Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PERFORATION APPARATUS TO SELECTIVELY DIE-CUT A SUPPORT ELEMENT, PREFERABLY A CONTINUOUS STRIP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/106702
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Perforation apparatus (10) to selectively die-cut at least a support element (11), preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells (12), comprising at least a first blade (21) with a first cutting edge (22) facing toward a base (16), and at least a second blade (28) perpendicular to the first blade (21) and with a second cutting edge (29) facing toward a base (16). The second blade (28) is inserted in a through slit made in each blade (21), so that the first cutting edge (22) and the second cutting edge (29) are coplanar and intersect each other to form at least a cross-shaped cutting member.

Inventors:
BRILLANTI VENTURA, Gianluca (Via Emilia 428/442, Ozzano Dell'Emilia, 40064, IT)
BETTI, Claudio (Via Emilia 428/442, Ozzano Dell'Emilia, 40064, IT)
Application Number:
IT2018/050233
Publication Date:
June 06, 2019
Filing Date:
November 28, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
I.M.A. INDUSTRIA MACCHINE AUTOMATICHE S.P.A. (Via Emilia, 428/442, Ozzano Dell'Emilia, 40064, IT)
International Classes:
B26F1/18; B26F1/44; B26F1/40
Foreign References:
DE2124461A11971-12-09
EP2878414A12015-06-03
US6523448B12003-02-25
JP2000254896A2000-09-19
FR2872399A12006-01-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETRAZ, Davide Luigi et al. (GLP SRL, Viale Europa Unita 171, Udine, 33100, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Perforation apparatus (10) to selectively die-cut at least a support element

(11), preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells

(12), comprising at least a first perforation unit (15) that in turn comprises a base (16) and a perforation block (18) configured to be selectively moved with respect to each other in a direction of perforation (DP) perpendicular to a direction of feed (DA) of said support element (11), said perforation apparatus (10) also comprising at least two blades (21, 28) connected to said perforation block (18), characterized in that a first blade (21) has a first cutting edge (22) facing toward said fixed base (16), in that said first blade (21) is provided with at least a through slit (24), and in that a second blade (28) with a second cutting edge (29) is configured to be inserted in said through slit (24) of said first blade, so that said first cutting edge (22) and said second cutting edge (29) are coplanar.

2. Perforation apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said perforation block (18) comprises at least a first slit (19) and at least a second slit (20) perpendicular to said first slit (19), characterized in that said first blade (21) is inserted in said first slit (19), and in that said second blade (28) is inserted in said second slit (20).

3. Perforation apparatus as in claim 2, characterized in that said through slit (24) is configured to be disposed aligned with said second slit (20).

4. Perforation apparatus as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said first cutting edge (22) and said second cutting edge (29) are configured to intersect each other to form at least a cross-shaped cutting member.

5. Perforation apparatus as in claim 2, wherein said perforation block (18) comprises at least two first slits (19) parallel to each other and at least two second slits (20) perpendicular to said first slits (19), characterized in that in said first slits (19) a plurality of first blades (21) is inserted, equal to each other and each provided with at least two through slits (24) configured to be disposed aligned with said second slits (20), and in that a plurality of second blades (28) is configured to be inserted both in said second slits (20), and in said through slits (24) of said plurality of first blades (21), so that the first cutting edges (22) of said plurality of first blades (21) and the second cutting edges (29) of said plurality of second blades (28) are coplanar and intersect each other to form a number of cross-shaped cutting members that is given by the product of the number of said first blades (21) by the number of said second blades (28).

6. Perforation apparatus as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said first blades (21) are disposed perpendicular to the direction of feed (DA) of said support element (11) with respect to said perforation unit (15).

7. Perforation apparatus as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said first cutting edge (22) and said second cutting edge (29) are shaped and sized in conformity with the die-cutting to be obtained in said support element (11), and each comprise cutting segments (23, 30) separated by separation grooves.

8. Perforation apparatus as in claim 7, wherein said die-cutting comprises a plurality of through apertures (14), which comprise both apertures of a substantially rectangular shape (14a) and also cross-shaped apertures (l4b), whose arms each have the same size as said apertures with a substantially rectangular shape (14a), characterized in that each first cutting edge (22) of each first blade (21) comprises both short cutting segments (23 a) with an equal length to that of each of said substantially rectangular apertures (14a), and also long cutting segments (23b) with a length equal to that of each of said cross shaped apertures (14b) and in that each second cutting edge (29) of each second blade (28) comprises both short cutting segments (30a) with a length equal to that of each of said substantially rectangular apertures (14a), and also long cutting segments (30b) with a length equal to that of each of said cross-shaped apertures (14b).

