
3. The method according to claim 1 wherein the web has a backing strip thereon, and further comprising the steps of peeling said backing strip fromsaid web at a location which is ahead of said die, moving the strip along a strip transport path which is displaced from said web transport path, and rejoining the strip with the web at a location which is after said die.
4. A machine for transferring indicia from a web to an article, comprising means for supporting a web, supply, means for supporting a web take-up, "a die,ffirst and second web brakes, and first and second web tensioning means, said machine forminga web transportpath leading from said supply, .past said first brake, 'theri past said first web tensioning means, then pass said die, then past said second tensioning means, then past sa'i 'dfsecond brake, and then to said take-up, means for moving a web from said supply, along said path" and to said takeup, means for applying said brakes to clamp the web, and means for moving -said die'agains'ttheweb" and toward an article to press the indicia on the article while said brakes are applied, said tensioning means enabling limited movement of the'webwith the die while tensioningtheweb. I v
5. A machine as in claim 4, wherein the'web has a registration mark thereon for each indicia, said machine further including photocell means on said path for detecting each of said marks, and control means connecting said photocell means and said brakes for applying said brakes each time said photocell means senses one of said marks.
6. A machine as in claim 5, and further including pressure means connected to said tensioning means for urging said tensioning means against the web to tension it, said control means further being connected to said pressure means and reducing the amount of pressure applied by said pressure means when said photocell senses one of said marks.
7. A machine for transfering indicia from a web to an article, comprising means for supporting a web supply, means for supporting a web take-up, a die, first and second web brakes, and first and second web tensioning means, said machine forming a web transport path leading from said supply, past said first brake, then past said first web tensioning means, then past said die, then past said second tensioning means, then past said second brake, and then to said take-up, means for applying said brakes to clamp the web, means for moving said die against the web and toward an article to press the indicia on the article while said brakes are applied, said tensioning means enabling limited movement of the web with the die while tensioning the web, and continuously running web drive motor means, drive pulley means adapted to engage the web, and friction clutch means connecting said motor to said pulley.
8. A machine for transferring indicia from a web to an article, comprising means for supporting a web supply reel and a web take-up reel, a die, web transport means for transporting a web from said supply reel, past said die, to said take-up reel, means for moving the die and the article from a retracted position displaced from each other to an extended position more closely adjacent each other with the web therebetween, and tensioning means adapted to engage the web on opposite Elli sides of said die and to tension the web during said movement, said tensioning means applying increased pressure when the parts are in the retracted position and applying a reduced pressure when in the extended position.
9. A machine as in claim 8, wherein said tensioning means comprises a pair of movable means, means mounting each of said movable means for movement againsfor" away from the web, and pressure means operatively connected with both of said movable means for 'ur'ging said movable means against the web with equali'for'ce and tending to deflect the web and thereby tensidifitf '10. A machine as in claim 8, wherein said tensioning means comprises a pair of movable means, means for p ivotally mounting each of said movable means for pivoting "movement, such pivoting movement swinging said movable means against or away from the web, linkage means connected to both of said movable means for simultaneouslypivoting said movable means, and power means for applying pressure on said linkage means to urge said movable means against the web and thereby tension the'v'veb.
11. A'machine for transferring indicia from a web to an article, comprising means for supporting a web supply reel and a Web take-up reel, a die, web transport meansfor' transporting the web from said supply reel, past said die, to said take-up reel, ram means for moving'the'die and an article toward each other with indicia on the web in a transfer position in front of the die, clamp meanson opposite sides of said die adapted to clamp: the vt'leb, and tensioning means on each side of said die adapted to tension the web, said tensioning means on each side of said die being mounted between said-die and the adjacent clamp means, said clamp and tensioning means thereby holding the indicia in said transfer position during said movement.
12. A machine as in claim 11, wherein said tensioning means is adapted to exert pressure on said web to bow said web and thereby tension said web, said tensioning means further including means for adjusting the position of said tensioning means and thereby the amount of said bow, such adjustment enabling an indicia to be accurately located at said transfer position.
13. A machine as in claim 8, wherein said web is moved along a web transport path and further comprising a backing strip transport path including means for unpeeling a backing strip from said web at a point on said web transport path which is ahead of said die, means for transporting said backing strip along another path which is displaced from said die, and means for rejoining said strip with said web at a point on said web transport path which is after said die.
14. A machine as in claim 13, wherein said web transport path further includes brake and drive means at a point on the web transport path which is after said die, said Web and said strip being rejoined ahead of said brake and drive means.
15. A machine for transferring indicia from a web to an article, comprising means for supporting a web supply reel and a web take-up reel, a die, web transport means for transporting the web from said supply reel, past said die, to said take-up reel, ram means for moving the die and an article toward each other with indicia on the web in a transfer position in front of the die, clamp means on opposite sides of said die adapted to clamp the web, and tensioning means on each side of said die adapted to tension the web, said clamp and tensioning means thereby holding the indicia in said transfer position during said movement, said clamp means comprising a brake on each side of said die adapted to clamp said web when engaged, and said tensioning means comprising a movable member on each side of said die between said die and one of said brakes, said movable members being interconnected and moving equal distances during said movement of said ram means.
16. A machine for transferring indicia from a web to an article, comprising means for supporting a web supply reel and a web take-up reel, a die, web transport means for transporting a web from said supply reel, past said die, to said take-up reel, means for moving the die and an article together with the web therebetween, and brake means engageable with the web for gripping the web when engaged, said transport means including a drive pulley adapted to drive the web, a drive motor, and a friction clutch connecting said motor to said pulley, whereby said pulley may remain stationary while said brake means is engaged and holds said web, said friction clutch comprising a ball bearing which may be both axially and radially loaded, the inner race of said bearing being connected to be turned by said motor and the outer race being connected to said drive pulley, and loading means for applying an axial load on said bearing.
17. A machine for transferring indicia from a web to an article, the web having regularly spaced indicia and regularly spaced marks thereon, comprising a die, means for transporting the web from a web supply past said die, first holding means on one side of said die for holding said web when engaged, first movable means between said first holding means and said die for deflecting said web, sensing means responsive to one of said marks for engaging said first holding means to hold the web, means for adjusting the position of said first movable means and thus the amount of deflection in the web to position an indicia adjacent the die when a mark is adjacent said sensing means, and second holding means located on the other side of said die and second movable means positioned on the other side of said die between siad die and said second holding means, said adjusting means being connected to both of said movable means and effecting equal movements of both of said movable means.
18. A machine as in claim 17, wherein each of said movable means comprises a roller, said adjusting means comprising a linkage connected to each roller and to a bracket, and means for adjusting the position of said bracket.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,880,538 4/1959 Autem 15636l 2,286,458 6/1942 Bowman et a1. 156-361 2,880,539 4/1959 Frenkel et al 156-361 3,574,026 4/1971 Kucheck 156152 DANIEL J. FRITSCH, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.