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Publication numberUS3850774 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 26, 1974
Filing dateDec 26, 1972
Priority dateJan 25, 1972
Also published asDE2203996A1, DE2203996B2, DE2203996C3
Publication numberUS 3850774 A, US 3850774A, US-A-3850774, US3850774 A, US3850774A
InventorsSchlacht E, Schonig B
Original AssigneeWeiss Maschf & Apparatebau J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for labelling containers such as bottles
US 3850774 A
Abstract
An apparatus for labelling objects, such as bottles, jars, etc., the apparatus including a conveyor belt serving to supply and carry away the objects, a label store, from which the labels are passed onto a constantly revolving label distributor arranged adjoining the conveyor belt and on to which the forwardly moved bottles are brought. The label distributor cooperates with a counter-support arrangement for the bottles which faces the label distributor parallel and adjacent to the conveyor belt. The label distributor is constructed as an endless, yieldable, internally toothed belt normal to and having a bottle engaging stretch which is parallel to the conveyor belt. The distributor belt is maintained on rotary guide members, such as toothed cylinders or rolls, rotatable about shafts perpendicular to the supporting surface of the conveyor belt being driven by at least one of the guide members with the speed of travel of the conveyor belt. Openings for gripping the labels are disposed on the label distributor and a subatmospheric air pressure is adapted to be admitted to the openings by means of a suction air source through a rotary guide member via a fixed rotary slide valve.
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United States Patent Schiinig et al.

[451 Nov. 26, 1974 [75] Inventors: Bruno Schiinig; Ernst Schlacht, both of Berlin, Germany [73] Assignee: Johann Weiss Maschinenfabrick und Apparatebau GmbH, Berlin, Germany 22 Filed: Dec. 26, 1972 21 App]. No.: 318,467

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Primary Examiner-Charles E. Van Horn Assistant E.\'amim rl. Massie Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Strauch, Nolan, Neale, Nies & Kurz V [57] ABSTRACT An apparatus for labelling objects, such as bottles, jars, etc., the apparatus including a conveyor belt serving to supply and carry away the objects, a label store, from which the labels are passed onto a constantly revolving label distributor arranged adjoining the con veyor belt and on to which the forwardly moved bottles are brought. The label distributor cooperates with a counter-support arrangement for the bottles which faces the label distributor parallel and adjacent to the conveyor belt. The label distributor is constructed as an endless, yieldable, internally toothed belt normal to and having a bottle engaging stretch which is parallel to the conveyor belt. The distributor belt is maintained on rotary guide members, such as toothed cylinders or rolls, rotatable about shafts perpendicular to the supporting surface of the conveyor belt being driven by at least one of the guide members with the speed of travel of the conveyor belt. Openings for gripping the labels are disposed on the label distributor and a subatmospheric air pressure is adaptedto be admitted to the openings by means of a suction air source through a rotary guide member via a fixed rotary slide valve.

PATENTEDNBV26I974 SHEET 1 [IF 3 led a. Q

APPARATUS FOR LABELLING CONTAINERS SUCH AS BOTTLES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Known apparatus of this type (German Auslegeschrift No. 1,586,403) are constructed in such a way that cavities are formed inside the yieldable belt, which cavities communicate with the openings on the external periphery of the said belt and are connected through flexible tubes carried by the said belt to a centrally arranged, fixed rotary slide-valve, which controls the suction air aupply to the openings for the purpose of picking up the labels. In such an apparatus, those flexible tubes have to bridge the maximum distance of the belt position associated with them from the valve to the belt, as well as passing through positions at a considerably smaller distance from the rotary slide valve. Because of the change in distance difficulties arise, namely, when the labelling operation must be carried out at a considerable operating speed, which difficul ties are that the numerous flexible tubes, constantly varying between an almost fully extended and a loosely wound or looped state, either have to be resiliently supported in a complicated manner or come into contact with the objects to be labelled, whereby considerable disruption and damage can be caused.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION tary. slide valve long as the cylinder bores are in communication with bores arranged in and extending through the belt to terminate in the openings for picking up the labels during passage of the belt over at least one label stack arranged adjacent to it or past label separating and/or guiding means in engagementwith such" a stack. until the label travelling with the belt reaches the object which is to be labelled and which is on the conveyor belt.

