US 3840421 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Peterson Oct. 8, 1974 APPARATUS FOR REGISTRATION TREATMENT OF PLASTIC WEBS Primary Examiner-William A. Powell Assistant Examiner-Brian J. Leitten Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Lewis H. Eslinger, Esq.;
 Inventor: Everett A. Petersn, l13 St. Marks P1., Roslyn Heights, NY. 11517 Alvm Smderbrand PP N 267,660 A method and apparatus for the registration treatment and processing of a continuous web of stretchable material, wherein a relatively non-stretchable endless belt  U S Cl 156/384 156/209 156/277 is passed through a plurality of work stations, includes 156/32 1 156/5 11 156/389 156/547 156 5 means for applying an adhesive t0 one side Of the belt,
 Int Cl 7 841m l/26 at a first station in the apparatus, and means for di-  Field l 324 543 recting a continuous web of the stretchable material 156/547 into contact with the adhesive on the belt at a second 6 g station downstream of the first station, thereby to firmly secure the web to the belt. The latter has a plurality of openings defining work areas which expose the side of the web facing the belt for later treatment References C'ted of that side at subsequent web processing stations. UNITED STATE PATENTS One of the processing stations performs a first web 1,100,790 6/1914 Stein 156/388 treatment operation, such as for example a printing 1,829,981 11/1931 Cooper... 156/549 X operation on one side of the web, and a second web 2.12 929 3 Gurfviek 156/324 X treatment operation is performed at a second process- 2,373,376 4/1945 Bolling 144/279 Station i i t ti ith th fi t b t t t 2,424,508 7/1947 S1mmonds 15642518641); operation The web processing Stations include means g g which cooperate with the belt to maintain the work 698 3/1963 g gzizg 101/129 areas at the processing stations in registration so that 3'413184 11/1968 Findlay et al... :1: 161/160 the Web treatments are in registry when y are P 3:533:868 10/1910 Kowalewski 156/161 e After Completion of the Web treatment the 3,620,872 11/1971 Backwell 1. 156/231 web is stripped from the belt and removed from the apparatus.
17 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 55 K /4 /6 L535 62 /2 40 I V f ,2 e 32 e 13 L 26 g I I 58 72 APPARATUS FOR REGISTRATION TREATMENT OF PLASTIC WEBS The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for registration web processing and in particular to a method and apparatus for printing or otherwise treating a stretchable web in a plurality of processing steps, with each of the processing steps being performed in registration.
A number of various machines and methods previously have been proposed for registration printing or other treatment of sheet or web fed materials which are used to form decals, labels, prints, bags and the like. However, such previously proposed apparatus have not been entirely satisfactory when used on connection with a stretchable web material such as those formed of thermoplastic materials. Such materials have a substantial amount of stretchability,so that when they are treated in a continuous process, it is exceedingly difficult to maintain registration between each of the treating steps due to the stretching of the web material. For example, when performing multicolor printing operations or operations in which printing and embossing are combined, it is difficult to maintain the previously printed colors in registration with subsequently printed colors or embossing because the web material stretches or flexes between the successive printing steps. Where the material is to be treated on both sides the problem of maintaining registration becomes substantially greater. In fact, when treating stretchable material on both sides, most previously proposed systems do not do so with a continuous web. Rather, the web material is initially cut into sheets, with each individual sheet being separately registered at a processing station, printed witha single color or embossing, and then removed and re-registered, manually, at a subsequent station for the next printing or embossing operation, thereby to insure proper'registration between successive printing or embossing steps. Heretofore, it has not been possible to accurately register successive printing and embossing steps on a stretchable materialin a continuous process wherein the material is supplied as a continuous web.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to perform accurate registration multicolor printing and embossing of a stretchableplastic web in a continouus process.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus which will accurately print and/or emboss a continuous stretchable plastic web with a series of registered printed or embossed designs thereon.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus of the character described which is relatively simple and inexpensive in operation.
According to one aspect of the present invention an apparatus .for registration printing and/or embossing of a continuous web of stretchable thermoplastic material is provided which includes a plurality of individual work stations including at least two web printing and/or embossing stations. An endless substantially nonstretchable belt is mounted in the apparatus for continuous movement through each of these stations. At a first station in the apparatus a low peel strength adhesive is applied to substantially the entire surface of one side of the belt. At a second station, downstream from this first station in the direction of travel of the belt, a continuous web of stretchable thermoplastic materialv is supplied into contact with the adhesive and firmly pressed against the adhesive by a pair of pinch rollers so that the web is held in a relatively fixed position by the belt and does not stretch during subsequent operations.
The carrier belt has a plurality of openings formed therein which define individual work areasexposing the side of the web facing the belt so that that side can be presented for treatment at subsequent processing stations. In addition, the belt has a plurality of registration apertures located along at least one edge'thereof in predetermined spaced locations with respect toeach other and to the work areas.
