(19)
(11)EP 3 023 344 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
05.07.2017 Bulletin 2017/27

(21)Application number: 14193958.7

(22)Date of filing:  19.11.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B65C 9/20  (2006.01)
B05C 1/08  (2006.01)
B05C 11/10  (2006.01)

(54)

A gluing system for applying glue on products

System zum Aufbringen von Leim auf Produkte

Système pour appliquer de la colle sur des produits


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.05.2016 Bulletin 2016/21

(73)Proprietor: SIDEL PARTICIPATIONS, S.A.S.
76930 Octeville-sur-Mer (FR)

(72)Inventors:
  • Carmichael, James
    43100 PARMA (IT)
  • Ferri, Marco
    43100 PARMA (IT)
  • Giuliani, Mattia
    43100 PARMA (IT)

(74)Representative: Siloret, Patrick et al
Sidel Participations Avenue de la Patrouille de France
76930 Octeville-sur-mer
76930 Octeville-sur-mer (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 353 730
DE-B- 1 182 516
US-A1- 2014 311 404
EP-A2- 0 790 081
DE-U1- 9 313 524
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present invention relates to a gluing system for applying glue on products, in particular on labels destined to be then stuck on articles, such as vessels or bottles.

    [0002] The following description will refer to this specific labelling field, although this is in no way intended to limit the scope of protection as defined by the accompanying claims.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0003] As known, according to a widespread technique, labels are attached on the external surfaces of respective vessels or articles by means of glue previously applied on the back surfaces of the labels themselves.

    [0004] In particular, labels are cut from a web at appropriate lengths and then advanced by a transfer drum towards an application station, at which labels are applied on the respective vessels or articles. Prior to reaching the application station, each label receives a layer of melted glue on its back surface by a gluing system including a rotatable glue roller cooperating tangentially with the transfer drum; in practice, as it is advanced by the transfer drum, each label contacts, on the opposite side thereof with respect to the transfer drum, the glue roller.

    [0005] The gluing system further comprises:
    • a tank set to a given hot temperature, such as 140-150°C, suitable to maintain the glue in a melted state; and
    • a glue delivering line connecting an outlet section of the tank to the glue roller and adapted to continuously feed melted glue to the outer surface of the glue roller itself.


    [0006] A glue scraper is arranged at the periphery of the glue roller and at a certain radial distance from the lateral surface thereof; the glue scraper removes the excess of glue and smoothes the surface of the glue layer applied onto the lateral surface of the glue roller.

    [0007] The excess glue is recovered in the tank to be then recirculated to the glue roller together with the fresh glue present in the tank itself.

    [0008] The described gluing system requires a bulky tank containing a large mass of glue maintained at high temperature for many days; in these conditions, the properties of glue degrade very quickly.

    [0009] In addition, a large mass of glue is continuously recirculated between the tank and the glue roller; during such recirculation, glue is exposed to atmospheric agents, which accelerate degradation of glue properties after a few cycles.

    [0010] Another factor that tends to deteriorate the adhesive properties of the glue is the continuous mixing of the fresh glue with the older recirculated glue with consequent contamination of the fresh glue. Plus, due to this continuous mixing, some fractions of the glue may be recirculated for long times prior to being applied on the labels, with consequent very low adhesion performances.

    [0011] Furthermore, the known glue feeding systems require high costs for manufacture as well as for maintenance.

    [0012] DE9313524U1 discloses a gluing system as defined in the preamble of claim 1.

    DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION



    [0013] It is an object of the present invention to provide a gluing system designed to overcome, in a straightforward and low-cost manner, at least one of the aforementioned drawbacks.

    [0014] According to the present invention, there is provided a gluing system as claimed in claim 1.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0015] A non-limiting embodiment of the present invention will be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

    Figure 1 shows a schematic, partially-sectioned side view of a gluing system according to the present invention for applying glue on labels destined to be stuck on articles;

    Figure 2 shows a larger-scale detail of the gluing system of Figure 1;

    Figure 3 shows another larger-scale detail of the gluing system of Figure 1;

    Figure 4 shows a larger-scale section along line IV-IV of Figure 1; and

    Figure 5 is similar to Figure 3 and shows a larger-scale detail of a possible variant of the gluing system of Figure 1.


    BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



    [0016] Number 1 in Figure 1 indicates as a whole a gluing system for applying glue on products, in particular on labels 2 destined to be then stuck on articles of all sorts, such as bottles or vessels (known per se and not shown).

