US 3853041 A
A method of producing a pre-addressed mailing envelope includes printing the addresses which will be applied to envelope blanks, at the high speed printer output of a data storage device. The web material (paper) on which the addresses are printed has a column of pinwheel holes on each side of a column of addresses; and is fed into a machine so that one slip at a time, having an address printed thereon, is cut from the web. A vacuum roller underlies the leading edge of the web and has a higher peripheral speed than the web feeding speed so that a drag is created at the underside of the leading edge of the web, and as soon as the slip is cut it is conveyed to an applicator where it is affixed to the envelope blank at a specific place thereon. By feeding the web at both sides with pinwheels, and using a vacuum conveyor, there is no skewing and no accumulative lengthwise error in the cutting operation to create each address slip. The address slips are usually applied to the rear side of an envelope front face, over a window opening, so as to be a pre-addressed window patch for the pre-addressed mailing envelope. The envelope can be stuffed with the material to be mailed (e.g. advertising notices to shareholders of large corporations, etc.) and the postage applied to the envelope - all at the envelope manufacturer's plant, if desired.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Lynas 1 METHOD OF MAKING PRE-ADDRESSED ENVELOPES  lnventor: Gary Andrew Lynas, Willowdale,
Ontario, Canada  Assignee: Globe Envelopes Products Limited,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada  Filed: May 16, 1974  Appl. No.: 470,378
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 238,220, March 27,
52 US. c1. 93/61 A, 93/61 R, 93/73, p 156/264 51 Int. c1 B31b l/82, B31b 49/04  Field of Search 93/61 A, 61 R, 61 AC, 62, 93/73; 101/226, 227; 340/1725; 156/264, 521; 53/131 1 1 Dec. 10, 1974 Primary Examiner-Roy Lake Assistant Examiner-James F. Coan [5 7] ABSTRACT A method of producing a pre-addressed mailing envelope includes printing the addresses which will be applied to envelope blanks, at the high speed printer output of a data storage device. The web material (paper) on which the addresses are printed has a column of pinwheel holes on each side of a column of addresses; and is fed into a machine so that one slip at a time, having an address printed thereon, is cut from the web. A vacuum roller underlies the leading edge of the web and has a higher peripheral speed than the web feeding speed so that a drag is created at the underside of the leading edge of the web, and as soon as the slip is cut it is conveyed to an applicator where it is affixed to the envelope blank at a specific place thereon. By feeding the web at both sides with pinwheels, and using a vacuum conveyor, there is no skewing and no accumulative lengthwise error in the cutting operation to create each address slip. The address slips are usually applied to the rear side of an envelope front face, over a window opening, so as to be a pre-addressed window patch for the pre-addressed mailing envelope. The envelope can be stuffed with the material to be mailed (e.g. advertising notices to shareholders of large corporations, etc.) and the postage applied to the envelope all at the envelope manufacturers plant, if desired.
8 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures did PAIENIEB H 1 01974 3.853 .041
sum HP 2 0 0|: CC Cc C c H i M i: 00 i c e 00 a O0 0O H F|G.1
k cc CC 00 o c M CC 0c 0 cc 00 a o c 7 00. a CC c c ,e cc cc 2H0) ZZZKb) Z 7 co A12 (:0 cc g 2|(d) o Co 00 c o 0 CO co Ga 0 0 C0 CC 00 o (2 cc 00 O 0 c c C C: 28 0 c 0 I" 0 l2 PRINTER DATA OUTPUT 54 STORAGE STAGE DEVICE PATENTED DEC 1 0 i974 FIG. 8
METHOD OF MAKING PRE-ADDRESSED ENVELOPES CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This is a continuation-in-part application of application Ser. No. 238,220, filedMar. 27, 1972, now abandoned.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a pre-addressed mailing envelope, and specifically this invention teaches a method of making or producing pre-addressed mailing envelopes. Reference is made in the following discussion to an apparatus on which a pre-addressed mailing envelope can be made, but the apparatus is taught in general terms. The major purpose of the present invention is to provide a method for making or producing preaddressed mailing envelopes in very large quantities and at very high speeds.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has been know in the past to prepare pre-addressed envelopes by such methods as typewriting, offset printing or transfer printing a plurality of addresses onto a roll of paper or the like. The addresses are thereafter cut one at a time and placed onto an envelope or an envelope blank. Occasionally the slips of paper which each bear an individual adress are placed on the inside of an envelope so that the address is visible through a window opening. In the more usual case, and in any of the commercial operations, the address slip is applied to the outside of an already formed envelope. Alternatively, the outside surface of the envelope may, itself,
be printed using known printing, typewriting or'transfer printing methods.