9. Perforation apparatus as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that each of said first blades (21) comprises an upper part with a cross section corresponding to that of said first slit (19) and a lower part converging symmetrically toward said first cutting edge (22) with a determinate angle at the top (a).

10. Perforation apparatus as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that each of said second blades (28) has an upper part with a cross section corresponding to that of said second slit (20) and a lower part converging symmetrically toward said second cutting edge (29), with a determinate angle at the top (a).

11. Perforation apparatus as in claims 9 and 10, characterized in that the lower part of said first blades (21) and the lower part of said second blades (28) have the same determinate angle at the top (a).

12. Perforation apparatus as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that each of said first blades (21) is provided with two lateral grooves (25), disposed on opposite sides, which are configured to house first clamping elements (26) which in turn are configured to be removably constrained to said perforation block (18).

13. Perforation apparatus as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that each of said second blades (28) is provided with two lateral shoulders (31, 32), disposed on opposite and unequal sides, which are configured to house corresponding second clamping elements (33, 34) which in turn are configured to be removably constrained to said perforation block (18).

14. Apparatus as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that each of said through slits (24) has a gap (124) at the end that has a size equal to the thickness of the end of the corresponding blade (28) plus a small play, so as to allow to have continuity in the cutting but sufficient to allow an easy insertion of the corresponding blades (28).

15. Kit of blades for a perforation apparatus (10) to selectively die-cut at least a support element (11), preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells (12), characterized in that it comprises at least a first blade (21) with a first cutting edge (22) and provided with at least a through slit (24), and at least a second blade (28) with a second cutting edge (29) configured to be inserted at least in said through slit (24) of said first blade (21), so that said first cutting edge (22) and said second cutting edge (29) are coplanar.

16. Perforation block for a perforation unit for a perforation apparatus (10) to selectively die-cut at least a support element (11), preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells (12) comprising at least a first blade (21) and a second blade (28), characterized in that said first blade (21) has a first cutting edge (22) and is provided with at least a through slit (24), and in that a second blade (28) with a second cutting edge (29) is configured to be inserted in said through slit (24) of said first blade (21), so that said first cutting edge (22) and said second cutting edge (29) are coplanar.

17. Perforation unit for a perforation apparatus (10) to selectively die-cut at least a support element (11), preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells (12), said perforation unit comprising a fixed base (16) and a perforation block (18) selectively mobile with respect to said fixed base (16) in a direction of perforation (DP) perpendicular to a direction of feed (DA) of said support element (11), wherein said perforation block (18) comprises a first blade (21) and a second blade (28), characterized in that said first blade (21) has a first cutting edge (22) facing toward said fixed base (16), in that said first blade (21) is provided with at least a through slit (24), and in that said second blade (28) with a second cutting edge (29) is configured to be inserted in said through slit (24) of said first blade (21), so that said first cutting edge (22) and said second cutting edge (29) are coplanar.

18. Method to equip a perforation unit of a perforation apparatus (10) to selectively die-cut at least a support element (11), preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells (12), wherein said perforation unit comprises a base (16) and a perforation block (18), at least one of either said base (16) or said perforation block (18) being selectively mobile with respect to each other in a direction of perforation (DP) perpendicular to a direction of feed (DA) of said support element (11), wherein said perforation block (18) comprises at least a first blade (21) and at least a second blade (28) characterized in that it provides that said first blade (21) with a first cutting edge (22) facing toward said fixed base (16) is provided with at least a through slit (24), and also provides to insert said second blade (28) with a second cutting edge (29) in said through slit (24) of said first blade (21), so that said first cutting edge (22) and said second cutting edge (29) are coplanar.