    [0017] Gluing system 1 comprises:
    • a glue application apparatus 3 for depositing a layer of melted glue on labels 2;
    • a glue storage container 4 for storing fresh glue;
    • a glue containing apparatus, in particular a sump 5, containing in part excess melted glue discharged from application apparatus 3 and in part fresh melted glue coming from storage container 4 and adapted to replenish the consumed glue;
    • glue feeding means 6 to feed fresh melted glue from storage container 4 to sump 5;
    • glue delivering means 7 to deliver melted glue from sump 5 to application apparatus 3; and
    • glue discharging means 8 to convey excess glue not used by application apparatus 3 to sump 5.


    [0018] As visible in Figure 1, sump 5 is preferably formed in a base structure 9 of system 1 arranged below application apparatus 3 and storage container 4 so as to receive glue from them by gravity.

    [0019] In the example shown, application apparatus 3 comprises a glue roller 10 mounted to rotate about a vertical axis A and having an outer cylindrical lateral surface 11, which is covered by melted glue continuously fed by delivering means 7. In particular, glue roller 10 is rotatably supported by base structure 9 and is placed thereon.

    [0020] Labels 2 are retained in a known manner by suction on a transfer drum 12 (only partially shown), arranged tangentially adjacent to glue roller 10 and rotatable about an axis B, parallel to axis A, to advance the labels 2 along a circular path P of axis B towards an application station (known per se and not shown), at which the labels 2 themselves are applied on the respective articles.

    [0021] In practice, as it is advanced by transfer drum 12, each label 2 contacts, on the opposite side thereof with respect to the transfer drum 12, the glue roller 10 to be spread with melted glue.

    [0022] Application apparatus 3 further comprises an electric motor 13, which rests on a support plate 14 placed above glue roller 10 and has an output shaft 15 angularly connected to a core of the glue roller 10 itself to rotate the latter about axis A.

    [0023] Discharging means 8 comprise a glue scraper 16, which, in the example shown, is defined by a curved blade projecting downwards from support plate 14 and arranged at the periphery of glue roller 10 and at a certain radial distance from lateral surface 11 of the glue roller 10 itself. Scraper 16 is adapted to remove the excess of glue from glue roller 10 during rotation thereof and to smooth the surface of the glue layer applied onto lateral surface 11 of the glue roller 10.

    [0024] With reference to Figures 1 and 2, storage container 4 defines a chamber 17 configured to house a stack of solid glue blocks 18 and to maintain them in the solid state at an ambient temperature, preferably ranging between 25°C and 40°C; feeding means 6 comprise one or more heaters, preferably defined by one or more electric resistances 20, carried by a lower portion 21 of storage container 4 and selectively activated on demand to melt at least a portion of the lowest glue block 18 in the stack in such a way that the melted glue is fed to storage container 4.

    [0025] As visible in Figures 1 and 2, each glue block 18 is preferably defined by a "pillow-shaped" body of solid glue, externally sealed by a plastic film which melts together with the glue by the action of electric resistances 20.

    [0026] In the example shown, storage container 4 is delimited by a lateral wall 23 and has a reclosable upper aperture (not visible in Figures 1 and 2) to insert glue blocks 18 within chamber 17 and a lower aperture 24 closed by a melting plate 25 provided with electric resistances 20.

    [0027] More specifically, melting plate 25 is preferably made in a thermally-conductive material, such as aluminum, and is provided with a plurality of drop tubes 26, nine in the examples shown, through which the melted glue flows from chamber 17 to sump 5.

    [0028] As visible in Figures 1 and 2, drop tubes 26 project downwards from melting plate 25 and have respective axes parallel to axes A, B.

    [0029] According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, melting plate 25 is covered at the bottom by a layer 27 of thermal insulating material.

    [0030] Melting plate 25 has an upper portion 28 defining one or more seats or cavities 30, which house respective electric resistances 20.

    [0031] Cavities 30 are defined by horizontal holes formed in upper portion 28 of melting plate 25 and having respective axes orthogonal to those of drop tubes 26. Cavities 30 are also arranged close to respective drop tubes 26.

    [0032] With reference to Figures 1 to 4, sump 5 is advantageously divided by a partition 31 into a first chamber 32, containing fresh melted glue, and a second chamber 33, containing excess melted glue.

    [0033] Chambers 32, 33 are separated by partition 31 and communicates with delivering means 7 through a filter 34 carried by the partition 31 itself and adapted to remove debris mainly present in the excess glue recirculated to the sump 5. In practice, as shown in Figure 4, filter 34 is mounted within a seat of partition 31 and allows flow of the melted glue from both chambers 32, 33 to delivering means 7.

    [0034] Chamber 32 is placed in part below drop tubes 26 to receive fresh melted glue therefrom, whilst chamber 33 is placed in part below glue roller 10 to receive excess glue removed by scraper 16 from lateral surface 11 of the glue roller 10 itself.