In the interest ofa good sealing between the bores in the cylinder guidemember and the belt. it hasbeen found preferable that the bores in the cylinder open on the heads of the teeth on the cylinder.

For the purpose of a uniform distribution of the vacuum action exerted on the labels for the retaining thereof. the apparatus is preferably constructed so the group of superimposed openings in the distributor belt. for receiving a label, are in fluid communication tates with the cylinder. t

through associated bores or passages in the belt into If it is desired to use the apparatus for applying both front labels and back labels in one operation, this is made possible by the fact that, between each two groups'of distributor belt openings for the accommodation of front labels, there is interposed a group of openings for the accommodation of back labels, which openings in the belt are connected. through the associated bores to distributor bores in the belt which extend through passages in the flexible belt at right-angles to the outlet bores and each of which communicate through an associated bore extending perpendicular thereto and opening on the inside of the belt, being adapted to be brought into engagement with the distributor ducts or with the bores in the cylinder guide member as the belt passes around this latter.

So as reliably to ensure the accurate centering of the distributor belt as it passes around the guide members the latter are preferably so constructed with at least the guide cylinder formed with narrow marginal flanges projecting at its top and bottom beyond its circumferential surface.

The transfer of the turning moment to the object,

particularly the bottle, for setting the latter in rotation during the application of the label, should preferahly not be effected through the label which is to be applied to the object and which is held by suction on the outside of the belt. It is consequently advisable to construct the apparatus in such a way that the width of the belt is chosen sufficiently greater than the height of the label to be applied that marginal strips of the belt not covered by the label extend above and below those label-receiving surfaces which arearranged symmetrically in height on its outer surface.

The same purpose can be enhanced by a slight recessing of the label-receiving surfaces on the outside of the belt.

In order to substantially avoid soiling of the object to be labelled or of parts of the apparatus by adhesive spreading out beyond the edge of the label, the apparatus may be advantageously so constructed with extended recesses provided at those locations on the external surface of the distributor belt aligned with the paths of the strips of adhesive which are applied to the labels.

For the purpose of keeping small the changes in the speed of revolution of the belt, which is caused by the deformation of the latter as it runs around the cylinder in the region serving for the conveying of labels, it is advisable to make the diameter of'the guide cylinder larger than that of the guide roller serving as second guide member for the belt.

Construetional examples of the iinvention are illustrated in the drawing. wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view ofthe labelling apparatus incorporating the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged axial section through the beltguiding cylinder of the apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a plan view ofthe half of the cylinder which is shown in FIG. 2, a small portion broken away to show details;

FIG. 4 (on sheet 1) is a detail view, somewhat schematic of a modified constructional form of the apparatus suitable for applying front and back labels, and

HO. 5 (on sheet I) is a view of the label engaging face of a section of the belt of the apparatus.

FIG. 1 shows one constructional example of the labelling apparatus according to the invention for applying front and back labels to bottles. The bottles are guided in the usual manner by means ofa conveyor belt 9 extending through the apparatus, the bottles being brought to appropriate spacing on the conveyor belt by a screw 34, before entering the actual working region of the labelling apparatus, so as thereafter to be moved between the internally toothed label distributing belt 32 which is guided around the toothed cylinder 1 and a toothed guide roller 29 disposed parallel to the conveyor belt 9 and the active surface 32, consisting for example of foam rubber, of the counter-support device 31 also arranged alongside and parallel to the conveyor belt 9. The bottles 10, driven by the belt 3 running in the direction of the arrow 36 in conformity with the direction of movement 35 of the conveyor belt 9, are caused to roll on the fixed surface 32 of the countersupport device.

By means of adjusting screws 33, the counter-support device 31 can be adjusted and fixed as regards its spacing from the belt 3 to correspond to the diameter of the bottles to be handled.

From a label container 5, the front labels 23, after being separated by any known, suitable apparatus, for example, by the star-shaped member 6, are transferred by a suction cylinder 7 to a gumming drum 8, the circumference of which is provided by the gumming cylinder 30 with a coating of gum, advantageously in strip form.

