Continuous library catalog card
Laminated composite sheet packaging material
Composite label web and method of using same
ApplicationNo. 11847264 filed on 08/29/2007
US Classes:428/43SHEET, WEB, OR LAYER WEAKENED TO PERMIT SEPARATION THROUGH THICKNESS
ExaminersPrimary: Thomas, Alexander
Attorney, Agent or Firm
Foreign Patent References
International ClassB32B 3/30
DescriptionBACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to methods of forming business cards and to the constructions of sheets of blank business cards for passing through laser or ink jet printers or copiers.
A sheet of business cards as known in the prior art is shown in FIG. 1 generally at 100. Sheet 100 is a drawing of the sheet after having passed through a laser or ink jet printer and with the desired indicia 104 printed thereon. Sheet 100 wasformed with a gridwork of horizontal and vertical microperforation lines 108, 110 extending the full length and width of the sheet. The microperforations are typically more than fifty per inch.
Although the microperforations are thereby small and close together, when the cards 112, after the printing operation thereon, are separated from one another by tearing along the lines, perfectly clean cuts or edges do not result. Rather, theedges 114 are slightly fuzzy as shown in the enlarged view of FIG. 2. These fuzzy edges 114 give the card 112 a less professional look than clean knife cut edges and in certain uses are unacceptable. Currently, business cards have substantially cleanedges as they are manufactured by Quick printers (such as KINKOS or PIP). However, the laser and ink jet card products including laser and ink jet card products do not provide clean edges, similar to the main stream business cards.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Directed to remedying problems in the prior art, disclosed herein is an improved business card sheet assembly. The assembly includes, according to one preferred embodiment, a card stock sheet having two parallel pairs of substantial-cut linesextending the length of the sheet and engaging the sheet at both ends thereof. Instead of paper sheets, rolls, fan fold or other print media can be used. The substantial-cut lines extend about 90% through the thickness of the sheet from the fronttowards the back surface. The sheet is then die cut with short (through-cut) lines extending widthwise between the lines of each pair, or vice versa. The substantial-cut and through-cut lines form on the sheet two columns of business card blanks, withpaper waste strips at the side (and end) margins and between the columns. The sheet is then passed through desk top printers, such as laser or ink jet printers or copiers, and the desired indicia is printed on each of the blanks. The printed cardblanks are then separated from one another along the substantial-cut and through-cut lines. The borders or edges of the resulting cards are cleaner, superior to the prior art microperforated cards.
To provide for an even cleaner card edge where it was separated along the substantial-cut lines, the substantial-cut lines can be formed by .[.scoring.]. .Iadd.cutting .Iaddend.the sheet part way on both faces of the sheet. Thereby, the intactportion of the sheet along these lines will be at the middle (approximately ten or twenty percent) thickness of the sheet. After separation, the torn fibers, being in the middle of the sheet, will be less visible. Also, this construction allows forgreater manufacturing control of the formation of the substantial-cut lines to accommodate for different thickness of the paper, depending on where it is taken from the paper roll.
Additionally, a cleaner card edge can be provided by first making the paper more brittle, by densifying its fibers. Preferably, this is done by supercalendering the paper. Supercalendering is a process that has been used by paper manufacturersfor many years to produce relatively denser and thinner paper. Instead of supercalendering, the paper can be done by subjecting the paper to chemical or radiation treatments, or other ways as would be apparent to those skilled in the art from thisdisclosure.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to those persons having ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention pertains from the foregoing description taken in conjunction with the accompanyingdrawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a front view of a sheet of business cards of the prior art, after having been printed, and showing one of them being torn away along its microperforation lines;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view taken on circle 2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing sheet assemblies of the present invention passing through a printer;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of one of the sheet assemblies of the present invention after a printing operation has been performed thereon;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view taken on line 5--5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged view taken on line 6--6 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 showing an alternative embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of an alternative sheet assembly before a printing operation.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
Referring to FIGS. 3-6, a sheet assembly of the present invention is shown generally at 130. The sheet assembly 130 is shown at the bottom left of FIG. 3 before entering the printer 134 and as it would be purchased by the user (after removalfrom its packaging (not shown)). The sheet assembly 130' is shown in the upper right of FIG. 3 and (in isolation) in FIG. 4 after having passed through the printer 134, and with the identifying indicia shown generally at 140 printed thereon. As anexample, the indicia 140 can include the individual's name 142, address 144, title 146, company name 148 and company logo 150. It can additionally or alternatively include other information such as telephone and facsimile numbers and/or E-mail addressesas desired. The printer 134 can be a laser or ink jet printer, or photo-copier.
