US 3894909 A
A transfer wheel with a radially extended land portion for transferring address-bearing labels onto articles being labeled. The transfer wheel land includes a pair of slot-like vacuum supply channels extending end to end along the spine of the land in the plane of transfer wheel rotation. An individual vacuum supply port is provided for each channel adjacent the leading end thereof with the first or leading supply channel being substantially shorter than the second or trailing channel. Plural closely spaced cross-grooves are provided in the land periphery along each of the supply channels to form, in cooperation with their respective supply channels, a pair of individual holddown grids. By virtue of the relatively shorter length of the first vacuum supply channel, the vacuum force at the first grid is greater to facilitate initial attraction and attachment of the label to the land. The trailing second grid serves to sustain progressive and tight fastening the label to the land without buckling. To prevent, particularly in applications where heat activated adhesives are used, foreign material and adhesive particles from entering the vacuum supply ports and blocking or restricting the admission of vacuum to the holddown grids, a filter is provided in each port adjacent the inlet thereto.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Rod LABEL TRANSFER WHEEL Trygve R. Rod, Mundelein, Ill.
[731 Assignees Xerox Corporation, Stamford,
 Filed: Jan. 5, 1971  Appl. No.: 103,969
 US. Cl 156/568; 156/571  Int. Cl. B65c 9/08  Field of Search 156/539, 556, 564, 566,
156/567, 568, 571, DIG. 28, DlG. 30, DIG. 31, DIG. 33, DIG. 39, DIG. 40, DlG. 51,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,492,908 12/1949 Von Hoffe l56/DIG. 31 2,722,332 11/1955 Carter 156/571 X 3,005,565 10/1961 Doane et a1. 156/571 3,026,238 3/1962 Dotzenroth.... l56/D1G. 31 3,159,521 12/1964 Pechmann 156/568 X 3,222,059 12/1965 Southcott 156/571 X 3,464,871 9/1969 Smith 156/571 X 3,532,854 10/1970 Sheriff 156/571 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 785,908 11/1957 United Kingdom l56/DIG. 31
[4 1 July 15, 1975 Primary Examiner-Daniel .1. Fritsch ,1 5 7} ABSTRACT A transfer wheel with a radially extended land portion for transferring address-bearing labels onto articles being labeled. The transfer wheel land includes a pair of slot-like vacuum supply channels extending end to end along the spine of the land in the plane of transfer wheel rotation. An individual vacuum supply port is provided for each channel adjacent the leading end thereof with the first or leading supply channel being substantially shorter than the second or trailing channel. Plural closely spaced cross-grooves are provided in the land periphery along each of the supply channels to form, in cooperation with their respective supply channels, a pair of individual holddown grids. By virtue of the relatively shorter length of the first vacuum supply channel, the vacuum force at the first grid is greater to facilitate initial attraction and attachment of the label to the land. The trailing second grid serves to sustain progressive and tight fastening the label to the land without buckling. To prevent, particularly in applications where heat activated adhesives are used, foreign material and adhesive particles from entering the vacuum supply ports and blocking or restricting the admission of vacuum to the holddown grids, a filter is provided in each port adjacent the inlet thereto.
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TRYGVE R. ROD
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LABEL TRANSFER WHEEL This invention relates to a label transfer wheel for addressing machines and more particularly, to a vacuum holddown type transfer wheel having an improved vacuum supply means.
In the automatic labeling of articles such as enve lopes or the like. various methods and machines are known for transferring the address bearing labels to the articles. A typical method involves feeding the unaddressed articles beneath a rotating heated label transfer wheel. A surface portion of the transfer wheel is oriented to receive and temporarily hold, by means of vac uum, the previously addressed labels coated with a heat activated adhesive on the label underside. As the transfer wheel rotates, heat from the wheel activates the adhesive so that the label when brought into contact with the article to be addressed by the transfer wheel adheres to the article.
It is important in this type of application that the heat be supplied to the label evenly and in sufficient quantity during the relatively short interval while the label is on the transfer wheel. For as can be understood, uneven or incomplete heating of the label may result in failure of the label to transfer to the article or only partial affixing of the label to the article. In this latter case, the label or portions thereof may be torn off during subsequent handling and mailing of the article.
