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Patent Issued for Apparatus for Manufacturing Absorbent Article and Method for Manufacturing Absorbent Article (USPTO 9095474)

08/12/2015 | 12:43pm US/Eastern

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- UNICHARM CORPORATION (Ehime, JP) has been issued patent number 9095474, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Nakano, Takumi (Kagawa, JP); Matsumoto, Yoshihiko (Kagawa, JP).

This patent was filed on December 8, 2011 and was published online on August 4, 2015.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Conventionally, in a step of manufacturing an absorbent article such as a disposable diaper, in order to improve the fitting in the leg hole region and the crotch region of the wearer, a method for arranging elastic members at the position corresponding to the leg hole region and the crotch region is used widely.

"Specifically, according to the manufacturing step, continuous elastic members are arranged in a waveform on a continuous web configuring component of the absorbent article. That is, by arranging elastic members in a waveform on the web on which a longitudinal direction of an absorbent article is arranged along a cross direction that crosses a conveyance direction of the web, an absorbent article having gathers corresponding to the shape of the leg hole region and the crotch region can be manufactured continuously.

"Patent Literature 1 and Patent Literature 2 disclose a method for arranging elastic members in a waveform on a web that is conveyed. Specifically, by using a base portion of an arm member that is directly coupled to a rotational axis of a motor as the rotational axis, the arm member is swung in the cross direction of the web, while elastic members are fed from a tip portion of the arm member, and the elastic members are arranged in a waveform on the web. Next, by sandwiching the elastic members and the web by press rolls provided above and below the web, the elastic members supplied on the web are brought in contact and arranged on the web."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "However, the aforementioned conventional method for arranging elastic members has the below-mentioned problem. That is, the arm members swing about the base portion that is connected to the rotational axis of the motor. Therefore, the movement trajectory of the feeding position of the elastic members that form the tip portion of the arm members is in the shape of an arc. Thus, the distance between the contact point where the elastic members and web contact and the feeding position changes at all times, and the feeding position and the contact point are sometimes displaced in the cross direction. For example, the distance between the feeding position and the contact point becomes longer at an end in the cross direction of the movement trajectory of the feeding position than at the center in the cross direction of the movement trajectory. Therefore, in the state when the feeding position is positioned at an end in the cross direction, the length of displacement of the feeding position and the contact point in the cross direction becomes longer. In view of the length of displacement of the feeding position and the contact point, when the tip portion of the arm members is positioned near an end in the cross direction, the tip portion of the arm members needs to be moved outer sides than the contact point where the elastic members be arranged in the cross direction. Thus, the acceleration of the arm members increases at near the end in the cross direction.

"Particularly, in the case of the size of the absorbent article to be manufactured needs to be increased, for example, in the case of a disposable diaper for adults, the width of swinging of the arm members needs to be increased as compared to a disposable diaper for infants. When the width of swinging of the arm members is relatively larger, the distance between the feeding position and the contact point near the end in the cross direction becomes further longer, and the acceleration of the arm members near the end in the cross direction increases further. Thus, the arm members themselves cannot bear the acceleration and may end up being damaged.

"Thus, the present invention has been achieved in view of such a situation, and an object thereof is to provide an apparatus for manufacturing an absorbent article and a method for manufacturing an absorbent article with which it is possible to handle several sizes while surely reducing the damage of an arm member.

"In order to resolve the above problem, the apparatus for manufacturing absorbent articles according to the present disclosure is summarized as the apparatus for manufacturing absorbent articles having a front waistline region (front waistline region 10), a rear waistline region (rear waistline region 20), and a crotch region (crotch region 30) positioned between the front waistline region and the rear waistline region, comprising: a guide member (guide member 120) that guides an elastic member (elastic member 6) fed on a web (composite web 7) configuring a component of the absorbent article (absorbent article 1) and being conveyed in a continuous state, wherein the guide member comprises: an arm member (arm member 121) having a tip portion (tip portion 122) that is a feeding position of the elastic member to the web, and a base portion (base portion 123) separated from the tip portion; a first driving member (first drive member 125) that swings the arm member about the base portion of the arm member as a rotational axis; and a second driving member (second drive member 128) that performs a back and forth movement of the arm member and the first driving member in a first direction (first direction Ma) in which the tip portion is close to a contact point where the elastic member is in contact with the web, and a second direction (second direction Mb) in which the tip portion is separated from the contact point.

"In order to resolve the above problem, the method for manufacturing absorbent articles according to the present disclosure is summarized as the method for manufacturing absorbent articles having a front waistline region, a rear waistline region, and a crotch region positioned between the front waistline region and the rear waistline region in which an elastic member is arranged on a web configuring a component of the absorbent article and being conveyed in a continuous state, by swinging an arm member having a tip portion that is a feeding position of the elastic member to the web within a predetermined range in a cross direction that crosses a conveyance direction, comprising: a step of conveying the web in a predetermined direction; and a step of arranging the elastic members on the web by swinging the tip portion in the cross direction while performing a back and forth movement of the tip portion in a first direction in which the tip portion is close to the contact point where the elastic members are in contact with the web, and a second direction in which the tip portion is separated from the contact point."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Nakano, Takumi; Matsumoto, Yoshihiko. Apparatus for Manufacturing Absorbent Article and Method for Manufacturing Absorbent Article. U.S. Patent Number 9095474, filed December 8, 2011, and published online on August 4, 2015. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9095474.PN.&OS=PN/9095474RS=PN/9095474

Keywords for this news article include: UNICHARM CORPORATION.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2015, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2015 NewsRx LLC, source Science Newsletters

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