    [0035] In particular (see Figure 4), chamber 32 is delimited by a ramp-shaped bottom wall 35, descending towards partition 31, by opposite lateral walls 36, orthogonal to partition 31, and by an end wall 37 facing partition 31 and parallel thereto. Bottom wall 35 has an end portion 38, adjacent to end wall 37 and facing drop tubes 26 so as to receive in use fresh melted glue from storage container 4.

    [0036] Chamber 32 further comprises two or more intermediate walls 40, parallel to partition 31 and alternatively delimiting respective glue passages 41 with opposite lateral walls 36 to generate a labyrinth path Q of the fresh melted glue towards filter 34.

    [0037] In order to ensure movement of the melted glue along labyrinth path Q, the glue in chamber 32 is constantly maintained at a level not exceeding the overall height of intermediate walls 40.

    [0038] In a completely analogous manner to chamber 32, chamber 33 is delimited by a ramp-shaped bottom wall 42, descending towards partition 31, by opposite lateral walls 43, orthogonal to partition 31 and coplanar with the respective lateral walls 36 of chamber 32, and by an end wall 44 facing partition 31, parallel thereto and placed on the opposite side of the partition 31 itself with respect to end wall 37. Bottom wall 42 has an end portion 45 adjacent to end wall 44 and facing glue roller 10 so as to receive in use excess melted glue therefrom.

    [0039] With reference to Figure 1, delivering means 7 comprise:
    • a delivering conduit 46 extending from filter 34 and adapted to produce a continuous flow of melted glue from sump 5; and
    • a pump 47 arranged in series along delivering conduit 46 and adapted to pump the melted glue through the delivering conduit 46 itself towards lateral surface 11 of glue roller 10.


    [0040] In particular, delivering conduit 46 has a first portion 48, formed through base structure 9 and extending from filter 34, and a second portion 49 formed through an upright 50 projecting upwards from the base structure 9 and facing in part lateral surface 11 of glue roller 10.

    [0041] More specifically, portion 49 of delivering conduit 46 has a plurality of horizontal ports 51 allowing the melted glue circulating along delivering conduit 46 to be ejected from the latter so as to deposit on the lateral surface 11 of glue roller 10.

    [0042] Pump 47 is preferably arranged on portion 48 of delivering conduit 46.

    [0043] With particular reference to Figure 3 and 4, filter 34 has a box shape and is arranged at the deepest region of sump 5. In greater details, filter 34 has a first portion 52 extending within sump 5, through the relative seat formed in partition 31, and a second portion 53 projecting downwards from a bottom outlet of sump 5.

    [0044] More specifically, portion 53 of filter 34 is arranged within base structure 9 and has an outlet 54 connected to portion 48 of delivering conduit 46.

    [0045] Portion 52 of filter 34 is delimited by a first porous surface 55, facing chamber 32, and by an opposite porous surface 56 facing chamber 33.

    [0046] Porous surfaces 55, 56 are both provided with through holes 57 allowing in use passage of melted glue coming from chambers 32, 33 towards delivering conduit 46.

    [0047] Holes 57 of porous surfaces 55, 56 preferably have identical section areas, i.e. the same diameters.

    [0048] In the example shown in Figure 3, porous surface 56 has a greater number of holes 57 than porous surface 55 so as to prioritize the flow of excess melted glue from chamber 33 with respect to the flow of fresh melted glue from chamber 32.

    [0049] With reference to Figures 1 to 3, system 1 further comprises a first level sensor 60, configured to detect the level of the melted glue in chamber 32 of sump 5, a second level sensor 61, configured to detect the level of the melted glue in chamber 33 of sump 5, and a temperature sensor 63, configured to detect temperature of melting plate 25.

    [0050] In the example shown, level sensors 60, 61 are defined by ultrasonic sensors facing the free surfaces of the melted glue in respective chambers 32, 33. In particular, level sensor 60 is preferably mounted externally on lateral wall 23 of storage container 4, whilst level sensor 61 is preferably mounted on upright 50.

    [0051] Each level sensor 60, 61 comprises an emitting transducer 64 (known per se and only schematically shown in Figures 1 and 2), which continuously emits ultrasonic waves towards the respective chamber 32, 33 of sump 5; the waves are then reflected back by the free surface of the melted glue in such chamber 32, 33 to the transducer 64 and detected by the latter.

    [0052] As a possible alternative not shown, ultrasonic level sensors 60, 61 may be replaced by other types of level sensors, such as conventional float level sensors.

    [0053] Temperature sensor 63 is housed in a seat or cavity 65 formed in upper portion 28 of melting plate 25 and extending parallel to cavities 30.

    [0054] With reference to Figure 1, system 1 further comprises a control unit 66 receiving a first level signal S1 by level sensor 60, a second level signal S2 by level sensor 61 and a temperature signal S3 by temperature sensor 63; system 1 also comprises a power unit 67 for energizing electric resistances 20 on the basis of such signals S1, S2, S3 and in such a way to maintain the level of the melted glue in chamber 32 lower than that in chamber 33; this guarantees that the flow of melted glue from chamber 33 is prioritized with respect to the flow of melted glue from chamber 32.

