Title:
Food wrap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A food wrap comprising a transparent sheet that has a viewing portion. The viewing portion allows portions of a plurality of sides of a wrapped food product to be visible therethrough. The food wrap also has at least one opaque sheet having a wrapping portion. The wrapping portion provides a surface for indicia separate from the viewing portion.



Inventors:
Fisher, Mauro (Chicago, IL, US)
Arnce, Charles (Baxter Springs, KS, US)
Tosh, Darrin (Baxter Springs, KS, US)
Sanders, Danny D. (Galena, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/139822
Publication Date:
12/08/2005
Filing Date:
05/27/2005
Assignee:
Packaging Dynamics Operating Company
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/87.08
International Classes:
B65D65/16; B65D65/18; (IPC1-7): B65D65/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PASCUA, JES F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FITCH EVEN TABIN & FLANNERY, LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A food wrap comprising: a flexible transparent sheet having a viewing portion and at least one peripheral edge portion, the viewing portion sized to display a plurality of sides of a wrapped food product visible therethrough; at least one sheet of a foldable, opaque material, the sheet defining a wrapping portion disposed and sized to provide a surface for informational indicia separate from the viewing portion; and the opaque sheet defining an overlap mounting portion secured to the peripheral edge portion of the transparent sheet.

2. The food wrap of claim 1, further comprising: first and second opaque sheets each having the outer overlap portion; the transparent sheet having a pair of peripheral edge portions; wherein the transparent sheet is substantially coplanar with and interposed between the first and second sheets; and the outer overlap portions of each opaque sheet secured to one of the peripheral edge portions of the transparent sheet.

3. The food wrap of claim 1, wherein a surface area of the wrapping portion being greater than a surface area of the viewing portion providing a gripping surface sufficient to maintain the wrapped food product substantially fixed to the viewing portion.

4. The food wrap of claim 2, wherein the opaque sheet is selected from the group consisting of paper, foil, and film.

5. The food wrap of claim 4, wherein the opaque sheet comprises perforations sized to permit the migration of heated moisture from a wrapped food product to an exterior of the wrap in amounts which prevent substantial fogging of the viewing portion.

6. The food wrap of claim 4, wherein the opaque sheet is quilted paper.

7. The food wrap of claim 4, wherein the opaque sheet comprises a laminate of paper and film.

8. The food wrap of claim 4, wherein the opaque sheet is grease and water resistant.

9. The food wrap of claim 2, wherein the transparent sheet is selected from the group consisting of polyester, polypropylene, and cellophane.

10. The food wrap of claim 9, wherein the transparent sheet is anti-fog polyester.

11. The food wrap of claim 9, wherein the transparent sheet comprises perforations sized to permit the migration of heated moisture from a wrapped food product to an exterior of the wrap in amounts which prevent substantial fogging of the viewing portion.

12. The food wrap of claim 2, wherein the first and second opaque sheets each have a width and wherein the width of the first opaque sheet is greater than the width of the second opaque sheet such that the viewing portion is off-center on a wrapped food product.

13. A method of making a food wrap comprising: providing an input web comprising substantially coplanar and transversely alternating separate transparent webs and separate relatively thicker and stiffer opaque webs; securing peripheral portions of each transparent web to outer portions of each opaque web to form a laminated web; slitting an opaque portion of the laminated web longitudinally to form at least two intermediate webs each comprising two opaque webs and an interposed transparent web; and cutting each intermediate web to form the food wrap.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein a tension on the transparent web is different than a tension on the opaque web.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein a roll of the transparent web is positioned a first predetermined distance to a laminator and a roll of the opaque web is positioned a second predetermined distance to the laminator, wherein the first predetermined distance is less than the second predetermined distance such that the tension on the transparent web is different than the tension on the opaque web.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein the method forms a food wrap comprising: a flexible transparent sheet having a viewing portion and at least one peripheral edge portion, the viewing portion sized to display a plurality of sides of a wrapped food product visible therethrough; at least one sheet of a foldable, opaque material, the sheet defining a wrapping portion disposed and sized to provide a surface for informational indicia separate from the viewing portion; and the opaque sheet defining an overlap mounting portion secured to the peripheral edge portion of the transparent sheet.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the food wrap further comprising: first and second opaque sheets each having the outer overlap portion; the transparent sheet having a pair of peripheral edge portions; wherein the transparent sheet is substantially coplanar with and interposed between the first and second sheets; and the outer overlap portions of each opaque sheet secured to one of the peripheral edge portions of the transparent sheet.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein a surface area of the wrapping portion being greater than a surface area of the viewing portion providing a gripping surface sufficient to maintain the wrapped food product substantially fixed to the viewing portion.

