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Publication numberUS3883385 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date13 May 1975
Filing date19 Jun 1973
Priority date21 Jan 1970
Publication numberUS 3883385 A, US 3883385A, US-A-3883385, US3883385 A, US3883385A
InventorsKirk Harry V, Rudy Manfred
Original AssigneeKirk Rudy Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Labeling machine
US 3883385 A
Abstract
An improved labeling machine and method in which various articles such as magazines, brochures, catalogs, newspapers, or mailing pieces (hereinafter collectively referred to as "articles") are fed to a labeling head where individual labels with addresses or other information thereon are adhesively secured to the articles being fed through the machine. The labels may be, for example, computer printed forms from one to, usually six, addresses across. The addresses need not be spaced equally; for example, one address may be 2.6 inches long and another 2.8 inches long without affecting operations, and all may be accommodated in the same machine at the same time. The machine is capable of applying labels of various widths, for example, between 1/2 inch and 2 inches without requiring new or different parts for the machine, and it also provides adjustment for articles of different thicknesses without change of tension on the machine drive belts. Furthermore, the labeling head and the article feed may be operated, for example, on 11 or 22 inch spacing. If the articles are shorter than 11 inches, the machine may be operated so that for one revolution of the machine, two labels are applied; the articles travel at slower velocity and the total number of labeled articles is doubled. The leading edges of the fed articles are used to index the article feeding rate. The machine utilizes the leading edge of the label, rather than the trailing edge or some other portion, to index the label feeding mechanism, and the article feeding and label feeding are completely correlated. The linkage and feed mechanism is so arranged that as the individual label is fed to the gluing rollers it is slightly buckled lengthwise thereof, and the linkage gives a small jerk to take up whatever buckling is present to insure proper separation from succeeding labels and exact positioning of the leading edge of the label with respect to the article to which it is to be applied. Provisions are made automatically to stop operation of the entire machine if the thickness of the article being fed to the labeling station becomes excessive, e.g. two or more articles are fed simultaneously. The control circuit for the machine includes a so-called "electric eye" control for preventing release of a label from the labeling head if the feeder misfeeds and does not deliver articles to be labeled. The article feed storage magazine is easily and quickly adjustable for various sizes and thicknesses. A hand adjustment is provided for instant label positioning and register. The labeling head itself may be used on many automatic labeling machines already in use.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Kirk et al.

l l LABELING MACHINE {75] Inventors: Harry V. Kirk. Libertyville;

Manfred Rudy. Norridge. both of lll.

[73] Assignee: Kirk-Rudy. lnc.. Kennesaw. Ga.

[22] Filed: June 19. 1973 [21] Appl. No: 371,368

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 108.334. Jan. 21. i970.

abandoned.

[52] U.S. Cl. 156/352; 156/364; 156/521; l56/568; [56/572 [5!] Int. Cl. 832i) 31/12; 005g 15/00 [58] Field of Search 156/355. 354. 362, 363. l56/364. 521. 528. 566. 568. 569. 570. 60. 256. 352. 572

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2.606.681 8/1952 Ridenour l56/354 2.7l5.975 8/l955 Doane ct al. l56/S66 3.039.5l7 6/l962 Doane et al. l56/528 3.] l L084 ll/l963 Ridenour et all r l56/32l 3.34l.390 9/l967 Kirk l56/528 3.556.909 l/l97l Stegman l56/566 3.560.299 2/l97l Schneider.. 156/355 3.709.756 l/l973 Watson l56/364 3.713.948 l/l973 Klugcr 156/355 3.721.60l 3/l973 Pituch et al 156/363 Primary Examiner-Charles E. Van Horn Assistant Examincr- Basil J. Lewris Attorney. Agent. or FirmMolinare. Allegretti. Newitt & Witcoff [57] ABSTRACT May 13, 1975 be spaced equally; for example. one address may be 2.6 inches long and another 2.8 inches long without affecting operations. and all may be accommodated in the same machine at the same time. The machine is capable of applying labels of various widths. for example. between l/Z inch and 2 inches without requiring new or different parts for the machine. and it also pro vides adjustment for articles of different thicknesses without change of tension on the machine drive belts. Furthermore. the labeling head and the article feed may be operated. for example. on i l or 22 inch spacing. If the articles are shorter than I 1 inches. the machine may be operated so that for one revolution of the machine. two labels are applied; the articles travel at slower velocity and the total number of labeled articles is doubled. The leading edges of the fed articles are used to index the article feeding rate. The machine utilizes the leading edge of the label. rather than the trailing edge or some other portion. to index the label feeding mechanism. and the article feeding and label feeding are completely correlated. The linkage and feed mechanism is so arranged that as the individual label is fed to the gluing rollers it is slightly buckled lengthwise thereof. and the linkage gives a small jerk to take up whatever buckling is present to insure proper separation from succeeding labels and exact positioning of the leading edge of the label with respect to the article to which it is to be applied. Provisions are made automatically to stop operation of the entire machine if the thickness of the article being fed to the labeling station becomes excessive. e.g. two or more articles are fed simultaneously. The control circuit for the machine includes a so-called electric eye" control for preventing release of a label from the labeling head if the feeder misfeeds and does not deliver articles to be labeled. The article feed storage magazine is easily and quickly adjustable for various sizes and thicknesses. A hand adjustment is provided for instant label positioning and register. The labeling head itself may be used on many automatic labeling machines already in use.

The aforementioned Abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application which. of course, is measured by the claims. nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

8 Claims. 36 Drawing Figures PATENTEB W 1 31975 n lLl.

SHEET LABELING MACHINE This is a continuation of application Ser. No. l08,334, filed Jan. 21, 1970, now abondaned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a labeling machine and method for adhesively securing labels to articles, and more particularly to an improved labeling machine and method which provide fast and accurate labeling over the wide range of label and article sizes, without radically changing the machine or substituting parts, and also to the electrical control of the machine.

