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Debulker Device Having an Independent Suspension System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028559D
Publication Date: 2004-May-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 102K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Presented herein is a method and apparatus to execute improved debulking of high-profile absorbent cores. This article focuses on two primary areas of innovation and improvement over prior debulking methods. One area of improvement involves a new shock absorbing method to tolerate processing of high-profile pads. Another area of improvement provides an improved gap adjustment function to deliver accurate gap adjustments over the entire range of high-profile pads.

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Debulker Device Having an Independent Suspension System

    Many products within the disposable consumer products industry require fibrous pads. Some pads are air formed, and some are roll wound. These pads can be found in disposable diapers, feminine pads, adult garments and the like. These products and their manufacturing processes are widely understood to anyone skilled in the art. To obtain maximum product performance, these fibrous pads are desirably compressed or densified.

     Absorbent pads for potential use in disposable consumer products have been trialed with an increased proportion of the absorbent in the center area while reducing the amount in the remaining areas. These high-profile pads can have four times or more the absorbent mass in the center area, as compared to the remainder of the pad. These pads typically require greater compression. This often results in higher levels of shock loading to obtain the desired finished product. This increased compression not only taxes the ability to achieve target bulk thickness, but also the ability to maintain a functioning debulker system. "Debulker" is a commonly used term to describe compression systems within the disposable consumer products industry.

    Many current debulking systems have the same flaws. For example, a debulker roll may be fixed solid. In some cases, a roll may have both the adjustment mechanism and load-bearing elements built into the same roll. Such a roll is intended to be held against the adjustment mechanism except when the roll nip is opened. When high- profile pads pass through these debulkers, any load in excess of the load bearing elements causes shock to be transmitted into the adjustment roll as motion. This motion is cycled at the same frequency as the production rate in products per minute. This motion is amplified when the product is out of phase with the debulker. Debulkers are typically designed with the intent that both rolls are fixed; no motion (apart from rotation) is intended to take place in either roll. Conventional equipment may be damaged when running high-profile products. Bearings, roll journals, frame members (metal fatigue), and load application linkages could fail, possibly generating production problems as well as safety issues.

     The load application elements used with current debulker units are normally air bags or air cylinders. These devices push the adjustable roll against a gap adjusting mechanism. This mechanism is normally some kind of wedge device, cam and follower, or eccentric and cam follower. These devices may be gradually damaged as the bouncing roll impacts these devices.

     Presented herein is a method and apparatus to execute improved debulking of these high-profile absorbent cores. This article focuses on two primary areas of innovation and improvement over prior debulking methods. One area of improvement involves a new shock absorbing method to tolerate processing of high-profile pads.

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Another area of improv...