Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CORE MEMBER FOR A FILM ROLL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/053653
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A core member (30) is provided for storing shrink film (20). The core member includes a plurality of rollers (50, 60, 70), each having a disc (56, 66, 76) and a core (54, 64, 74) extending upwardly from the disc. The plurality of rollers are aligned longitudinally along an axis (A) and laterally along a plane (P). The plurality of rollers are rotatable to wind the shrink film about the rollers.

Inventors:
TROXEL ZACHARIAH (US)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2019/001007
Publication Date:
March 19, 2020
Filing Date:
September 06, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FUJI SEAL INT INC (JP)
International Classes:
B65H75/22; B65H75/12; B65H75/24; B65H75/30
Foreign References:
CN206798827U2017-12-26
US20040232273A12004-11-25
DE1949665A11971-04-01
JPS57141962U1982-09-06
US201916275481A2019-02-14
US201816128668A2018-09-12
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claim is:

1. A core member assembly for storing shrink film comprising: an inner roller comprising a first outer disc and a first core extending upwardly from a central portion of the first disc, wherein the inner roller defines a first opening extending through a central portion of the inner roller; an intermediate roller comprising a first inner disc and a first annular flange extending upwardly about a circumference of the first inner disc, wherein the intermediate roller comprises a second outer disc extending outwardly from a bottom portion of the first annular flange, wherein the intermediate roller defines a second opening extending through a central portion of the intermediate roller; and an outer roller comprising a second inner disc and a second annular flange extending upwardly about a circumference of the second inner disc, wherein the outer roller comprises a third outer disc extending outwardly from a bottom portion of the second annular flange, wherein the outer roller defines a third opening extending through a central portion of the outer roller; wherein the inner roller, the intermediate roller, and the outer roller are concentrically aligned such that the first, second, and third openings are longitudinally aligned and the first, second, and third outer discs are laterally aligned along a plane, wherein the inner, intermediate, and outer rollers are longitudinally translatable relative to each other.

2. The core member assembly according to claim 1, wherein the intermediate roller comprises a second core extending downwardly from a central portion of the first inner disc, wherein the outer roller comprises a third core extending downwardly from a central portion of the second inner disc, wherein the first core is positioned on the second core, wherein the second core is positioned on the third core.

3. The core member assembly according to either one of claims 1 or 2, wherein an inner surface of the first opening, the second opening, and the third opening each comprise at least one channel extending within a bottom portion of the inner surface, wherein the inner surface of the first opening, the second opening, and the third opening each comprise three channels spaced equidistantly about the inner surface, wherein the channels of the third opening are offset relative to the second opening, wherein the channels of the second opening are offset relative to the channels of the first opening.

4. The core member assembly according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein a bottom surface of the first outer disc comprises at least one notch extending within the first outer disc, wherein the second and third outer discs comprise at least one opening longitudinally aligned with the at least one notch of the first outer disc.

5. The core member assembly according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein a top surface of the first inner disc is lower than a top surface of the second outer disc, wherein the top surface of the first inner disc is configured to receive a bottom surface of the first outer disc.

6. The core member assembly according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein a top surface of the second inner disc is lower than a top surface of the third outer disc, wherein the top surface of the second inner disc is configured to receive a bottom surface of the first inner disc.

7. The core member assembly according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the outer roller comprises an intermediate disc positioned between the second inner disc and the third outer disc, wherein a top surface of the intermediate disc is lower than a top surface of the third outer disc, wherein the top surface of the intermediate disc is configured to receive a bottom surface of the second outer disc.

8. The core member assembly according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the outer roller comprises a flange positioned between the second inner disc and the core, wherein a top surface of the flange is lower than a top surface of the second inner disc, wherein the top surface of the flange is configured to receive a bottom surface of a second core of the intermediate roller extending downwardly from a central portion of the first inner disc.

9. The core member assembly according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the outer roller comprises a third annular flange positioned about a circumference of the third outer disc, wherein the third annular flange extends downward from the third outer disc.

10. The core member assembly according to any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the first annular flange comprises a first recess extending through the first annular flange, wherein the second annular flange comprises a second recess extending through the second annular flange, wherein the second recess is laterally aligned with the first recess.

11. A method for winding film onto a core member assembly comprising a first roller and a second roller, wherein the first roller comprises a first outer disc and a first core extending upwardly from a central portion of the first outer disc, wherein the second roller comprises a second outer disc and a first annular flange extending upwardly from an inner portion of the second outer disc, the method comprises the steps of: coupling an end of the film to an outer surface of the first core of the first roller; rotating the first roller to wind the film about the first core on a top surface of the first outer disc; positioning the second roller about the first roller to align the second outer disc of the second roller laterally along a plane of the first outer disc and the first annular flange outward of the first outer disc; and continuously winding film about the second roller by rotating the first and second rollers simultaneously to wind the film about the first annular flange on a top surface of the second outer disc.

12. The method according to claim 11, wherein the first roller is in a raised position relative to the second roller when the first roller is wound with the film.

13. The method according to claim 12 further comprising raising the second roller relative to the first roller to position the second roller about the first roller when the second roller is wound with the film.

14. The method according to any one of claims 11 to 13, wherein the first and second rollers each comprise an opening extending through a central portion of the first and second rollers, wherein the first and second rollers are positioned on a winding device such that a cylinder of the winding device is inserted through the openings of the first and second rollers.

15. The method according to any one of claims 11 to 14, further comprising positioning a third roller about the second roller to align a third outer disc of the third roller laterally along a plane of the second outer disc and a second annular flange of the third roller outward of the second outer disc, and continuously winding film about the third roller by rotating the first, second, and third rollers simultaneously to wind the film about the second annular flange on a top surface of the third outer disc.

Description:
CORE MEMBER FOR A FILM ROLL

PRIORITY

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Patent Application No. 16/275,481, entitled “Core Member for a Film Roll,” filed on February 14, 2019, and U.S. Patent Application No. 16/128,668, entitled“Core Member for a Film Roll,” filed on September 12, 2018, the disclosures of which are incorporated by reference herein.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The disclosed embodiments generally pertain to a core member for a film roll, and in particular to a core member for storing an elongated sheet of heat shrink film.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Generally, elongated sheets of heat shrink film may be manufactured and wound onto a core member such that the roll of heat shrink film on the core member may be transported from the manufacturing facility to a customer. The customer may then unwind the heat shrink film from the core member for use. For instance, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, an elongated sheet of film (12) has been wound around a core member (10) to form a roll (14). Each core member (10) may comprise an inner core (11) extending upwardly from a central portion of a disc (13), as shown in FIG. 2. Accordingly, an end of the elongated sheet of film (12) may be attached to a side wall of the inner core (11) and wound around the inner core (11) such that as the film (12) is wound, the film (12) expands outwardly to rest on a top surface of the disc (13). Once wound, each roll (14) typically may comprise about 1,000 meters of film (12) on one core member (10).

[0004] Each roll (14) may then be placed on a pallet (6), within a compartment (4) of a container (2), for transporting to a customer, as shown in FIG. 1. Typically, four rolls (14) of film (12) may be placed adjacent to each other on the pallet (6) to form a layer (8). Additional layers (8) of rolls (14) may then be placed on top each other on the pallet (6). This may allow the pallet (6) to hold up to about 4,000 meters of film (12) per layer (8) and about 16,000 to about 50,400 meters of film (12) per pallet (6). To form a layer (8) of four rolls (14) of film (12), three splices may be made to cut the elongated sheet of film (12) three times to wind the film (12) onto the four different core members (10). Accordingly, nine splices may be made to run about 10,000 meters of film (12). During the winding process, the average rate of speed the film (12) is winding onto a core member (10) may be about 175 meters per minute and the amount of time to wind the film (12) onto the core member (10) may be about 5.7 minutes. Accordingly, the amount of time to unwind film (12) from a slit roll containing about 10,000 meters of film (12), splice the film (12), and wind the film (12) onto a plurality of core members (10) is about 57 minutes. It may therefore be desirable to provide a core member that is able to hold more film with fewer splices and more efficiently wind the film onto the core member.

[0005] While a variety of core members for film rolls have been made and used, it is believed that no one prior to the inventors has made or used an invention as described herein.

SUMMARY

[0006] In some instances, it may be desirable to provide a core member comprising a plurality of rollers to allow a single core member to hold more film and/or more efficiently wind the film about the core member. In some versions, the core member may expandable and/or collapsible for easier transport. Such core members are described in more detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] It is believed the present invention will be better understood from the following description of certain examples taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals identify the same elements and in which:

[0008] FIG. 1 depicts a top perspective view of a plurality of prior art core members wound with elongated sheets of film and stored on a pallet.

[0009] FIG. 2 depicts a cross-secitonal view of the prior art core member of FIG. 1 wound with film.

[00010] FIG. 3 depicts a top perspective view of an embodiment of a core member comprising a plurality of rollers, with a gear inserted within the core member.

[00011] FIG. 4 depicts a bottom perspective view of the core member of FIG. 3, with the gear inserted within the core member.

[00012] FIG. 5 depicts a top plan view of the core member of FIG. 3, with the gear inserted within the core member.

[00013] FIG. 6 depicts a bottom plan view of the core member of FIG. 3, with the gear inserted within the core member.

[00014] FIG. 7 depicts a front view of the core member of FIG. 3, with the gear inserted within the core member.

