US 3850775 A
A longitudinal edge of a horizontally moving web is folded into a vertical position by a first slotted folding member. A second folding member having fingers extending through the slots in the first folding member folds the vertical edge downwardly upon an article carried on the web, and a heated spot laminator having projections which extend between the fingers of the second folding element is moved down to heat laminate the web material to the article at the contact points. Upon elevation of the laminator and the second folding member, the partially laminated web may be advanced to a subsequent work station where the entire edge area of the web is securely laminated to the article.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Bruneau et a1.
[ 1 Nov. 26, 1974 1 1 LAMINATING APPARATUS  Assignee: Polaroid C0rporati0n,,Cambridge,
22 Filed: Mar. 9, 1973 21 App1.No.:339,8 47
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,749,967 6/1956 Bach et a1 156/479 3,404,507 10/1968 Feigel et a1...
3,486,422 12/1969 Bell et a1. 93/49 M 3,577,300 5/1971 Graze et a1. 156/443 X Primary Examiner-Douglas J. Drummond Assistant Examiner-David A. Simmons Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Susan M. Cooke; Sheldon W. Rothstein  ABSTRACT A longitudinal edge of a horizontally moving web is folded into a vertical position by a first slotted folding member. A second folding member having fingers extending through the slots in the first folding member folds the vertical edge downwardly upon an article carried on the web, and a heated spot laminator having projections which extend between the fingers of the second folding element is moved down to heat laminate the web material to the article at the contact points. Upon elevation of the laminator and the sec- 0nd folding member, the partially laminated web may be advanced to a subsequent work station where the entire edge area of the web is securely laminated to the article.
4 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure LAMINATING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a novel laminating method and apparatus. More particularly, the present invention is concerned with folding a portion of a carrier web onto an article carried on the web and, while the folding apparatus is still in contact with the web, spot laminating portions of the web to the article so that the web is held in position until its entire edge is securely laminated at a subsequent station.
The prior art is replete with various procedures for folding one or both of the longitudinal edges of a carrier web onto an article being transported on the web, and subsequently heat sealing the folded web.
Representative prior art patents include Kellrup, U.S. Pat. No. 2,164,655; Vilutis, U.S. Pat. No, 2,837,979; and Trioll, U.S. Pat. No. 2,854,164.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel method and apparatus for folding the edge of a web through approximately 180 onto itself and for spot bonding portions of the folded web to an article carried thereon while restrained in the folded configuration.
Briefly, the presently preferred embodiment of the invention comprises an apparatus for advancing a carrier web on which there are positioned spaced articles to a first folding device which progressively deflects a longitudinal edge of the web until it is folded to a position at approximately 90 to the remainder of the web. At this time advancement of the web is stopped and a second folding device which has a plurality of fingered elements is passed through slots in the first folding device and is employed to further fold the edge of the web through approximately anadditional 90 against an article carried on the web. Substantially simultaneously a spot laminator which has spaced heated projections is moved downwardly so that the projections extend through the spaces between the fingers of the second folding device and spot laminate the web to the article at the various contact points. Upon retraction of the spot laminator and the second folding device, the web is advanced to a subsequent station where other operations may be performed, such as securely laminating the entire edge area of the web.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The FIGURE is a perspective view of the apparatus ofthe present invention and depicts, in dashed lines, its sequence of operation.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawing. reference numeral designates a carrier web which is preferably made of a heat sealable synthetic plastic film such as polyethylene, cellulose acetate, polystyrene, or the like. A series of articles 12 are carried along on the web 10 at uniformly spaced intervals. The web 10 is advanced by an endless belt conveyor 14 which is trained about a drive roller 16. As the web progresses, its righthand edge contacts a first folding device generally designated by reference numeral 18 which includes an initial web contacting section in the form of a plow 20. The plow 20 progressively folds the edge of the web upwardly until it is approximately vertical. At this time the folded edge of the web reaches the second section of the folding device 18 which consists of a generally vertical wall section having a plurality of spaced fingers 22 separated from each other by slots 24. The web and the supported article 12 positioned on the web are now preferably supported upon a table 26 under the work station.