Reference is made, for example, to Sauerman US. Pat.. No. 2,167,005 dated July 25, 1939, or Novick et al., US. Pat. No. 2,703,043, date Mar. 1, 1955. Each of those patents teaches a pre-addressed envelope where a slip of paper bearing an individual address is placed on the rearside of an envelope blank over a window opening, so that the address can be view through the window opening. However, neither of Sauerman of Novick et al., is adapted to operate at high speeds, and each of them is subject to unavoidable skewing of the address slip between the time when it is cut from the roll of paper on which it is printed and when it is placed vick et al, the individual slips are held stationary on a plate by weighted ball rollers until the slips are picked up against a specific portion of a roller. The slip is then held against the roller by another roller, and by a spring A general shortcoming of prior methods such as those taught by Sauerman and Novick et al., is that, when any list of addresses is used where they are printed one after another on a roll of paper, considerable time may be lost and savings forfeited if any one of the addresses must be changed, because the roll must be unrolled at least to the place where the correction is to be made, and the corrected address spliced into the roll. Also, the prior art methods of preparing such rolls of addresses have, themselves, been very slow.
Recently, the use of data storage devices having a memory in which a plurality of addresses may be stored has become widespread. The data storage device is usually equipped with a readout device and a printing device whereby addresses or such other information as may be stored in the memory may be read out on command either from a program or from an operator and the addresses or such other stored data are printed by a typewriter-like print-out device. Such data storage devices having memory, read-out and printing means associated therewith include computers, sophisticated calculating equipment, robot memories, etc.; and such devices are very often used for the storage of many thousands of names and addresses. For example, governments may use such data storage devices for the storage of the names and addresses of all licensed drivers or vehicle operators; insurance companies may use such devices for the storage of names and addressed of all policy holders, shareholders, etc.; and many other such uses including magazine or newspaper subscription lists, association membership lists, etc. are also to be found. In all such instances, there may often occur times when it is desired to mail material to all of the persons whose names and. addresses are found in the memories of such data storage devices as discussed above. In such circumstances, high speed print-out of the address information may be realized by using such data storage equipment. It is, of course, desirable to operate the read-out and printing equipment for as short a time as possible, especially if such equipment is rented on a time basis. Therefore, it is most often desirable to prepare print-outs using suitable computor or printer paper, or other such web-like material.
Other ways which have been utilized in the past for addressing envelopes directly from the output of the data storage device include feeding the envelopes per se to the printing station of the data storage device and printing the addresses, one at a time, on the envelopes. However, the skip time required to move the envelopes through the printing station is such that economic utilization of the printing station capabilities is not realized, because much more time is used in moving the envelopes and the backing material on which they are securely fixed through the printing station than the time required to put one address each time the material stops at the printing station.
See, for example, Canadian Pat. No. 689,467, issued June 23, 1964 to Andrew J. Lynas, and granted to the same assignee as the assignee of this application.
Using modern data storage devices, programs for reading out addresses can easily be arranged whereby if, say, each address comprises more than one line, and the printing setup can be otherwise arranged as discussed hereafter, several columns of addresses may be printed side by side with one line of each column of the addresses being printed before the next line of any column of the addresses is printed. Thus, much more economic utilization of the printing capabilities of modern printing stations of computers and other data storage devices can be realized. Of course, using such output, it is possible to print very many addresses in any given area of web material in other words, a much higher density of printed addresses per square foot, for example. Againt, this is especially true using modern printing apparatus in computers or other data storage devices, where high linear speeds of paper through the printing station are possible, and high printing speeds are normal.
