US 3867874 A
A padded shipping envelope is made by continuously advancing a preprinted envelope blank in a first direction while a patch of foamed plastic material is adhered thereto to substantially cover the envelope pocket defining portions of the blank, and folding and joining the composite structure to partially form an envelope structure including front and back panels. Thereafter, the partially formed envelope structure is continuously advanced in a second direction generally normal to the first direction while a bottom panel is folded into overlying relation and adhered to the back panel and sealing adhesive is applied to the envelope closure flap.
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[451 Feb. 25, 1975 3,349,990 10/1967 Woodford,..........,......... 229/14 C X 3,380,353
[ METHOD FOR MAKING PADDED ENVELOPE Mittermayer....................... 913/61 R 229/14 BL X  Inventor: Joseph H. ONeil, Springfield, Mass.
Primary Examiner-Roy Lake Assistant Examiner-James F. Coan v, n a n. m 0 C e P .m ma M e a MM d am o. US e n .W S S A H 7 l.
Attorney, Agent or FirmFrederick .l. Haesche Jan. 28, 1974 Appl. N0.: 437,601
ABSTRACT A padded shipping envelope is made by continuous]  93/61 R, 93/62,l56/226, advancingapreprintedenvelopeblankinafirstdire 156/291, 206/521 tion while a patch of foamed plastic material is adlnt. hered thereto to substantially cover the envelope  13311) 39/00 229/68 R, 14 C, 14 BL, 92.9; 93/36.6, 61 R, 61 A, 62, 35
 Field of Search............ pocket defining portions of the blank, and folding and 229/928 joining the composite structure to partially form an R, 8 W; 53/31, 32, 206; l56/226, 291; envelope structure including front and back panels.
206/521, 523, 524 Thereafter, the partially formed envelope structure is continuously advanced in a second direction generally  References Cited normal to the first direction while a bottom panel is UNITED STATES PATENTS folded into overlying relation and adhered to the back panel and sealing adhesive is applied to the envelope closure flap.
2 /5 3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 206/521 Toepfert m s m k wmm w w m NGm 00000 2366 9999 1111 669 62008 0595 .3 3222 7656 10 7 0 9 '22 a P w 19. w
PATENImrzaesmrs ANYWHERE 1 METHOD FOR MAKING PADDED ENVELOPE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates in general to a method for making envelopes and deals more specifically with an improved method for making a padded envelope suitable for use as a shipping container or mailer. Heretofore, envelopes of the aforedescribed general type have been fabricated by attaching padding material such as corrugated paper to a web of paper and then forming the resulting composite web structure into a bag. This method has disadvantages in that it is not practical to provide an integral closure in the forming operation, since the web machine does not have the capability of forming a suitably shaped closure flap. If a closure flap is to be provided, additional operations are usually required to form the closure flap. Further such web machines usually employ rubber plates, use fluid ink, and print only one or two colors which limits the quality of printing available. The presentinvention is directed to an improved high production method for making a light weight, high quality shipping envelope particularly suited for use as a shipping container or mailer for small parts or fragile articles such as jewelry, electronic parts, tape casettes, credit cards, eyeglass frames, scientific instruments, medical instruments, small tools or other special direct mail items and which may be printed by any chosen printing process with excellent fidelity, to assure a high-quality finished product.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention an improved padded shipping envelope is formed of adhering a patch of padding material to a precut and preprinted envelope blank and folding and joining the composite blank and patch to form front and rear panels which partially define an envelope pocket while the blank is advanced in one direction through an envelope making machine. Thereafter, the partially formed envelope is further advanced in another direction generally normal to said one direction whereupon adhesive is applied to the closure flap and bottom flap and the bottom flap is folded to overlie an associated one of the aforesaid panels to form the bottom of the envelope pocket.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a rear view of an envelope made in accordance with the present invention, a portion of the back panel and the padding material shown broken away to reveal structure therebehind.
FIG. 2 is a somewhat enlarged sectional view taken generally along the line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a front view of a preprinted envelope blank from which the envelope of FIG. 1 is formed.
FIGS. 4-7 illustrate successive steps in the process for making the envelope of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to the drawing and referring first particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, an envelope made in accordance with the present invention and indicated generally by the reference numeral comprises a front panel 12, a back panel 14, a bottom flap 16, and a closure flap 18. The entire inner surface of the envelope pocket between the front and back panels is lined by a foamed plastic pad which may, for example, comprise polyethylene. The pad 20is preferably adhered to the body panels of the envelope 10 by pressure sensitive adhesive which remains tacky for an indefinite time. The closure flap 18 carries a strip of sealing gum or pressure sensitive adhesive 22 which is preferably covered by a strip of protective release paper 24 until the envelope 10 is ready for use.