The sheet assembly includes a sheet of paper 160 such as ten mil thick cardstock available from Simpson Paper Mill in Pomona, Calif. The thickness of the sheet of paper 160 is preferably between seven and twenty mils. A pattern of sheetportions or cards 164 is defined on the sheet by a pattern of lines. The sheet portions 164 are preferably rectangular, but other shapes are within the scope of the invention. For example, the sheet 160 can have dimensions of 81/2×11 inches andeach of the portions 164 can have the dimensions of a traditional business card (e.g., two by three and a half inches).
.Iadd.The sheet 160 may be a print media, and the print media may be a sheet of paper. This sheet of paper may be bonded or laminated with another paper, film or foil. Further, the sheet may have been subjected to a process making the sheetmore brittle. The process may have been a supercalendering process, a chemical process, an irradiation process, an irradiation process which uses ultraviolet radiation or an irradiation process which uses gamma radiation. The process may be appliedbefore, after or simultaneously with the formation of the substantial-cut lines..Iaddend.
Alternatively, the sheet 160 can be supercalendered paper material. It can have a thickness of between one mil to ten mil plus, and preferably between six and thirteen mil. The reason for this somewhat broad thickness range is that someprinters, such as ink jet printers, cannot handle heavier or thicker material so that card stock of six, seven or eight mils is needed. On the other hand, other copiers and printers, such as laser printers, can handle thicker materials. Thesupercalendaring process compresses the paper so that its thickness is reduced by between two and forty percent, for example.
The weight of the paper sheet can be between sixty and one hundred and fifty pounds. While the lower end of that range may be a little too low, the upper end is probably more realistic. One hundred and fifty pound noncalendered paper istypically thirteen to fifteen mil thick and thereby generally too thick to pass through today's printers. However, that same weight paper when supercalendered has a reduced thickness of eleven to thirteen mil, which is thin enough to pass through mostprinters.
Supercalendering is a process that crushes or compresses the fibers of the sheet, thereby densifying the sheet. Because the sheet is densified, its fibers break or crumble easier along the desired lines. This provides for cleaner edge lines forthe business cards.
Although supercalendering is a preferred method of making the paper fibers brittle, other processes are within the scope of this invention. One example is to apply radiation, such as ultraviolet or gamma energy, to the sheet. This can be overthe entire sheet evenly or more focused along the desired separation lines. Another process is to apply a chemical to the sheet, such as a dilute acid coating. Again, this can be an even coating on the paper or a more focused application along thedesired separation lines. It can be applied before, after or during the formation of the separation lines. For example, if the separation lines are formed by .[.scoring.]. .Iadd.cutting.Iaddend., the chemical may be deposited by application physicallyon the .[.scoring.]. knives or tools. Separation lines or the entire sheet can be created with stiffening and weakening materials, such as polymers. For example, the sheet can be coated with a very hard polymer, making the entire sheet more brittle,or just the separation lines coated with this brittle polymer.
At least one of the defining lines is a "substantial-cut" line 170, cut along its entire length, substantially but not all of the way through the paper 160; that is, cut from the top surface 174 of the paper approximately ninety percent the waythrough towards the bottom surface 178. This is shown in enlarged view in FIG. 6. A preferred embodiment has the substantial-cut line(s) extending 9.3 to 9.5 mil through a ten mil thick cardstock. Alternatively, they can extend between seventy andninety-eight percent of the distance therethrough. The substantial-cut lines 170 can be formed by trimming wheels (rotary knives), by die cutting, laser scoring, or chemical or acid etching.
A preferred pattern of defining lines is best shown in FIG. 4. It includes four parallel lengthwise lines 180, 182, 184, 186 extending the length of the sheet 160 and defining two parallel columns 190, 192 with waste strips 196, 198 at the outeredges and one center waste strip 202 between the columns. Spaced parallel widthwise lines 208, 212 extend the widths of the columns 190, 192, but not beyond them. As can be understood from FIG. 4, the lengthwise lines 180, 182, 184, 186 define the leftand right edges of the sheet portions or cards 164 and the widthwise lines 208, 212 extend from the top and bottom edges thereof.
The lengthwise lines 180, 182, 184, 186 are each substantial-cut lines 170 are disclosed above. And the width-wise lines 208, 212 are preferably each through-cut lines, as best shown in FIG. 5 at 220, extending the entire distance through thesheet 160 along their entire lengths; that is, they are between and engage adjacent of the lengthwise lines. The through-cut lines 220 defines a perfectly smooth edge and thus are preferred over microperforated or substantial-cut widthwise lines. Theyalso do not require any separating effort. Preferably, none of the through-cut lines 220 engages any edge of the sheet 160. If they did, the sheet 160 would be likely to be torn prematurely along the line. However, the pattern of substantial-cut andfull-cut lines still provides the card stock sheet 160 with sufficient integrity to reliably pass through the printer without breaking apart.