In using vacuum to attach labels to the transfer wheel for transfer thereof to the articles being labeled. the vacuum tends to draw into the various ports and passages dirt, dust, and other foreign material, some of which comes from the labels themselves. Where the labels are of the heat activated adhesive type, some of the foreign material and dust may include bits of adhesive which on contact with the heated wheel, becomes tackified or liquid and combines with other dirt and dust to restrict or clog the vacuum supply passages.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a new and improved transfer wheel for article addressing machines.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a label transfer wheel incorporating an improved vacuum holddown means for attaching labels to the transfer wheel.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved vacuum holddown system for label transfer wheels adapted to provide more effective contact between the label and the transfer wheel surface.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved vacuum holddown configuration for temporarily attaching labels to a label transfer wheel having a pair of individual grid-like formations, each with a central vacuum distributing channel with closely spaced communicating cross grooves.
This invention relates to a label transfer wheel comprising a disc-like member adapted for rotation, the member having at least one radially projecting land portion for temporarily supporting individual ones of the labels thereon while the member turns and the land moves from a label receiving position to a label discharge position, the transfer wheel land having at least one vacuum supply channel in the surface thereof extending along the spine of the transfer wheel, and a series of relatively narrow closely spaced cross grooves substantially at right angles to the supply channel and in open communication therewith for progressively drawing the labels into vacuum attachment with the surface of the land without buckling thereof.
Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the ensuing description and drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view of an exemplary article addressing machine incorporating the improved label transfer wheel of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the label transfer wheel of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical section view of the label transfer wheel shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged elevational view of the label transfer wheel shown in FIG. I showing the inside surface thereof; and
FIG. 5 is a horizontal sectional view of the label transfer wheel taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 1.
Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is shown an exemplary automatic addressing machine 5 incorporating the improved label transfer wheel 10 of the present invention. Addressing machine 5 includes a housing or cover 9, parts of which have been broken away in FIG. 1 to show the construction of certain operating components therewithin. Addressing machine 5 has an article supply magazine 12 within which articles to be labeled are stacked, the walls 13 thereof being adjustable to accommodate articles of varying sizes. Article conveyor 14 is employed to move articles discharged in seriatim from magazine I2, under gate 15 and pinch roller 16, past label transfer wheel 10 where the labels or the address information therefrom is transferred to the articles. The article conveyor 14 comprises one or more endless belts 17, supported by drive and idler rollers l8, 19 respectively. Roller 18 is driven by suitable motor means (not shown) in the direction shown by the solid line arrow in FIG. 1.
Labels are supplied to head 22 of addressing machine 5 from a suitable source, normally in the form of an uncut sheet (not shown) having multiple label rows. Labeling head 22 includes suitable means (not shown) to advance the label sheet forward as required to a guillotine type knife 23 which serves to cut the label supply sheet transversely into strips of several labels each. The strips rest in a downwardly inclined chute-like member 24 and are advanced therealong in the direction of transfer wheel 10 by intermittently driven pinch roll pair 25 to knife and anvil pair 26.
Knife and anvil pair 26 cooperate to cut the strip into individual labels which are discharged therefrom onto land 30 of transfer wheel 10 as land 30 comes opposite the knife and anvil pair 26 during rotation of wheel 10. From there, wheel 10, which rotates in the direction shown by the solid line arrow of FIG. 1, carries the label into physical contact with the articles being labeled as the articles move therebelow on conveyor 14. It is understood that the several label supply components of labeling head 22 aforedescribed are operated in timed relationship with one another and with transfer wheel 10 and article transport 14 to assure the requisite supply of labels to transfer wheel 10 as required.
To assure the requisite pressure contact between the labels on land 30 of transfer wheel 10 with the articles on transport 14, there is provided opposite transfer wheel 10, a support roller 28 for transport belt 17. Roller 28 is rotated in the direction shown by the solid line arrow in FIG. 1 from the addressing machine motor (not shown).
Referring now to FIGS. l5 of the drawings, transfer wheel includes two major sections, land 30 and base 32. One face 33 of base 32 cooperates with vacuum distributor 72 to provide vacuum to land 30 while the opposite face 35 cooperates with brushes 70 to provide current to heating elements 66. Base 32 includes an aperture 36 therethrough for positioning wheel 10 on support shaft 37 of labeling head 22. Set screw 38 is provided for releasably locking base 32 onto shaft 37.
Vacuum passages 40 are provided in base 32, inlet openings 41 therefore in face 33 of base 32 being arranged to communicate with vacuum distributor 72 for a predetermined interval as base 32 rotates. Passages 40 open at 42 into the substantially planar support surface for manifold plate 55. The opposite face 35 of base 32 has an arcuate recess 44 therewithin for retaining the electrical wiring 67 leading from commutator rings 69 to heating elements 66 in land 30. lt is understood that wiring 67 may include a suitable thermostat control and fuse type protector (not shown). Recess 44 is best seen in FIG. 3.