Description:
“PERFORATION APPARATUS TO SELECTIVELY DIE-CUT A SUPPORT ELEMENT, PREFERABLY A CONTINUOUS STRIP

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The field of application of the present invention is that of packaging small-size products, for example products in the pharmaceutical sector, which are in the form of tablets, pills, capsules, suppositories, or other, in the food industry, such as sweets, sugared almonds, fruit drops, bonbons, or suchlike, and in the field of smoking products, such as capsules or cartridges for electronic cigarettes, or other, wherein each product is preferably contained in a single-dose container, also known as cell in the specific field, generally dome-shaped which defines a cavity in which to contain the single-dose product, and made of aluminum or plastic and sealed by a cover made of breakable material, for example aluminum, plastic, or even paper. A plurality of such cells are normally made disposed in paired rows, on a containing support, which can consist, for example, of a thin sheet of aluminum or plastic material and which is commonly referred to, in the technical field in question, as blister packaging or simply blister. More particularly, embodiments described here concern a perforation apparatus to selectively die-cut a support element, preferably a continuous strip, provided with a plurality of cells with the corresponding products inside, and thus forming a plurality of unitary sections, each containing one product.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the packaging sector of small-sized products, such as those of the pharmaceutical sector, part of the food sector, and the smoking products sector, in which each product is contained in a cell, it is common to make sheet supports, with sizes such that they can be inserted into pocket-sized boxes and in which a certain number of cells are present, for example disposed in rows and columns.

It is also known that, in order to facilitate for the user the detachment of a single part containing one cell from the remaining part of the sheet support, the support itself is provided with a series of die-cutting lines, made by means of perforation apparatuses.

From the Swiss patent application CH-A-523753 a perforation apparatus is known, which comprises a first series of eight blades disposed parallel to each other in a longitudinal direction and a second series of three blades disposed perpendicular to the first series of blades, that is, in a transverse direction. In this known apparatus, the blades, in particular the transverse blades, actually consist of partial segments of blade. This known apparatus therefore has the disadvantage that it does not guarantee continuous cutting in the twenty-four intersections between the eight blades of the first series with the three of the second series.

There is therefore a need to perfect a perforation apparatus which can overcome at least one of the disadvantages of the state of the art.

In particular, a first purpose of the present invention is to provide a perforation apparatus which allows to die-cut, with high cutting precision, at least one support element, preferably a continuous strip, for example provided with cells, both in the longitudinal direction, that is, in the direction of the length of the support element, and also in the transverse direction, that is, in the direction of the width of the latter, so that the individual holes, or through apertures, which constitute the die-cutting, for example with a rectangular shape, intersect perfectly and thus allow an easy detachment of each unitary section, containing for example a cell, from the remaining part of the support element.

Another purpose of the present invention is to provide a perforation apparatus which allows to die-cut a support element, preferably a continuous strip, for example provided with cells, in a simple, reliable and inexpensive way, also guaranteeing high productivity.

The Applicant has devised, tested and embodied the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain these and other purposes and advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is set forth and characterized in the independent claim, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the invention or variants to the main inventive idea.

In accordance with the above purposes, an apparatus according to the present invention, to selectively die-cut at least a support element, preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells, comprises at least a first perforation unit that in turn comprises a base and a perforation block. ·n nv, According to possible solutions, the base and the perforation block can be configured to selectively move with respect to each other in a direction of perforation perpendicular to a direction of feed of the support element.

In a first possible embodiment, the base is fixed and the perforation block is mobile with respect to the base, in a direction of perforation perpendicular to a direction of feed of the support element.

In a second possible embodiment, the perforation block is fixed and the base is mobile with respect to the perforation block in a direction of perforation perpendicular to a direction of feed of the support element.

In a third possible embodiment, the base and the perforation block are both selectively mobile with respect to each other in a direction of perforation perpendicular to a direction of feed of the support element.

Hereafter in the description, by way of example, we will refer to the case where the base is fixed and the perforation block is selectively mobile with respect to the base in a direction of perforation perpendicular to a direction of feed of the support element.

It is understood that the present invention also comprises all those cases where the base and the perforation block are configured to be selectively moved with respect to each other in a direction of perforation perpendicular to a direction of feed of the support element.

According to a possible variant, not restrictive, the perforation block comprises at least a first slit and at least a second slit perpendicular to the first slit.

In accordance with one characteristic of the present invention, the perforation apparatus comprises a first blade with a first cutting edge facing toward the fixed base; the first blade is provided with at least a through slit; a second blade with a second cutting edge is configured to be inserted into the through slit of the first blade, so that the first cutting edge and the second cutting edge are coplanar.