The stretchable thermoplastic web which is supplied to the belt has a width that is narrower than the belt and wider than the openings therein so as to completely cover the work areas while leaving the apertures along the edge of the belt exposed. These apertures cooperate with registration maintaining devices at the subsequent web processing stations in the apparatus so that the work areas, and thus the designs printed on the belt at the work areas, are maintained in registration at each of the processing stations.
After the web is adhered to the carrier belt, the belt transports the web to the first of a series of processing stations at which one side of the web is treated, such as for example, by a silk screening process or by an embossing process. Subsequently, the belt I sequentially transports the web to the remaining processing stations at which other printing or embossing operations are performed in registration with the printing or embossing performed at the prior stations. Registration between operations at each of the processing stations is maintained by a Series of sprocket rollers operatively connected with the various web treatment means, which sprocket rollers include sprockets received in the apertures on the belt so as to accurately position the belt at the processing stations. Drive means for the various web treatment means and for the belt, drives the various components of the apparatus in synchronism so that, in cooperation with the sprocket rollers, registration is maintained throughout the apparatus.
Finally, downstream of the last of the webprocessing stations, a stripper knife or the like is provided for removing the web from the belt.
The above, and other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be apparent in the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment thereof which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a schematic elevational view of an apparatus, constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, for registration printing and- /or embossing of a stretchable thermoplastic web;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side sectional view of the thermoplastic web after it is adhered to the carrier belt;
H6. 3 is a plan view of a portion of the endless carrier belt; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged elevational view of a portion of one of the drive sprockets showing its cooperation with the carrier belt.
Referring now to the drawing in detail and initially to FIG. 1 thereof, it will be seen that an apparatus 10, for use in registration printing and/or embossing of a stretchable plastic web or the like, includes an endless carrier belt 12 guided over a plurality of sprocket rollers 14. Belt 12 and rollers 14 are mounted in a support frame (not shown) which defines a plurality of operating stations along the path of travel of the belt. The latter is driven in the direction of the arrows in the drawing-by at least'two drive rollers 16, driven from a conventional source of power in any convenient manner.
Carrier belt 12 is formed of a relatively nonstretchable material, such as stainless steel or the like, and, as seen in FIG. 3 has a plurality of openings 18 therein located in longitudinal alignment along the entire length of the belt. These openings define work areas at which the printing or embossing processes and the like are performed on the web to be treated. In addition,- belt 12 has a plurality of registration apertures 20 formed along its longitudinal side edges 22 in predetermined spaced relation to each other, and to the work areas 18, so that the work areas are presented in the same relative position at each of the work stations in the apparatus to insure proper registration of the various web treatment processes, as is more fully described hereinafter.
Initially, belt 12 passes through a' first work station 24 at'which a supply of adhesive 26 is contained .within a tank 28 or the like. In one embodiment of the present invention, the adhesive which is utilized is of a conventional type having a quick tack, with good shear strength, but with poor peel strength; e.g., a conventional water soluble casein glue. The adhesive is transferred from a first roller 30 to anapplicating roller 32 which is in contact with both roller 30 and the side 34 of belt 12 so that the adhesive is applied to the belt. In addition, a pressing or pinch roller 36 urges belt 12 into contact with roller 32 to assure proper and even application of the adhesive to the .belt. In this manner, substantially the entire surface of the belt side 34 is coated with the adhesive; however, work areas l8'remain open and are free of adhesive.
From station 24, belt 12 moves about the'two end rollers 14 to a second station 38. Itis noted that rollers 14 are provided with a plurality of radially extending sprockets or cogs 40 which are received in and cooperate with apertures 20 in belt 12 to prevent slippage of the belt during its travel over the rollers, thereby assisting in maintenance of registration of the various operations described'hereinafter. v
At station 38, a supply roll 42 is mounted for rotation in the frame of the apparatus and contains a continuous web of stretchable material wound thereon. In one embodiment of the present invention, the material whichv As a result, the web is firmly adhered to the belt.
Preferably, web 44 has a width which is narrower than the total width of belt 12 but larger than the width of work areas 18 so that the apertures 20 remain exposed during operation. of the apparatus, but work been shown by dotted lines in FIG. 3.) As a result, the top surface 48 of web 44 is exposed for treatment, as
areas 18 are completely covered by the web. (This has I is the lower surface 50 thereof, through work areas 18.
After passing through pinch rollers 46, web 44, having been adhered-to belt 12 passes therewith to a first processing station 52 at which a first web treatment operation takes place. In one embodimentof the invention processing station 52 includes a silk screen printing mechanism 54 of conventional construction which is adapted to apply a single color in apredetermined design on the top surface 48 of web 44. Printing mechanism 54 includes a sprocket roller 56 operatively associated therewith that includes a plurality of radially projecting sprockets 58 received in'and cooperating with apertures 20 on belt 12 to maintain accurate movement of the belt and to assure registration of the work areas 18 beneath the printing mechanism.
