Patent application title: CAPSULE FOR BOTTLENECKS FORMED BY AN ADHESIVE DISC AND HEAT-SHRINKABLE SLEEVE, A PROCESS FOR IN-LINE INCLUSION OF SAID CAPSULE LINE, AND A MACHINE FOR FORMING SAID CAPSULE BY SAID PROCESS
Oscar Lavaque (Boulogne, AR)
IPC8 Class: AB65D2312FI
Class name: Bottles and jars attachment or adjunct
Publication date: 2013-01-31
Patent application number: 20130026129
A capsule for bottle necks (2) consisting of: an adhesive disc (1)
arranged on the upper part of the bottle neck (2); a sleeve made of a
heat-shrinkable material (3), having a cylindrical shape and an initial
diameter larger than that of the bottle neck (2).
1. A capsule for bottle necks comprising: an adhesive disc arranged on
the upper part of said bottle neck; a sleeve made of a heat-shrinkable
material, having a cylindrical shape and an initial diameter larger than
that of said bottle neck.
2. The capsule according to claim 1, wherein said adhesive disc is arranged on a silicone substrate thus forming a web, and wherein said adhesive has an adhesive base to be placed on the upper part of the bottle neck on a cork.
3. The capsule according to claim 1, wherein said sleeve is made of a heat-shrinkable material such as PVC.
4. The capsule according to claim 1, wherein said sleeve is obtained from a web that is specifically formed as a tube by register cutting at predefined zones, whereby a printing zone is defined in between.
5. A process for in-line inclusion of a capsule according to claim 1, wherein said process includes the steps of: applying, by means of an adhesive-disc applicator, said adhesive discs on bottle corks; applying, by means of a sleeve applicator, heat-shrinkable sleeves around the bottle neck; applying heat, by means of an electrical tunnel arranged on the bottle neck, to said sleeves and shrinking them so that they wrap both the neck of one of the bottles, and a part of said adhesive disc, thus leaving the core of said adhesive disc free, whereby said capsule is formed.
6. The process according to claim 5, wherein said applicator unwinds and places the tube of a web on a bullet that renders it open, and gives it the shape of a cylindrical sleeve, this sleeve being cut by using a cutting blade system so as to be mechanically positioned on the bottle neck, by means of rolls that move the sleeve so as to place the sleeve into position.
7. A machine to form the capsule according to claim 1, using the process according to claim 5, the machine comprising: a conveyor belt on which said bottles are vertically laid on their base as they move forward; a first station including an adhesive-disc applicator placing those disc on bottle cork "C", and of an adhesive-disc substrate collector; a second station including a sleeve applicator that wraps a heat-shrinkable sleeve around the bottle neck; a third station including an electrical tunnel arranged on the bottle neck, wherein said capsule is formed.
8. The machine according to claim 7, wherein said sleeve applicator includes a cutting blade system to cut said sleeves, and a roll system to move said sleeves so as to place them into their position on said bottle neck.
 This invention relates to a bottle-neck capsule comprising an
adhesive disc and a heat-shrinkable sleeve, to a process for in-line
inclusion of said capsule, and to a machine to form said capsule by
carrying out said process.
 U.S. Pat. No. 3,720,343 discloses a milk bottle cap, an apparatus, and a method, said bottle cap being particularly suited as tamper-resistant milk bottle closures, made of plastic material and/or the like. The bottle cap comprises a laminated disc structure consisting of: an upper layer made of a rigid material, preferably a water-proof material; a middle layer made of aluminum or the like; and a foam disc to be contacted with the bottle mouth. After being placed on the bottle mouth, the disk is sealed and kept in place by a heat-shrinkable tube that is heat-contracted around and partially on the closing disc, sealed thereto, and provided with a skirt that is in close contact with the bottle neck screw threads.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,294,367 discloses a container provided with a lid comprised of a skirt made of shrinkable material, and a cover made of non-shrinkable material and having a diameter larger than the outer diameter of the container opening. The skirt is shrunk so that it sealably contacts the container neck, and the cover fits the container upper edge.