In the coplanar condition, for example, the first cutting edge and the second cutting edge intersect each other to form at least a cross-shaped cutting member.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the perforation block comprises at least two first slits parallel to each other and at least two second slits perpendicular to the first slits. Moreover, in the first slits a plurality of first blades is inserted, equal to each other and each provided with at least two through slits configured to be disposed aligned with the second slits. In addition, a plurality of second blades is configured to be inserted both in the second slits, and in the through slits of the plurality of first blades, so that the first cutting edges of the plurality of first blades and the second cutting edges of the plurality of second blades are coplanar and intersect each other to form a number of cross- shaped cutting members that is given by the product of the number of the first blades by the number of the second blades.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the first blades are disposed perpendicular to the direction of feed of the support element with respect to the perforation unit.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the first cutting edge and the second cutting edge are shaped and sized in conformity with the die-cutting to be obtained in the support element and each comprise cutting segments separated by separation grooves.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, each of the first blades is provided with two lateral grooves, disposed on opposite sides, which are configured to house first clamping elements, for example bars which in turn are configured to be removably constrained to the perforation block, by screws for example.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, each of the second blades is provided with two lateral shoulders, disposed on opposite and unequal sides, which are configured to house corresponding second clamping elements, for example bars, which in turn are configured to be removably constrained to the perforation block, by screws for example.

Other embodiments concern a kit of blades for a perforation apparatus to selectively die-cut at least a support element, preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells. The kit of blades comprises at least a first blade with a first cutting edge and provided with at least a through slit, and at least a second blade with a second cutting edge configured to be inserted at least in the through slit of the first blade, so that the first cutting edge and the second cutting edge are coplanar and can intersect with each other to form at least a cross-shaped cutting member. Still other embodiments concern a mobile perforation block for a perforation unit for a perforation apparatus to selectively die-cut at least a support element, preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells. In accordance with one embodiment, the perforation block comprises a first blade with a first cutting edge and at least a through slit. Moreover, a second blade with a second cutting edge is configured to be inserted in the through slit of the first blade, so that the first cutting edge and the second cutting edge are coplanar and can intersect with each other to form at least a cross- shaped cutting member.

Other embodiments concern a perforation unit for a perforation apparatus to selectively die-cut at least a support element, preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells, the perforation unit comprising a fixed base and a perforation block selectively mobile with respect to the fixed base in a direction of perforation perpendicular to a direction of feed of the support element. According to one embodiment, the perforation block comprises a first blade with a first cutting edge facing toward the fixed base, and the first blade is provided with at least a through slit. Moreover, a second blade with a second cutting edge is configured to be inserted in the through slit of the first blade, so that the first cutting edge and the second cutting edge are coplanar and can intersect with each other to form at least a cross-shaped cutting member.

Still other embodiments concern a method to equip a perforation unit of a perforation apparatus to selectively die-cut at least a support element, preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with blister cells, wherein the perforation unit comprises a base and a perforation block, wherein at least one of either the base or the perforation block are selectively mobile with respect to each other in a direction of perforation perpendicular to a direction of feed of the support element. In accordance with one embodiment, the method provides to use a first blade with a first cutting edge facing toward the fixed base, wherein the first blade is provided with at least a through slit; the method also provides to insert a second blade with a second cutting edge in the through slit of the first blade, so that the first cutting edge and the second cutting edge are coplanar and can intersect with each other to form at least a cross-shaped cutting member.

These and other aspects, characteristics and advantages of the present disclosure will be better understood with reference to the following description, drawings and attached claims. The drawings, which are integrated and form part of the present description, show some forms of embodiment of the present invention, and together with the description, are intended to describe the principles of the disclosure.

The various aspects and characteristics described in the present description can be applied individually where possible. These individual aspects, for example aspects and characteristics described in the attached dependent claims, can be the object of divisional applications.

It is understood that any aspect or characteristic that is discovered, during the patenting process, to be already known, shall not be claimed and shall be the object of a disclaimer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of some preferred embodiments, given as a non- restrictive example with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

- fig. 1 is a three-dimensional view from above of a perforation apparatus according to the present invention;

- fig. 2 is a three-dimensional view from below of a perforation unit of the apparatus in fig. 1 ;

- fig. 3 is a plan, schematic view of a portion of the support element perforated by the apparatus in fig. 1 ;

- fig. 4 is a cross section of the apparatus in fig. 1, which shows the perforation unit in fig. 2;

- fig. 4a shows an enlarged detail of fig. 4;

- fig. 5 is a longitudinal section of the apparatus in fig. 1, which shows the perforation unit in fig. 2;

- fig. 6 is a lateral view of one of the two transverse blades of the perforation unit in fig. 2;

- fig. 7 is a lateral view of one of the four longitudinal blades of the perforation unit in fig. 2.