From station 52 belt 12 and web 44 pass to station 60, immediately downstream of station 52 in the direction of travel of belt 12, at which a second printing device or the like 62 is located. This printing device may also be of the silk screen type, or of the spray painting type or the like, which is adapted to decorate surface 50 of web 44 through work areas 18 in belt 12. This printing mechanism also includes a sprocket roller 64, similar to sprocket roller 56, which maintains web 44 and belt 12 in accurate alignment with the printing device and to maintain the work areas in registration therewith. v 1
As mentioned, the belt 12 is driven through sprocket rollers 16, from a conventional power source (not shown) which power source is operatively connected to simultaneously drive the printingdevices 54, 56 and the other web processing devices of the apparatus. The drive system is of conventional construction, as would be apparent to those skilled in the art, so that the printing devices and other web processing apparatus are operated in synchronism. Moreover, the drive can be continuous or intermittent as desired. In addition, the drive can be adjusted to effect printing at each of the work areas 18, or at selected, evenly spaced work areas as desired. Thus, by properly arranging the rlelative'positions of stations 52, and the other stations of the apparatus, it would be apparent that a work area 18v will be below the printing station 54, in proper registration with the printing apparatus therein, and at the same time, another work area 18 is at station 60 in proper registration with the printing device there. In this manner, when printing occurs at these stations the various designs printed thereby will be in registration with each other so as to form an accurately printed completely registered multicolor design.
Fr'om station 60 belt 12 and web 44 pass tional processing, station 66, at which other processing steps can be performed. For example, an additional silk screen printing apparatus or thelike can be positioned on the interior of belt 12 to print an additional color on the surface 50 of web 44 in registrationwith the previously printed colors. In addition, a sheet of protective clear vinyl material 72 can be applied tothe surface 48 ,of the web 44 at that point.
From station 66 the web moves to station 74 at which a heat or electronic sealing apparatus 76 is located which embosses the surface 48 of web 44 and seals web 72 to the web 44, so as to form a three-dimensional design at each of the work areas 18. An additional sprocket roller 78 is provided in association with heat sealing apparatus 76 to assure proper registration beto an addi-.
tween the embossments and the printed designs on the web. Of course, it is to be understood that various printing and embossing components of the invention are of relatively conventional construction and their arrangement and operation in conjunction with the belt 12 of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art and therefore need not be described herein in detail. It will also be understood by those skilled in the art that other web treatment operations can be performed on the web 44 and that the sequence of these operations may be varied as desired, in order to produce the desired final design of web 44. For example, at various operating stations the web may be spray painted to provide a single background color or it may be gold leaf stamped in a conventional manner to provide metallized areas on the surface thereof. In any case, it is to be remembered that an important feature of the invention is the provision of belt 12 having work apertures therein, which belt, with the adhesive 26, firmly secures stretchable web 44 on the surface of the belt to permit the various operations to be performed in registration.
From station 74, belt 12 and web 44 pass through a stripping station 80 at which a knife bar 82 is located.
This bar has a knife edge 84 which is positioned adjacent belt 12 and serves to strip web 44 from the belt by breaking the bond between the adhesive layer 26 and belt 12. The completed web 44 is then collected in any convenient manner, such as for example in container 86, for later processing. Such processing may consist of cutting the various designs printed in each of the work areas 18 to shape for later sale.
The now stripped belt 12 passes to a cleaning station 88 at which a solution 90 is applied by a roller or brush 92 to the lower surface 34 of belt 12. In the illustrative embodiment of the invention the adhesive utilized is water soluble and solution 90 is water which, when applied to belt 12, dissolves the glue and thereby cleans the belt. A pinch roller 94 is mounted in the frame of the apparatus adjacent roller 92 to urge belt 12 into direct contact with roller 92 to insure proper cleaning thereof.
Finally, downstream of cleaning station 88 a drying station 98 is provided at which air streams are directed to the lower surface 34 of belt 12..to dry the water placed thereon. The air streams are supplied through a pair of nozzles 100 or the like from a conventional air source.
It is also to be understood that where a non-water soluble adhesive is utilized in connection with the present invention, solution 90 would be a compatible solvent for the adhesive used. The adhesive, as mentioned above, may be of any conveniently available type, so long as it has a quick tack, good shear strength and 1 poor peel strength. This is required since the quick tack insures a quick adhesion of the web 44 to the belt and the shear strength of the adhesive prevents slippage of web 44 on belt 12 during processing at each of the various processing stations or during movement around the rollers 14. On the other hand, the poor peel strength permits the web 44 to be readily removed from belt 12 at stripping station 80.