19. A food wrap produced from a process comprising: providing an input web comprising substantially coplanar and transversely alternating separate transparent webs and separate relatively thicker and stiffer opaque webs; securing peripheral portions of each transparent web to outer portions of each opaque web to form a laminated web; slitting an opaque portion of the laminated web longitudinally to form at least two intermediate webs each comprising two opaque webs and an interposed transparent web; and cutting each intermediate web to form the food wrap.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/575,222, filed May 28, 2004, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention is generally directed to food wraps, and particularly to food wraps where a wrapped food is visible, at least in part, in the package.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Carry-out and convenience stores often sell “grab & go” food items designed for little or no preparation by the consumer before consumption. The secure packaging of the food item and the capability for microwave heating of the packaged item, without unacceptable adverse effects, often are important considerations for packaging materials and procedures. Desired characteristics for such packaging include product visibility, cost effectiveness, packaging efficiency, and convenience of use for the end customer. The product visibility and presentation can be important characteristics to enhance the product appeal and improve product merchandising in retail displays.

To address such issues, many containers have been created to package and display convenience foods at various quick-service restaurants, convenience stores, and carry-out food stores. Paper and foil wraps are one type of such packaging; however, such wraps typically limit product visibility and product presentation because the consumer is unable to view the food item through the wraps once it is packaged. Many wraps, in addition, can not be used in microwave heating as they contain metal foil. Conventional wraps also may trap unacceptable amounts of moisture in the package during heating affecting the quality of the packaged food item.

Hinged or clam-shell containers, which may be manufactured out of paper, foam, or plastic, also may be used to package such foods. While it is possible to fabricate either the cover of the clam-shell container or the entire container out of clear plastic, thereby improving product visibility, these containers typically are bulky and inefficient in terms of their use of store shelf space and warehouse space. In addition, the clam-shell or hinged container can be more costly, can deform during heating, and typically do not vent moisture effectively during microwave heating of the packaged food prior to consumption. Moreover, the use of such containers with a variety of different sized food items can be limiting or expensive because the fabrication of a different sized container requires a new mold for each sized container.

Bags also can be used for packaging of such food items. While bags may be an improvement because the consumer can open the bag to vent moisture during microwave heating, such bags often are limited because they do not allow product visibility, are often more costly, and generally are less efficient during food packaging procedures. Bags, in addition, typically require extensive labor or machining to fabricate and fill with food items.

Window bags, which typically include a die cut window or aperture in the front panel of the bag, also are used in some instances for packing foods. However, a typical die cut window limits the presentation of the food because only a small portion or only one side of the packaged food is visible. As a result, more effort is required during packaging to orient the food in the container so that the desired image is presented through the limited window space. Such bags also typically have the same disadvantages as the non-window bags discussed above regarding costs, efficiency, machining, and labor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed in one aspect to a food wrap made from at least one web of a transparent material and at least one web of a substantially opaque or semi-opaque material. The webs are joined to provide a wrap with a viewing section that extends a substantial portion of the wrap and at least one opaque or semi-opaque section. The opaque or semi-opaque section may be made of a printable material, and may be pre-printed if desired.

In this aspect, the transparent material provides a viewing portion and at least one peripheral edge portion for joining the transparent material to a portion of the opaque or semi-opaque material. The opaque or semi-opaque material may be relatively thicker and stiffer than the transparent material, with a wrapping portion and an outer overlap portion. The outer overlap portion is laminated or otherwise secured to the edge portion of the transparent material to form a web that can be supplied as a continuous roll, as a perforated roll, or as individual sheets.

In another aspect, the transparent material may be fog resistant or perforated to permit the migration of moisture from the interior to the exterior of the wrap. The substantially opaque or semi-opaque material may also be perforated to permit the migration of moisture from the interior of the wrap. The transparent material and the perforation pattern and size generally are selected to let water vapor to exit a package formed by the wrap without producing unacceptable loss of packaging integrity.