We must clarify that in the present description and in the claims the terms high, low, vertical, horizontal, upper, lower and internal, with their declinations, have the sole function of better illustrating the present invention with reference to the drawings and must not be in any way used to limit the scope of the invention itself, or the field of protection defined by the claims. For example, by the term horizontal we mean a plane that can be either parallel to the line of the horizon, or inclined, even by several degrees, for example up to 20°, with respect to the latter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

We will now refer in detail to the various embodiments of the present invention, of which one or more examples are shown in the attached drawings. Each example is supplied by way of illustration of the invention and shall not be understood as a limitation thereof. For example, the characteristics shown or described insomuch as they are part of one embodiment can be adopted on, or in association with, other embodiments to produce another embodiment. It is understood that the present invention shall include all such modifications and variants.

Before describing these embodiments, we must also clarify that the present description is not limited in its application to details of the construction and disposition of the components as described in the following description using the attached drawings. The present description can provide other embodiments and can be obtained or executed in various other ways. We must also clarify that the phraseology and terminology used here is for the purposes of description only, and cannot be considered as limitative.

With reference to fig. 1, a perforation apparatus 10 according to embodiments described here is configured to selectively die-cut a support element 11 (figs 1, 3, 4 and 5), which in the example provided here is a continuous strip provided with cells 12 disposed in parallel rows. In possible implementations, the continuous strip can be fed, for example intermittently or continuously, in a direction of feed DA (figs. 3 to 7), coinciding with, or parallel to, a longitudinal axis X of the perforation apparatus 10. An example of how the support element 11 can be fed to the perforation apparatus 10 is described in the international application WO- A-2005/105574, which is entirely incorporated here for reference, it being understood that the way to feed the support element 11 with respect to the perforation equipment 10 is outside the field of protection of the present invention. The support element 11 can be, for example, the type provided with a plurality of cells 12, generally the shape of an inverted dome (figs. 1, 3, 4 and 5), each of which is sealed in the upper part, for example with a thin sheet of breakable material, for example aluminum, plastic or suchlike, and contains a small sized product.

The perforation apparatus 10 is configured to subdivide the support element 11, by means of die-cutting, into a plurality of unitary sections 13 (figs. 1 and 3), for example each containing a cell 12 with inside a single-dose product, so that the user can easily detach it from the remaining part of the support element 11.

In the example provided here, to facilitate the detachment of each unitary section 13 from the remaining part of the support element 11, the die-cuts made by the perforation apparatus 10 can consist of a plurality of through apertures 14, which comprise both apertures of a substantially rectangular shape 14a, each one a few millimeters long, for example from 1 to 5 millimeters, and a few tenths of a millimeter wide, and also cross-shaped apertures 14b, whose arms each have the same sizes as the substantially rectangular apertures 14a. Therefore, each cross shaped aperture 14b has a length and a width equal to twice the length of each substantially rectangular shaped aperture 14a, plus the width of the latter.

The perforation apparatus 10 comprises at least one perforation unit 15. In possible embodiments, the perforation apparatus 10 comprises a plurality of said perforation units 15, identical to each other and adjacent in the transverse direction, that is, perpendicular to the longitudinal axis X; in the embodiment described there are two, but there could also be more than two, depending on the width of the support element 11, or the different support elements 11 to be cut at the same time.

A perforation unit 15 (figs. 1 , 4 and 5), usable in the embodiments described here, comprises a base 16, which in the solution shown here is fixed, disposed in the lower part, which acts as a horizontal support member for the support element 11 and is shaped so as to have a plurality of cavities 17, or longitudinal grooves, which in the example supplied are disposed regularly on five columns parallel to the longitudinal axis X (fig. 4), facing upward and each configured to accommodate a corresponding column of cells 12.