The method for making the envelope 10 is illustrated with reference to FIGS. 3-7. Referring first to FIG. 3, a preprinted blank from which an envelope 10 is formed is indicated generally at 26 and may be produced from practically any stock or color paper or other suitable material. The printing operation is performed before any further operations are performed on the blank 26, therefore, any desired graphic treatment may be employed, including four color process, if de* sired. The printing operation may be performed either on a web before blanks are formed therefrom or on the blanks, as desired. Further referring to the preprinted blank 26, it includes a printed fI'OI'llt panel 12 and a pair of side panels 28 and 28' which cooperate in overlapping relation to define the envelope back panel 14. Re ferring now particularly to FIGS. 4-6, the blank 26 is fed into an envelope making machine with the outer or printed surface thereof in the downwardly facing direction and is advanced in one direction parallel to the side edges thereof, the latter direction of advance being indicated by the directional arrows 30, 30 in FIGS. 4 and 6. While the blank 26 is continuously advancing in the direction 30, a pattern of adhesive is applied to the upper surface of the front panel 12 and side panels 28, 28. As shown, the pattern is defined by a plurality of parallel strips of adhesive 32, 32. The latter strips of adhesive are preferably of a pressure sensitive type which remains tacky for an indefinite time. Another strip of adhesive or seam gum 34 is preferably simultaneously applied to the blank 26 adjacent one side edge of the associated side panel 28.
The patch or pad 20, shown in FIG. 5, is preferably cut from foamed plastic material while the blank 26 is continuously advancing and is cut to required size to substantially cover the entire upper surface of the front panel 12 and the entire body defining portions of the side panels 28 and 28'.'More specifically, the pad 20 is cut to size and shape to substantially overlie the entire upper surface of the right-hand panel 28' and the entire upper surface of the front panel 12, but only a portion of the upper surface of the left side panel 28, as shown in FIG. 4, The uncovered or exposed portion of the left side panel 28 comprises the marginal portion thereof which carries the seam gum 34.
The patch 20 is adhered to the blank 26 by applying it into overlying relation with the advancing blank and pressing it into engagement therewith as the blank continuously advances in the direction 30 (FIG. 6). While the composite blank 26 and patch 20 advance in the direction 30, the right-hand panel 28' is folded inwardly toward overlying relation with the patch 20 along a fold line 36 to its broken line position in FIG. 6. Thereafter, the left-hand panel 28 is folded inwardly along another fold line 38, to its broken line position in FIG. 7 to bring the side edges of the patch 20 into abutting engagement and the adhesive strip 34 into adhering engagement with the marginal edge of the right hand panel 28 to form the back panel 114.
After the back panel 14 has been formed, the direction of advance of the partially formed envelope is altered so that it is further advanced in another direction normal to the direction 30 and indicated by the directional arrow 40, FIG. 7. As the partially completed envelope structure advances in the latter direction, a strip of seam gum 42 is applied to the bottom panel 16 and another strip of sealing gum 22 is applied to the closure flap 18. Any suitable adhesive may be used for this purpose, however, pressure sensitive adhesive is preferred. The envelope is completed by folding the bottom panel 16 inwardly along another fold line 44 and into overlying relation with the panels 28 and 28 to its position in FIG. 1. If pressure sensitive sealing gum 22 is applied to the closing flap, release paper such as 24 (FIG. 1) may also be applied to cover the gum 22 at this time.
1. A method for making a padded envelope comprising the steps of providing a preprinted envelope blank having a plurality of envelope body defining panels including a front panel, a first side panel integrally connected to said front panel along one side edge of said front panel, and a second side panel integrally connected to said front panel along the other side edge of said front panel, said second side panel having a body defining portion adjacent said other side of said front panel and a seam defining marginal portion adjacent its free edge, said blank having a bottom flap integrally connected to one of said panels along the bottom edge thereof and a closure flap integrally connected to one of said panels along the top edge thereof, continuously advancing said preprinted blank in one direction, applying a pattern of adhesive to said front panel, said first side panel and said body defining portion of said second side panel while said preprinted blank is continuously advancing in said one direction, applying adhesive to said seam defining marginal portion while said preprinted blank is continuously advancing in said one direction, cutting a patch of foamed plastic material to complement and substantially cover said front panel, said first side panel and said body defining portion of said second side panel, attaching said patch to said preprinted blank by said pattern of adhesive to substantially cover one surface of said front panel, said first side panel, and said body defining portion of said second side panel while said preprinted blank is continuously advancing in said one direction, folding said first side panel with said patch attached thereto inwardly along said one side edge and toward said second side panel while said preprinted blank is continuously advancing in said one direction, folding said second side panel with said patch attached thereto inwardly along said other side edge and toward first side panel to bring the opposite side edges of said patch into abutting engagement, adhering said seam defining portion to an associated marginal portion of said one side panel while said preprinted blank is continuously advancing in said one direction, advancing said preprinted blank in another direction, applying adhesive to said bottom flap, folding said bottom flap inwardly along said bottom edge and adhering it to said first and said second side panels while said preprinted blank is advancing in said other direction, and applying adhesive to said closure flap.
2. A method for making a padded envelope as set forth in claim 1 wherein the step of applying a pattern of adhesive is further defined as applying a plurality of parallel strips of pressure sensitive adhesive extending in said one direction to said one surface of said front panel, said first side panel and said body defining portion of said second side panel and the step of attaching said patch is further defined as pressing said patch into adhering engagement with said pattern of adhesive.
3. A method for making a padded envelope as set forth in claim 1 wherein the step of advancing said preprinted blank in another direction is further defined as advancing said preprinted blank in another direction normal to said one direction and the step of applying adhesive to said bottom flap is further defined as applying a strip of adhesive extending in said other direction to said one surface of said bottom flap.
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