Land 30 comprises a circular segment formed from a suitable thermally conductive rigid material such as aluminum, the curved exterior surface 45 thereof serving as a support for the labels. The radius of curvature of surface 45 is chosen to provide the requisite circumferential length for the size labels being handled while providing the necessary transfer wheel dimension to enable wheel 10 to carry the labels from the discharge of knife and anvil pair 26 into transfer contact with the articles being labeled on transport 14.
The exterior surface 45 of land 30 has a pair of vacuum supply channels 46, 48 extending end to end along the center or spine thereof. The leading or first channel 46 is relatively short and extends from a point spaced slightly downstream of the forward end 47 of land 30 backward toward the relatively long trailing or second vacuum supply channel 48. Supply channel 48 extends to a point adjacent the terminal end 47' of land 30. It is understood however that the effective length of channels 46, 48 particularly the trailing channel 48, is sufficient to accommodate the length of label handled.
A vacuum supply port 51 communicates with each of the channels 46, 48 proximate the leading or forward ends thereof. Ports 51 in turn lead to vacuum chambers 52 in distributor 55 which in turn communicate with vacuum passages 40 in base 32 as will appear.
A series of closely spaced vacuum holddown grooves or recesses 54 are provided in the surface 45 ofland 30, holddown grooves 54 extending at substantially right angles to and across vacuum supply channels 46, 48 to form in cooperation with channels 46, 48 a pair of fishbone configured grids 65, 65'. The number and spacing between holddown grooves 54 are chosen to provide effective attachment, in a progressive fashion, of the labels onto the surface 45 of land 30 without buckling, misalignment or free spots, a spacing of approximately 2 between adjoining holddown recesses measured from the axis of shaft 37 being found satisfactory for most applications. The width of holddown grooves 54 is preferably coextensive with the width of the widest label for which transfer wheel 10 is designed to accommodate, the slight amount of vacuum leakage resulting from the handling of smaller. i.e., thinner labels being tolerable. The relatively smaller size of the leading holddown grid 65 enhances the vacuum attracting and holddown force of that grid to facilitate first attraction and holddown of the labels thereon, it being understood that the vacuum supply passages 51 thereto and to the second grid 65' are substantially equal in size.
Land 30 is provided with a series of spaced apertures 53 parallel to the axis of rotation of the heat transfer wheel 10. Apertures 53 serve to receive heating rods 66.
Where labels precoated or treated with a heat sensitive adhesive are handled, it appears that foreign matter such as dust, dirt, fibers, and the like together with or hearing adhesive are drawn into the vacuum supply ports 51. There the heat from heating rods 66 melts or tackifies the adhesive with the result that the adhesive combines with any dust, dirt, etc. drawn therein to clog or restrict the vacuum ports with consequent reduction in or loss of vacuum.
To prevent foreign matter as aforedescribed from being drawn into vacuum supply ports 51, filter 78 is provided. To accommodate filter 78, an intercept bore 79 is provided in land 30 slightly below the point where vacuum supply ports 51 communicate with channels 46, 48. The inside end of bore 79 is closed at 80 and filter 78, which comprises a suitable heat resistant filtering material such as spun fiberglass is inserted therewithin astride the vacuum supply ports 51. The open end of bore 79 is tightly closed as by plug 81.
Filter 78 serves to separate out and trap any foreign matter and adhesive particles that may be drawn into supply ports 51 thereby preventing clogging or restriction of the ports 51 as well as passages 52 and vacuum passages 40 with foreign material. it is understood that filters 78 are replaced or renewed periodically as required.
Positioned intermediate base 32 and land 30 is a manifold plate 55 and various insulating elements. The manifold plate 55 is rigidly secured to land 30 as by screws 56 which extend through apertures 57 into mating apertures in land 30. Passages 52 through manifold plate 55 communicate vacuum passages 40 with vacuum ports 51 in land 30. Insulating rubber washers 59 are preferably provided at the juncture of passages 40 in base 32 with the passages 52 in manifold plate 55. For this construction, suitable recesses 61 are provided in the mounting surface of base 32.
Land 30 is rigidly secured to the base 32 to form an integral heat transfer wheel 10 as by screws 62. Suitable thermal insulators 63 are preferably provided between land 30 and base 32.
In the arrangement shown heat is supplied to the land 30 by rod-like heating elements 66 fitted in apertures 53 of land 30. Heating elements 66 are arranged so that the thermal energy generated therefrom radiates outwardly towards the surface of land 30 in a manner such that it is overlapped and supplemented by the thermal energy of the next adjacent heating rod element to provide even heating of surface 45 of land 30.