In another aspect, the invention is directed to a method of making such food wraps. The method comprises providing an input web that consists of a substantially coplanar and transversely alternating (i.e., alternating in the machine cross-web direction) separate transparent webs and separate opaque webs. The peripheral edge portions of the transparent webs are joined to the corresponding peripheral edge portions of the adjacent opaque webs to form a composite web. Slitting one or more of the opaque portions of the composite web longitudinally will form at least two intermediate webs each comprising opaque webs with an interposed transparent web. These webs then may be rolled, perforated and rolled, cut, stamped, or sheeted to form individual wraps.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an individual sheet of the food wrap of one aspect of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the food wrap through lines 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view of an exemplary food product in position for wrapping on a sheet of the wrap of the invention.

FIG. 3B is a perspective view of the wrapped food product shown in FIG. 3A.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a web of the wrap of the invention before slitting into separate webs of the food wrap of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a flow chart describing an exemplary method for making the food wrap of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a food wrap 10 illustrating one aspect of the present invention. In this aspect, the food wrap 10 comprises a transparent sheet 12 and two substantially opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14, which are both joined to transparent sheet 12. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, in this aspect, the transparent sheet 12 and opaque sheets 14 are joined together at their peripheral edge portions. The degree of overlap of the transparent 12 and opaque or semi-opaque 14 sheets will depend on the particular application.

Once joined, the transparent sheet 12 and opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14 form food wrap 10 and provide a viewing area 16 such that a packaged or wrapped food item is viewable through the viewing area 16. Food wrap 10 is flexible or foldable allowing the wrap to package a variety of different sized or shaped food items. In addition, food wrap 10 conveniently allows the packaged item to be heated while still packaged.

More specifically, in the aspect as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the transparent sheet 12 is a clear or transparent film consisting of viewing area 16 and peripheral edge portions 18. When a portion of transparent sheet 12 is joined to a portion of opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14 the viewing area 16 is formed, which provides a viewing window or viewing space that extends a substantial length of wrap 10 and may extend the entire length of the wrap. Once a food item is packaged in the food wrap 10, the viewing area 16 preferably permits viewing of more than one side of the wrapped product for easy identification of the food product and effective visual display of the product (FIG. 3B). In one aspect of food wrap 10, transparent sheet 12 may be 3.5 to 5 inches wide and the viewing area 16 may be 2 to 3 inches wide; however, other sheet and viewing area widths also may be used. Similarly, the viewing area 16 may be offset from the centerline of the wrap. The size of the viewing area 16 area can be modified by providing a different sized web of transparent material, and by providing opaque or semi-opaque sheets that, when joined to the transparent sheets, show more or less of the food product. An acceptable size of the viewing area 16 typically are dimensions that balance product strength, provide appropriate product viewing, and is cost efficient.

As mentioned above, transparent sheet 12 contains peripheral edge portions 18 that generally extend the entire length of transparent sheet 12 in this aspect of the invention and are adjacent to and disposed on either side the viewing area 16. In one aspect, edge portions 18 may be 1 to 1.5 inches wide; however, the dimensions may also be adapted for specific uses requiring a greater or less relative area. In this aspect, edge portions 18 provide a surface area sufficient for laminating or otherwise securing the transparent sheet 12 to the opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14, which will be described in more detail below.

The transparent sheet 12 may be formed from any clear or translucent material. In one aspect, sheet 12 may be ovenable, microwaveable, freezable, or afford moisture, oil, or aroma barriers. In other aspects, sheet 12 may be heat-sealable, or may be breathable so as to be anti-fogging or fog resistant. Transparent sheet 12 can be any suitable polyester, polypropylene, cellophane film or other film material that provides an acceptable viewing area in the completed wrap. One example of suitable film for sheet 12 is a polyester material of the type commercially available as MYLAR. In another form, transparent sheet 12 or the viewing window 16 may optionally be colored or printed to provide decoration, ornamentation, or product identification. The coloring or printing can be transparent, translucent, or opaque and can cover the entire viewing window 16 or only a small portion of the viewing window 16.

Optionally, transparent sheet 12 may be micro-perforated or have small pinholes or punctures 17 to allow steam and moisture to escape from a wrapped product during microwave heating. These micro-perforations typically are sized to help vent steam and moisture during heating, but do not allow unacceptable amounts of moisture to penetrate the wrap from the outside to cause unacceptable losses to the integrity or quality of a wrapped food item.