2. Description of the Prior Art Dome, et. a]. U.S. Pat. No. 2,715,975 relates to a label applying machine wherein the mailing pieces are fed in partial overlapping relationship to a label applying head. It includes a continuously rotating feed roller having perforation engaging pins for engaging the perforations of an internally perforated strip and advancing the same to a position wherein the strip is served and paste is applied thereto.

Ridenour U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,608,681 and 3,072,253 relate to machines for applying address labels wherein a strip of address labels is fed through the machine wherein the labels are cut, and adhesive applied thereto for gluing them to a mailing piece or other article.

Doane, et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,039,517 relates to a labeling machine wherein the addresses are printed on a sheet and are arranged in a plurality of columns and then servered into strips and into individual discrete addresses. Thereafter the individual discrete addresses are glued to a moving article or mailing piece.

The VanDam U.S. Pat. No. 2,850,195 relates to a label applying machine in which the feed of mailing pieces and labels is coordinated by a control mechanism which includes a photoelectric mailing piece sensing means and an electromechanical label feed control means.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention resides in a machine and method for rapidly and automatically applying gummed labels to articles such as mailing pieces, wherein labels of various lengths, as well as articles of various lengths and thicknesses may be used in the machine without major changes therein. The machine will permit the simultaneous feeding of labels of two or more lengths at the same time. The invention also prevents misfeed of articles and permits the use of a rotating slitting knife anvil without close tolerances. In the present machine, when the pin roller which engages the perforations in the edges of the label sheet stops feeding, the guillotine knife will cut the label, and on the upper stroke of the knife linkage moves to pivot a one-way clutch, giving the rotary anvil a slight additional movement, thus compensating for any slack in a label. A novel electrical control circuit is provided for operating the machine in a continous manner and to prevent misfeeding of articles.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of a portion of a continuous sheet of paper including a plurality of computer printed labels which, for example, may each contain the name and address of a recipient of a magazine, catalog, or the like, which is to be delivered through the mail or other wise;

FIG. 2 is an illustrative view of a container for the continuous sheet of labels, which sheet is folded the rein and shows the feed to a label slitting mechanism of the labeling head of the machine;

FIG. 3 is a view, similar to FIG. 1, of the sheet illustrating the first step of the label slitting operation. wherein the marginal punched edges are removed;

FIG. 4 is a view, similar to FIG. 3, showing the second step of the label slitting apparatus, wherein the labels are slit into individual columns and are fed under a guillotine knife which cuts them into individual labels;

FIG. 5 is an illustrative view of the next step, wherein a series of aligned and slit individual labels are picked up by a vacuum belt to be fed to a timing and gluing station;

FIG. 6 is an illustrative view of an individual label as it passes through the conveying and glue applying rollers;

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic view of the rollers for conveying and applying glue to the labels;

FIG. 8 shows an individual label glued to an article;

FIG. 9 is a face view of one side of the labeling machine showing the article feeder, the conveyor and timing mechanism, and the label applying head, with parts thereof broken away to better illustrate the mechanism;

FIG. 10 is a face view of the upper portion of that side of the machine opposite to that shown in FIG. 9 with parts thereof broken away or omitted for the sake of clarity;

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the machine, with the label head omitted showing the article feeding mechanism from the feed magazine through the label applying station.

FIG. 12 is a transverse sectional view taken along the line l2-I2 of FIG. II, looking in the direction of the arrows showing a portion of the article feeding mechanism;

FIG. 13 is an end elevational view taken along the line l3l3 of FIG. 11, looking in the direction of the arrows, showing the article feeding and storage station;

FIG. 14 is a plan view of the article feeding table taken below the table top showing certain details of the drive mechanism;

FIG. 15 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view of the vacuum unit for the initial article feed from the storage station and may be considered as taken along the line 15-15 of FIG. I4, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 16 is a plan sectional view taken along the line I616 of FIG. 15, looking in the direction of the an rows;

FIG. 17 is a face view, taken from the same side as FIG. 9 on an enlarged scale, of the label applying head with some parts broken away for illustrative purposes:

FIG. 18 is a top plan view on the scale of FIG. 17, of the label applying head with some parts broken away for illustrative purposes;

FIG. 19 is a detail elevational view, on a further enlarged scale, of the feed mechanism delivering a single label from the vacuum belt to the transfer and label applying wheel;

FIG. 20 is a view taken along the line 2020 of FIG. 19, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 21 is an elevational view of a portion of the gears and drive for the label head showing the gears in position for 11 inch article spacing.

FIG. 22 is a view similar to FIG. 21 showing the gears in position for 22 inch article spacing;

FIG. 23 is an outer end elevational view of the label applying head taken along the line 2323 of FIG. 17, looking in the direction of the arrows, with some parts broken into section for illustrative purposes;

FIG. 24 is an elevational view of a part of the mechanism shown in FIG. 23 in a changed position;

FIG. 25 is an elevational view of another part of the mechanism shown in FIG. 23 in a changed position;

FIG. 26 is an elevational view on an enlarged scale of the adjustment plate for the label feed to accommodate the different widths of labels;

FIG. 27 is an inner end elevational view, with some parts broken into section for illustrative purposes, of the label applying head, taken along the line 2727 of FIG. 17, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 28 is a detail view of a portion of the glue applying mechanism taken along the line 28-28 of FIG. 18, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 29 is a detail view taken along the line 2929 of FIG. 28, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 30 is a detail view of a counter switch and its cam operator;

FIG. 31 is an inner face view on an enlarged scale of the label transfer wheel and may be considered as being taken from the left side of FIG. 32;

FIG. 32 is a transverse sectional view of the label transfer wheel taken along the lines 32-32 of FIG. 31, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 33 is an outer face view of the label transfer wheel taken along the line 3333 of FIG. 32, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 34 is a detail view showing the pad ports and passages transferring vacuum to the periphery of the label transfer wheel;