Power is supplied to the heating elements 66 through electrical leads 67 held within the recess 44 of base 32. Recess 44 with leads 67 therein is covered by an annularly shaped plate 68 fabricated from a material which is both thermally and electrically insulating such as fiberboard. Commutator rings 69 on plate 68 cooperate with power supply brushes 70 to provide electrical energy to heating elements 66.
The heat transfer wheel 10 is mounted on shaft 37 of labeling head 22 for rotation therewith. Shaft 37 in turn is journaled in frame member 71 of labeling head 22.
Face 35 of wheel is normally inboard with commutator rings 69 thereof in contact with power supply brushes 70 on frame member 71.
Vacuum distributor 72 isjournaled on shaft 37 on the outboard side of label transfer wheel 10, the interior face 73 thereof being in sealing contact with face 33 of transfer wheel 10. Face 73 of distributor 72 has arcuate vacuum distributing recesses 74 therein, the radial distance of recesses 74 from shaft 37 being substantially equal to the radial distance of vacuum passage inlets 41 from shaft 37. Hose coupling 75 communicates vacuum distributing recess 74 in distributor 72 with a suitable source of vacuum.
It is understood that the position and arcuate extent of each vacuum distributing recess 74 is chosen to communicate land 30 with vacuum when land 30 comes adjacent the discharge point of knife and anvil pair 26, the vacuum being sustained until the label carried by land 30 is physically transferred to the article on transport 14 being labeled.
In operation, transfer wheel 10 turns in the direction shown by the solid line arrow in FIG. 1, the land 30 thereof coming adjacent the discharge side of knife and anvil pair 26 once during each revolution of wheel 10. As land 30 nears knife and anvil pair 26, the first vacuum supply channel 46 is opened to vacuum distributor 72, the vacuum to channel 46 and the grooves 54 associated therewith serving to draw the leading end of the label leaving knife and anvil pair 26 onto land 30. As the label attaches onto the surface of land 30, the label progressively covers over grooves 54 and channel 46 of grid 65 so that the principal vacuum attracting force progresses along land 30 just ahead of the label.
The continued rotation of land 30 opens the second supply channel 48 to vacuum and the aforedescribed progressive attachment of the label onto the surface 45 of land 30 is sustained until the full length of the label is tightly attached to land 30.
By this arrangement, labels are first attracted to land 30 and thereafter progressively and tightly affixed to the surface of land 30 so that the possibility of unsatisfactory label attachment with possible buckling or creasing of the label on the transfer wheel land 30 is avoided or at least greatly reduced. Additionally, the tight contact between the labels and the surface of the transfer wheel land 30 assures correct and uniform heating of the label adhesive before the labels come into contact with the articles being addressed. Filter 78 serves to screen out dust, dirt, adhesive and other foreign material and thereby prevent clogging or restricting of the vacuum supply ports and passages with consequent impairment in the attachment of the labels to the transfer wheel land 30 and resultant ineffective heating or adhesion of the labels to the articles being labeled.
While the invention has been described with reference to the structure disclosed, it is not confined to the details set forth; but is intended to cover such modifications or changes as may come within the scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A label transfer wheel comprising a disc-like member adapted for rotation,
said member having at least one radially projecting land portion for temporarily supporting individual ones of said labels thereon while said member turns and said land moves from a label receiving position to a label discharge position,
said transfer wheel land having at least one vacuum supply channel in the surface thereof extending along the spine of said transfer wheel; and
a series of closely spaced cross grooves substantially at right angles to said supply channel and in open communication therewith for progressively drawing said labels into vacuum attachment with the surface of said land without buckling thereof.
2. The transfer wheel according to claim 1 in which said land includes a pair of individual vacuum supply channels spaced end to end, each of said channels having plural ones of said cross grooves, the one supply channel adjacent the leading edge of said transfer wheel being substantially smaller than the other of said supply channels whereby to provide an enhanced vacuum force adapted to first attract and then attach the label to said land, said other supply channel serving in cooperation with said cross grooves to thereafter complete the attachment of said label onto said land.
3. The label transfer wheel according to claim 1 in which said cross grooves are spaced along said transfer wheel in substantially 2 increments measured from the axis of rotation of said disc-like member.
4. The label transfer wheel according to claim 2 including means adapted to supply vacuum in progressive fashion first to said one supply channel and thereafter to said other channel.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. I U.S. 3,894,909
DATED 1 July 15, 1.975
INVENTOR(S) I Trygve R Rod It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Delete the drawing on the title page.
Signed and Scaled this seventeenth D ay Of February 1976 [SEAL] Arrest:
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer (ummissioner oflarenrs and Trademarks