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System for on-demand shrinking of a sleeve onto a single package so that the shrinking process is fully visible to the consumer.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125955D
Publication Date: 2005-Jun-24
Document File: 8 page(s) / 3M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

System for on-demand shrinking of a sleeve onto a single package so that the shrinking process is fully visible to the consumer.This invention does not require an "air knife" or the air distribution system associated with an "air knife". The air distribution system associated with an "air knife" can obscure the consumer's view of the shrinking process. This invention does not require the package to be surrounded by an air distribution tube or by a pre-heating tube, both of which obscure the consumer's view of the shrinking process.

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RECORD OF INVENTION

1.             the Invention:  

a.             Concise statement of invention: System for on-demand shrinking of a sleeve onto a single package so that the shrinking process is fully visible to the consumer.  

b.             Detailed description of invention: See the attached  

(i)            The problem to be solved: There are existing methods of performing on-demand shrinking of a sleeve onto a package, but the mechanisms required for these methods mostly obstruct the consumer’s view of the shrinking process.  Watching the shrinking process has entertainment value for the consumer.  

(ii)           How the invention works. See the attached  

   

                                   

   

The following is the first detailed description of the invention:  Note – The practice of applying heat from the bottom of a package towards the top of the package is common within the Shrink Sleeving business.  We did not invent this practice.

A crude prototype was successfully operated.  Instead of locating the package and turntable behind a flat clear door, in prototype “A” the package and turntable were located inside of a clear tube with a slot cut in the side to allow the hot air from the heat gun to hit the package.   The package is loaded from the open top of the tube.  In production, the tube will probably be covered with a hinged lid with a safety interlock to make sure that the consumer can’t put their hands into the hot air stream during shrinking. 

This page and the next page show sketches of a more neatly packaged prototype (referred to as prototype “B”) that is currently being built.  The following parameters will be adjustable in prototype “B”:  Distance from the heat gun’s nozzle to the package, rate at which the heat gun moves up and down, wattage of the heat gun, set-point

tempe

rature of the heat gun.  In order to maintain the set-point temperature of the heat gun, the heater will be modulated on and off around an adjustable temperature set-point by a

tempe

rature control with a sensor in the hot air stream.  If the system is controlled by a computer or by a PLC, the direction, location, and sequence of heat application to the package can be controlled.  In order to minimize cost in production, some of the above parameters which are adjustable in the prototype might be fixed in production once the optimum values are determined.

Prototype “B” was successfully built and tested.  The following are some photographs of Prototype “B”.

     Top View                                                                                                              Iso view with lift carriage down

      Iso View with lift carriage up.                                      ...