Again referring to the aspect of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-2, a portion of opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14 is joined to the peripheral edge portions 18 of transparent sheet 12. In this aspect, the food wrap 10 consists of a single transparent sheet 12 laminated or otherwise secured with two opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14.

The opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14 are generally thicker and stiffer than the transparent sheet 12 and comprise a wrapping portion 20 and an integral edge overlap portion 22. In one aspect, the wrapping portion 20 consists of an area having a greater length than a width, and comprises most of the opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14. For instance, portion 20 spans from a first longitudinal edge 21 of opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14 over to edge overlap portion 22 and preferably extends the entire length of sheet 14. In other aspects, the opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14 may be 4.5 to 6 inches wide and the wrapping portion 20 may be 3.5 to 5 inches wide; however, other widths are acceptable depending on the-food item to be packaged, the amount of overlap necessary to secure the food item, or the type of packaging method utilized.

The opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14 also includes integral edge overlap portions 22, which consists of an area disposed between a second longitudinal edge 23 of sheet 14 and wrapping portion 20. Typically, the overlap portion 22 extends the entire length of sheet 14. In one aspect, edge overlap portion 22 provides a surface for joining or fixing sheet 14 to transparent sheet 12. For instance, in this aspect, edge overlap portion 22 may be laminated or otherwise secured to edge portion 18; consequently, edge overlap portion 22 typically will be similar is size and shape as edge portion 18. The overlap portion 22, in addition, can be expanded or reduced depending on the needs of specific applications, including those requiring greater or lesser strength and moisture control needs of the wrap.

The opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14 often provides a surface for product identification and printing, and may also include die cast patterns or other decorative or informational indicia. Many substrates are suitable for sheet 14, such as a foil, paper, film, or other sheet material that is flexible or otherwise suitable for wrapping, packaging, or securing a food item therein. In addition, sheet 14 may optionally consist of a waxed paper or a multi-layer paper-film laminate. In another aspect, the substrate comprising sheet 14 may also include grease and water resistant materials or may be a film, paper, foil, or other sheet material with a coating of a grease or water resistant layer. In yet another aspect, opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14 may include micro-perforations 17, as described above with respect to the transparent sheet 12, or may be quilted 19 to provide bulk and stiffness.

The food wrap 10 is formed by joining a portion of transparent sheet 12 to a portion of the opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14. In one aspect, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the peripheral edge portions 18 of transparent sheet 12 are laminated or otherwise secured to one of the edge overlap portions 22 of two opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14. To secure the sheets together, any suitable securing method for joining the above described substrates may be acceptable if the joining method provides a composite sheet having strength sufficient to package and secure a food item. In one aspect, a band of laminating adhesive 24 is used to adhere the edge overlap portions 22 together with peripheral edge portions 18. One example of a suitable adhesive is a 200-245 poly glue; however, other adhesives may be used if they securely join the materials as previously described. In one form, the sheets are adhered together by about a half-inch band of adhesive that is spaced approximately about a half-inch from the second longitudinal edge 23 of opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14. In another aspect, the sheets may be secured together by heat sealing, crimping, spot sealing, or the like.

While in one aspect the transparent sheet 12 is generally centrally located in food wrap 10 because both opaque and semi-opaque sheets 14 are identical in width, it is also acceptable for transparent sheet 12 to be off center with one opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14 wider than the second sheet 14. Once joined together, one form of food wrap 10 may range from about 12 inches by 14 inches to about 14 inches by 14 inches; however, other sizes of food wrap 10 also are acceptable based on various combinations of different sized opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14 and transparent sheets 12 depending on the application of use, the food item to be packaged, and the method of packaging. Optionally, food wrap 10 may consist of different shaped transparent or opaque or semi-opaque sheets as well as sheets with non-linear edges. Such different shapes may be used for decoration, ornamentation, or product differentiation.

Referring to FIGS. 3A and 3B, one exemplary use of food wrap 10 is illustrated. In this example, a food item 5, such as a hamburger, is packaged with the food wrap 10 illustrating the advantages of one aspect of the invention. The food item 5 packaged with the food wrap 10 has the sheet material folded or wrapped around all sides of the food item 5 to completely enclose the product. Once wrapped, the viewing area 16 provides a window for the packaged food item 5 to be visible on multiple sides and wrapping portions 20 provides a surface for product identification or other information.