However, material costs may become an important factor in the economics of utilizing a data storage printout for the preparation of a plurality of pre-addressed mailing envelopes. For example, if it is desired to print a plurality of addresses on material which is later to be used as labels to be placed on the outside of envelopes such as taught in'Alves Canadian Pat. No. 617,694 issued Apr. 4, 1961 -such material on which the addresses are printed is often pre-gummed; and when it is pre-gummed, the addressed material must have a backing material with it. Costs of such laminated, pregummed material are high when compared to the cost of standard computer print-out paper. Such paper is usually fan-foled in zig-zag fashion, and is available in several sheet sizes. A plurality of indexing holes or apertures are formed at predetermined spacings along each side of the computer print-out paper or other suitable material, as discussed hereafter.
Buescher, U.S. Pat. No. 3,442,185, dated May 6, 1969, shows a method for producing mailable materials where an attempt is made to take advantage of the print-Out station of a computer. In that patent, however, an envelope blank is printed, and carbon copies of printed addresses are printed at the same time, and thereafter envelope blanks are cut from the material. A number of wasteful and time consuming factors arise, however, including decollation, bursting, stacking and die cutting all of which is time consuming and requires special equipment as well as material wastage from carbon paper, more marginal wastage per envelope blank than would normally be required; and most importantly of all, long skip times at the computer print-out station- At present, the most usual way that a mailing envelope is prepared to be sent to any particular person on a particular mailing list, when the address of the intended recipient has been printed or reproduced using machine methods, is for an address bearing card including embossed credit cards, computer cards etc. to be inserted into the envelope together with whatever other material is to be mailed, so that the address is visible through a window formed in the front face of the envelope. Most often, the card is such as a computer card, and is the full size of the envelope in which it is inserted so that it is unlikely to shift position within the envelope, thereby ensuring that the address of the intended recipient is visible at all times. Alternatively, the card may be placed into a pocket formed within the envelope, or otherwise secured against shifting its position, thereby assuring that the address of the intended recipient is always visible through the window of the envelope. Of course, window envelopes are used for many other purposes such as forwarding monthly state- Very often, when a car is inserted into an envelope or a pocket within an envelope to indicate the address of the-intended recipient of that envelope when mailed, there has been no covering for the window opening in the envelope. In other words, the prepared envelope has been such that an edge or corner of another envelope might easily catch against the edges of a window of an envelope and possibly tear the face of the envelope; and also the possibility has existed that the material within the envelope might fall out, or more particularly that other material might enter the envelope and become lodged therein. In some window envelopes, a patch of glassine or cellophane, or other suitable material, is applied to the inside surface of the front face thereof so as to cover the window opening from the inside. Occasionally, the material of the patch may be secured along only two of its edges, and not around the entire perimeter of the window opening. However, more severe postal regulations will include the requirement that any envelope having a window or other opening formed therein must have a patch of material securely fastened to the inside surface of the face of the envelope in which such opening is cut, and adhesively secured thereto around the entire periphery of the opening. This is particularly important because of the use of high speed letter handling apparatus which may be employed in cancelling and sorting operations by the Post Office.
Considering the increased use of large-scale mailings of identical material to very many intended recipients, all of whose names. are found in the memory of data storage device; as well as the relative economics of handling an envelope as few times as possible as it is being made, and the desirability of delivering into the postal system a pre-addressed envelope from the manufacturer thereof; the present invention provides a method whereby these desideratamay be met and the shortcomings of prior art methods of manufacture of preaddressed mailing envelopes overcome.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides, as its principle object, a method of making pre-addressed mailing envelopes whereby the addressed of the intended recipient of the envelope is positioned'thereon so as to be visible when the mailing envelope is in its designated use.