    [0055] In practice, control unit 66 and power unit 67 control supply of fresh melted glue in chamber 32 as a function of the detected glue levels in chambers 32 and 33 and as a function of the detected temperature of melting plate 25.

    [0056] More specifically, power unit 67 is activated by control unit 66 to energize electric resistances 20 as the glue level in chamber 32 detected by level sensor 60 falls below a given threshold value L0, which is in turn set to differ of a given value D0 from the detected glue level in chamber 33; power unit 67, and therefore electric resistances 20, are deactivated by control unit 66 as the difference between the glue levels in chambers 32 and 33 falls below value D0 or as the temperature of melting plate 25 detected by temperature sensor 63 reaches a target threshold value T0.

    [0057] In order to maintain a specific glue level in chamber 33, it is possible to fine tune the speed of pump 47, so as to create the necessary flow rates through filter 34.

    [0058] In use, labels 2 are rotated, one after the other, by transfer drum 12 along path P towards the application station of the labels 2 themselves on respective articles.

    [0059] In particular, each label 2 is supported by transfer drum 12 along the side destined to define the front surface when the label 2 itself is applied onto the respective article.

    [0060] During rotation of transfer drum 12 about axis B, each label 2 interacts with glue roller 10 for receiving from the latter a layer of melted glue on its back surface opposite the one contacting the transfer drum 12.

    [0061] Glue roller 10 also rotates about its axis A in a direction opposite the one of transfer drum 12. Glue roller 10 receives the melted glue from delivering conduit 46 and interacts with scraper 16 prior to contacting the labels 2 to be provided with glue. In particular, scraper 16 removes the excess glue from glue roller 10 before the latter distributes the glue on a respective label 2.

    [0062] Excess glue removed by scraper 16 falls by gravity into chamber 33 of sump 5 and descends towards filter 34.

    [0063] Due to the fact that the melted glue in chamber 33 is maintained by control unit 66 at a level higher than that in chamber 32 and also to the fact that porous surface 56 has a higher porosity than porous surface 55, the flow of excess melted glue from chamber 33 to delivering conduit 46 is prioritized with respect to the flow of fresh melted glue from chamber 32.

    [0064] In particular, the value D0 of the difference between the glue levels in chambers 32 and 33 and the different porosity of porous surfaces 55, 56 are chosen so as to ensure that about 90% of the glue fed to glue roller 10 is formed by excess glue discharged by scraper 16 and recirculated by delivering conduit 46; the other 10% of the glue fed to glue roller 10 is instead formed by fresh melted glue coming from chamber 32 and therefore from storage container 4.

    [0065] More specifically, the lowest glue block 18 in the stack within chamber 17 of storage container 4 is melted on demand by melting plate 25 and fed to chamber 32 of sump 5 to replenish the consumed glue.

    [0066] In practice, lever sensors 60, 61 continuously detect the glue levels in respective chambers 32, 33 of sump 5; when the detected glue level in chamber 32 falls below threshold value L0, which is in turn set to differ of value D0 from the glue level in chamber 33, control unit 66 activates power unit 67 so as to energize electric resistances 20 in melting plate 25; in this way, a portion of the lowest glue block 18 in the stack stored in chamber 17 of storage container 4 is melted and flows through drop tubes 26 towards chamber 32.

    [0067] Once fallen into chamber 32, the fresh melted glue follows labyrinth path Q to reach filter 34; along this long path, the temperature of the fresh melted glue coming from storage container 4 increases by moving towards filter 34 and stabilizes at the desired value requested to be then fed to glue roller 10.

    [0068] As the target temperature T0 of melting plate 25 is reached or the difference of glue levels in chambers 32, 33 falls below value D0, control unit 66 deactivates power unit 67 and electric resistances 20.

    [0069] The variant of Figure 5 relates to a solution in which porous surfaces 55, 56 of filter 34 have the same porosity, i.e. the same numbers of holes 57. In this case, prioritization of the flow of melted glue from chamber 33 with respect to the flow of melted glue from chamber 32 is achieved by only controlling the glue levels in the chambers 32, 33 through level sensors 60, 61 and by energizing electric resistances 20 in such a way to maintain the difference between such glue levels at value D0.

    [0070] The advantages of gluing system 1 according to the present invention will be clear from the foregoing description.

    [0071] In particular, by using a partition 31 in sump 5, any possible contamination of the fresh melted glue by the older recirculated glue is avoided. In practice, the chamber 32 destined to receive fresh melted glue remains uncontaminated by recirculated glue and debris.