Each perforation unit 15 also comprises a perforation block 18 (figs. 1, 2, 4 and 5), disposed above the fixed base 16 and, in the solution shown, mobile in a direction of perforation DP perpendicular to the direction of feed DA of the support element 11.

In possible embodiments, the alternate motion of the perforation block 18 with respect to the fixed base 16 is obtained by means of any movement device known in the state of the art, which lies outside the field of the present invention and, therefore, is not described here.

The perforation block 18 is shaped so as to comprise a plurality of transverse slits 19 (figs. 1, 2 and 5), or first slits, for example two, disposed perpendicular to the longitudinal axis X, passing from side to side and having a rectangular cross section.

Moreover, the perforation block 18 comprises longitudinal slits 20 (figs. 1, 2 and 4), or second slits, for example four, disposed parallel to the longitudinal axis X, also passing from side to side and having a rectangular cross section, but with a lower height than that of the transverse slits 19. Instead, in one variant, not shown, the longitudinal slits 20 could be higher than the transverse slits 19.

Two corresponding transverse blades 21, or first blades, are removably inserted in the two transverse slits 19 (figs. 1, 2 and 5), while in the second slits 20 a plurality of longitudinal blades or second blades 28 are inserted, as described in detail below.

In particular, the first blades 21 each have an upper part having a rectangular cross section, corresponding to that of a transverse slit 19, and a lower part converging symmetrically toward a first cutting edge 22 (fig. 6), at an angle at the apex a (fig. 6), for example comprised between about 15° and about 25°, in particular between 18° and 20°. Possible examples of the amplitude of the angle at the apex a are 15°, 16°, 17°, 18°, 19°, 20°. Each transverse blade 21 is as long as the perforation block 18 in the direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis X.

The first cutting edge 22 (fig. 6) is shaped and sized in conformity with the die-cutting to be made. In other words, in the example provided here, the first cutting edge 22 comprises cutting segments 23 separated with separation grooves. In particular, each transverse blade 21 comprises both short cutting segments 23a with a length equal to that of each through aperture with a substantially rectangular shape 14a (fig. 3), and also long cutting segments 23b (fig. 6), four in this case, with a length equal to that of each cross-shaped through aperture 14b (fig. 3).

Each transverse blade 21 (fig. 6) is provided with through slits 24, mating in number with the number of longitudinal blades 28, for example four. In fact, the longitudinal blades 28 are able to be inserted, as well as in the second slits 20 as described above, also in the through slits 24 of the transverse blades 21. In this way, it is possible to use whole blades and not segments of blade as in the state of the art.

In possible implementations, each of the through slits 24 has both an upper part having a cross section equal to that of each of the corresponding longitudinal slits 20, for example four in number, and also a lower part converging symmetrically toward the first cutting edge 22, with the same angle at the apex a, so as to substantially reach it with precision at a median point of each long cutting segment 23b.

Furthermore, in its terminal part, each through-slot 24 has a gap 124 which has sizes equal to the thickness of the end of the corresponding blade 28 plus a small play. It is advantageous that this play is as small as possible, so as to have as much continuity as possible in cutting, but it must still be sufficient to allow an easy insertion of the blades 28 into the through slits 24.

When the two transverse blades 21 are inserted in the corresponding transverse slits 19, the upper parts of the four through slits 24 of each transverse blade 21 are aligned with the four longitudinal slits 20 of the perforation block 18, so that together they form four through apertures passing from side to side of the perforation block 18.

Moreover, each transverse blade 21 is provided in its upper part with two lateral grooves 25 (figs. 4 and 6), identical to each other and disposed on opposite sides. The lateral grooves 25 of the two transverse blades 21 are configured to accommodate first clamping elements 26, or first bars, having a cross section corresponding to that of the lateral grooves 25. The first bars 26, after being inserted in the lateral grooves 25, are attached to the perforation block 18 by first screws 27 (figures 1 , 2 and 4).

In embodiments described using the attached drawings, four corresponding longitudinal blades 28 (figs. 1, 2 and 4), or second blades, each one as long as the perforation block 18 in the direction parallel to the longitudinal axis X, are removably inserted in the four longitudinal slits 20 and in the four through slits 24.