From the gumming drum 8, labels pass to the external surface of the belt 3 and are gripped by the openings l3 terminating in the said surface, which openings are connected to a suction air source, in a manner to be described, in the region of the transfer of the label from the gumming drum 8 until it is transferred to the object or bottle 10.

For receiving the front label 23, the belt 3, as best illustrated in FIG. 2, is formed with through bores 4 extending at right-angles to its active surface, the bores being connected to the belt surface openings 13 and interconnecting the two sides of the belt. The guide cylinder 1 is formed with radially directed bores 2 arranged one above the other and which open into the heads 14 of selected teeth on the cylinder into distributor ducts or grooves 15 in those teeth extending at right-angles to the bores 2. These ducts are so arranged that they come into coincidence with the inside openings to bores 4 in the belt 3 as the latter revolves about the cylinder l.

The guide cylinder bores 2, which are arranged one above the other in groups, e.g., each of four bores, communicate on their inside with axially extending manifold blind bores 16 near the circumference of the cylinder 1. Each of these blind bores 16 is closed at its bottom end and is provided at its top end with a hose nipple 17 or the like. which can be connected through a flexible tube or hose 17a with a hose nipple 18 or the like, arranged on the part 11 of a rotary slide valve l1, 12 which revolves with the cylinder 1. The fixed part 12 of the valve 11, 12 communicates with a suction air pipe 35, suitably connected to a suction air source (not shown).

In order to reliably maintain the belt 3 in the axial sense on the guide members, the cylinder 1 is formed with annular, narrow marginal flanges extending beyond its external circumference, which flanges can be made in the form of sheet-metal rings and be fixed by grub screws 36 on the cylinder 1.

Since the objects, e.g., bottles 10, during the labelling operation have to be set in rotation by the belt 3 relative to the fixed active surface 32 of the countersupport device 31 and the turning moment necessary for this purpose insofar as possible should not be transferred through the labels 23, 24 to be applied to the bottles 10, so as not to displace the label in relation to the circumference of the bottle, the width of the belt 3 is selected of such dimension that a marginal strip 27 of the belt extends above and below the respective top and bottom edges of the labels 23, 24, to engage the bottles and directly apply the frictional force and turning moment necessary for rotating the bottles.

According to FIG. 5, extended recesses 25 at the end of the label positions on the external surface of the belt 3 aligned with the gumming strips 26 applied to the labels 23, 24, these recesses serving to receive any excess adhesive flowing over at these positions, so that any soiling of the bottles 10 or of parts of the labelling apparatus by adhesive is effectively avoided.

The rotary slide valve 11, 12 is so constructed that those openings 13 which are on the outside of the belt 3 are under suction effect, during travel extending in the region from the gumming drum 8 as far as the location where the label is transferred to the bottle 10.

Labels 23 are taken up from the gumming drum 8 by suction at the openings 13 on the outside of the belt 3 and carried with their gummed side outwards until in contact with the bottles 10 under the suction effect of the openings 13 in the belt 3, whereupon the suction effect exerted on these openings ceases, the openings become subject to ambient pressure, and the label is brought on to the circumference of the bottle 10 rolling between the belt 3 and the active surface 32 of the counter-support, device 31.

The cylinder 1 can be replaced by cylinders of different width or be made adjustable axially with respect to the rotary slide valve 11, 12 to accommodate axial placement of labels for different size bottles and labels. The short flexible pipes or hoses which connect the hose nipples l7 and 18 are of sufficient length to accommodate such comparatively small changes in adjustment; they can if desired, be completely covered outwardly by a cover hood 37 which is removably fixed on the cylinder 1 and which preferably can be integral with the upper marginal flange 28 on the cylinder.