FIG. 35 is an inner face view of the leader connected to the vacuum pump and transmitting vacuum to the label transfer wheel and is taken along the line 3S35 of FIG. 32, looking in the direction of the arrows; and

FIG. 36 is a wiring diagram of the electrical power supply and controls.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, particularly FIGS. I to 8 thereof, numeral 40 designates a sheet of paper having a plurality of printed or typewritten addresses thereon, designated by the numeral 42. A plurality of holes 44 are punched on each side of the sheet 40 to provide for feeding it from a bin 45 through the initial portion of the machine wherein slits 46 are first made, so that the portion of the sheet 40 having the holes 44 therein may be removed after the sheet has been properly processed. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, vertical cuts 48 are made in the sheet 40 and horizontal cuts 50 are also made in the sheet so that the sheet will be readily separable into a plurality of individual labels 52 each having the desired information thereon. A vacuum belt 54 is shown in FIG. 5, having holes 56 therein. subject to a vacuum as will be explained hereinafter, to convey the labels 52 to a timing and gluing station. The labels 52 at this time have been slit, so as to be discrete, as shown in FIG. 5.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, cooperating wheels or rollers 58 and 60 are provided for applying glue to one face of the label 52. The printed side of the label 52 faces the wheel 58 and the wheel 60 which has glue applied thereto from a suitable source 62, transfers the glue to the first face of the label 52 as it is carried on the wheel 58. Thereafter the label 52 is removed from the wheel 58 in a manner hereinafter described, and is glued to the article or mailing piece M as shown in FIG. 8.

The illustrations of FIGS. 1 through 8 show the labels 52 all to be of the same length. By properly adjusting the slitting knives which make the cuts 48 labels 52 of different lengths may simultaneously be cut from the same sheet 40 and delivered for gluing to successive articles M. This is a significant advantage over the prior machines where uniformity of label length is required.

FIG. 9 shows a side view and general schematic organization of the labeling machine as comprising a general frame and housing 64, a label applying head 66, an article feeding assembly 68 which is mounted at the top of the frame and housing 64, and a station 70 from which the articles M are fed one at a time. Power for the labeling machine is supplied from a motor 72, and two vacuum pumps 74 and 76 are provided for utilization in various portions of the operation of the machine and method. The label head 66 is mounted on the frame 64 and is supported thereby.

The drive for moving the article through the machine is shown in general in FIGS. 9, 10, II, and I4. The motor 72 drives a main drive shaft 78 through a belt 80 and a pulley 82 affixed to the shaft 78, the shaft being supported in appropriate bearings in the frame 64. The shaft 78 carries affixed thereto a pair of sprockets 84 and 86. The sprocket 84 drives a chain 88 which is trained over a sprocket 90 fixed on shaft 92 supported in the frame 64 and in a subframe 94 which extends transversely across the frame 64. The shaft 92 carries at its outer end a pulley 96 which drives a belt 98 trained over a set of tension regulating and maintaining pulleys in an adjustable vertical support 100 to drive a pulley 102 which is mounted on and affixed to a main label mechanism drive shaft 104.

The sprocket 86 drives a chain 106 which extends over a sprocket I08 affixed to inner end of shaft 110 supported in bearings in the frame 64 and the subframe 94 and which has a manual wheel 112 at its outer end. When the motor 72 is not operating and the drive mechanism needs adjustment for positioning the elements of the label head and the article feed mechanism for proper functioning of the machine, the wheel 112 may be manually operated, to set the various drive componenets through the main power shaft 78, for proper and subsequent power operation of the machine.

As seen in FIGS. 9, l0, l8, and 27, the shaft 104 extends through the label applying head 66 and is supported opposite the head 110 by a vertically adjustable head 114 on the opposite side of the machine.

The articles M are stacked in the storage station 70 on table top 116 (FIGS. 9, 10, II and 13). The articles are stored in the center of the table between a pair or side plates I18 which are adjustable laterally on a bar 120 by means of brackets I22 and screws 124. The bar 120 is mounted on a feed bridge 126 which extends across the machine. carries part of the feed mechanism. and under which the articles M are fed. The rear of the stack of articles is held in position by adjustable crossbar 128 which is supported adjacent its ends by a pair of thin support members 130 which rest on the table top 116 and are adjustably held in slots 132 in the bar 128. The contact support at the rear is by means of a vertical member 134 which is fastened to the bar 128 at its midpoint. The bar 128 has its position relative to the feed bridge 126 adjusted and determined by a locking screw 136 which is secured in a bushing 138 fastened to the bar 126 and slidable on a rail 140 mounted on the table top in a pair of pedestals 142.

Initial movement of the articles M from the stack in the storage station 70 is effected from the bottom of the stack by means of a vacuum feed unit 144 which is shown in detail in FIG. and is also shown in FIGS. 14 and 16. The unit 144 is mounted on a pair of rods 146 which extend through and are guided in a cross plate 148 forming a part of the machine frame 64.

The vacuum unit 144 is arranged to apply a vacuum at appropriate times to the lowermost article M in the stack of articles in the feed station 70, and as it is moved forwardly toward and under the bridge 126, it carries this article M to a position for subsequent feeding by the mechanical components of the article feeding assembly 68. The vacuum feed unit 144 moves back and forth in a cutout portion 150 in the table top 116 so that it may engage the lowermost article in the stack.

The unit 144 comprises a base casting 152 having a pair of lateral wings 154 to receive the rods 146 which are affixed thereto for the back and forth movement of the unit 144. The base casting 152 has a vacuum cavity 156 therein which is closed by a plate 158 having an aperture 160 therein. The aperture or opening 160 is normally closed by a spring valve member 162 which is secured to the plate 158 and is biased by its nature to closed position. The top face of the base casting 152 is covered by a plate 164 having on its underface an open portion 166 which embraces the valve aperture 160 in the base casting 152. When the valve 162 is in open position as shown in FIG. 15 the vacuum in the cavity 156 is transmitted to the open portion 166 and through ap ertures 168 in the plate 164 to the underface of that article M lying atop the unit 144. It should be noted that the top surface of the plate 164 is in the aperture area slightly recesses at 170 to insure that there is no binding when the vacuum is relieved and also to provide that the easy engagement of the unit 144 with successive articles in the stack as the bottommost article delivered is removed by the mechanical portion of the feeding assembly 68.