[00015] FIG. 8 depicts a rear view of the core member of FIG. 3, with the gear inserted within the core member.

[00016] FIG. 9 depicts an exploded top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 3, shown with the gear.

[00017] FIG. 10 depicts a top perspective view of a gear for use with the core member of FIG. 3.

[00018] FIG. 11 depicts a side elevational view of the gear of FIG. 10.

[00019] FIG. 12 depicts a top plan view of the gear of FIG. 10.

[00020] FIG. 13 depicts a bottom plan view of the gear of FIG. 10.

[00021] FIG. 14 depicts a top perspective view of an inner roller of the core member of

FIG. 3.

[00022] FIG. 15 depicts a bottom plan view of the inner roller of FIG. 14. [00023] FIG. 16 depicts a top plan view of the inner roller of FIG. 14.

[00024] FIG. 17 depicts a side elevational view of the inner roller of FIG. 14.

[00025] FIG. 18 depicts a cross-sectional view of the inner roller of FIG. 14 taken along line 18-18 of FIG. 15.

[00026] FIG. 19 depicts a top perspective view of an intermediate roller of the core member of FIG. 3.

[00027] FIG. 20 depicts a bottom plan view of the intermediate roller of FIG. 19.

[00028] FIG. 21 depicts a top plan view of the intermediate roller of FIG. 19.

[00029] FIG. 22 depicts a side elevational view of the intermediate roller of FIG. 19.

[00030] FIG. 23 depicts a cross-sectional view of the intermediate roller of FIG. 19 taken along line 23-23 of FIG. 20.

[00031] FIG. 24 depicts a top perspective view of an outer roller of the core member of FIG. 3.

[00032] FIG. 25 depicts a bottom plan view of the outer roller of FIG. 24.

[00033] FIG. 26 depicts a top plan view of the outer roller of FIG. 24.

[00034] FIG. 27 depicts a side elevational view of the outer roller of FIG. 24.

[00035] FIG. 28 depicts a cross-sectional view of the outer roller of FIG. 24 taken along line 28-28 of FIG. 25.

[00036] FIG. 29 A depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 3, with the inner roller, the intermediate roller, and the outer roller assembled together.

[00037] FIG. 29B depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 29A with the gear inserted within the inner roller in an upper position. [00038] FIG. 29C depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 29B, showing film being wound onto the inner roller.

[00039] FIG. 29D depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 29, showing the film wound onto the inner roller and the gear inserted within the inner roller and the intermediate roller in an intermediate position.

[00040] FIG. 29E depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 29D, showing the film being wound onto the intermediate roller.

[00041] FIG. 29F depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 29E, showing the film wound onto the intermediate roller and the gear inserted within the inner roller, the intermediate roller, and the outer roller in a lower position.

[00042] FIG. 29G depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 29F, showing the film being wound onto the outer roller.

[00043] FIG. 29H depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 29G, showing the film wound onto the outer roller.

[00044] FIG. 30A depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 3, showing the gear in the upper position.

[00045] FIG. 30B depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 3, showing the gear in the intermediate position.

[00046] FIG. 30C depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 3, showing the gear in the lower position.

[00047] FIG. 31 depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 3 with an elongated sheet of film wound about the core member and stored on a pallet.

[00048] FIG. 32 depicts a top perspective view of another embodiment of a core member comprising a plurality of rollers in a fully expanded position. [00049] FIG. 33 depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 32.

[00050] FIG. 34 depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 32 in a partially expanded position.

[00051] FIG. 35 depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 34.

[00052] FIG. 36 depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 32 in a collapsed position.

[00053] FIG. 37 depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 36.

[00054] FIG. 38A depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 32 in the fully expanded position with film being positioned on an inner roller.

[00055] FIG. 38B depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 38 A in the fully expanded position with film wound around the inner roller.

[00056] FIG. 38C depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 38B in a partially expanded position with film wound around the inner roller.

[00057] FIG. 38D depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 38C in the partially expanded position with film wound around an intermediate roller.

[00058] FIG. 38E depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 38D in a collapsed position with film wound around the intermediate roller.

[00059] FIG. 38F depicts a top perspective view of the core member of FIG. 38E in the collapsed position with film wound around an outer roller.

[00060] FIG. 39A depicts a schematic of a robot for picking up a core member from a pallet.

[00061] FIG. 39B depicts a schematic of the robot of FIG. 39A loading the core member onto a seamer. [00062] FIG. 39C depicts a schematic of the seamer of FIG. 39B loaded with the core member and rolls of film for rolling onto the core member.

[00063] FIG. 40A depicts a schematic of the robot of FIG. 39B, placing the core member onto a pallet.

[00064] FIG. 40B depicts a schematic of a plurality of core members of FIG. 40A placed onto the pallet.

[00065] FIG. 41 A depicts a schematic of the robot of FIG. 39A placing the core member onto a conveyor.

[00066] FIG. 41B depicts a schematic of the core member being transported along the conveyor of FIG. 41 A to an unwinder.

[00067] FIG. 41C depicts a schematic of film on the core member of FIG. 41B being unwound by the unwinder.

[00068] FIG. 41D depicts a schematic of the core member of FIG. 41C being placed on a pallet by the robot.

[00069] FIG. 42 A depicts a top perspective view of an embodiment of a roller for use with a core member.

[00070] FIG. 42B depicts a top perspective view of the roller of FIG. 41 A in a collapsed position.

[00071] FIG. 43 depicts a top perspective view of another embodiment of a core member comprising a plurality of rollers in a collapsed position.

[00072] FIG. 44 depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 43.

[00073] FIG. 45 depicts a top plan view of the core member of FIG. 43.

[00074] FIG. 46 depicts a top plan view of an inner roller of the core member of FIG. 43. [00075] FIG. 47 depicts a cross-sectional view of the inner roller of FIG. 46 taken along line 47-47 of FIG. 46.

[00076] FIG. 48 depicts a bottom plan view of the inner roller of FIG. 46.

[00077] FIG. 49 depicts a top plan view of an intermediate roller of the core member of FIG. 43.

[00078] FIG. 50 depicts a cross-sectional view of the intermediate roller of FIG. 49 taken along line 50-50 of FIG. 49.

[00079] FIG. 51 depicts a bottom plan view of the intermediate roller of FIG. 49.

[00080] FIG. 52 depicts a top plan view of an outer roller of the core member of FIG. 43.

[00081] FIG. 53 depicts a cross-sectional view of the outer roller of FIG. 52 along line 53- 53 of FIG. 52.

[00082] FIG. 54 depicts a bottom plan view of the outer roller of FIG. 52.

[00083] FIG. 55 depicts a top perspective view of a winding device for use with the core member of FIG. 43.

[00084] FIG. 56A depicts a cross-sectional view of the winding device of FIG. 55.

[00085] FIG. 56B depicts a cross-sectional view of the winding device of FIG. 55 with lifting rods in a raised position.

[00086] FIG. 57A depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 43 loaded onto the winding device of FIG. 55 with the inner roller in a raised position.

[00087] FIG. 57B depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 43 loaded onto the winding device of FIG. 55 with the inner roller and the intermediate roller in a raised position.

[00088] FIG. 57C depicts a cross-sectional view of the core member of FIG. 43 loaded onto the winding device of FIG. 55 with the inner roller, intermediate roller, and outer roller in a raised position.

[00089] FIG. 58 depicts a top plan view of the core member of FIG. 43 loaded onto the winding device of FIG. 55.

[00090] FIG. 59A depicts a top cross-sectional-view of a cylinder of the winding device of FIG. 55, showing the inner roller locking shafts of the cylinder.

[00091] FIG. 59B depicts a top cross-sectional-view of the cylinder of FIG. 60A, showing the intermediate roller locking shafts of the cylinder.

[00092] FIG. 59C depicts a top cross-sectional-view of the cylinder of FIG. 60A, showing the outer roller locking shafts of the cylinder.

[00093] FIG. 60 A depicts a cross-sectional view of the inner roller of the core member of FIG. 43 being wound by the winding device of FIG. 55.

[00094] FIG. 60B depicts a cross-sectional view of the intermediate roller of the core member of FIG. 43 being wound by the winding device of FIG. 55.

[00095] FIG. 60C depicts a cross-sectional view of the outer roller of the core member of FIG. 43 being wound by the winding device of FIG. 55.

[00096] The drawings are not intended to be limiting in any way, and it is contemplated that various embodiments of the invention may be carried out in a variety of other ways, including those not necessarily depicted in the drawings. The accompanying drawings incorporated in and forming a part of the specification illustrate several aspects of the present invention, and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements shown.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[00097] The following description of certain examples of the invention should not be used to limit the scope of the present invention. Other examples, features, aspects, embodiments, and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description, which is by way of illustration, one of the best modes contemplated for carrying out the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other different and obvious aspects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and descriptions should be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.

[00098] I. A Core Member Comprising A Plurality of Rollers

[00099] Referring to FIGS. 3-9, a core member (30) is shown comprising an inner roller (50), an intermediate roller (60), and an outer roller (70). In the illustrated embodiment, the inner roller (50) is nested within the intermediate roller (60), which is nested within the outer roller (70). Accordingly, the rollers (50, 60, 70) are concentrically aligned along a longitudinal axis (A), as best seen in FIGS. 7-8. A gear (40) may then be positioned within the rollers (50, 60, 70), along the axis (A), for winding and/or unwinding film from the core member (30).