If the apparatus is to be used for applying back labels as well as front labels, the belt 3 can be provided with back label openings 13 between each two adjacent front label openings 13, openings 13 communicating through bores 4' with bores 19 which extend at right-.

angles to the direction in which the belt extends and into which respectively opens a correlated group of bores 4' situated one above the other. The bores 19 are in communication through a short passage or lateral duct 20 which is arranged inside the belt 3 and extends in the direction of the belt with a bore 21 which extends parallel to the bore 19 and which can be connected through bores 22 extending parallel to the bores 4' with the distributor duct 15' in the head 14 of selected teeth on the cylinder 1. The distributor duct 15 in the tooth head 14 of the cylinder 1 is so controlled in the same manner as the distributor ducts 15 by the rotary slide valve ll, 12 that a suction effect is also exerted on the back label 24 when the belt 3 has already moved out of engagement with the cylinder 1 (FIG. 4). ln this manner, it is possible, after the front label 23 has been applied in the manner described above, thereafter also tary slide valve 11, 12 is carried out in such a way that the distributor duct 15 is once again connected to ambient or normal air pressure at the instant when the back surface of the bottle is brought back into connection with the leading end of the back label 24 and the rolling of the back label on to the bottle is initiated.

For illustrating the manner in which this constructional form of the labelling apparatus operates for applying front and back labels, FIG. 4 also shows on the left the position of the bore 2 alongside the associated distributor duct on the circumference of the cylinder 1 which, at the time of applying the front label 23 to the bottle 10, was effective in association with the bore shown at the top in the belt 3 and its opening 13.

in order to ensure that the registry when applying the labels to the objects to be labelled is as accurate as possible, it is advisable to use for the belt 3 a rubber belt with inserts of steel cables or fibre cords and having a smallest possible stretching. It is likewise desirable to make the diameter of the cylinder 1 considerably larger than that of the guide roller 29, so that as the belt 3 runs around the cylinder 1, the deformations of the latter have smallest possible'effect on the position of the labels on its external surface.

The supplying of the back labels 24 is effected in a manner known per se and as shown in FIG. I from an associated label stack 5', and in alternation with the front labels 23 from the stack 5, also by way of the gumming drum 8. ltis obviously'also possible for the gumming of labels supplied without gum to be effected on the outside of the belt.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. Apparatus for labelling objects, such as bottles, used in combination with a conveyor belt which supplies and carries away the objects comprising a label store, means to pass labels from the store to a distributor, a label distributor arranged adjacent one edge of the conveyor belt and a counter-support arrangement for the objects facing the label distributor and adjacent the other edge of the conveyor belt. said label distributor comprising an endless, yieldable belt which has a stretch parallel to the conveyor belt, guide members mounting said distributor belt and rotatable about axes perpendicular to the supporting surface of the conveyor belt, the distributor belt being driven by at least one of said guide members with the speed of travel of the conveyor belt, the distributorbelt having at least .one group of aligned openings subject to suction for gripping the labels, and means whereby a subatmospheric air pressure is adapted to be admitted from a suction air source to the said openings through a fixed rotary slide valve, the improvement comprising:

fluid communication passages from the front surface to the rear surface of said distributor belt; at least one of said guide members being a rotary cylinder, on the external circumference of which open at least one group of substantially radially directed bores having associated means which can be brought into communication with the suction air source by way of the rotary slide valve as long as said cylinder bores are in communication with fluid communication passages arranged in the distributor belt and during the passage of the distributor belt past a station where the distributor picks up a label until that part of the belt travel where the distributor carried label reaches an object which is on the conveyor belt and in position to be labelled.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the guide cylinder is externally toothed and the distributor belt is toothed on the inner surface to mate with said cylinder teeth.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the guide cylinder bores open in the head end surfaces of selected teeth of said cylinder.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said cylinder is formed with narrow marginal end flanges projecting beyond its circumferential surface.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the width of the distributor belt is greater than the height of the label to be applied to the object so that marginal strips of the distributor belt will not be covered by the label and that said strips are disposed above and below labelreceiving surfaces of the belt which are arranged symmetrically in height on its outer surface. 1

6. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the labelreceiving surfaces are recessed on the outside surface of the distributor belt.

7. Apparatus according to claim 6, wherein means are included for applying strips of adhesive to the labels before being applied to the objects and recesses are arranged at those places on the external surface of the distributor belt where the terminal edge of the labels will be positioned and said recesses are aligned with the locations on the labels whereon strips of adhesive are applied.

8. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the diameter of the guide cylinder is larger than that of at least ll. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the group of aligned openings in the surface of the distributor belt disposed for receiving a label have associated fluid communication passages in the belt adapted to be brought into communication with a distributor duct on the circumference of said cylinder disposed at rightangles to the direction in which said belt is extending. said duct in turn being connected via selected ones of said cylinder bores with a manifold bore in said cylinder extending substantially parallel to said distributor duct, a flexible tube nipple connects to said manifold bore, and a flexible tube connects and provides said fluid communication passage between said nipple and a valve port part of said rotary slide valve which rotates with said cylinder.