A further object of thisinvention is to provide a method of making pre-addressed mailing envelopes whereby high speed technology such as print-outs from computers or other data storage devices in which are stored a multiplicity of addresses to whom the mailing envelopes are to be pre-addressed, is utilized.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects and features of the invention are more clearly discussed hereafter, in association with the accompanying drawings, in'which:
FIG. 1 is a representation of a stack of web material on which address may be printed as they are read out from memory in a data storage device;
FIG. 2 is a representation of a stack of web material having a single column of addresses printed thereon;
FIG. 3 is a representation of pre-addressed web material showing one portion thereof separated from the remaining material;
FIGS. 4, 5 6 and 7 represent an envelope blank during various stages of its production;
FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic representation of apparatus used in the preparation of pre-addressed mailing envelopes according to this invention;
FIG. 9 is a view of a typical pre-addressed mailing envelope according to this invention; and
FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic representation of the web material handling apparatus used in accordance with this invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS It should be noted that this invention provides a method of making pre-addressed mailing envelopes where the address is positioned so as to be visible when the mailing envelope is in its designated use. In other words, the address is positioned on the mailing envelope so that when it is in the mail the address may be read by sorters, handlers, carriers sorting machines, etc. The invention contemplates, in its broadest sense, the application of a slip or portion of suitable web material such as computer paper on which the address intended to be associated with any one pre-addressed mailing envelope has previously been printed at the printer output stage of a data storage device. Such data storage device is one having a memory in which a plurality of such addresses are stored, and from which the addresses are read out for printing at the printer output stage on the web material. The portion of slip or web material on which the address is printed might, perhaps, be applied to the outside of an envelope; but this invention is most particularly related to the use of a portion of web material having an address pre-printed thereon as a window patch which is applied to the inside surface of a face of an envelope so as to cover a window opening therein.
This invention particularly contemplates the use of pre-addressed patches which are secured to the inside surface of an envelope rather than labels which are secured to the outside surface of an envelope; especially because all of the work which is done to theenvelope blank which will ultimately form the pre-addressed mailing envelope is done from the one side thereof. Therefore, the use of modified but otherwise conventional envelope making machinery for the preparation of pre-addressed mailing envelopes becomes possible using this invention; and the high-speed production of such pre-addressed mailing envelopes can therefore be realized.
The method according to this invention, when stated in its broadest sense but so as to relate to the printer output stage of a data storage device having a memory, comprises the following steps:
a. Reading out and printing a plurality of discrete addresses from the memory at its printer output stage, each discrete address being printed on web material at a different place than any other such discrete address. It is a feature of this invention that there are two rows of pinwheel engaging holes in the web material for each column of addresses printed thereon, one row of pinwheel engaging holes being at each side of a column of addresses. This is particularly important where there may be more than one column of addresses printed across the width of a web material, as discussed in greater detail hereafter. b. Feeding web material having a single column of addresses thereon to web cutting. means and to conveying means associated therewith. Where the web material was originally printed with more than one column of addresses thereon, it would previously have been cut lengthwise so as to provide a web having a single column of addresses with a row of pinwheel engaging holes on each side of that column. The feeding of the web material is done by means of pinwheels which co-operate with the pinwheel engaging holes; and the conveying means is adapted to convey a cut portion or slip of the web material away from the web cutting means at a linear speed higher than the speed at which the web material is being fed. The conveying means associated with the web cutting means is adapted to controllably and securely grip each cut portion or slip of web material from the moment when it is cut; and the cutting means is sufficiently close to the conveying means so that the leading edge of the web material as it is being fed by the pinwheels is in contact with the conveying means before the cutting means cuts the web material to form the slip which is to be conveyed away therefrom.
c. After the web material is fed to the cutting means,
it is cut; and the cut portion of the web material has a discrete address printed thereon. The cut portion or slip having a discrete address is thereafter conveyed away from the cutting means by the conveying means, towards a predetermined position.
d. An evelope blank is fed to the predetermined position at the same linear speed that the slip or cut portion of web material having the discrete address printed thereon is being conveyed towards the same predetermined position, where it is applied to a specific area of the envelope blank when it and the cut portion are each moving past the predetermined position at the same linear speed; so that the discrete address is applied to the envelope blank at the specific area so as to be visible when an evelope is formed from the envelope blank and is in its designated use. It should be noted that the axis of the direction of feeding of the web material and the axis of the direction of feeding of the envelope blanks are parallel if not substantially coextensive.
e. The envelope is then formed from the envelope blank, an is a pre-addressed mailing envelope.