    [0072] In addition, thanks to the fact that the flow from chamber 33 to delivering means 7 is prioritized with respect to the flow from chamber 32, it is possible to minimize the time in which excess glue discharged by glue roller 10 is recirculated prior to being applied on labels 2. In this way, the glue deposited on labels 2 is less exposed to atmospheric and thermal degradation than in conventional gluing systems. It is in fact known that hot melt glues are best used when they are applied shortly after melting from their solid condition.

    [0073] The presence of intermediate walls 40 in chamber 32 increases the "travel" made by fresh melted glue to reach filter 34; in this way, the temperature of fresh melted glue can be stabilized prior to being delivered to glue roller 10; furthermore, the labyrinth path Q traveled by fresh melted glue permits to ensure that the glue first entering sump 5 is first delivered to glue roller 10.

    [0074] Thanks to the fact that glue is stored in solid blocks 18 in storage container 4, only the minimal necessary amount of glue to maintain the glue application process is melted to replenish sump 5 with the consumed glue.

    [0075] As a consequence, only a minimal amount of glue is heated and circulated between the storage container 4 and the glue roller 10. This translates into less glue degradation due to the action of time and heating as well as less mass of glue circulating in system 1. Parallel to this, the solid volume in the storage container 4 is maximised so as to reduce operator attendance.

    [0076] In general, the above-described gluing system 1 requires the use of relatively small storage container 4 and sump 5 as well as reduced manufacture and maintenance costs with respect to known gluing systems.

    [0077] Plus, the storage container 4 has less hot surfaces to insulate and protect for security of operators than known tanks housing hot glue.

    [0078] Clearly, changes may be made to gluing system 1 as described and illustrated herein without, however, departing from the scope of protection as defined in the accompanying claims.


    Claims

    1. A gluing system (1) for applying glue on products (2), in particular on labels destined to be stuck on articles, said gluing system (1) comprising:

    - a glue application apparatus (3) for depositing melted glue on products (2);

    - a glue containing apparatus (5) containing in part excess melted glue discharged from said application apparatus (3) and in part fresh melted glue for replenishing the consumed glue;

    - glue delivering means (7) to deliver glue from said containing apparatus (5) to said application apparatus (3); and

    - glue discharging means (8) to convey excess glue not used by said application apparatus (3) to said containing apparatus (5);

    characterized in that said containing apparatus (5) is divided by a partition (31) into a first chamber (32), containing said fresh melted glue, and into a second chamber (33) containing said excess melted glue and separated from said first chamber (32); and in that said partition (31) comprises filter means (34) allowing flow of said glue from both said first and second chamber (32, 33) to said delivering means (7).
     
    2. The system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising control means (60, 61, 66, 67) to maintain the level of said melted glue in said first chamber (32) lower than that in said second chamber (33) to prioritize the flow of melted glue from said second chamber (33) to said delivering means (7) with respect to the flow of melted glue from said first chamber (32) to the delivering means (7) themselves.
     
    3. The system as claimed in claim 2, wherein said control means comprise:

    - first level sensor means (60) to detect the level of the melted glue in said first chamber (32);

    - second level sensor means (61) to detect the level of the melted glue in said second chamber (33); and

    - a control unit (66) to control supply of fresh melted glue in said first chamber (32) as a function of the detected glue levels in said first and second chamber (32, 33).


     
    4. The system as claimed in any one of the foregoing claims, wherein said filter means (34) have a first porous surface (55), facing said first chamber (32), and a second porous surface (56) facing said second chamber (33); and wherein both said first and second porous surface (55, 56) are provided with through holes (57) for allowing passage of the melted glue towards said delivering means (7).
     
    5. The system as claimed in claim 4, wherein said holes (57) of said first and second porous surface (55, 56) have the same diameter.
     
    6. The system as claimed in claim 4 or 5, wherein said second porous surface (56) has a larger number of holes than said first porous surface (55) to prioritize the flow of melted glue from said second chamber (33) to said delivering means (7) with respect to the flow of melted glue from said first chamber (32) to the delivering means (7) themselves.
     
    7. The system as claimed in claim 4 or 5, wherein said first porous surface (55) has the same porosity as said second porous surface (56).
     
    8. The system as claimed in any one of the foregoing claims, further comprising glue feeding means (6) selectively activated to feed fresh melted glue to said first chamber (32).
     
    9. The system as claimed in 8, wherein said first chamber (32) is delimited by a bottom wall (35), by a lateral wall (36, 37) and by said partition (31) provided with said filter means (34); wherein said bottom wall (35) has a ramp-shaped portion receiving in use said fresh melted glue from said feeding means (6) and descending towards said partition (31) and said filter means (34); and wherein said first chamber (32) further comprises at least one intermediate wall (40) parallel to said partition (31) and delimiting a glue passage (41) with a portion of said lateral wall (36) to slow down movement of said fresh melted glue towards said filter means (34).
     