 U.S. Pat. No. 2,790,286 discloses a method to apply a secondary band closure to the neck of a bottle closed by a primary closure, said method comprising the positioning of a plastic heat-shrinkable circumferentially oriented secondary band closure on the neck, which is subsequently heated so that it adheres to the bottle neck.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,156,248 B2 discloses an overcap intended for a bottle neck closed by a bottle cork that includes a skirt and an upper part secured to the skirt around a circular bonding surface that is common to both the skirt and the upper part. The upper part is comprised of a first strip made of a material that is deformable by stamping or thermoforming, so as to create an edge around the upper part. The skirt includes an upper end cooperating with the edge so as to form a circular bonding surface, said skirt being comprised of a second strip made of a material featuring mechanical properties not as good as those featured by the first material.
 U.S. Pat. No. 3,640,417 discloses a heat-shrinkable sleeve intended to close a container and comprising a heat-shrinkable cylindrical portion, and a non heat-shrinkable end portion, said cylindrical portion being seamlessly secured to said end portion so as to form a cap, which will be fastened around said container opening by applying heat to said cylindrical portion.
 U.S. Pat. No. 2,447,983 discloses a heat-shrinkable closure intended for containers, and comprising a pre-stretched seamless tube made of a thermoplastic composition that may be hardened to a non-thermoplastic insoluble solvent state, and that may be contracted in the cross direction to at least 10% when subjected to heat, whereby the closure is adjusted to be shrunk and irreversibly hardened "in situ" on a container.
 U.S. Pat. No. 3,924,771 discloses a bottle cap having preshrunk walls made of a plastic heat-shrinkable material that can be contracted in the direction of the cap's tubular wall circumference, said cap being suitable to be positioned on and shrunk to its final condition on a bottle to be capped.
 CA1085774 discloses a container having a closure applied on the mouth or outlet opening thereof, said closure including an annular skirt portion terminating in a lower annular edge, a sleeve made of a polymer cell heat-shrinkable sheet material, at least 127 micron thick, oriented in such a way as to circumferentially extend in the bottle, around the bottle neck, and the skirt portion of such closure.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,021,286 discloses an apparatus for the manufacture of labels intended for heat-shrinkable polymer containers, said labels being pre-decorated as a pattern, and transferred to a container at room temperature, and thermo-shrunk thereon, around both the neck and the container opening.
 Finally, AR047011A1, by the same Applicant, discloses a bottle capsule comprised of two component parts, using a plastic film as a support. A first part consists of strips bearing the capsule capping disc printed thereon, said capping disc having an adhesive at its bottom so as to adhere to the bottle upper part on the cork, and a second part made of a similar heat-shrinkable type of material, intended to form the capsule body, which is included in the packaging line, wrapping the bottle neck, and thermo-shrinking both around the bottle neck and the capping disc. The steps of manufacturing and positioning of both strips are carried out simultaneously at the packaging line.
 Except for the Argentinean publication, none of the above mentioned documents is intended for the simultaneous manufacture and positioning of the capping disc and the capsule that seals the neck and the bottle opening. However, the Argentinean publication arranges a second heat-shrinkable plastic strip laterally, thus wrapping the bottle neck during transfer thereof to the packaging line. This type of application is very troublesome, resulting in several inconveniences at the time of inclusion thereof in the neck or bottle neck.
 This invention has been created in order to overcome the above-mentioned prior art issues, by including the capsule as a cover around a preformed bottle neck, after the capping disc has been bonded on the bottle cork by an adhesive.
 Therefore an object of the present application is a bottle-neck capsule characterized in that said capsule consists of:  an adhesive disc arranged on the upper part of said bottle neck;  a cylindrical sleeve made of a heat-shrinkable material, having an initial diameter larger than that of said bottle neck.