Vacuum is transmitted to the cavity 156 in the unit 144 through a passage 172 in the base casting 152 and a fitting 174 (FIGS. 14 and 16) connected to a hose leading to the vacuum pump 76.

The biased spring valve plate 162 has on its underface a valve actuating member 176 which is engageable by a valve actuating rod 178 which enters the cavity 156 through packing 180 in a suitable opening in the base cavity 152. The valve actuating rod 178 is supported in a slot 182 in the top of the cross plate 148 and has a pair of movement limiting stops 184 fastened thereon. Thus, the valve actuating rod 178 floats in the frame plate 148 and has its longitudinal movement limited by the stops 184 in both directions of movement of the vacuum unit 144.

The vacuum unit 144 is moved back and forth and it moves relative to the rod 178. As it moves to the right as shown in FIG. 15 the valve actuating member 176 slips over the end of the rod 178 and the valve 152 closes to destroy the vacuum toward and at the end of the forward motion of the unit 144. As the unit 144 is moved to the left the friction between the packing and the rod 178 tends to cause the unit and rod to move together, and this movement continues until the forward stop 184 strikes the frame plate 148 at which time the rod 178 stops and as the unit 144 continues to be moved to its completely withdrawn position at which time the rod 178 engages the element 176 and moves the valve plate 162 to open position thus restoring the vacuum which is then applied the lowermost article M in the stack in the storage station 170.

Opposite the unit 144 the rods 146 are interconnected by a crosshead 186 which is driven in the backward and forward directions by a mechanical arrangement driven from the main drive shaft 78 as will be noted in a moment. The spacing distance between the crosshead 186 and the outermost end of the rod 178 is such, however, that the crosshead will contact the end of the rod and move it forwardly during article feeding movement of the unit 144 to make certain that the vacuum through the openings 168 and against the article being delivered is destroyed when the article M has been advanced as far as the vacuum unit 144 is moved in feeding direction.

Referring to FIGS. 9, 10, 11, and 14 it will be seen that the main drive shaft 78 has affixed thereto a gear 188 which drives a chain of gears for operating the crosshead 186 and the first part of the mechanical feed of the article M through the machine, but not the timing of these articles as will be explained hereinafter.

The gear 188 meshes with a gear 190, (FIG. 10) which drives a gear 192 affixed on a shaft 194 which extends outwardly of the main frame 64. The shaft is journaled in the frame 64 and in a separate depending frame plate 196, and at the outer side of the frame plate 196 the shaft 194 carries a gear 198 which through a spur gear 200 drives a gear 202 affixed to a shaft 204 which is journaled in the plate 196, the frame 64, and in inwardly projecting sleeve bearing 206 mounted on the frame 64.

At its inner end the shaft 204 has affixed thereto a crank 208 pivotally connected to a connecting rod 210 which is pivotally connected to a connecting rod 210 which is pivotally connected at 212 to the crosshead 186. For every cycle of the machine the previously described gearing will rotate the shaft 204 one revolution. This one revolution movement is imparted by the crank 208 and connecting rod 210 to the crosshead 186 which drives the rods 146 forwardly and backwardly. The rods carry the vacuum unit 144 from the retracted position beneath the stack of articles M to an advanced position thus carrying a single article M from the bot tom of the stack to the mechanical feed of the articles to the label applying station. Counting of the units thus delivered is measured by a cam 214 affixed on the shaft 204 and driving a counter microswitch 216.

The first stage of the mechanical drive of the article feed mechanism includes a pair of power rollers 218 fixed on a shaft 220 journaled in a yoke 222 which is nonrotatably mounted on a rock shaft 224. The shaft 220 is driven from the gear 188 through the first part of the chain of gears previously described by a gear 226 secured to a sleeve 228 to which is also secured a gear 230, the gears 226 and 230 being journaled on the rock shaft 224. The gear 230 is in mesh with a gear 232 keyed on the shaft 220 and thus the driving movement is imparted to the rollers 218.

The shaft 224 is rocked by a cam 234 mounted on and affixed to the shaft 204. The shaft 224 has a cam follower 236 mounted thereon which is held against the cam 234 by a spring 238. At its opposite end the shaft 224 has an arm 240 clamped thereto which is biased in the counterclockwise direction (FIG. 9) by a spring 242. The springs 238 and 242 act in concert to bias the shaft 224 in the counterclockwise direction thus moving the rollers 218 upwardly to the extent permitted by the cam 234.

The shaft 194 carries a gear 244 which is in mesh with a gear 246 fixedly mounted on a shaft 248 journaled in the feed bridge 126. The shaft 248 is connected through universal couplings 250 to a pair of drive rollers 252 which are positioned above the rollers 218 and paralled thereto. The rollers 252 are mounted on supports 2S4 carried in a fixture 256 mounted on the bridge 126. The carriers 254 are urged downwardly by springs 258, the tension which is governed by screws 260. The fixture 256 has its position on the bridge 126 set by a screw 262; thus articles of different thicknesses may be accommodated between the rollers 218 and 252 without putting excessive strain on the assembly.

After the article M has been delivered from between the rollers 218 and 252 it falls on a set of power driven belts 264 (three being shown as typical), which extend across table top 266 from a driving roller 268 and around an idler roller 270 from which the articles M are delivered to some collecting or gathering means (not shown). The roller 268 is mounted on a shaft 272 and is driven by a gear 274 which is driven from the gear 188. The shaft 272 is powered as is the roller 268; the roller 270 may be ajustably positioned to maintain the proper tension on the belts 264.