FIG. 1 shows a stack 11 of fan-folded sheets 12 of web material, such as computer print-out paper; and on each sheet 12 there may be printed a plurality of printed columns of addresses such as those indicated generally at 14, 16, 18 and 20. The first line of each of a set of addresses inthe columns 14, 16 18 and 20 is shown at 21a, 21b, 21c, and 21d respectively. Each such first line in a set of addresse is printed in each of the columns before the second or next succeeding line is printed in any of the columns. A row of apertures or holes 22 is formed down each side of the sheet 12, and in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, there are also three double rows of apertures 24. The web material from which the sheet 12 is formed is most commonly paper, usually of a light to medium weight, and may be of the sort which is normally used to computer or data storage print-out. The edge holes 22 are used for spacing and indexing the sheet of material 12 through the printer output station of a data storage device, and are formed and spaced using conven tional standards as set by the computer industry. (In a typical case, a sheet of paper 12 is 18 wide by long, and the edge holes 22 are formed onefourth from each side and one-half apart. The sheets 12 are usually formed in a continuous, fanfolded fashion, and are usually supplied in multiples of 1,000 sheets per packet or bundle.) In the embodiment of the sheet 12 which is shown in FIG. 1, the intermediate double rows of apertures 24 are formed so that after a plurality of sheets 12 are printed in the printer output stage of a data storage device, they may be separated into four separate bundles or packs of fan-folded web material each having a row of apertures 22 and 24 along each edge, at predetermined spacings. The four separate strips of web material which may be formed for a pre-printed pack of sheets 12 are indicated generally at 26, 28, 29 and 30 in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 1, each strip 26, 28, 29 or 30 would have only one column of addresses i.e., one address across its width such as indicated in FIG. 3 by a typical strip of web material 27 shown therein. It will be noted, therefore, that each column of addresses printed on the web material 12 has two rows of apertures 22 or 24 associated with 11, one row of apertures being at each side of each column of addresses. Therefore, each separated strip of web material, such as strip 27, has a single column of addresses and two rows of apertures, one on each side thereof.
In FIG. 2, there is shown a stack 46, (47) of web material having a single column of addresses printed thereon, and comprising a member of fan-folded sheets, such as sheet 13. The stack 46, (47) can be a single strip of fan-folded web material or one of the bundles 26, 28, 29 or 30 separated from the stack 11 shown in FIG. 1.
FIGS. 4 through 7 illustrate various stages in the preparation of an envelope blank which is ultimately to be formed intoa pre-addressed mailing envelope according to this invention. FIG. 3, as mentioned, illustrates a strip of web material having discrete addresses printed thereon. These FIGURES are discussed hereafter, in conjunction with a discussion of FIG. 8, which is a diagrammatic illustration of the apparatus on which the pre-addressed mailing envelopes according to this invention may be prepared.
An envelope blank is shown generally in each of FIGS. 4 to 7 at 32, and enters the machine shown generally at 34 in FIG. 8 from a previous station, at a position 36. The direction of movement of the envelope blank 32 through machine 34 is shown in arrowheads 35. At a station in machine 34 which is indicated generally at 38, an opening 40 is cut in the envelope blank 32 in a position so as to be in one of the faces of the envelope when the envelope is formed at a later time. Subsequently, at a further station 42, gum or adhesive 44 is applied to the upper face of the envelope blank around the periphery of the opening 40. The other gums and adhesives which may be required in the preparation of the envelope are applied elsewhere, in conventional manner.
A stack of fan-folded, strip, web material 27 is indicated generally at 46 in FIG. 8. Suitable means are provided to feed the strip of web material 27 into the envelope making machine 34, including tension and pinch rollers 48 and 50, and pinwheels or edge drive rollers 52. The pinwheels 52 are arranged so that one is at each side of the strip of the web material 27, and engages with the apertures or pinwheel engaging holes 22 and 24 therein. The strip of web material 27 is fed by the pinwheels 52 to a cutting station 54 and a transfer roller 58 which is associated therewith. The transfer roller 58 provides a conveying means to convey separated slips of the strip of web material 27 away from the cutting station 54. Such individual cut slips of web material having a single discrete address printed thereon may be as shown at 56 in FIG. 3, having address thereon. By driving the strip of web material 27 from each side thereof by pinwheels 52, there is no chance that the strip of web material may skew or go off axis or be at an angle thereto.