After the sheet assembly 130 has passed through the printer 134 and the desired indicia 140 printed thereon, the individual cards (or printed media) 164 are separated by tearing or pulling along the four substantial-cut lines. Of course, nofurther separation is required on the through-cut lines. The side and center waste strips 196, 198, 202 can then be disposed of, as can the end margin strips 240, 244 at the ends of both of the columns.
As described above, relative to FIG. 6, the substantial-cut lines can be formed through one side (or face) of the paper 160. An alternative embodiment forms the substantial-cut line by "cutting" (or penetrating) the sheet from both sides, asshown in FIG. 7, by top cut or penetration 250 and bottom cut or penetration 254, leaving a thin center piece 258. These two penetration lines 250, 254 can be formed by trimming wheels (rotary knives), by die cutting, laser scoring, or chemical or acidetching. Preferably, they are formed with a scoring process.
If the paper 160 is a ten mil sheet, the top and bottom .[.scorings.]. .Iadd.cuts .Iaddend.250, 254 can each be two mil, leaving about sixty percent of the fibers intact in the center 258. Alternatively, the .[.scorings.]. .Iadd.cuts.Iaddend.can even be 4.75 mil from both sides, leaving the center 258 only one-half mil thick (or any distance in between). The sheet 160 with this thin center 258 will have enough integrity not to fall apart depending on the kind of paper used and theconfiguration of the printer path. If the path is very convoluted, the one-half mil may not be enough, but for (printers with) straight paths it will likely be sufficient. Half mil thickness may also be sufficient where the paper 160 has long fibers,or where the paper has not been supercalendered or otherwise made brittle as discussed above.
.[.Scoring.]. .Iadd.Cutting .Iaddend.on both sides tends to give the card (or printed media) when separated from the rest of the sheet a cleaner edge. One reason for this is that the separated fibers are in the middle of the sheet, not hangingout from either the top or bottom. When they are in the middle of the sheet 160 (that is, the middle of the thickness of the paper), they are likely to be less visible to the human eye.
Also, .[.scoring.]. .Iadd.cutting .Iaddend.on both sides provides another level of control in the manufacturing process of this assembly. Paper 160 will vary in thickness depending upon whether it is sliced from one end of the paper roll, themiddle or the other end. When .[.scoring.]. .Iadd.cutting .Iaddend.on two sides, as depicted in FIG. 7, there is a better opportunity to adjust to variations in paper thickness, because two controls are thereby available.
A preferred technique is to .[.score.]. .Iadd.cut .Iaddend.the top and bottom cuts 250, 254 simultaneously. However, it is also within the scope of the present invention to make the top and bottom .[.scores.]. .Iadd.cuts .Iaddend.at differenttimes. This .[.scoring.]. .Iadd.cutting .Iaddend.can be by mechanical means, such as knives, by chemical means or by laser means. Additionally, these .[.score.]. .Iadd.cut .Iaddend.lines can be oriented either horizontally or vertically relative tothe direction in which the .[.scoring.]. .Iadd.cutting .Iaddend.machine is running.
Another sheet embodiment is shown in FIG. 8 at 270 having four lengthwise .[.scored.]. .Iadd.cut .Iaddend.(not through-cut) lines 274, 278, 282, 286. Then the widthwise lines will have two through-cut lines 290, 294, not extending across theside margins 298, 302 or the center gutter 306.
An alternative arrangement provides short perforated lines 310, 314, 318 across both side margins 298, 302 and the center gutter 306. Although these short perforated lines provide for easier user access to the (ten) business cards 322 in the twocolumns, they also make the manufacture of the sheet 270 more difficult and thus may be eliminated if desired. Thus, the perfectly clean through-cut edges are provided on the top and bottom of each of the cards, and the left and right ends are definedby the .[.scored.]. .Iadd.cut .Iaddend.lines. Alternatively.Iadd., .Iaddend.the positioning of the .[.score.]. .Iadd.cut .Iaddend.lines and through-cut lines can be reversed, if desired.
From the foregoing detailed description, it will be evident that there are a number of changes, adaptations and modifications of the present invention which come within the province of those skilled in the art. However, it is intended that allsuch variations not departing from the spirit of the invention be considered as within the scope thereof as limited solely by the claims appended hereto.
Field of SearchSHEET, WEB, OR LAYER WEAKENED TO PERMIT SEPARATION THROUGH THICKNESS
PERIMETER OR CORNER STRUCTURE OF SHEET (EXCLUDING MERE RECTANGULAR)
Acute or reverse fold of exterior component
Slit or elongated
Composite web or sheet
Including variation in thickness
Parallel ribs and/or grooves
Next to unitary web or sheet of equal or greater extent
Double faced corrugated sheets or webs connected
Beveled, stepped, or skived in thickness