The shaft 272 carries a sprocket 276 which drives a chain 278 which is trained over a sprocket 280 mounted on a shaft 282 which is journaled internally of the frame 64. On its inner end the shaft 282 carries a sprocket 284 which drives a timing chain 286 which is trained over an idler sprocket 288, also mounted internally of the frame 64. The timing chain carries a plurality of removable and adjustable chips 290 extending upwardly through a slot 291 in tabletop 266 and which are adapted to be engaged by the leading edges of individual articles M as they are borne on the belts 264. The sizing of the sprockets 280 and 284 is such that the belts 264 are driven faster than the timing chain 286 to hold the articles M against the clips 290 and the timing chain therefore determines the speed at which individual articles M are delivered to the label applying station and it also insures that the leading edge of each article M determines the position ofthat article and the proper timing sequence in the label applying operation. The clips 290 are positioned on the chain 286 at intervals of 11 inches or 22 inches depending on the sizes of the articles being labeled For smaller articles the 11 inch spacing is used and twice as many clips will be applied to the chain. However. if the article is larger and requires 22 inch spacing then alternate clips are removed. The setting ofthe clips 290 is done very readily so that the proper number of articles can be submitted to the label applying station in proper sequence at proper intervnis and at the proper times.

Means are provided for determining whether an article has been delivered from between the rollers 218 and 252 to the belts 264. This comprises a photocell 292 which is sensitive to a light 294 positioned beneath the table. If the situation occurs that no article M is in the proper position to be labeled then the photocell 292 will indicate this, and the label feed will be interrupted so that no label would be presented to the labeling station at the precise time when the missing article M should have been delivered to the labeling station.

The machine is provided with a mechanism for sensing when more than one article at a time is delivered for labeling. This mechanism includes a skid bar 296 mounting a plurality of freely journaled rollers 298 and which is located at about the center of the table top 266 and extends in the direction and substantially the entire distance of article flow above the central drive belt 264. The bar 296 is pivoted on a pair of rods 300 by means of arms 302 in a parallelgram arrangement so that as an article enters under the bar 296 and the rollers 298 the entire bar will be raised to the extent dictated by the thickness of the entering article M. The cross shafts 300 are mounted in posts 304 at approximately the positions of the four corners of the table top 266.

The skid bar 296 is initially held in a set position above the surface of the table top 266 in accordance with the normal thickness of the articles M being labeled. Thus the skid bar would be initially held slightly above the table top 266 if an average magazine were being labeled but it would be able to rest on the table top 266 if thin envelops or something similar to that were being labeled. The initial lower position is set by locks 306 at each of the posts 304.

The skid bar 296 does not impede the movement of the articles M because it is supported above them by the free rolling rollers 298. However, should two articles or three articles be inadvertently delivered at one time the skid bar senses this by being moved upwardly a greater distance than previously indicated by the thickness ofa single article. This condition is sensed by a conveyor microswitch 308 which is fixed in positions between the first pair of posts 304 and rod 300. This microswitch is normally open by means of a thumb screw 310 which is set to hold the switch in open position so long as the upward movement of the skid bar 296 is not greater than is normally obtained by the thickness of a single article M appearing beneath the bar. When two or more articles appear beneath the skid bar it will be elevated at distance sufficient to permit the thumb screw 310 to move with the skid bar 296 sufficiently to permit the switch 308 to close. This will cause the electrical control circuit as will be explained hereinafter to shut down the machine or at least to call to the attendants by an emergency signal a condition which would cause the attendent to shut the machine down for removal of the excessive number of articles M from beneath the bar 296 and permit the orderly operation of the machine thereafter.

As the articles M are carried through the machine by the belts 247 under the control of the timing chain 286 they rest upon the table top 266. As they pass across the label applying station they pass over a presser bar 312 which is journaled in the frame 64 and which carries a pair of presser rollers 314. The presser bar 312 and the presser rollers 314 carry the pressure of the label applying wheel 58 as the label is applied to the article M so that this is not borne by the table 266 which is shown in the illustration to be of sheet metal.

The label applying head 66 and its components are best seen in FIGS. 17 through 35. They are enclosed in or mounted on a subframe 316 which includes a gear housing 318. The shaft 104 is journaled in the gear housing 318 and extends therethrough and is connected to the main machine drive shaft 78 in the manner previously indicated. The shaft 104 mounts a sprocket 320 affixed thereto which drives a chain 322 in the direction of the arrow shown in FIGS. 21 and 22. The chain runs under and drives a sprocket 324 mounted on a shaft 326 journaled in the walls of the gear housing 318. The chain is then trained over a sprocket 328 mounted on a shaft 330 carried in the rear wall of the gear housing 318. It is also trained over a sprocket 332 mounted on a shaft 334 and a small sprocket 336 mounted on a shaft 338. The shafts 334 and 338 are mounted in the walls of the gear housing 318 and extend forwardly of the gear housing 318. The shaft 334 mounts the label applying wheel 58 and the shaft 338 mounts the glue applying wheel 60.

The shaft 104 also mounts and drives a large gear 340 and a small gear 342, which as seen in FIGS. 20 and 21 are respectively engaged when the moving articles have 11 inch spacing or 22 inch spacing therebetween. The large gear 340 is engageable by a small gear 344 while the small gear 342 is engageable by a large gear 346, the gears 344 and 346 bring freely mounted on outer end of an arm 348 which is clamped to the shaft 326. The arm 348 may be shifted from between the positions shown in FIGS. 21 and 22, so that in the former figure the gear 344 meshes with the large gear 340 and in the latter position the gear 346 meshes with the gear 342. This arrangement determines, as will appear presently, the rate of label feed so that only one label at a time is fed to the label transfer wheel 58 for application to an article M moving in the feeding system which has previously been described. The gears 344 and 346 are engaged with a transfer gear 350 and one or the other constantly drives this transfer gear. The arm 348 is positioned and locked in its selected place by means of an exteriorly located arm 352 locked to the shaft 326 and held in its adjusted position by means of a bolt 354 which is screwed into one of two tapped holes in the rear of the gear casing. The transfer gear 350 drives a spur gear 354 mounted on a stub shaft 356 secured in the rear wall of the gear housing 318. The gear 354 drives a gear 358 fixed on a shaft 360 which is journaled in the front wall of the housing and extends therethrough.