    10. The system as claimed in claim 9, wherein said first chamber (32) comprises two or more intermediate walls (40) parallel to said partition (31) and alternatively delimiting respective glue passages (41) with opposite facing portions (36) of said lateral wall (36, 37) to generate a labyrinth path (Q) of said fresh melted glue towards said filter means (34)
     
    11. The system as claimed in any one of claims 8 to 10, further comprising a glue storage container (4) connected to said feeding means (6).
     
    12. The system as claimed in claim 11, wherein said storage container (4) defines a third chamber (17) configured to house a stack of solid glue blocks (18) and to maintain them in the solid state; and wherein said feeding means (6) comprise heating means (20) mounted on a lower portion (21) of said storage container (4) and selectively activated on demand to melt at least a portion of the lowest glue block (18) in said stack in such a way that the melted glue is delivered to said glue containing apparatus (5).
     
    13. The system as claimed in claim 12, wherein said third chamber (17) of said storage container (4) is delimited at the bottom by a melting plate (25) carrying said heating means (20).
     
    14. The system as claimed in claim 12 or 13, wherein said heating means comprise at least one electric resistance (20).
     
    15. The system as claimed in any one of the foregoing claims, wherein said containing apparatus comprises a sump (5).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Klebesystem (1) zum Aufbringen von Klebstoff auf Produkte (2), insbesondere auf Etikette, die dafür vorgesehen sind, auf Artikel geklebt zu werden, wobei das Klebesystem (1) umfasst:

    - eine Klebstoffaufbringvorrichtung (3) für ein Abscheiden eines geschmolzenen Klebstoffs auf Produkte (2) ;

    - eine Klebstoffvorratsvorrichtung (5), die teilweise einen überschüssigen geschmolzenen Klebstoff, der von der Aufbringvorrichtung (3) entsorgt wird, und teilweise einen frischen geschmolzenen Klebstoff enthält, um den verbrauchten Klebstoff wieder aufzufüllen;

    - ein Klebstoffübergabeelement (7), um Klebstoff aus der Vorratsvorrichtung (5) an die Aufbringvorrichtung (3) zu übergeben; und

    - ein Klebstoffentsorgungselement (8), um den von der Aufbringvorrichtung (3) nicht genutzten Klebstoff zu der Vorratsvorrichtung (5) zu transportieren;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Vorratsvorrichtung (5) durch eine Trennwand (31) in eine erste Kammer (32), die den frischen geschmolzenen Klebstoff enthält, und in eine zweite Kammer (33) geteilt wird, die den überschüssigen geschmolzenen Klebstoff enthält und von der ersten Kammer (32) getrennt ist; und dass die Trennwand (31) ein Filterelement (34) umfasst, das einen Fluss des Klebstoffs sowohl von der ersten als auch von der zweiten Kammer (32, 33) zu dem Übergabeelement (7) erlaubt.
     
    2. System nach Anspruch 1, das außerdem ein Steuerelement (60, 61, 66, 67) umfasst, um den Pegel des geschmolzenen Klebstoffs in der ersten Kammer (32) niedriger als denjenigen in der zweiten Kammer (33) zu halten, um den Fluss von geschmolzenem Klebstoff von der zweiten Kammer (33) zu dem Übergabeelement (7) in Bezug auf den Fluss von geschmolzenem Klebstoff von der ersten Kammer (32) zu dem Übergabeelement (7) selbst zu bevorzugen.
     
    3. System nach Anspruch 2, wobei das Steuerelement umfasst:

    - ein erstes Pegelsensorelement (60), um den Pegel des geschmolzenen Klebstoffs in der ersten Kammer (32) zu erkennen;

    - ein zweites Pegelsensorelement (61), um den Pegel des geschmolzenen Klebstoffs in der zweiten Kammer (33) zu erkennen; und

    - eine Steuereinheit (66), um die Übergabe von frischem geschmolzenem Klebstoff in der ersten Kammer (32) als eine Funktion der erkannten Klebstoffpegel in der ersten und der zweiten Kammer (32, 33) zu steuern.


     
    4. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Filterelement (34) eine erste poröse Oberfläche (55) aufweist, die zur ersten Kammer (32) zeigt, und eine zweite poröse Oberfläche (56) aufweist, die zur zweiten Kammer (33) zeigt; und wobei sowohl die erste als auch die zweite poröse Oberfläche (55, 56) mit durchgehende Öffnungen (57) bereitgestellt werden, um den Durchgang des geschmolzenen Klebstoffs zu dem Übergabeelement (7) zu erlauben.
     