[000100] Each roller (50, 60, 70) of the core member (30) may be made from a plastic, a polymer, or other suitable material. In some versions, each roller (50, 60, 70) may be injection molded and assembled together to form the core member (30). Accordingly, each roller (50, 60, 70) may rotate relative to each other about the longitudinal axis (A). In some other versions, the rollers (50, 60, 70) may be manufactured as an integral core member (30). Still other suitable configurations for the core member (30) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein. For instance, while the illustrated embodiment shows the core member (30) comprising three rollers (50, 60, 70), any other suitable number of rollers may be used.

[000101] The gear (40) may be inserted within the core member (30) to rotate the rollers (50, 60, 70) for winding and/or unwinding the film from the core member (30). As shown in FIGS. 10-13, the gear (40) comprises a head (42) and a shaft (46) extending from the head (42). The head (42) comprises a plurality of teeth (44) extending outwardly about the head (42). The lower portion of the head (42) comprises a chamfered wall (48) extending inwardly toward the shaft (46). The chamfered wall (48) may thereby be configured to guide the gear (40) into the inner roller (50). The shaft (46) of the gear (40) may be coupled with a seamer, or other suitable machine, to rotate the gear (40) for winding and/or unwinding film from the core member (30). Still other suitable configurations for the gear (40) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000102] Referring to FIGS. 14-18, the inner roller (50) comprises a core (54) extending upwardly from a central portion of a disc (56) such that the disc (56) is positioned around a bottom portion of the core (54). The core (54) defines an upper opening (58) through a central portion of the core (54) having a plurality of recesses (57). The recesses (57) may correspond with the teeth (44) of the gear (40) such that the teeth (44) may be inserted within the recesses

(57). In the illustrated embodiment, the top portion and the bottom portion of the upper opening

(58) comprises a chamfer (59) that may be configured to guide the gear (40) into the opening (58). As best seen in FIG. 18, the chamfer (59) at the bottom portion of the upper opening (58) is coupled with a lower opening (53) having a larger diameter to form a shelf (52) within the core (54) between the upper opening (58) and the lower opening (53). A curved wall (51) is then formed between the bottom surface of the disc (56) and the lower opening (53). The bottom surface of the disc (56) may further comprise a chamfer (55) extending inwardly to the bottom surface of the disc (56). Such a chamfer (55) may guide the disc (56) into the intermediate roller (60). Still other suitable configurations for the inner roller (50) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000103] The intermediate roller (60) of the core member (30) is shown in more detail in FIGS. 19-23. The intermediate roller (60) comprises a core (64), an inner disc (86), an annular flange (82), and an outer disc (66). In the illustrated embodiment, the inner disc (86) is positioned between the core (64) and the annular flange (82) such that the core (64) extends upwardly from an inner portion of the inner disc (86) and the annular flange (82) extends upwardly from an outer portion of the inner disc (86). The outer disc (66) then extends outwardly from a bottom portion of the annular flange (82). In the illustrated embodiment, the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) has a lower height than the core (54) of the inner roller (50) such that the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) may be positioned within the core (54) of the inner roller (50). The outer surface of the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) may further comprise a chamfer (85) configured to guide the core (64) into the lower opening (53) of the core (54) of the inner roller (50). Accordingly, the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) is sized to correspond with the lower opening (53) of the inner roller (50) such that the outer top surface of the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) is positioned adjacent to the shelf (52) of the inner roller (50). In the illustrated embodiment, the outer diameter of the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the lower opening (53) of the inner roller (50) such that the core (64) may rotate within the lower opening (53) to allow the inner and intermediate rollers (50, 60) to rotate relative to each other about the longitudinal axis (A).

[000104] As best seen in FIGS. 20-21, the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) defines an upper opening (68) through a central portion of the core (64) having a plurality of recesses (67). The recesses (67) may correspond with the teeth (44) of the gear (40) such that the teeth (44) may be inserted within the recesses (67). In the illustrated embodiment, the top portion and the bottom portion of the upper opening (68) comprises a chamfer (69) that may be configured to guide the gear (40) into the opening (68). As best seen in FIG. 23, the chamfer (69) at the bottom portion of the upper opening (68) is coupled with a lower opening (63) having a larger diameter to form a shelf (80) within the core (64) between the upper opening (68) and the lower opening (63). A bottom curved wall (61) is then formed between the bottom surface of the inner disc (86) and the lower opening (63). A top curved wall (81) may also be formed between the top surface of the inner disc (86) and the side wall of the core (64). The inner disc (86) also comprises an opening (84) through the inner disc (86) from the top surface of the inner disc (86) to the bottom surface of the inner disc (86). Accordingly, a first pin may be aligned with the opening (84) of the inner disc (86) to maintain the position of the intermediate roller (60) to thereby selectively prevent the intermediate roller (60) from rotating about the longitudinal axis (A). The pin can be a solenoid or the like.

[000105] The size of the inner disc (86) from the outer surface of the core (64) to the inner surface of the annular flange (82) may be sized to correspond to the disc (56) of the inner roller (50) such that the top surface of the inner disc (86) is configured to receive the bottom surface of the disc (56) of the inner roller (50). In the illustrated embodiment, the outer diameter of the disc (56) of the inner roller (50) is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the annular flange (82) to allow the inner roller (50) to rotate relative to the intermediate roller (60). The annular flange (82) of the illustrated embodiment further comprises a plurality of teeth (83) extending inward from the flange (82) that may provide additional support for the annular flange (82). A recess (62) is defined through the side wall of the annular flange (82) such that film may be inserted through the recess (62). The outer disc (66) then extends outwardly from the annular flange (82) such that the bottom surface of the outer disc (66) is aligned with the bottom surface of the inner disc (86). As best seen in FIGS. 22-23, the bottom edge of the outer disc (66) may further comprise a chamfer (65) extending inwardly to the bottom surface of the outer disc (66). This may guide the intermediate roller (60) into the outer roller (70). The outer disc (66) may have a greater thickness than the inner disc (86) such that a top surface of the outer disc (66) is aligned with the top surface of the disc (56) of the inner roller (50) when the inner roller (50) is positioned within the intermediate roller (60). Still other suitable configurations for the intermediate roller (60) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000106] The outer roller (70) of the core member (30) is shown in more detail in FIGS. 24-28. The outer roller (70) comprises a core (74), an inner disc (96), an annular flange (92), and an outer disc (76). In the illustrated embodiment, the inner disc (96) is positioned between the core (74) and the annular flange (92) such that the core (74) extends upwardly from an inner portion of the inner disc (96) and the annular flange (92) extends upwardly from an outer portion of the inner disc (96). The outer disc (76) then extends outwardly from a bottom portion of the annular flange (92). In the illustrated embodiment, the core (74) of the outer roller (70) has a lower height than the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) such that the core (74) of the outer roller (70) may be positioned within the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60). The outer surface of the core (74) of the outer roller (70) may further comprise a chamfer (95) configured to guide the core (74) into the lower opening (63) of the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60). Accordingly, the core (74) of the outer roller (70) is sized to correspond with the lower opening (63) of the intermediate roller (60) such that the outer top surface of the core (74) of the outer roller (70) is positioned adjacent to the shelf (82) of the intermediate roller (60). In the illustrated embodiment, the outer diameter of the core (74) of the outer roller (70) is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the lower opening (63) of the intermediate roller (60) such that the core (74) may rotate within the lower opening (63) to allow the intermediate and outer rollers (60, 70) to rotate relative to each other about the axis (A).

[000107] As best seen in FIGS. 25-26, the core (74) of the outer roller (70) defines an upper opening (78) through a central portion of the core (74) having a plurality of recesses (77). The recesses (77) may correspond with the teeth (44) of the gear (40) such that the teeth (44) may be inserted within the recesses (77). In the illustrated embodiment, the top portion and the bottom portion of the upper opening (78) comprises a chamfer (79) that may be configured to guide the gear (40) into the opening (78). A top curved wall (91) may then be formed between the top surface of the inner disc (96) and the side wall of the core (74). The inner disc (96) comprises a first opening (94) through the inner disc (96) from the top surface of the inner disc (96) to the bottom surface of the inner disc (96). The inner disc (96) further comprises a second opening (98) through the inner disc (96) from the top surface of the inner disc (96) to the bottom surface of the inner disc (96). Accordingly, the first opening (94) may be aligned with the opening (84) of the intermediate disc (60) and the first pin (or solenoid) such that the first pin may be configured to maintain the position of both the outer roller (70) and the intermediate roller (60) to prevent the rollers (60, 70) from rotating about the longitudinal axis (A). A second pin (or solenoid) may then be aligned with the second opening (98) of the inner disc (96) to maintain the position of the outer roller (70) to thereby prevent only the outer roller (70) from rotating about the axis (A).