The shaft 360 mounts a sprocket 362 which drives a chain 364 in the direction indicated by the arrows in FIGS. 21 and 22. The chain 364 as will be shown hereinafter drives the mechanism for feeding the sheet 40 through that portion of the label applying head 66 which slits the sheet into individual labels 52 to be applied to the articles M by the label transfer wheel 58. The chain 364 extends under an idler sprocket 366 and then over a sprocket 368 fixed on a shaft 370 mounted in the label applying head subframe 316. The chain 364 returns to the gear housing 318 under another idler sprocket 372.

The shaft 370 mounts a gear 374 internally of the housing for the label applying head 66 which in turn drives the gear 376 mounted on a shaft 378 journaled in the subframe 316. The shaft 378 mounts a gear 380 which meshes with a gear 382 on shaft 384, also mounted within the subframe 316. The shaft 384 mounts a bevel gear 386 meshed with a bevel gear 388 on the shaft 390 which extends from the label applying head 66 at the right hand thereof as seen in FIG. 18. The gears 380 and 382 are removable and replaceable by gears of different sizes depending upon the number of labels being cut transversely from the sheet 40. In the illustrated use five labels extend across the sheet. The potential number may be as few as one long label or six short labels.

The shaft 390 has at its outer end a plate 392 clamped thereon. The plate 392 has a plurality of holes 394, 396, 398, and 400 therein by means of which the machine is adapted to feed various width labels for gluing to articles M of one half inch wide to two inches wide at one-half inch intervals. Thus. the hole 394 is connceted for feeding a label one half inch wide while the hole 400 is connected for feeding the label 2 inches wide. The plate 392 is pivotally connected to a crank arm 402 which in turn is pivotally connected to a ratchet head 404 journaled on a shaft 406. The shaft 406 is journaled in end plates 428 of the subframe 316 for the label applying head 66. The crank arm 402 reciprocates the ratchet head about the shaft 406 and the extent of this movement is determined at which of the apertures 394, 396, 398, and 400 pivotal connection 408 is made. The higher the reference number of the aperture the longer the stroke of the crank arm 402 and the farther the arcuate movement of the head 402.

The head 404 carries a pawl 410 spring pressed in the direction of engagement with a ratchet wheel 412 which is fixed on the shaft 406. The pawl 410 is spring biased against the ratchet wheel 412 and the amount of tension is regulated by thumb screw 414. It is observed from the shape of the teeth of the ratchet wheel 412 that the idler movement of the head 404 and pawl 410 is clockwise. When the arm 402 drives the head and pawl in the counterclockwise direction the pawl rotates the wheel 412 and shaft 406 an arcuate distance determined by the opening 394 to 400 in which the pivotal connection 408 is made. The shaft 406 has a pair of pinwheels 416 mounted thereon. The pinwheels engage in the holes 44 in the marginal edges of the lengthy sheet 40 which bears the computerized imprint of the multitudinous addresses to whom individual copies of the article M may be sent provided, of course, that the article is magazine or similar product intended to be mailed or delivered. The pinwheels draw the sheet 40 into the labeling head and over a pair of rollers 418 which are also secured on the same shaft 406 as the pinwheels 416. These rollers are adjacent the pinwheels 416 (FIGS. 17 and 18) and are adapted to be engaged by circular knives 420 which are adapted to make the initial cut 46 in the sheet 40 to sever the perforated marginal strips from the basic portion of the sheet 40 in order to free the remainder of the strip for the formation of the individual labels 52 for application to the articles M.

The rotary knives 420 are each journaled on short bolt shafts 422 mounted or carried in arms pivotally mounted on a shaft 426 which is fitted and bolted to the end plates 428 of the subframe 316. Adjacent each rotary knife 420 is a clamp 430 on the shaft 426, and a biasing spring 432 lies between a portion of the clamp 430 and the arms 424 forcibly urging the rotary knives 420 against the rollers 418 and thus in a position to sever the sheet 40 along the lines 46 as shown in FIG. 3.

Outside of the right end plate 428 the shaft 406 carries a spur gear 434 which meshes with a similar spur gear 436 mounted on a shaft 438 extending between the end plates 428. The gear 434 is driven intermittently by the operation of the pawl 410 and ratchet wheel 412 and this intermittent motion is transmitted to the gear 436 and shaft 438. The shaft 438 carries a series of rollers 440 which are adjustably mounted thereon but secured thereto so that the knife cuts 48 made be made in the sheet 40 separating the sheet into strips and the labels 52 endwise from each other.

A series of rotary knives 442, similar to the knives 420, are mounted on pairs of arms 444, the arms being pivoted to a shaft 446 bolted to the rear edge of the end plates 428 in the same manner as is the shaft 426. For each knife 442 the shaft 446 carries a clamp 448 and a spring 450 extends between a part of the clamp 448 and the arms 444 to bias the knives 442 against the respective rollers 440, and thus the sheet 40 is slit along the lines 48 as is seen in FIG. 4.

The knives 442 and roller 440 may be adjusted laterally between the walls 428 and the knives 420 so that the machine may simultaneously cut labels of different lengths for example 2.4, 2.6. and 2.8 inches depending, of course, upon the amount of material that is to be printed on the face of the label. The number of knives 442 and rollers 440 may be reduced or increased depending upon the number of labels 52 appearing transversely of the sheet 40.

After the sheet 40 has passed around the rollers 440 and the knives 442 have made the slits 48 the strips are passed to the front of the machine where the labels 52 are separated from the body of the sheet 40.