A second folding devi ce 30 is mounted upon a pivot shaft 32 and includes a plurality of spaced fingers 34 separated from each other by slots 36. The fingers 34 of the second folding device 30 are slightly smaller in width than the slots 24 in the first folding device and are in alignment therewith.
When an article 12 has been advanced to a position adjacent the fingers 34 of the second folding device,
I movement of conveyor belt 14 is stopped, for example,
by a controller 38 connected to drive roller 16. Substantially conventional procedures may be utilized for properly aligning the articles 12 adjacent the folding devices. For example, the conveyor belt may intermittently be advanced a predetermined distance corresponding to the spacing of the articles 12. Alternatively, or in conjunction with means for intermittently advancing the conveyor belt, there may be provided a detector 50 for sensing the presence of the articles 12 to ensure that a given article 12 is properly aligned opposite folding device 30.
With the web now stationary, folding device 30 ispivoted in a counterclockwise direction so that its fingers 34 extend through the slots 24 of the first folding device and fold the upstanding vertical edge of web 10 downwardly through approximately against the article 12, as is shown in dashed lines. As indicated by the double-headed arrow, shaft 32 may, if desired, be moved linearly to improve the fold made by device 30. Substantially simultaneously with the downward pivoting of the folding device 30, a spot laminator 42 which is mounted upon a reciprocating arm 44 and which contains preferably a resistance heating unit moves vertically so that the heated projections 48 on the underside of the spot laminator pass between the slots 36 in the second folding element 30. When the heated projections 48 contact the folded over edge of the web 10, the portions of the web beneath the projections 48 are spot laminated. Thereafter, under the control of a suitable timing mechanism (not shown) arm 44 moves vertically upwardly elevating the spot laminator 42, and the folding device 30 is also moved to its inoperative position as shown. Now the drive roller 16 is actuated to advance the partially laminated web and the associated article 12 to a subsequent heat sealing station (not shown) at which the entire edge area of the folded web may be securely laminated followed by and/or proceded by other web folding or other operations relative to the article 12. At the same time the succeeding article 12 is advanced to commence another cycle of operations.
The present invention is particularly applicable to the fabrication of integral photographic film units and more particularly to those of the diffusion transfer variety. In a typical system employing the present invention a carrier web provides not only "transfer functionality for a photosensitive element, but is edge laminated thereto to provide mask functionality. Such a fabrication system is generally described in copending U.S. patent application of Louis 0. Bruneau, Ser. No. 135,539, filed Apr. 20, 1971, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,752,723.
While a presently preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described with particularity, it will be appreciated that various changes and modifications may suggest themselves to one having or dinary skill in the art upon being apprised of the present invention. It is intended to encompass all such changes and modifications as fall within the scope and spirit of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for folding and laminating a web having a plurality of articles positioned thereon at spaced intervals so that the edge of said web may be folded against said articles and laminated thereto, said appara tus comprising web advancing means, first folding means positioned to deflect a longitudinal edge of the advancing web out of the plane of the remainder of the web, said first folding means including a portion provided with aperture means therein, second folding means including means extending through the aperture means provided in said first folding means to further fold the edge of the web over towards the remainder of the web, said second folding means having at least one opening provided therein overlying the folded edge of the web, and laminating means movable into sealing contact with the folded edge of the web, said laminating means including a projection positioned to extend through each opening provided in said second folding means to spot laminate the web, said apparatus further comprising means to control said web advancing means to sequentially advance respective articles positioned on the web to a position contiguous to said second folding means and said laminating means and to stop the advancement of the web during the operation of said laminating means. I
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said first folding means folds the edge of the web through approximately and wherein said second folding means folds the edge ofthe web through approximately an additional 90.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said first folding means include a plurality of spaced fingers defining therebetween said aperture means, and wherein said second folding means includes a plurality of spaced fingers positioned to pass between the fingers of said first folding means and into engagement with the folded edge of said web.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said second folding means includes a plurality of fingers provided with slots therebetween, and wherein said laminating means include a plurality of projections which extend through said slots to contact the folded edge of