The transfer roller 58 has a higher peripheral speed than the speed of feeding of the strip of web material 27 past the pinwheels 52 and the cutting station 54; and the transfer roller 58 is placed sufficiently close to the cutting station 54 so that the leading edge of the strip of the web material 27 contacts the transfer roller 58 before the cutter at cutting station 54 separates the slip 56 from the strip of web material 57. The transfer roller 58 is adapted to controllably and securely grip the slip 56 from the moment when it is cut from the strip of web material 27.
In general, the control of the address slip 56 when it is cut is achieved by having the interior of the transfer roller 58 at a vacuum pressure with respect to the ambient in which the machine is operating. Thus, because the peripheral speed of the transfer roller 58 is higher than the driving speed of the web 27, there is a drag on the leading edge of the web 27 before the slip 56 is cut therefrom, and tension is applied to the web at its leading edge; and at the very moment that the cutter operates to separate the slip 56 from the leading edge of the strip 27, the slip 56 is conveyed away from the cutting station 54 at a higher speed than the feeding speed of the strip 27.
Obviously, the timing of the operation of the cutter at cutting station 54 can be adjusted so that when the slip 56 is cut and, as noted above, it is immediately picked up on the transfer roller 58 which has already been dragging beneath its leading edge the slip 56 is conveyed by the transfer roller 58 and delivered to an application or pressure roller 61 at the same time that envelope blank 32 is delivered to the application roller 61 with the proper machine timing so that the slip 56 is applied to the envelope blank 32 so as to form a patch 59 over the window opening 40. The address 60 which is printed on the cut portion of web material or slip 56 is visible through the window opening 40, when the envelope is formed, as indicated in FIG. 9.
As noted above, after the address slip 56 has been applied to the envelope blank 32, the envelope blank is conveyed away from the envelop making machine 34 and is formed into an envelope so that the address printed on the address slip 56 will be visible when the envelope is used for its intended purpose.
It should be noted that the axis of the direction of feeding of the strip of web material 27 is substantially parallel if no co-extensive with the axis of feeding of the envelope blanks 32. That is, the strip of web material 37 is fed by the pinwheels 52 in the same direction or the exactly opposite direction as the direction of feed of the envelope blanks 32, so that each address slip 56 may be applied to its respective envelope blank 32 without in any way being skewed to .lhe envelope or a window opening 40 cut therein. (This is not to say,
however, that the address slip 56 would always be placed exactly in the middle of the envelope; but simply to state that wherever the address slip is placed on the envelope, it is always placed in the same position on similar envelopes during the same manufacturing operation, without skewing with respect to the envelope or a window opening therein.) The peripheral speed of the transfer roller 58 may be as much as six or seven times (or more) the speed of feeding of the stripof web material 27 over the pinwheels 52. In any event, the peripheral speed of the transfer roller 58 must be higher than the web feeding speed over the pinwheels 52 so as to ensure that each slip 56 is conveyed away from the cutting station 54 before the next slip 56 is cut thereby assuring that there is drag on the leading edge of the web 27 before a slip 56 is cut.
It has been mentioned that one of the main purposes of the present invention is to utilize the high-speed printer output of modern data storage devices. As noted, a usual embodiment of computer print-out paper is such as the web material sheet 12 indicated in FIG. 1, and it is noted that when each sheet 12 of web material has the dimensions discussed above (18 X 20 addresses per sheet may be printed. Since there are usually 1,000 sheets in each bundle or pack 11, 20,000 addresses may very quickly be printed at the printer output stage of a modern data storage device per pack of web material. Using suitably modified envelope making and patch applying equipment, upwards of two hundred envelopes per minute may be prepared, and when each of those envelopes is a pre-addressed mailing envelope having a patch applied thereto in accordance with this invention, upwards of twelve thousand pre-addressed mailing envelopes per hour may be prepared. It will also be clearly appreciated that such preaddressed mailing envelopes may then be forwarded to envelope stuffing stations or machines and indeed, postage applicator stations or machines within the plant of the envelope manufacturer. Thus, an extensive mailing of material by any business or organization may be arranged by the envelope manufacturer simply by taking delivery of all of the material to be mailed, and manufacturing pre-addressed mailing envelopes in accordance with this invention, stuffing the same and mailing them after postage has been applied thereto. IT is only necessary, therefore, for the business or organization which contracts for the pre-addressed mailing envelopes to be manufactured to provide a single readout on suitable web material of all of the addresses stored in the memory of the data storage device which is utilized by that business or organization.