The shaft 438 mounts as arm 450 which is connected thereto in an over running one-way clutch intended to drive the shaft 438 in the clockwise direction or the same direction as the gear 436. The arm 450 at its outer end is formed with a slot 452 to receive a connection 454 to a rod 456 having a connection 458 to an arm 460 pivotally mounted to the frame plate 428 at the right hand of FIG. 18. The arm 460 carries a cam follower roller 462 adapted to be engaged by a cam 464 having a single projection or lobe thereon and affixed thereto to shaft 390.

The arm 450 is pivotally connected to a lever 466 clamped to a shaft 468 and which is adapted to operate a guillotine knife assembly 470 for servering the sheet crosswise along the line 50 as seen in FIG. 4, thus cutting the strips of labels into separate and discrete labels 52. The guillotine knife assembly 470 slides vertically in ways 472 mounted on the frame plates 428. The knife assembly includes a platen 474 slidably in the ways 472 and carrying a knife 476 which is adapted to cooperate with a stationery guillotine knife 478 mounted on the subframe 316. It will be noted from FIG. 17 that the knife 476 is placed at a slight angle so that the cut 50 is sliced across the sheet 40 and the individual strips which had been previously formed by the cuts 48. At the time the knife 476 makes the cut 50 a substantial portion of the sheet will be overlying the vaccuum belt 54 and the labels are deposited thereon and held thereagainst by the vacuum.

The guillotine knife assembly 470 is biased upwardly by springs 480 and when the lobe on the cam 464 depresses the arm 460 the rod 456 pulls the arm 450 and the lever 466 downwardly thus driving the guillotine knife assembly against the force of the springs 480 to make the cut 50. When the lobe has passed the cam roller the cam allows the springs 480 to return the guillotine knife assembly to its upper position and at the same time both the arm 450 and the lever 466 from the position shown in FIG. 24 to that shown in FIG. 23. During this time the gear 436 will be driving the rollers 440 to move the sheet 40 to present another set of labels for severance. The movement of the arm and the other running one-way clutch is such that any slack in this system is taken up and the whole width of the label is presented outwardly and over the belt 54 from the guillotine knife. The movement of the arm 450 in the counterclockwise direction from FIG. 23 to FIG. 24 does not in any way affect the position of the shaft 438.

The individual labels 52 are deposited upon the upper reach of the vacuum belt 54 which moves in the right to left direction as seen in FIGS. 17 and 18. The belt is driven from a pulley 482 mounted on shaft 484 is driven by a gear 486 meshed with another gear 488 mounted on a shaft 490. The shaft 490 is connected to a crank arm 492 through a one-way clutch in the counterclockwise direction. The crank arm 492 is connected by a rod 494 to a crank 496 mounted on the shaft 390. The mounting of the rod 494 to the crank 496 is adjustable depending upon the number and average length of the labels 52 delivered to the belt 54. At its left end the belt is trained over an idler pulley 498 mounted on a short shaft 500. As the belt intermittently moves the labels 52 to its left end they pass under a pressure roller 502 which cooperates with the pulley 498 to move the label 52 to the position shown in FIG. 19. The roller 502 is mounted on that part of the subframe 316 at the left plate 428 (FIG. 17).

Vacuum is applied to the vacuum belt 54 from a shelf block 504 which is bolted to the subframe 316 and over the top surface of which the upper reach of pulley 54 runs (FIG. 23). The shelf block is connected by means of a spud 506 to the vacuum pump 74. The spud connects the vacuum to a passage 508 running the entire length of the block 504 which is closed by the frame 316. The passage 508 is connected by intermittent cross passages 510 to a slot 512 running the length of the shelf block 504 along the upper portion thereof and against which the upper reach of the belt 54 is held by the vacuum. The vacuum is thus applied to the holes 56 in the belt and to the labels 52 that lie thereon. The reason for having a number of the cross passages 510 from the long passageway 508 is to provide for an even distribution of the vacuum through the length of the belt so that it would also be applied to all of the labels lying on the belt at any one time.

As the label leaves the belt it is guided on the upper surface of the plate 514 (FIG. 19) which is fixed to the frame and comes to a butt against a roller 516 carried on an arm 518 pivotally mounted on the shaft 500 and biased in the clockwise direction by a spring 520. The leading edge of the label 52 is nipped between the roller 516 and a curved plate 522 carried in a bracket 524 (FIG. 17). The movement therefore of the belt 54, pulley 498, roller 502 will kink and hold the label 52 as shown in FIG. 19 until it is released. The amount and the position of the kink depends upon the length of the label.

The shaft 360 carries a cam 526 and label delivery wheel 528. The cam has its periphery held against a cam follower 530 mounted on the shaft of the roller 516, and at the proper timing the cam 526 depresses the roller 516 and the arm 518 against the spring 520 thereby permitting the high portion 532 on the delivery wheel 528 to engage the label 52 and move it forwardly or leftwardly (FIG. 19) under the curved arm 522 to the vacuum portions of the label applying wheel 58 whereby removing the kink in the label snaps it free from other labels on the vacuum belt.

The construction of the label applying wheel 58 is best seen in FIGS. 31 to 35, and it comprises a main body portion 534 having a hub 536 secured to the shaft 334 by means of which the wheel 58 is driven. As seen in FIGS. 31 and 33 the wheel has a circular portion and a pair of extended wings 538 which cooperate with vacuum pads 540 bolted to the inner face of the wheel as seen in FIGS. 31 and 32. The vacuum pads have an arcuate outer surface which is ribbed at 542, with the ribs communicating with a vacuum port 544 adjacent the outer arcuate edge.

The vacuum port 544 communicates through a passage formed on the inner face of the pad 540 with a port 548 in the main body 534 of the wheel 58. The ports 548 are open to an arcuate slot 550 in one face of a plate 552 journaled on the shaft 334 and held tightly against a boss 554 on the main body 534 of the wheel 58. The plate slot 550 is connected to the vacuum pump 74 through a spud 556 screwed into the plate 552. An arm 558 is bolted to the plate 552 and has a bifracated end engaging the shaft 500 to prevent inadvertent and unwanted rotational movements of the plate 552.