 A further object of the invention is a process for in-line inclusion of said capsule, characterized in that said process includes the steps of:  applying, by means of an adhesive disc applicator, said adhesive discs on bottle corks;  applying, by means of a sleeve applicator, heat-shrinkable sleeves around the bottle neck;  applying heat, by means of an electrical tunnel arranged on the bottle neck, to said sleeves thus shrinking them, in order to wrap both the bottle neck and a part of said adhesive disc thus forming said capsule.
 A still further object of the invention is a machine for the manufacture of said capsule by using said process, characterized in that the machine comprises:  a conveyor belt on which said bottles are vertically laid on their base as they move forward;  a first station consisting of an adhesive-disc applicator that positions said discs on bottle cork "C", and of an adhesive-disc substrate collector;  a second station consisting of a sleeve applicator which surrounds each bottle neck with a heat-shrinkable sleeve;  a third station consisting of an electrical tunnel arranged on the bottle neck, wherein said capsule is formed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 In order to make this invention easier to understand, and to provide further clarification thereon, the box of the invention has been depicted in several drawings, according to their preferred embodiments, all of which being mere examples thereof:
 FIGS. 1A-1C depict the adhesive label also referred to as capping disc, and the heat-shrinkable sleeve constituting the subject matter of this invention, when they are placed on a bottle neck.
 FIG. 2 illustrates a web wherefrom the heat-shrinkable sleeves are derived.
 FIG. 3 is a side view of the machine to insert said adhesive discs on, and said heat-shrinkable sleeve to a bottle neck.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 FIGS. 1A to 1C illustrate different elements included in the capsule constituting the subject matter of this invention. More specifically, FIG. 1A shows an adhesive disc 1 previously arranged on neck 2 of a bottle (not shown), more specifically, on the cork "C" of a bottle, by means of a disc applicator that will be explained in further detail in FIG. 3. Next, FIG. 1B illustrates the insertion of a sleeve made of a heat-shrinkable material 3, such as PVC, from a web 4, shown in FIG. 2. Said heat-shrinkable sleeve 3 has a cylindrical shape and an initial diameter larger than that of neck 2 of bottle, so as to be placed around said neck 2, after being cut from said web 4. Said placement takes place downwardly by means of a sleeve applicator 6 that will be explained in more detail with reference to FIG. 3. Finally said sleeve 3 is thermo-contracted by applying heat thereto, and by wrapping both the bottle neck 2 and a part of disc 1, leaving the core 5 of said adhesive disc 1 free, as illustrated in FIG. 1C.
 FIG. 2 illustrates a web 4 particularly given the form of a tube made of heat-shrinkable material 3. As can be observed, as said web 4 is unwrapped, the successive sleeves 3 are cut along register slits at predefined zones 6, a printing zone 7 being thus defined between said register slitting zones.
 FIG. 3 is a side view of a machine that inserts adhesive discs 1 and heat-shrinkable sleeves 3, according to the invention. Said machine is provided with a conveyor belt T on which bottles are vertically laid on their base as they move forward. A first station of said machine consists of an adhesive-disc o capping-disc applicator 8, manufactured according to regular standards, intended to position those discs on bottle cork "C". Said adhesive discs 1 are arranged on a silicone substrate that forms a web. Said silicone substrate is subsequently collected by a substrate collector. Said adhesive disc 1 bears an adhesive base, which is placed on the bottle neck 2, on said corks C. Next, a second station of said machine consists of a sleeve applicator 6 that places a heat-shrinkable sleeve 3, preferably made of PVC around the bottle neck 2. The applicator 6 unwinds and inserts the web tube 4 on a bullet (not shown) that opens it, and gives it the shape of a cylindrical sleeve 3. Next said sleeve 3 is cut by a cutting blade system (no shown), so as to be mechanically placed on the bottle neck 2, by means of rolls (not shown) that move it so as to place it in position. Finally, and at a third station said bottles go through an electrical tunnel 9 arranged on the bottle neck 2, wherein said heat-shrinkable sleeve 3 is heated by application of heat and shrinks, thus wrapping both the bottle neck 2, and a part of the adhesive or capping disc 1, resulting in the formation of a capsule manufactured "in situ" on the bottles in the production line.
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