[000108] The size of the inner disc (96) from the outer surface of the core (74) to the inner surface of the annular flange (92) may be sized to correspond to the outer disc (66) of the intermediate roller (60) such that the top surface of the inner disc (96) is configured to receive the bottom surface of the outer disc (66) of the intermediate roller (60). In the illustrated embodiment, the outer diameter of the outer disc (66) of the intermediate roller (60) is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the annular flange (92) to allow the intermediate roller (60) to rotate relative to the outer roller (70). The annular flange (92) of the illustrated embodiment further comprises a plurality of teeth (93) extending inward from the flange (92) that may provide additional support for the annular flange (92). A recess (72) is defined through the side wall of the annular flange (92) such that film may be inserted through the recess (92). The outer disc (76) then extends outwardly from the annular flange (92) such that the bottom surface of the outer disc (76) is aligned with the bottom surface of the inner disc (96). The outer disc (76) may have a greater thickness than the inner disc (96) such that a top surface of the outer disc (76) is aligned with the top surface of the outer disc (66) of the intermediate roller (60) when the intermediate roller (60) is positioned within the outer roller (70). Still other suitable configurations for the outer roller (70) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein. The height of the core (54) and the flanges (82, 92) can be determined based on the width of the film wound on the core member (30) such that the top surfaces of the film wound on the inner, intermediate, and outer rollers (50, 60, 70) are aligned along the same plane.

[000109] Accordingly, the core member (30) may be assembled, as shown in FIG. 29A, by nesting the core (74) of the outer roller (70) within the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) and nesting the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) within the core (54) of the inner roller (50) such that the rollers (50, 60, 70) are concentrically aligned about the longitudinal axis (A). In this assembled position, the discs (56, 66, 76) of the rollers (50, 60, 70) are thereby laterally aligned along the same plane (P), as shown in FIGS. 7-8. For instance, the core (64) of the intermediate roller (60) may be inserted within the lower opening (53) of the inner roller (50) to position the intermediate roller (60) underneath the inner roller (50). In this position, the bottom surface of the disc (56) of the inner roller (50) may be positioned on the top surface of the inner disc (86) of the intermediate roller (60) such that the annular flange (82) of the intermediate roller (60) extends upwardly past the disc (56) of the inner roller (50). The core (74) of the outer roller (70) is then inserted within the lower opening (63) of the intermediate roller (60) to position the outer roller (70) underneath the intermediate roller (60). The bottom surface of the outer disc (66) of the intermediate roller (60) may thereby be positioned on a top surface of the inner disc (96) of the outer roller (70) such that the annular flange (92) of the outer roller (70) extends upwardly past the outer disc (66) of the intermediate roller (60). The outer disc (76) of the outer roller (70) then extends outwardly from the annular flange (92) of the outer roller (90). In the illustrated embodiment, the outer disc (76) of the outer roller (70) is thicker than the other discs (56, 66, 86, 96) such that when the rollers (50, 60, 70) are assembled, the top surfaces of the outer discs (56, 66) of the inner and intermediate rollers (50, 60) are aligned with the top surface of the outer disc (76) of the outer roller (70) along the same plane, as shown in FIG. 30A.

[000110] The recesses (62, 72) of the intermediate and outer rollers (60, 70) may also be aligned with each other such that film may be inserted through the recesses (62, 72) to the inner roller (50). The openings (84, 94) of the intermediate and outer rollers (60, 70) may also be aligned with each other such that the first pin may be positioned with both of the openings (84, 94) to selectively prevent rotation of both of the intermediate and outer rollers (60, 70). The second pin may be positioned with the other opening (98) of the outer roller (70) to selectively prevent rotation of only the outer roller (70). The gear (40) may then be positioned through the upper openings (58, 68, 78) of the rollers (50, 60, 70) such that the rollers (50, 60, 70) may be rotated relative to each other to wind and/or unwind film from the core member (30). Still other suitable configurations for the core member (30) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000111] For instance, in some versions, each of the annular flanges (82, 92) of the intermediate and outer rollers (60, 70) may comprise a recess on an interior portion of the annular flanges (82, 92) to receive the outer discs (56, 66) of the respective inner and intermediate rollers (60, 70) to maintain the position of the rollers (50, 60, 70) relative to each other along the axis (A) when the rollers (50, 60, 70) are assembled. Further, while the cores (54, 64, 74), flanges (82, 92), and discs (56, 66, 76, 86, 96) are shown with a circular profile, any other suitable shape may be used (e.g., square, triangular, oval, rectangular, hexagonal, etc.)

[000112] II. A Method of Winding A Core Member Comprising A Plurality of Rollers

[000113] With the rollers (50, 60, 70) assembled to form the core member (30), the gear

(40) may be positioned within the upper openings (58, 68, 78) of the rollers (50, 60, 70) to wind film onto the core member (30), as shown in FIGS. 29B and 30A. For instance, the gear (40) may be inserted through the top of the upper opening (58) of the inner roller (50) (FIG. 29B), or the gear (40) may be inserted through the bottom of the core member (30) (FIG. 30A), to an upper position such that the teeth (44) of the gear (40) are only engaged with the recesses (57) of the inner roller (50). In this position, the first solenoid may be activated to prevent rotation of both the intermediate roller (60) and the outer roller (70). One end of an elongated sheet of film (20) may then be inserted through the recesses (62, 72) of the intermediate and outer rollers (60, 70) and attached to the outer sidewall surface of the core (54) of the inner roller (50), as shown in FIG. 29C. The gear (40) may then be rotated to thereby rotate only the inner roller (50) to wind the film (20) about the core (54) of the inner roller (50). As the inner roller (50) rotates, the film (20) winds outward onto the disc (56) of the inner roller (50), as shown in FIG. 29D.

[000114] Once the film (20) has been wound about the core (54) of the inner roller (50) to the interior surface of the annular flange (82) of the intermediate roller (60), the gear (40) may be lowered to the intermediate position shown in FIGS. 29E and 30B. In the intermediate position, the teeth (44) of the gear (40) are engaged with the recesses (57, 67) of both the inner roller (50) and the intermediate roller (60). The first solenoid may be deactivated and the second solenoid may be activated such that the intermediate roller (60) may be allowed to rotate, but the second solenoid prevents the outer roller (70) from rotating. Accordingly, the same elongated sheet of film (20) may continue to be wound about the core member (30) through the recess (72) of the outer roller (70). As shown FIG. 29F, with the inner roller (50) and intermediate roller (60) rotating together, the film (20) is wound about the outer surface of the annular flange (82) of the intermediate roller (60). As the intermediate roller (60) rotates, the film (20) winds outward onto the outer disc (66) of the intermediate roller (60).

[000115] With the film (20) wound about intermediate roller (60), to the interior surface of the annular flange (92) of the outer roller (70), the gear (40) may be lowered to the lower position shown in FIGS. 29G and 30C. In the lower position, the teeth (44) of the gear (40) are engaged with the recesses (57, 67, 77) of each of the inner roller (50), the intermediate roller (60), and the outer roller (70). The second solenoid may be deactivated such that each of the inner roller (50), the intermediate roller (60), and the outer roller (70) may be allowed to rotate. Accordingly, the same elongated sheet of film (20) may continue to be wound about the outer roller (70) of the core member (30), as shown in FIG. 29G. With each of the rollers (50, 60, 70) simultaneously rotating, the film (20) is wound about the outer surface of the annular flange (92) of the outer roller (70). As the outer roller (70) rotates, the film (20) winds outward onto the outer disc (76) of the outer roller (70), as shown in FIG. 29H. The film (20) may thereby be wound to the outer edge of the outer disc (76) of the outer roller (70). The wound core member (30) may then be placed on a pallet (6), as shown in FIG. 31. Still other suitable configurations for winding the core member (30) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000116] Accordingly, the core member (30) is more efficiently wound with a continuous elongated sheet of film (20) to hold a larger amount of film (20). Because the core member (30) is able to hold a larger amount of film (20), one core member (30) may be used as one layer (8) on a pallet (6). This may allow more meters of film (20) to be transported on one pallet (6). The amount of time to wind the film (20) onto a core member (30) may also be reduced by decreasing the amount of film splices and changeover time to wind the film (20) more efficiently and reduce costs.

[000117] The core member (30) may thereby hold up to about 5,500 meters of film (20) per layer (8), which is about 20% to about 30% more film (20) per layer (8). The core member (30) may also hold about 27,500 to about 137,500 meters of film (20) per pallet (6), which is about 130% to about 250 more film (20) per pallet (6). The core member (30) may only require one splice in the film (20) to run about 10,000 meters of film (20). During the winding process, the average rate of speed the film (20) may wind onto a core member (30) may be about 325 meters per minute and the amount of time to wind the film (20) onto the core member (30) may be about 15 minutes. Accordingly, the amount of time to unwind film (20) from a slit roll containing about 10,000 meters of film (20), splice the film (20), and wind the film (20) onto a plurality of core members (30) may be about 28 minutes. The core member (30) thereby allows the film (20) to be wound more efficiently.

[000118] Because of the increase in the amount of film (20) the core member (30) is able to hold, a plurality of rollers (50, 60, 70) are used such that the amount of pressure on the film (20) as the film (20) is wound onto the core member (30) may be reduced. For instance, the annular flanges (82, 92) of the intermediate and outer rollers (60, 70) may provide support for the film (20) as the film (20) is wound onto the core member (30) such that the plurality of rollers (50, 60, 70) may prevent the film (20) from retaining a curled shape when the film (20) is unwound from the core member (30), which may prevent the film (20) from being transferred to a bottle. The plurality of rollers (50, 60, 70) of the core member (30) may further provide traceability of sections of the film (20). Accordingly, more than one roller (50, 60, 70) may be used for the core member (30).