    5. System nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Öffnungen (57) der ersten und der zweiten porösen Oberfläche (55,56) den gleichen Durchmesser aufweisen.
     
    6. System nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, wobei die zweite poröse Oberfläche (56) eine größere Anzahl von Öffnungen als die erste poröse Oberfläche (55) aufweist, um den Fluss von geschmolzenem Klebstoff von der zweiten Kammer (33) zu dem Übergabeelement (7) in Bezug auf den Fluss von geschmolzenem Klebstoff von der ersten Kammer (32) zu dem Übergabeelement (7) selbst zu bevorzugen.
     
    7. System nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, wobei die erste poröse Oberfläche (55) die gleiche Porosität wie die zweite poröse Oberfläche (56) aufweist.
     
    8. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, das außerdem ein Klebstoffeinspeiseelement (6) umfasst, das selektiv aktiviert wird, um frischen geschmolzenen Klebstoff in die erste Kammer (32) einzuspeisen.
     
    9. System nach Anspruch 8, wobei die erste Kammer (32) durch einen Boden (35), durch eine Seitenwand (36, 37) und durch die Trennwand (31) begrenzt wird, die mit dem Filterelement (34) bereitgestellt wird; wobei der Boden (35) einen rampenförmigen Abschnitt aufweist, der bei Verwendung den frischen geschmolzenen Klebstoff von dem Einspeiseelement (6) empfängt und der zu der Trennwand (31) und dem Filterelement (34) abfällt; und wobei die erste Kammer (32) außerdem mindestens eine Zwischenwand (40) umfasst, die parallel zur Trennwand (31) angebracht ist und mit einem Abschnitt der Seitenwand (36) einen Klebstoffdurchgang (41) begrenzt, um die Bewegung des frischen geschmolzenen Klebstoffs zu dem Filterelement (34) zu verlangsamen.
     
    10. System nach Anspruch 9, wobei die erste Kammer (32) zwei oder mehr Zwischenwände (40) umfasst, die parallel zur Trennwand (31) angebracht sind und mit einander gegenüberliegenden Abschnitten (36) der Seitenwände (36, 37) entsprechende Klebstoffdurchgänge (41) wechselseitig begrenzen, um einen Labyrinthpfad (Q) für den frischen geschmolzenen Klebstoff zu dem Filterelement (34) zu erzeugen.
     
    11. System nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 10, das außerdem einen Klebstoffspeicherbehälter (4) umfasst, der mit dem Einspeiseelement (6) verbunden ist.
     
    12. System nach Anspruch 11, wobei der Speicherbehälter (4) eine dritte Kammer (17) definiert, die konfiguriert ist, um einen Stapel fester Klebstoffblöcke (18) zu beherbergen und um sie in dem festen Zustand zu halten; und wobei das Einspeiseelement (6) ein Heizelement (20) umfasst, das in einem unteren Abschnitt (21) des Speicherbehälters (4) montiert ist und selektiv auf Anfrage aktiviert wird, um mindestens einen Abschnitt des untersten Klebstoffblocks (18) in dem Stapel in einer Weise zu schmelzen, dass der geschmolzene Klebstoff in die Klebstoffvorratsvorrichtung (5) übergeben wird.
     
    13. System nach Anspruch 12, wobei die dritte Kammer (17) des Speicherbehälters (4) an dem Boden durch eine Schmelzplatte (25) begrenzt ist, die das Heizelement (20) trägt.
     
    14. System nach Anspruch 12 oder 13, wobei das Heizelement mindestens einen elektrischen Widerstand (20) umfasst.
     
    15. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Vorratsvorrichtung einen Sammelbehälter (5) umfasst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système d'encollage (1) pour appliquer de la colle sur des produits (2), en particulier sur des étiquettes destinées à être collées sur des articles, ledit système d'encollage (1) comprenant :

    - un appareil (3) d'application de colle pour déposer de la colle fondue sur les produits (2) ;

    - un appareil (5) récipient de colle contenant en partie l'excès de colle fondue évacué dudit appareil (3) d'application de colle et en partie de la colle fondue fraîche pour remplacer la colle consommée ;

    - des moyens (7) de distribution de colle pour acheminer la colle dudit appareil (5) récipient de colle audit appareil (3) d'application de colle ; et

    - des moyens (8) d'évacuation de colle pour transporter l'excès de colle non utilisé par ledit appareil (3) d'application de colle vers ledit appareil (5) récipient de colle,

    caractérisé en ce que ledit appareil (5) récipient de colle est divisé par une cloison (31) en une première chambre (32), contenant ladite colle fondue fraîche, et en une deuxième chambre (33), contenant ledit excès de colle fondue et séparée de ladite première chambre (32) ; et
    en ce que ladite cloison (31) comprend un moyen de filtre (34) permettant à ladite colle de s'écouler vers lesdits moyens (7) de distribution de colle depuis à la fois ladite première et ladite deuxième chambre (32, 33).
     