Because the computer ordata storage device is utilized at its full speed in the preparation of the printed address slips, significant savings in computer or printer output time may be realized. Still further, when it is realize that in the usual manner whereby printed output stages of data storage devices are used for printing directly onto an envelope where a plurality of envelopes is carried on a backing material which essentially duplicates the pack of web material sheets 12 indicated in FIG. 1, fewer than 1,000 addresses may be printed from the data storage output onto the envelopes, as opposed to 20,000 addresses for the same amount of web material which is utilized directly as patches for the pre-addressed mailing envelopes according to this invention, and which is no t discarded as before. Also, the down time of the printer output stage of the data storage device when packs or bundles of web carrier material are changed, is significantly reduced or completely eliminated. Thus, pre-addressed mailing envelopes may be manufactured in accordance with this invention at substantially the same rate as the addresses may be printed from high-speed read-outs of data storage devices at the printer output stages thereof.
In a preferred embodiment of the inEEHEhQa iJaEeC ond stack 47 of fan-folded, strip, web material 27 is arranged close to the first stack 46. The trailing edge of the last sheet of stack 46 is spliced to the leading edge of the first sheet of stack 47 so that continuous operation of the machine 34 may be assured. The stacks 46 and 47 may conveniently be mounted on a turret which brings stack 47 into the position of stack 46 when the latter stack is exhausted, and a fresh stack can be placed in position and spliced, as noted above.
As noted, during the operation when the pre-printed web material is taken from the data storage printer output stage and finally a portion thereof is applied to an envelope blank so as to form a patch over a window or other opening cut into the envelope blank, all of the work in the preparation of the pre-addressed mailing envelope is done on the same (inside) surface of the front face of the envelope to be formed.
It is also evident that a patch 59 may be made from a strip of web material 27 and placed on an envelope blank 32 as discussed above, but over more than one opening previously formed in the envelope blank. This may be desirable for the display through a separate opening of a code member, advertising message, or the like. Further, more than one patch might be secured to an envelope blank, but over different openings.
FIG. 10 shows the flow of web material 12 through a printer output stage 62 of a data storage device 64 having a memory 66, and thence ultimately to the transfer roller 58 of machine 34.
It has been noted above that the use of rolled lists of addresses is, in general, time consuming and uneconomical because if any entry must be changed on the roll, the roll must be unrolled to that entry and the correction made. Theuse of fan-folded stacks of strip web material, as discussed above, permits easy correction because immediate access to any entry written on the strip of web material can be easily achieved. Further,
the trailing edge of one fan-fold stack can be spliced to the leading edge of another stack so as to completely preclude down-time of an envelope making machine, and to substantially eliminate machine slow-downs.
The die cutting, glueing, patch application and envelope forming functions discussed above are such that they may be carried out on conventional apparatus. However, suitable modifications or alterations to patch applying equipment must be made to carry out the method of this invention insofar as the feeding of the web material is concerned, so as to preclude the possibilities of skewing of any address slip which is to be used as a patch from the time that it is cut until it is applied to the envelope blank. Also, the web-material is always cut to the required length (or width) 'of the patch, with no accumulative area occuring as to the cutting line across the web.
Having regard to the prior art methods discussed above, the present invention provides economies of time and savings of material in the production of preaddressed mailing envelopes. By using the printer output stage of a data storage device, a high density of addresses per unit area of web material fed through the printer output stage may be printed; and as a result, the limited amount of skip time and the high speed printout provide realt'ime savings and therefore economies of computer operation. At the same time, economies of operation of an envelope making and patching machine are realized by reducing or eliminating down-time to change the web material from which the patches will be cut; and other economies are realized by the use of less material per envelope. Still another saving that is realized by the use of fan-folded web material is thatwhen the stacks are spliced so as to maintain full operating speed of the machine, there is no chance of losing a few envelopes and/or addresses during machine startup procedures which might otherwise be required.