The arcuate ribs 542 project beyond the main body 534 of the wheel to coincide with the wings 538. Since there are two pads 540 on the wheel two labels 52 will be transferred from the vacuum belt 54 and glued to two articles M for each revolution of the wheel. The slot 550 communicates with the passages 548 sequentially for about one-half of a wheel revolution. The vacuum is established at the time the wheel ribs 542 contact the labels 52 as it is delivered by the wheel 528 (FIG. 17 and 19). It holds the labels 52 as the glue is applied thereto by the glue wheel 60 and is broken as the label is brought against an article M and glued thereto.

With the normal operation of the machine the wheel 528 delivers a label to the transfer and label applying wheel 58 for every revolution thereof and every revolution of the shaft 360. There are two conditions in the operation of the machine when label delivery is not desirable. The first is when no article M passes under the photocell 292 and under those circumstances no label should be transmitted to the label transfer wheel 58. Another situation occurs when more than one article M is delivered and under these circumstances the skid bar would be operated to open the microswitch 308 and thus stop the operation of the machine. This will. of course, interrupt the operation of the label transfer wheel 528 and shaft 360.

The control of the wheel 528 is by means of a clutch 560 which is normally closed by a spring 562 and causes the engagement of the driving sprocket 362 with the shaft 360. The disengagement of the drive is affected by energization of a solenoid 564 having an armature 566 connected to a clutch arm 568 pivotally mounted at 570 on a bracket carried by the gear housing 318. When the photocell 292 is energized a circuit is completed to energize the solenoid 564. This causes the armture 566 to be retracted and the arm 568 to open the clutch 560 against the force of the closing spring 562. This will terminate the driving of the shaft 360 and a movement of the label transfer wheel 528.

Obviously, as it appears from FIGS. 21 and 22, any thing that interrupts the operation of the driving shaft 104 which is driven from the main shaft 78 will also interrupt the feed of labels 52. This would, of course, be coincidental with the failure to deliver articles M to the label applying station.

Labels properly applied to the label applying wheel 58 as it is rotating will have glue applied to the obverse face thereof by the glue wheel 60. This wheel as seen in FIGS. 17 and 27 through 29 has a set of peripheral ribs 574 which are intended to enter or lie between the ribs 542 on the wheel 58 so that the latter will not have glue applied thereto in an inadvertent manner. The wheel 60 is mounted on the shaft 338 in such position as to fit into a glue pot 576 which is fed from a glue source 578. The ribbed wheel 60 picks up the glue. and the excess glue is removed by a scraper plate or doctor blade 580 which has a plurality of fingers 582 projecting between the ribs 574. Thus, when the wheel 60 is driven in the clockwise direction (FIG. 28) the blade 580 scrapes off the excess glue and only that appearing on the peripheral faces or edges of the ribs 574 remains, and if these ribs 574 fall between the ribs 542 on the wheel 58 and no glue is left thereon. However, at those points where the label 52 appears stripes of glue are coated on the obverse face of the label as it is carried by the wheel 58 to the article M.

The blade 580 has a block 584 secured to its upper face through which a bolt 588 extending through a spring 586 projects into a bracket 590 carried on the subframe 316. This arrangement biases the blade 580 so that the sharp ends of the fingers 582 extend between the ribs 574 and clean the wheel as it is rotating.

In FIGS. 27 and 30 there is shown a counter microswitch 592 which might be considered equivalent or substituted for the switch 216 previously described and which is closed by a cam 594 mounted on the shaft 104. This will serve as a counter arrangement assuming that the shaft 104 makes a single revolution for every label 52 applied. However, this situation does not necessarily obtain in view of the spacing of the articles at l l inch and 22 inch intervals on the feeding mechanism as been previously described. Thus, the position of the counter microswitch 216 as previously described is preferred.

As noted previously this machine is capable of handling articles M which are relatively thin, such for example as two or three thichnesses of paper, and on the other hand may be capable of handling magazines and other articles which may be as much as three-eights inch in thichness without changing the structural configuration of the machine but with modifying and resetting the components of the machine. One of the principal space considerations is that between the label applying wheel 58 and the table top 266 on which the articles M travel at the label applying station. In some instances the spacing may be only the thickness of two or three sheets of paper or it may be as much as threeeights inch. Under these circumstances the label applying wheel 58 is raised or lowered in accordance with the material being processed.

The adjustment of the head 66 is accomplished at two places. The first of these places is at the shaft 104.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4619726 *13 May 198528 Oct 1986Westvaco CorporationLabel applicator
US5507907 *26 Oct 199416 Apr 1996Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyBox sealing machine with tape applicator sensor system
US635275119 Nov 19995 Mar 20023M Innovative Properties CompanyMethod and apparatus for adhering linerless repositionable sheets onto articles
US63797643 Nov 199730 Apr 20023M Innovative Properties CompanyMethod and apparatus for placing linerless repositionable sheets directly onto advertising signatures
US63835918 Oct 19967 May 20023M Innovative Properties CompanyMethod and apparatus for adhering linerless repositionable sheets onto articles
US6695028 *14 May 199824 Feb 2004Ferag AgMethod and apparatus for providing text on printed products
US677353928 Nov 200110 Aug 20043M Innovative Properties CompanyMethod for adhering linerless repositionable sheets onto articles
US8373756 *29 Oct 200912 Feb 2013Krones AgMethod for testing a monitoring device of an automatic labeling machine for correct functioning
US20100110197 *29 Oct 20096 May 2010Krones AgMethod for testing a monitoring device of an automatic labeling machine for correct functioning
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/352, 156/572, 156/568, 156/521, 156/364
International ClassificationB65C9/08, B65C9/42, B65C9/18, B65C9/40, B65C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65C9/40, B65C9/18, B65C9/42
European ClassificationB65C9/40, B65C9/42, B65C9/18