12. Apparatus according to claim 1, having means for applying front and back labels in one operation, further including, interposed between each two groups of openings in the distributor belt which accommodate front labels, a group of back label openings for the accommodation of back labels, said back label openings being connected through associated passages in said distributor belt extending in the direction of the belt to rear face distributor bores which are adapted to be brought into engagement with the cylinder bores in the cylinder during passing of the belt around the cylinder.

13. Apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the guide cylinder is externally toothed and the distributor belt is toothed on the.inner surface to mate with said cylinder teeth.

14. Apparatus according to claim 13, wherein the guide cylinder bores open in the head end surfaces of selected teeth of said cylinder.

15. Apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the width of the distributor belt is greater than the height ofthe labels to be applied to the object so that the marginal strips ofthe distributor belt will not be covered by the label and said strips are disposed above and below the label-receiving surfaces of the belt which are arranged symmetrically in height on its outer surface.

16. Apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the label-receiving surfaces are recessed on the outside of the distributor belt. v 17. Apparatus according to claim 16, wherein recesses are arranged at those places on the external surface of the distributor belt where the terminal edge of the labelswill be positioned and are aligned with the locations on labels whereon strips of adhesive are applied,

18. Apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the diameter of the guide cylinder is larger than that of at least one guide roller which serves as one of the guide members for the distributor belt.

19. Apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the group of aligned openings in the surface ofthe distributor belt disposed for receiving a label have associated fluid communication passages in the belt adapted to be brought into communication with a distributor duct on the circumference of said cylinder disposed at rightangles to the direction in which said belt is extending, said duct in turn being connected via selected ones of said cylinder bores with a manifold bore in said cylin der extending substantially parallel to said distributor duct. a flexible tube nipple connects to said manifold bore, and a flexible tube connects and provides said fluid communication passage between said nipple and to a valve port part of said rotary slide valve which rotates with said cylinder.

- I it C UNITEDSTATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent no. 3,850,774 Dated November 26, 1974 Inventofls) Bruno Schonig & Ernst Schlacht It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

, Column 1, line 12, change "aupply" to supply+-.

Column 4, line 37, after "support" delete the comma Column 5, line 12, after "brought" delete ba :k--'-.

Claim 5 6, line 34, after "below" insert --the-:

In the heading "References Cited" add- 3,543,680

Killen et al 118/240- per Pafier No. Q V Signed and sealed this 4m day of February 1975.

(SEAL) Attest: V

moor M. GIBSON JR. 0. MARSHALL DANN C Atteating Officer v Commissioner of Patents 0 GOVERNMENT HRINYING OFFICE '9! O-SG-Jll

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3140214 *Apr 7, 1959Jul 7, 1964New Jersey Machine CorpLabeling machines
US3547736 *Jun 12, 1968Dec 15, 1970Johann Weiss Mas Fab Und ApparLabeling machine,particularly for labeling bottles
US3554841 *Jun 22, 1967Jan 12, 1971Wysocki KazmierStraight line labeling mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3928115 *Oct 9, 1973Dec 23, 1975Meyercord CoMachine for transferring indicia to cylindrical articles
US4124429 *Jul 29, 1977Nov 7, 1978Label-Aire Inc.Label applicator with belt transport
US4290519 *Oct 27, 1978Sep 22, 1981Diamond International CorporationArticle support system
US4307761 *Aug 22, 1979Dec 29, 1981Diamond International CorporationArticle inflating system including an endless belt assembly
US5281296 *Jul 30, 1991Jan 25, 1994Markem CorporationLabel applicator
US6263940Apr 21, 1999Jul 24, 2001Axon CorporationIn-line continuous feed sleeve labeling machine and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/455, 156/571, 156/458, 156/542, 156/566
International ClassificationB65C3/16, B65C3/00, B65C1/00, B65C9/08, B65C9/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65C3/16, B65C9/14
European ClassificationB65C3/16, B65C9/14