The ability to apply a patch to an envelope in an unskewed manner is important, from the point of view of the envelope manufacturer and the customer, from the point of view of the recipient of an envelope having the patch applied thereto, and from the point of view of the postal authorities. An address patch on an envelope which is straight and unobscured can be easily read, has a pleasing appearance, and is less likely to go unconsidered by the recipient as being just another piece of bulk mail. Postal authorities may introduce regulations requiring that such patches be carefully placed on envelopes for purposes of mechanical sorting in optical character recognition (OCR) machines.
The above discussion has been particularly related to a method of preparation of pre-addressed mailing envelopes according to this invention, including discussion of high-speed printer output from data storage devices having memory in which the addresses to be used are stored. It has been noted that this invention provides a method of making a pre-addressed mailing envelope whereby the address is positioned in an unskewed manner on the envelope so as to be visible when the mailing envelope is in its designated use; and in the normal case, the address is positioned on the pre-addressed mailing envelope, in an envelope making machine having modifications thereto, as a patch on the inside surface of the face of the envelope over an opening which has previously been cut therein. Other modifications and embodiments that those illustrated can discussed are possible, within the scope of the appended claims.
What I claim is:
l. A method of making-a pre-addressed mailing envelope, having an address positioned so as to be visible when the mailing envelope is in its designated use; and where the address positioned on said envelope has been printed on suitable web material at a printer output stage of a data storage device having a memory in which said address isstored and from which said address is read out-for printing on said web material at said printer output stage; comprising the steps of:
a. reading out and printing a plurality of discrete addresses from said memory at said printer output stage, where each discrete address is printed on said web material at a different place than any other such discrete address; and where there are two rows of pinwheel engaging holes in said web material for each column of addresses printed thereon, one row of said holes being at each side of said column of addresses;
b. feeding web material having a single column of addresses thereon to web cutting means and to conveying means associated therewith, where said feeding is done by means of pinwheels co-operating with said pinwheel engaging holes, and said conveying means is adapted to convey a cut portion of said web material away from said web cutting means at a linear speed higher than the speed at which said web material is being fed; where said conveying means is adapted to controllably and securely grip a cut portion of said web material from the moment when said web material is cut; and where said cutting means is sufficiently close to said conveying means so that the leading edge of said web materialis in contact with said conveying means before said cutting means cuts said web material to form a cut portion thereof;
c. cutting saidweb material to form a cut portion having a discrete address printed thereon, and conveying said cut portion away from said cutting means by said conveying means, towards a predetermined position;
d. feeding an envelope blank to said predetermined position at the same linear speed as said out portion is conveyed towards said predetermined position, applying said cut portion of said web material having said discrete address printed thereon to a specific area on said envelope blank when said specific area and said cut portion are both moving past said predetermined position at the same linear speed, so that said discrete address will be applied to said envelope blank at said specific area so as to be visible when an envelope is formed from said envelope blank and is in its designated use; the axis of the direction of feeding of said web material and the axis of the direction of feeding of said envelope blanks being parallel.
e. and forming an envelope from said envelope blank having applied thereto said cut portion of said web material with said discrete address printed thereon.
2. The method of claim 1 where a plurality of columns of discrete addresses are printed on said web material.
3. The method of claim 2 where said web material is cut into a plurality of strips, each having one column of discrete addresses printed thereon.
4. The method of claim 2 where all of the columns are printed line-by-line, and no line is printed until the preceeding line is completed.
5. The method of claim I where, in step ((1), said envelope blank is formed with a pre-cut opening, and said portion of said web material is secured to said envelope blank over said opening so that said discrete address is visible through said opening.
6. The method of claim 5 where said pre-cut opening is a window opening cut in a position so as to be in a face of said envelope when it is formed from said envelope blank.
7. The method of claim 6 where adhesive is placed on said envelope blank around the entire periphery of said precut opening before said cut portion of said web material is applied thereto.
8. The method of claim 1 where said conveying means is a vacuum roller having a continuous vacuum therein with respect to said leading edge of said web material so that drag is created at the lead edge of said web material when it is in contact with said vacuum roller and before said web material is cut to form said cut portion thereof.