Consequently, since the longitudinal blades 28 are configured to be inserted both in the longitudinal slits 20, and in the through slits 24 of the plurality of transverse blades 21, the first cutting edges 22 of the plurality of transverse blades 21 and the second cutting edges 29 of the plurality of longitudinal blades 28 are coplanar and intersect each other to form a number of cross-shaped cutting members which is given by the product of the number of the transverse blades 21 by the number of the longitudinal blades 28. Advantageously, therefore, both the transverse blades 21 and the longitudinal blades 28 are not segments of blade, as in the state of the art, but are whole blades which can be associated with each other by inserting in a through manner the longitudinal blades 28 into the through slits 24 of the transverse blades 21.

In possible implementations, each longitudinal blade 28 (figs. 4 and 7) has an upper part having a rectangular cross section, corresponding to that of each longitudinal slit 20, and a lower part symmetrically converging toward a second cutting edge 29, with same angle at the apex a of the transverse blades 21.

The second cutting edge 29 is also shaped and sized in conformity with the die-cutting to be made. Therefore, in the example provided here, the second cutting edge 29 comprises cutting segments 30 separated by separation grooves. In particular, each longitudinal blade 28 (fig. 7) comprises both short cutting segments 30a having a length equal to that of each substantially rectangular through aperture l4a (fig. 3), and also long cutting segments 30b (fig. 7), of which in this case there are two, having a length equal to that of each cross- shaped through aperture 14b (fig. 3).

Moreover, each longitudinal blade 28 is provided in its upper part with two lateral shoulders 31 and 32 (figs. 5 and 7), disposed on opposite sides. In particular, the lateral shoulder 31 (on the left in fig. 7) is wider than the lateral shoulder 32, to facilitate the correct positioning of the longitudinal blades 28 in the perforation block 18, which is shaped accordingly (figs. 2 and 5).

Corresponding second clamping elements, or second bars 33, 34, for example with a rectangular or square cross section, cooperate respectively with the two lateral shoulders 31 and 32. After being disposed under the lateral shoulders 31 and 32, the second bars 33 and 34 are attached to the perforation block 18 by second screws 35 (figs. 1, 2 and 5).

The present description also concerns a method for equipping a perforation unit 15 of a perforation apparatus 10 to selectively die-cut at least one support element 11. In particular, the perforation equipment 10 as described heretofore is assembled as follows.

Firstly, each perforation unit 15 is prepared (fig. 1) by inserting the two transverse blades 21 (figs. 1, 2 and 5) into the corresponding transverse slits 19 of the corresponding perforation block 18. The transverse blades 21 are then clamped in the perforation block 18 by the first bars 26 and the first screws 27.

The longitudinal blades 28 (figs. 1, 2 and 4) are inserted in the longitudinal slits 20, also passing through the through slits 24 present in the transverse blades 21. In particular, it is necessary to position each longitudinal blade 28 correctly, paying attention to the position of the lateral shoulders 31 and 32 with respect to the perforation block 18.

The longitudinal blades 28 are then clamped in the perforation block 18 by means of the second bars 33 and 34 and the second screws 35.

The perforation unit 15 is thus completed, with the longitudinal blades 28 and the transverse blades 21 that intersect perfectly with each other without interfering, obtaining a cross-shaped cutting or perforation member with a whole cutting edge, given by the individual cutting edges 22 and 29, able to accurately perform the desired die-cutting on the support element 11.

Each perforation unit 15 is then mounted on a known type of movement device, above the fixed base 16.

It is clear that modifications and/or additions of parts may be made to the perforation apparatus 10 as described heretofore, without departing from the field and scope of the present invention.

For example, the number of transverse blades 21 and longitudinal blades 28 can be increased, or decreased, depending on the type of die-cutting to be performed.

Moreover, if the support element 11 is made of another material, or a different shape, the sizing of each perforation unit 15 and of each part thereof will be suitably modified, as will be easy to understand for a person of skill in the art.

Furthermore, as we said, the invention also includes the solution that the base 16 is mobile and the block 18 is fixed, or both are mobile with a relative motion one with respect to the other.

It is also clear that, although the present invention has been described with reference to some specific examples, a person of skill in the art shall certainly be able to achieve many other equivalent forms of perforation apparatus to selectively die-cut a support element, preferably a continuous strip, even more preferably provided with cells, having the characteristics as set forth in the claims and hence all coming within the field of protection defined thereby.

In the following claims, the sole purpose of the references in brackets is to facilitate reading: they must not be considered as restrictive factors with regard to the field of protection claimed in the specific claims.