    2. Système selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre des moyens de commande (60, 61, 66, 67) pour maintenir le niveau de ladite colle fondue dans ladite première chambre (32) plus bas que celui dans ladite deuxième chambre (33) afin de donner la priorité à l'écoulement de colle fondue de ladite deuxième chambre (33) auxdits moyens (7) de distribution par rapport à l'écoulement de colle fondue de ladite première chambre (32) aux moyens (7) de distribution eux-mêmes.
     
    3. Système selon la revendication 2, dans lequel lesdits moyens de commande comprennent :

    - un premier moyen (60) de détecteur de niveau pour détecter le niveau de la colle fondue dans ladite première chambre (32) ;

    - un second moyen (61) de détecteur de niveau pour détecter le niveau de la colle fondue dans ladite deuxième chambre (33) ; et

    - une unité de commande (66) pour commander l'alimentation en colle fondue fraîche de ladite première chambre (32) en fonction des niveaux de colle détectés dans lesdites première et deuxième chambres (32, 33).


     
    4. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit moyen de filtre (34) comporte une première surface poreuse (55), tournée vers ladite première chambre (32), et une seconde surface poreuse (56), tournée vers ladite deuxième chambre (33) ; et dans lequel lesdites première et seconde surfaces poreuses (55, 56) sont toutes deux pourvues de trous débouchants (57) pour permettant le passage de la colle fondue vers lesdits moyens (7) de distribution.
     
    5. Système selon la revendication 4, dans lequel lesdits trous (57) des première et seconde surfaces poreuses (55, 56) ont le même diamètre.
     
    6. Système selon la revendication 4 ou 5, dans lequel la seconde surface poreuse (56) comporte un plus grand nombre de trous que ladite première surface poreuse (55) afin de donner la priorité à l'écoulement de colle fondue de ladite deuxième chambre (33) auxdits moyens (7) de distribution par rapport à l'écoulement de colle fondue de ladite première chambre (32) aux moyens (7) de distribution eux-mêmes.
     
    7. Système selon la revendication 4 ou 5, dans lequel ladite première surface poreuse (55) a la même porosité que ladite seconde surface poreuse (56).
     
    8. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre des moyens (6) d'alimentation en colle activés sélectivement pour alimenter en colle fondue fraîche ladite première chambre (32).
     
    9. Système selon la revendication 8, dans lequel ladite première chambre (32) est délimitée par une paroi de fond (35), par des parois latérales (36, 37) et par ladite cloison (31) équipée dudit moyen de filtre (34) ; dans lequel ladite paroi de fond (35) comporte une partie en forme de rampe recevant lors de l'utilisation ladite colle fondue fraîche provenant desdits moyens (6) d'alimentation et descendant vers ladite cloison (31) et ledit moyen de filtre (34) ; et dans lequel ladite première chambre (32) comprend en outre au moins une paroi intermédiaire (40) parallèle à ladite cloison (31) et délimitant avec une partie de ladite paroi latérale (36) un passage (41) de colle pour ralentir le mouvement de ladite colle fondue fraîche vers ledit moyen de filtre (34).
     
    10. Système selon la revendication 9, dans lequel ladite première chambre (32) comprend deux ou plusieurs parois intermédiaires (40) parallèles à ladite cloison (31) et délimitant en variante avec des parties opposées (36) se faisant face de ladite paroi latérale (36, 37) des passages (41) de colle pour créer un circuit (Q) à chicanes de ladite colle fondue fraîche vers ledit moyen de filtre (34).
     
    11. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 à 10, comprenant en outre un récipient (4) de stockage de colle raccordé auxdits moyens (6) d'alimentation.
     
    12. Système selon la revendication 11, dans lequel ledit récipient (4) de stockage définit une troisième chambre (17) configurée pour recevoir une pile de blocs (18) de colle solide et les maintenir à l'état solide ; et dans lequel lesdits moyens (6) d'alimentation comprennent des moyens (20) de chauffage montés sur une partie inférieure (21) dudit récipient (4) de stockage et activés sélectivement à la demande pour faire fondre au moins une partie du bloc (18) de colle le plus bas dans la pile de telle façon que la colle fondue soit acheminée vers ledit appareil (5) récipient de colle.
     
    13. Système selon la revendication 12, dans lequel ladite troisième chambre (17) dudit récipient (4) de stockage est délimitée au fond par un plateau de fusion (25) portant lesdits moyens (20) de chauffage.
     
    14. Système selon la revendication 12 ou 13, dans lequel lesdits moyens de chauffage comprennent au moins une résistance électrique (20).
     
    15. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit appareil récipient comprend un puisard (5).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description