[000119] III. A Method of Loading a Core Member Comprising A Plurality of Rollers

[000120] In some versions, a robot (210) may be used to more easily and/or efficiently load or unload a core member (30) onto a seamer (200) for winding. In the illustrated embodiment, as shown in FIG. 39A, the robot (210) comprises an arm (212) and a claw (214) positioned at an end of the arm (212). Accordingly, the arm (212) may rotate and/or translate relative to the robot (210) to position the claw (214). In some versions, the robot (210) comprises a motor and/or a control unit to selectively position and/or actuate the claw (214) of the robot (210) to pick up, carry, and/or put down a core member (30) with the claw (214). Still other suitable configurations for the robot (210) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000121] Referring to FIGS. 39A-39C, the robot (210) is shown loading a core member (30) onto a seamer (200) for winding film (20) onto the core member (30). For instance, a plurality of empty core members (30) are stacked on top of each other on a pallet (6). The robot (210) may be used to translate the arm (212) of the robot (210) to position the claw (214) of the robot (210) above the stack of core members (30). The arm (212) of the robot (210) may then be lowered to position the claw (214) on the top core member (30). The claw (214) may then be actuated to grasp the top core member (30) and the arm (212) may be raised to pick up the core member (30), as shown in FIG. 39A. For instance, the claw (214) may grasp the core member (30) from the top, from the side, from the bottom, and/or by a magnet. The arm (212) may then be translated to position the claw (214) adjacent to the seamer (200) as shown in FIG. 39B. The claw (214) may then be actuated to unload the empty core member (30) onto an arm (202) of the seamer (200). The arm (212) can be operated to rotate the claw (214) to position the core member (30) from the vertical position to the horizontal position as shown in FIG. 39C. The film (20) may then be wound onto the core member (30) from the seamer (200) as described above.

[000122] Once the film (20) is wound onto the core member (30), the robot (210) may be used to place the wound core member (30) onto another pallet (6), as shown in FIGS. 40A-40B. For instance, the robot (210) may be actuated to position the claw (214) adjacent to the wound core member (30) to grasp the wound core member (30) on the seamer (200). The arm (212) may then be translated to position the claw (214) above the pallet (6), as shown in FIG. 40A. The arm (212) may then be lowered and the claw (214) may be actuated to unload the wound core member (30) onto the pallet (6). This process may be repeated to stack additional wound core members (30) on top of each other on the pallet (6) to form layers (8), as shown in FIG. 40B. The stacked pallet (6) of wound core members (130) may then be more easily transported to a customer. Still other suitable configurations for loading and/or unloading a core member (30) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000123] IV. A Method of Unwinding A Core Member Comprising A Plurality of Rollers

[000124] Referring to FIGS. 41A-41D, the film (20) on the wound core member (30) may then be unwound and removed from the core member (30) such as by a customer. For instance, the robot (210) described above may be used to remove the wound core member (30) from the pallet (6) for unwinding. The arm (212) of the robot (210) may be actuated to position the claw (214) of the robot (210) adjacent to the wound core member (30) to grasp the wound core member (30) from the stacked pallet (6) as shown in FIG. 41A. The arm (212) of the robot (210) may then be translated to position the claw (214) above a conveyor (206) such that the claw (214) may place the wound core member (30) onto the conveyor (206). The conveyor (206) may then transport the wound core member (30) to an unwinder (204) as shown in FIG. 41B. The unwinder (204) may then unwind the film (20) from the core member (30), as shown in FIG. 41C, for use by the customer. For instance, an end of the film (20) may be loaded into the unwinder (204) from the outer roller (70). The unwinder (204) may then unwind the film (20) from the core member (30) in an opposite manner as described above by rotating the core member (30) to remove the film (20) from the outer roller (70), then the intermediate roller (60), and then the inner roller (50). Once the film (20) is unwound from the core member (30), the conveyor (206) may transport the empty core member (30) to the robot (210) such that the robot (210) may place the empty core member (30) onto a pallet (6) with the claw (214), as shown in FIG. 41D. Still other suitable methods for unwinding the core member (30) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000125] V. A Core Member Comprising A Plurality of Expandable Rollers

[000126] Another embodiment of a core member (130), shown in FIGS. 32-37, is similar to the core member (30) described above, except that the core member (130) is expandable. For instance, referring to FIGS. 32-33, the core member (130) is shown in a fully expanded position with the inner roller (150) extending upward from the intermediate roller (160), which is extending upward from the outer roller (170). Accordingly, the outer disc (156) of the inner roller (150) is positioned at a top portion of the core (164) and annular flange (182) of the intermediate roller (160). The outer disc (166) is positioned at a top portion of the core (174) and annular flange (192) of the outer roller. In this fully expanded position, one end of the film (20) may be attached to a sidewall of the core (154) of the inner roller (150), as shown in FIG. 38 A. The inner roller (150) may then be rotated to wind the film (20) onto the inner roller (150) in this expanded position as shown in FIG. 38B. The film (20) is thereby wound onto the inner roller (150) such that the film (20) expands on the outer disc (156) of the inner roller (150). The inner roller (150) may rotate relative to the intermediate roller (160) and the outer roller (170) or the intermediate roller (160) and/or the outer roller (170) may rotate with the inner roller (150) when the film (20) is wound onto the inner roller (150).

[000127] Once the film (20) is wound around the inner roller (150) until the outer diameter of the wound film around the inner roller (150) is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the annular flange (182) of the intermediate roller (160), the core member (130) may be lowered into a partially expanded position, as shown in FIGS. 34-35, such that the inner roller (150) is nested within the intermediate roller (160). In this position, the core (154) of the inner roller (150) surrounds the core (164) of the intermediate roller (160). The core (164) of the intermediate roller (160) may comprise recesses to receive the teeth (157) of the core (154) of the inner roller (150). When the teeth (157) of the core (154) of the inner roller (150) is inserted through the recess, the core member (130) can be lowered into the partially expanded position. The teeth (157) may thereby maintain the position of the inner roller (150) with the intermediate roller (160) to simultaneously rotate the inner roller (150) with the intermediate roller (160). The outer disc (156) of the inner roller (150) may then be positioned on the inner disc (186) of the intermediate roller (160). The intermediate roller (160) may then be rotated to continue winding the film (20) onto the intermediate roller (160) in this partially expanded position as shown in FIG. 38C. The film (20) is thereby wound onto the intermediate roller (160) such that the film (20) expands on the outer disc (166) of the intermediate roller (160), as shown in FIG. 38D.

[000128] Once the film (20) is wound around the intermediate roller (160) until the outer diameter of the wound film around the intermediate roller (160) is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the annular flange (192) of the outer roller (170), the core member (130) may be lowered into a collapsed position, as shown in FIGS. 36-37, such that the inner roller (150) is nested within the intermediate roller (160) and the intermediate roller (160) is nested within the outer roller (170). In this position, the core (154) of the inner roller (150) surrounds the core (164) of the intermediate roller (160) and the core (164) of the intermediate roller (160) surrounds the core (174) of the outer roller (174). The core (174) of the outer roller (170) may comprise recesses to receive the teeth (157) of the core (154) of the inner roller (150) and the teeth (167) of the core (164) of the intermediate roller (160). When the teeth (157, 167) of the core (154, 164) are inserted through the recesses, the core member (130) can be lowered into the collapsed position. The teeth (157, 167) may thereby cause the rollers (150, 160, 170) to simultaneously rotate with each other. The outer disc (166) of the intermediate roller (160) may then be positioned on the inner disc (196) of the outer roller (170). The outer roller (170) may then be rotated to continue winding the film (20) onto the outer roller (170) in this collapsed position as shown in FIG. 38E. The film (20) is thereby wound onto the outer roller (170) such that the film (20) expands on the outer disc (176) of the outer roller (170), as shown in FIG. 38F. Still other suitable configurations for the expandable core member (130) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000129] VI. A Core Member Comprising A Collapsible Roller

[000130] FIGS. 42A-42B show an embodiment of a roller (250) that may be used with any of the core members (30, 130) described above. In the illustrated embodiment, the roller (250) comprises a disc (256) and a core (254) coupled with the disc (256). The core (254) comprises a plurality of fins (252). In an extended position, as shown in FIG. 42A, the fins (252) are upright such that the fins (252) are extending upwardly from the disc (256) in a circular profile. In a collapsed position, as shown in FIG. 42B, the fins (252) are collapsed such that the fins (252) are bent inwardly to lay on a top surface of the disc (256). The fins (252) can be bent outwardly to lay on the top surface of the disc (256). Accordingly, the roller (250) may be wound and/or unwound with film while the roller (250) is in the extended position. Once the film is removed from the roller (250), the fins (252) may be collapsed to the collapsed position to thereby decrease the volume of the roller (250). This may allow the roller (250) to be more easily transportable. Still other suitable configurations for a collapsible roller (250) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein. For instance, in some versions, the core of a roller may be disposable. In some other versions, the core member may comprise any suitable number of rollers, such as two rollers or four or more rollers.