Accordingly, it is seen that a relatively simple and inexpensive apparatus is provided which is capable of providing multicolor registration printing and/or embossing on a stretchable thermoplastic web in a continuous process by adhering the stretchable web 44 to the rigid belt 12, with a good shear strength adhesive. Web 44 thus is fixed in position with respect to the belt so that it can be presented at each of theoperating stations with a previously printed design thereon in proper registration with the printing or embossing device at that station. This feature has not been possible with previously proposed printing arrangements because of the fact that the plastic material tends to stretch when treated or handled and no known previously proposed device provided a solution to overcome this problem.
- tions, an endless belt mounted in said apparatus for movement through each of said stations, means at a first station for applying an adhesive to one side of said belt, means at a second station, downstream of said first station in the direction of travel of said belt, for supplying a preformed continuous web into contact with said adhesive whereby the web is firmly adhered to said belt; said belt having a plurality of openings of predetermined configuration formed therein defining dis crete work areas which expose predetermined portions of the web at the side of said web facing said belt for treatment at said processing stations, means at one of said processing stations for performing a first web treatment operation on one side of said web at said predetermined portions of the web and means at another of said processing stations for performing a second web treatment operation on the opposite side of said web at said predetermined portions thereof, said web treatment means including means cooperating with said belt for maintaining said work areas in registration with each other at said first andsecond web processing stations whereby the processes performed at said processing stations on the opposite sides of said predetermined portions of the web are performed in registration with each other, and means, downstream of said web processing stations for removing said web from said belt.
2. The apparatus as defined in claim lwherein said belt is a relatively flat sheet including integral longitudinal edge portions, at least one of said edge portions having a plurality of apertures formed therein and located in predetermined spaced relation to each other and to said openings for cooperation with said registration maintaining means.
3. The apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein said web is formed of a stretchable material having a width that is narrower than said belt and wider than said openings thereby to completely cover said openings to define predetermined portions of the web, while leaving said apertures exposed.
4. The apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein said registration maintaining means includes a sprocket roller operatively connected to its associated web treatment means and having a plurality of sprockets thereon 7 adapted to be received in said belt apertures for guiding said belt through said apparatus.
5. The apparatus as defined in claim 4 including means for driving said web treatment means in synchronism with each other.
6. The apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein one of said web treatment means comprises means for silk screen printing on said web.
7. The apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein one of said web treatment stations comprises means for applying a film to the surface of said web and for heat sealing said film to said web.
I *8. The apparatus as defined in claim 5 including termined portions thereof, said web treatment means 11. Apparatus for registration processing of a continuous web of stretchable material comprising, a plurality of work stations including at least two web processing stations, an endless substantially non-stretchable belt mounted in said apparatus for movement through each of said stations, means at a first station for applying a low peel strength adhesive to one side of said belt, means at a second station downstream of said first station in the direction of travel of said belt, for supplying a continuous web of said stretchable material into contact with said adhesive, a pair of pinch rollers located at said second station on opposite sides of said belt and pressing said web against the adhesive on said belt to firmly adhere the web to the belt; said belt having a plurality of openings of predetermined configurationformed therein defining discrete individual work areas exposing predetermined portions of the web at the side of the web facing the belt for treatment at said processing stations and a plurality of registration apertures located along at least one edge of said belt in preeach including a sprocket roller operatively connected therewith and having sprockets thereon adapted to be received in said apertures for maintaining said first and second web treatment operations in registration with each other whereby the processes performed at said processing stations on the opposite sides of said predetermined portions of the web are performed in registration with each other, means for driving said web treatment means in synchronism, and means, downstream of said web processing stations, for removing said web from said belts.
12. The apparatus as defined in claim 11 wherein said web is formed from a stretchable thermoplastic material.
13. The apparatus as defined in claim 12 wherein said web removing means comprises an elongated knife blade extending across the width of said belt.
14. The apparatus as defined in claim 13 wherein one of said web treatment means comprises means for silk screen printing on said web.
15. The apparatus as defined in claim 13 wherein one I of said web treatment means comprises means for apincludes means for applying water to said belt.
- UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE .CERTIFICATE CQRRECTION Patent No. 3,8'+O, 42l Dated October 8, 197
Invent flx) Everett A. Peterson It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent andthat said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Page 1, after the invent'or's name, insert the following caption: v
"[ 3] igneez' Peterson Electronic Die 00., Inc.
' Mineola, New York Signed "and sealed this 3rd day of December 1974.-
(SEAL) Attest: U
moor MJG-TBSQN JR. c. MARSHALL DANN. 'Attesting Officer T 1 Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 FQRM PO-1050 (10-69) y u.sv covenants? rnmrmc omen an 08l -l84,