[000131] VII. A Core Member Comprising A Plurality of Translatable Rollers

[000132] FIGS. 43-45 show another embodiment of a core member (330) that is similar to core member (30), except that core member (330) comprises a plurality of rollers (350, 360, 370) that are vertically translatable relative to each other for winding and/or unwinding the core member (330). For instance, core member (330) comprises an inner roller (350), an intermediate roller (360), and an outer roller (370) such that the rollers (350, 360, 370) may each be lifted vertically relative to the other rollers as will be discussed in more detail below.

[000133] Referring to FIGS. 46-48, the inner roller (350) comprises a core (354) extending upwardly from a central portion of a disc (356) such that the disc (356) is positioned around a bottom portion of the core (354). The core (354) defines an opening (358) through a central portion of the core (354). In the illustrated embodiment, the core (354) and opening (358) have a generally cylindrical shape, but other suitable shapes may be used (e.g., square, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, etc.). An interior surface of the core (354) comprises a plurality of channels (353) extending inwardly at a bottom portion of the core (354). One or more channels (353) may be used to maintain the position of the inner roller (350) relative to a winding device as will be discussed in more detail below. In the illustrated embodiment, the core (354) comprises three channels (353) extending about 40% along the height of the core (354) such that the channels (353) are positioned about 120 degrees apart from each other. Still other suitable configurations and/or dimensions for the channels (353) can be used. The bottom surface of the disc (356) further comprises a pair of notches (352) extending inwardly into the disc (356) on opposing side portions of the disc (356). One or more notches (352) may also be used to maintain the position of the inner roller (350) relative to a winding device. It should be noted that channels (353) and/or notches (352) are merely optional. Still other suitable configurations for the inner roller (350) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000134] The intermediate roller (360) of the core member (330) is shown in more detail in FIGS. 49-51. The intermediate roller (360) comprises an inner disc (386), an annular flange (382), and an outer disc (366). In the illustrated embodiment, the annular flange (382) is positioned between the inner disc (386) and the outer disc (366) such that the annular flange (382) extends upwardly from an outer portion of the inner disc (386). A recess (362) is defined through the side wall of the annular flange (382) such that film may be inserted through the recess (362). The outer disc (366) then extends outwardly from the annular flange (382) such that the bottom surface of the outer disc (366) is aligned with the top surface of the inner disc (386). The inner disc (386) comprises a core (364) extending downwardly from a central portion of the inner disc (386) such that the core (364) defines an opening (368) through the inner disc (386). The intermediate roller (360) defines a generally cylindrical shape, but other suitable shapes can be used (e.g., square, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, etc.). An interior surface of the core (364) comprises a plurality of channels (363) extending inwardly at a bottom portion of the core (364). One or more channels (363) may be used to maintain the position of the intermediate roller (360) relative to a winding device as will be discussed in more detail below. In the illustrated embodiment, the core (364) comprises three channels (363) extending partially along the height of the core (364) such that the channels (363) are positioned about 120 degrees apart from each other. Still other suitable configurations and/or dimensions for the channels (363) can be used. The inner disc (386) further comprises a pair of openings (384) extending through the inner disc (386) on opposing side portions of the inner disc (386). One or more openings (384) may also be used to maintain the position of the intermediate roller (360) relative to a winding device. Openings (384) may or may not be tapered to narrow towards the bottom surface of the inner disc (386). It should be noted that channels (363) and/or openings (384) are merely optional.

[000135] The intermediate roller (360) is thereby configured to be positioned about the inner roller (350) such that the inner roller (350) rests on the intermediate roller (360). Accordingly, the core (364) of the intermediate roller (360) is sized to correspond with the core (354) of the inner roller (350) such that the opening (358) of the inner roller (350) is aligned with the opening (368) of the intermediate roller (360). The size of the inner disc (386) from the outer surface of the core (364) to the inner surface of the annular flange (382) may be sized to correspond to the disc (356) of the inner roller (350) such that the top surface of the inner disc (386) is configured to receive the bottom surface of the disc (356) of the inner roller (350). In the illustrated embodiment, the outer diameter of the disc (356) of the inner roller (350) is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the annular flange (382) to allow the inner roller (350) to translate relative to the intermediate roller (360). Still other suitable configurations for the intermediate roller (360) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000136] The outer roller (370) of the core member (330) is shown in more detail in FIGS. 52-54. The outer roller (370) comprises an inner disc (396), an intermediate disc (397), an annular flange (392), and an outer disc (376). In the illustrated embodiment, the annular flange (392) is positioned between the intermediate disc (397) and the outer disc (376) such that the annular flange (392) extends upwardly from an outer portion of the intermediate disc (397). A recess (372) is defined through the side wall of the annular flange (372) such that film may be inserted through the recess (372). The outer disc (376) then extends outwardly from the annular flange (392) such that the bottom surface of the outer disc (376) is aligned with the top surface of the intermediate disc (397). In the illustrated embodiment, the outer disc (376) comprises an annular flange (398) protruding downwardly about the outer circumference of the outer disc (376). The inner disc (396) is then positioned within the intermediate disc (397) such that the top surface of the inner disc (396) is aligned with or lower than the bottom surface of the intermediate disc (397). The outer roller (370) defines a generally cylindrical shape, but other suitable shapes can be used (e.g., square, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, etc.).

[000137] The bottom surface of the inner disc (396) further comprises a pair of openings (394) extending through the inner disc (396) on opposing side portions of the inner disc (396). One or more openings (394) may also be used to maintain the position of the outer roller (370) relative to a winding device. Openings (394) may or may not be tapered to narrow towards the bottom surface of the inner disc (396). A flange (399) is then positioned within the inner disc (396) such that the top surface of the flange (399) is aligned with or lower than the bottom surface of the inner disc (396). The flange (399) comprises a core (374) extending downwardly from a central portion of the flange (399) such that the core (374) defines an opening (378) through the flange (399). An interior surface of the core (374) comprises a plurality of channels (373) extending inwardly at a bottom portion of the core (374). One or more channels (373) may be used to maintain the position of the outer roller (370) relative to a winding device as will be discussed in more detail below. In the illustrated embodiment, the core (374) comprises three channels (373) extending partially along the height of the core (374) such that the channels (373) are positioned about 120 degrees apart from each other. Still other suitable configurations and/or dimensions for the channels (373) can be used. It should be noted that channels (373) and/or openings (394) are merely optional.

[000138] The outer roller (370) is thereby configured to be positioned about the intermediate roller (360) such that the intermediate roller (360) rests on the outer roller (370). Accordingly, the core (374) of the outer roller (370) is sized to correspond with the core (364) of the intermediate roller (360) such that the opening (368) of the intermediate roller (360) is aligned with the opening (378) of the outer roller (370). The size of the intermediate disc (397) of the outer roller (370) may be sized to correspond to the outer disc (366) of the intermediate roller (360) such that the top surface of the intermediate disc (397) is configured to receive the bottom surface of the outer disc (366) of the intermediate roller (360). In the illustrated embodiment, the outer diameter of the outer disc (366) of the intermediate roller (360) is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the annular flange (392) to allow the intermediate roller (360) to translate relative to the outer roller (370). Still other suitable configurations for the outer roller (370) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000139] Accordingly, the core member (330) may be assembled as shown in FIGS. 43-45. In the illustrated embodiment, the inner roller (350) is positioned within the intermediate roller (360), which is positioned within the outer roller (370). As best seen in FIG. 44, the cores (354, 364, 374) of the rollers (350, 360, 370) are vertically stacked to longitudinally align the openings (358, 368, 378) of the rollers (350, 360, 370). For instance, in the illustrated embodiment, the inner diameter of the core (354, 364, 374) of each roller (350, 360, 370) is substantially similar such that the openings (358, 368, 378) of the cores (354, 364, 374) have substantially the same diameter through the core member (330), but other suitable dimensions may be used.

[000140] The bottom surface of the disc (356) of the inner roller (350) is positioned on the top surface of the inner disc (386) of the intermediate roller (360), which is then positioned on the top surface of the inner disc (396) of the outer roller (370). Similarly, the bottom surface of the outer disc (366) of the intermediate roller (360) is positioned on the top surface of the intermediate disc (397) of the outer roller (370). Accordingly, the core (364) of the intermediate roller (360) is positioned within the flange (374) of the outer roller (370) and the inner disc (386) of the intermediate roller (360) is positioned within the inner disc (396) of the outer roller (370). In the illustrated embodiment, this allows the top surface of each of the disc (356) of the inner roller (350), the outer disc (366) of the intermediate roller (360), and the outer disc (376) of the outer roller (370) to be laterally aligned. The interaction between the core (364) of the intermediate roller (360) and the flange (374) of the outer roller (370), and the inner disc (386) of the intermediate roller (360) and the inner disc (396) of the outer roller (370), may also limit any lateral movement between the rollers (350, 360, 370). The annular flange (398) of the outer roller (370) then extends downwardly such that the bottom surface of the annular flange (398) is substantially laterally aligned with the bottom surface of the core (374) of the outer roller (370). This may allow the core member (330) to independently stand upright when placed on a flat surface.

[000141] In the assembled position, the notches (352) of the inner roller (350) and the openings (384, 394) of the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370) are also longitudinally aligned. Referring to FIG. 43, the recesses (362, 372) of the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370) are laterally aligned with each other. This may allow film to pass through the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370) to the core (354) of the inner roller (350). In the illustrated embodiment, the recesses (362, 372) are positioned such that one end of each of the recesses (362, 372) are aligned. The recess (372) of the outer roller (372) is then wider than the recess (362) of the intermediate roller (360) such that the other end of the recess (372) is positioned beyond the other end of the recess (362). This may allow film to be inserted through the recesses (362, 372) at an angle relative to the core (354) of the inner roller (354) without bending the film. Still other configurations for the core member (330) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000142] VIII. A Winding Device For Winding A Core Member Comprising A Plurality of Translatable Rollers

[000143] A winding device (400) for winding and/or unwinding film from a core member (330) is shown in FIGS. 55-56B. The winding device (400) comprises cylinder (410) having a tapered upper portion (414) such that a top surface (412) of the cylinder (410) has a smaller outer diameter than the bottom portion of the cylinder (410). The outer diameter of the cylinder (410) may be sized to correspond to the central openings (358, 368, 378) of the rollers (350, 360, 370) of the core member (330) such that the cylinder (410) may be inserted within the openings (350, 360, 370). Accordingly, the tapered upper portion (414) may help guide the cylinder (410) within the openings (358, 368, 378).

[000144] The cylinder (410) of the illustrated embodiment further comprises a plurality of upper locking shafts (411), a plurality of intermediate locking shafts (413) positioned below the upper locking shafts (411), and a plurality of lower locking shafts (415) positioned below the intermediate locking shafts (413). Each of the locking shafts (411, 413, 415) are positioned transversely within the cylinder (410). As best seen in FIGS. 59A-59C, the upper, intermediate, and lower locking shafts (411, 413, 415) each include three shafts positioned equally about cylinder (410) at about 120 degrees relative to each other. In the illustrated embodiment, the locking shafts (411, 413, 415) are offset relative to each other to align the locking shafts (411, 413, 415) with the channels (353, 363, 373) of the respective rollers (350, 360, 370). In some other versions, the locking shafts (411, 413, 415) and/or channels (353, 363, 373) may be longitudinally aligned instead of offset.

[000145] These locking shafts (411, 413, 415) may thereby be selectively translated to extend in and/or out of a sidewall of the cylinder (410) to selectively engage channels (353, 363, 373) of the rollers (350, 360, 370) to selectively maintain the longitudinal and lateral position of each roller (350, 360, 370) relative to the cylinder (410). For instance, the upper locking shafts (411) may align with the channels (353) of the inner roller (350) to selectively insert the upper locking shafts (411) within the channels (353) of the inner roller (350). The intermediate locking shafts (413) may align with the channels (363) of the intermediate roller (360) to selectively insert the intermediate locking shafts (413) within the channels (363) of the intermediate roller (360). The lower locking shafts (415) may align with the channels (373) of the outer roller (370) to selectively insert the lower locking shafts (415) within the channels (373) of the outer roller (370).

[000146] Focking shafts (411, 413, 415) may be pneumatically actuated through the cylinder (410). For instance, as best seen in FIGS. 56A-56B and 59A-59C, cylinder (410) comprises a first, second, and third conduit (440, 442, 444) extending longitudinally through a central portion of the cylinder (410) substantially parallel to each other. Each upper locking shaft (411) is coupled with the first conduit (440) by a duct (441) extending between the upper locking shaft (411) and the first conduit (440). Each intermediate locking shaft (413) is coupled with the second conduit (442) by a duct (443) extending between the intermediate locking shaft (413) and the second conduit (442). Each lower locking shaft (415) is coupled with the third conduit (444) by a duct (445) extending between the lower locking shaft (415) and the third conduit (444). Each conduit (440, 442, 444) may then be coupled with an actuator (not shown) to independently actuate the upper locking shafts (411), the intermediate locking shafts (413), and/or the lower locking shafts (415). Still other suitable configurations for locking shafts (411, 413, 415) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art. For instance, the locking shafts (411, 413, 415) may be pneumatically, hydraulically, and/or electrically driven.

[000147] Referring to FIGS. 57A-57C, a bottom surface of the cylinder (410) is positioned on a platform (420). The platform (420) further comprises a pair of support shafts (416) extending upwardly from opposing side portions of the platform (420) outward from the cylinder (410). These support shafts (416) are sized and aligned to insert within notches (352) of the inner roller (350) and openings (384, 394) of the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370). Accordingly, support shafts (416) may also maintain the rotational position of the rollers (350, 360, 370) relative to the cylinder (410) even when the locking shafts (411, 413, 415) are not engaged with the rollers (350, 360, 370). The platform (420) is rotatable to simultaneously rotate the cylinder (410) and support shafts (416) for winding and/or unwinding the core member (330).

[000148] The platform (420) is positioned above a stationary base (422). The base (422) comprises a plurality of openings (424) extending through the base (422) outward of the platform (420). A plurality of lifting shafts (434) are positioned below the base (422) aligned with the plurality of openings (424). For instance, each lifting shaft (434) may be housed within a conduit (432) of a housing (430). The housing (430) may be coupled to the base (422) by couplings (438). Each lifting shaft (434) may be selectively raised (FIG. 56B) and/or lowered (FIG. 56A) within the housing (430) such that each lifting shaft (434) extends above the base (422) through openings (424). The lifting shafts (434) may thereby raise and/or lower the rollers (350, 360, 370) of the core member (330). The locking shafts (411, 413, 415) may be pneumatically, hydraulically, and/or electrically driven. Still other suitable configurations for winding device (400) will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000149] IX. A Method of Winding A Core Member Comprising A Plurality of Translatable Rollers

[000150] Referring to FIGS. 57A-57C and 60A-60C, a method of winding and/or unwinding the core member (330) with the winding device (400) is shown. For instance, the core member (330) can be loaded onto the winding device (400) as shown in FIG. 57A. To load the core member (330), the cylinder (410) of the winding device (400) is inserted within the central openings (358, 368, 378) of the rollers (350, 360, 370). The support shafts (416) of the winding device (400) may be inserted within the openings (384, 394) in the inner discs (386, 396) of the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370) such that the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370) may slide down the cylinder (410) until the bottom surface of the core (374) of the outer roller (370) contacts the platform (420). The inner roller (350) may slide down the cylinder (410) until the disc (356) of the inner roller (350) contacts the top surface of the support shafts (416) of the winding device (400) to insert the top portion of the support shafts (416) within the notches (352) of the inner roller (350). The support shafts (416) thereby hold the inner roller (350) in a raised position above the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370). The position of the support shafts (416) through the openings (384, 394) of the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370) also maintain the alignment of the recesses (362, 372) of the intermediate and outer rollers (360, 370) relative to each other.

[000151] With the inner roller (350) in a raised position, the upper locking shafts (411) may be actuated to extend out of the cylinder (410) to engage the channels (353) of the inner roller (350). This may lock the rotational and longitudinal position of the inner roller (350) relative to the cylinder (410). Film (20) may then be wound about the core (354) of the inner roller (350) as shown in FIG. 60A. To wind the film (20), platform (420) may be rotated relative to the base (422) to simultaneously rotate the cylinder (410) and inner roller (350). The support shafts (416) and/or rollers (360, 370) may also rotate with the platform (420). Film (20) is thereby wound about the core (354) of the inner roller (350) on the top surface of the disc (356) until the film (20) reaches the outer portion of the disc (356).

[000152] Once the film (20) is wound about the inner roller (350), the film (20) may continuously be wound onto the intermediate roller (360). For instance, the lifting shafts (434) may be actuated through the base (422) to contact the bottom surface of the outer roller (370) to thereby simultaneously raise both the intermediate and outer roller (360, 370) as shown in FIG. 57C. The intermediate roller (360) is raised to laterally align the outer disc (366) of the intermediate roller (360) with the disc (356) of the inner roller (350). With the rollers (350, 360, 370) in the raised position, the intermediate locking shafts (413) may be actuated to extend out from the sidewall of the cylinder (410) to engage the channels (363) of the intermediate roller (360). This may maintain the intermediate roller (360) in the raised position and lock the rotational and longitudinal position of the intermediate roller (360) relative to the cylinder (410). The lifting shafts (434) may then be lowered to again lower the position of the outer roller (370) on the platform (420) as shown in FIG. 57B. Film (20) may then be wound about an outer surface of the annular flange (382) of the intermediate roller (360) as shown in FIG. 60B. To wind the film (20), platform (420) may be rotated relative to the base (422) to simultaneously rotate the cylinder (410), inner roller (350), and intermediate roller (360). The support shafts (416) and/or roller (370) may also rotate with the platform (420). Film (20) is thereby wound about the annular flange (382) of the intermediate roller (360) on the top surface of the outer disc (366) until the film (20) reaches the outer portion of the outer disc (366).

[000153] Once the film (20) is wound about the intermediate roller (360), the film (20) may continuously be wound onto the outer roller (370). For instance, the lifting shafts (434) may be actuated through the base (422) to contact the bottom surface of the outer roller (370) to thereby raise the outer roller (370) as shown in FIG. 57C. The outer roller (370) is raised to laterally align the outer disc (376) of the outer roller (370) with the outer disc (366) of the intermediate roller (360). With the rollers (350, 360, 370) in the raised position, the lower locking shafts (415) may be actuated to extend out from the sidewall of the cylinder (410) to engage the channels (373) of the outer roller (370). This may maintain the outer roller (370) in the raised position and lock the rotational and longitudinal position of the outer roller (370) relative to the cylinder (410). The lifting shafts (434) may then be lowered to again. Film (20) may then be wound about an outer surface of the annular flange (392) of the outer roller (370) as shown in FIG. 60C. To wind the film (20), platform (420) may be rotated relative to the base (422) to simultaneously rotate the cylinder (410), inner roller (350), intermediate roller (360), and outer roller (370). Film (20) is thereby wound about the annular flange (392) of the outer roller (370) on the top surface of the outer disc (376) until the film (20) reaches the outer portion of the outer disc (376).

[000154] To unwind the film (20) from the core member (330), platform (420) can be rotated in the other direction until the film (20) has been removed from the outer roller (370). The lifting shafts (343) may be raised to contact the bottom surface of the outer roller (370) and the lower locking shafts (415) may be actuated back into the cylinder (410) to release the outer roller (370). The lifting shafts (434) may then be lowered to lower the outer roller (370) to the platform (420). The platform (420) may then be rotated again to unwind the film (20) from the intermediate roller (370). The lifting shafts (343) may be raised such that the outer roller (370) contacts the bottom surface of the intermediate roller (360) and the intermediate locking shafts (413) may be actuated back into the cylinder (410) to release the intermediate roller (360). The lifting shafts (434) may then be lowered to lower the outer roller (370) and the intermediate roller (360) to the platform (420). The platform (420) may then be rotated again to unwind the film (20) from the inner roller (350). The upper locking shafts (411) may be actuated back into the cylinder (410) to release the inner roller (350). The core member (330) may then be lifted to remove the core member (330) from the winding device (400). Still other methods for winding and/or unwinding film (20) from the core member (330) will be apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art in view of the teachings herein.

[000155] X. Examples

[000156] The following examples relate to various non-exhaustive ways in which the teachings herein may be combined or applied. It should be understood that the following examples are not intended to restrict the coverage of any claims that may be presented at any time in this application or in subsequent filings of this application. No disclaimer is intended. The following examples are being provided for nothing more than merely illustrative purposes. It is contemplated that the various teachings herein may be arranged and applied in numerous other ways. It is also contemplated that some variations may omit certain features referred to in the below examples. Therefore, none of the aspects or features referred to below should be deemed critical unless otherwise explicitly indicated as such at a later date by the inventors or by a successor in interest to the inventors. If any claims are presented in this application or in subsequent filings related to this application that include additional features beyond those referred to below, those additional features shall not be presumed to have been added for any reason relating to patentability.

[000157] EXAMPLES

[000158] Example 1

[000159] A core member assembly for storing shrink film comprising: an inner roller comprising a first outer disc and a first core extending upwardly from a central portion of the first disc, wherein the inner roller defines a first opening extending through a central portion of the inner roller; an intermediate roller comprising a first inner disc and a first annular flange extending upwardly about a circumference of the first inner disc, wherein the intermediate roller comprises a second outer disc extending outwardly from a bottom portion of the first annular flange, wherein the intermediate roller defines a second opening extending through a central portion of the intermediate roller; and an outer roller comprising a second inner disc and a second annular flange extending upwardly about a circumference of the second inner disc, wherein the outer roller comprises a third outer disc extending outwardly from a bottom portion of the second annular flange, wherein the outer roller defines a third opening extending through a central portion of the outer roller; wherein the inner roller, the intermediate roller, and the outer roller are concentrically aligned such that the first, second, and third openings are longitudinally aligned and the first, second, and third outer discs are laterally aligned along a plane, wherein the inner, intermediate, and outer rollers are longitudinally translatable relative to each other.

[000160] Example 2

[000161] The core member assembly of example 1, wherein the intermediate roller comprises a second core extending downwardly from a central portion of the first inner disc, wherein the outer roller comprises a third core extending downwardly from a central portion of the second inner disc. [000162] Example 3

[000163] The core member assembly of example 2, wherein the first core is positioned on the second core, wherein the second core is positioned on the third core.

[000164] Example 4

[000165] The core member assembly of any of the examples 1 to 3, wherein an inner surface of the first opening, the second opening, and the third opening each comprise at least one channel extending within a bottom portion of the inner surface.

[000166] Example 5

[000167] The core member assembly of example 4, wherein the inner surface of the first opening, the second opening, and the third opening each comprise three channels spaced equidistantly about the inner surface.

[000168] Example 6

[000169] The core member assembly of example 5, wherein the channels of the third opening are offset relative to the second opening, wherein the channels of the second opening are offset relative to the channels of the first opening.

[000170] Example 7

[000171] The core member assembly of any of the examples 1 to 6, wherein a bottom surface of the first outer disc comprises at least one notch extending within the first outer disc.

[000172] Example 8

[000173] The core member assembly of example 7, wherein the second and third outer discs comprise at least one opening longitudinally aligned with the at least one notch of the first outer disc.

[000174] Example 9 [000175] The core member assembly of claim any of the examples 1 to 8, wherein a top surface of the first inner disc is lower than a top surface of the second outer disc, wherein the top surface of the first inner disc is configured to receive a bottom surface of the first outer disc.

[000176] Example 10

[000177] The core member assembly of any of the examples 1 to 9, wherein a top surface of the second inner disc is lower than a top surface of the third outer disc, wherein the top surface of the second inner disc is configured to receive a bottom surface of the first inner disc.

[000178] Example 11

[000179] The core member assembly of any of the examples 1 to 10, wherein the outer roller comprises an intermediate disc positioned between the second inner disc and the third outer disc, wherein a top surface of the intermediate disc is lower than a top surface of the third outer disc, wherein the top surface of the intermediate disc is configured to receive a bottom surface of the second outer disc.

[000180] Example 12

[000181] The core member assembly of any of the examples 1 to 11, wherein the outer roller comprises a flange positioned between the second inner disc and the core, wherein a top surface of the flange is lower than a top surface of the second inner disc, wherein the top surface of the flange is configured to receive a bottom surface of a second core of the intermediate roller extending downwardly from a central portion of the first inner disc.

[000182] Example 13

[000183] The core member assembly of any of the examples 1 to 12, wherein the outer roller comprises a third annular flange positioned about a circumference of the third outer disc, wherein the third annular flange extends downward from the third outer disc.

[000184] Example 14 [000185] The core member assembly of any of the examples 1 to 13, wherein the first annular flange comprises a first recess extending through the first annular flange, wherein the second annular flange comprises a second recess extending through the second annular flange, wherein the second recess is laterally aligned with the first recess.

[000186] Example 15

[000187] The core member assembly of example 14, wherein the second recess is wider than the first recess.

[000188] Example 16

[000189] A core member for storing shrink film, the core member comprising at least two rollers, wherein each roller comprises a disc for receiving film, wherein the at least two rollers are concentrically aligned such that the disc of each roller is laterally aligned along a plane, wherein the at least two rollers are longitudinally translatable relative to each other.

[000190] Example 17

[000191] A method for winding film onto a core member assembly comprising a first roller and a second roller, wherein the first roller comprises a first outer disc and a first core extending upwardly from a central portion of the first outer disc, wherein the second roller comprises a second outer disc and a first annular flange extending upwardly from an inner portion of the second outer disc, the method comprises the steps of: coupling an end of the film to an outer surface of the first core of the first roller; rotating the first roller to wind the film about the first core on a top surface of the first outer disc; positioning the second roller about the first roller to align the second outer disc of the second roller laterally along a plane of the first outer disc and the first annular flange outward of the first outer disc; and continuously winding film about the second roller by rotating the first and second rollers simultaneously to wind the film about the first annular flange on a top surface of the second outer disc.

[000192] Example 18

[000193] The method of example 17, wherein the first roller is in a raised position relative to the second roller when the first roller is wound with the film.

[000194] Example 19

[000195] The method of any of the examples 17 to 18, wherein the second roller is raised relative to the first roller to position the second roller about the first roller when the second roller is wound with the film.

[000196] Example 20

[000197] The method of any of the examples 17 to 19, wherein the first and second rollers each comprise an opening extending through a central portion of the first and second rollers, wherein the first and second rollers are positioned on a winding device such that a cylinder of the winding device is inserted through the openings of the first and second rollers.

[000198] Example 21

[000199] The method of example 20, wherein the first and second rollers are selectively coupled with the cylinder via at least one locking shaft to maintain the position of the first and second rollers relative to the cylinder such that the first and second rollers are selectively rotated when the cylinder is rotated.

[000200] Example 22

[000201] The method of any of the examples 17 to 21, further comprising positioning a third roller about the second roller to align a third outer disc of the third roller laterally along a plane of the second outer disc and a second annular flange of the third roller outward of the second outer disc, and continuously winding film about the third roller by rotating the first, second, and third rollers simultaneously to wind the film about the second annular flange on a top surface of the third outer disc.

[000202] Example 23

[000203] The method of any of the examples 17 to 22, further comprising rotating the first and second rollers in the other direction to unwind the film from the core member assembly.

[000204] Having shown and described various embodiments of the present invention, further adaptations of the methods and systems described herein may be accomplished by appropriate modifications by one of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention. Several of such potential modifications have been mentioned, and others will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For instance, the examples, embodiments, geometries, materials, dimensions, ratios, steps, and the like discussed above are illustrative and are not required. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention should be considered in terms of any claims that may be presented and is understood not to be limited to the details of structure and operation shown and described in the specification and drawings.