To package such a food item with this exemplary aspect, the food item 5 is generally placed in approximately the center of the food wrap 10 as indicated in FIG. 3A. Then the surrounding sheet material is folded or wrapped around the food item to form the wrapped food item illustrated in FIG. 3B. More specifically, in this aspect, the food item 5 is packaged manually by folding, overlapping, or wrapping the portions of the wrap 10 that initially surround the food item 5 in the unwrapped state. For instance, opposed edges 21 or corners 23 may be folded inward and then over-lapped on the top surface of the food item 5. In one aspect, the folded, overlapped edges 21 may be secured through the resiliency of the wrap material or, in other aspects, by a securing device such as adhesives, adhesive tape, labels, pins, tacks, or other securing methods that prevent the folded package from unwrapping. In another aspect, the food item may be packaged in any automatic food wrapping equipment known in the art that currently uses sheet or wrap material to package food.

Once wrapped, multiple sides or portions of the food item 5 are still visible through the viewing area. The food item 5, in the wrapped form as illustrated in FIG. 3B, can be placed in a microwave oven or conventional oven for heating. As described above, the optional micro-perforations in either transparent sheet 12 and/or opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14 aid in the venting of moisture and steam generated from the warming or cooking of the food product.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, one exemplary method of making the food wrap 10 is illustrated. In one aspect, the food wrap 10 is manufactured from a plurality of continuous webs having a portion of each web joined together. The joined webs are then slit and cut to the desired size or shape. In one form of the method, a portion of at least five separate continuous webs of material are laminated or otherwise secured together on any suitable equipment known in the art, such as a nip roll laminator. To achieve food wrap 10, the input to the process may be five separate rolls of material as shown in FIG. 5. These input rolls are either a roll of transparent sheet material or a roll of opaque or semi-opaque sheet material. In order to form the food wrap 10 (i.e., a substantially coplanar structure comprising a transparent sheet 12 between two opaque or semi-opaque sheets 14), the input rolls must be alternated and staggered appropriate distances on an unwind station(s) of the laminator in the machine cross-web direction so that when the webs are wound through the laminator, the configuration illustrated in FIG. 4 is obtained at the laminator's nip rolls.

More specifically, as illustrated in FIG. 5, three input rolls of opaque or semi-opaque material 30 are alternated in the machine cross-web direction on the unwind station(s) with two input rolls of transparent material 32. While the example method of FIG. 5 is shown with five total input rolls, any combination of opaque rolls 30 alternated with transparent rolls 32 is also acceptable depending on the size of the equipment, the size of food wrap produced, and throughput desired.

In order to join a portion of the opaque or semi-opaque material to the transparent material, in one aspect, the input rolls 30 and 32 are unwound and advanced through a plurality of rollers to an adhesive coating station. At the adhesive coating station, a band of adhesive, as described above, is applied onto either edge overlap portion 22 of the opaque or semi-opaque sheet material or peripheral edge portions 18 of the transparent sheet material. Any suitable adhesive coating method that applies acceptable amounts of adhesive to the material to sufficiently adhere them together may be used. For instance, roll coating, die coating, spray coating, and the like may be used to apply adhesive. In this aspect, after adhesive coating, the webs are joined or combined to form the input web 34 to the laminator. Input web 34 consists of a substantially coplanar and a transversely or machine cross-web direction alternating web of transparent material and opaque or semi-opaque material. More specifically, input web 34 comprises separate transparent webs joined and alternated between separate opaque or semi-opaque webs. The webs are substantially coplanar in that the edge overlap portions 22 and the peripheral edge portions 18 are superimposed.

As previously described, in other aspects, different methods may be used to secure the opaque or semi-opaque material to the transparent material. Consequently, similar approaches would be utilized, which are appropriate to the selected securing method and equipment (such as heat sealing, bonding, or tacking, etc.).

If securing the webs using lamination and adhesive, in one aspect, the five separate webs are pulled through the laminator nip rolls at the same time. The nip rolls apply a predetermined pressure for a predetermined amount of time to the superimposed peripheral edge portions and edge overlap portions having the band of adhesive between them sufficient to adhere them together. After lamination, the five separate webs now comprise one integral composite, laminated web 36. In this aspect, the composite, laminated web 36 comprises a continuous web that alternates in the machine cross-web direction a first outer opaque web, a first transparent web, a central opaque web, a second transparent web, and a second outer opaque web as also illustrated in FIG. 4.

In another aspect, the web may optionally be processed through a plurality of printing stations where identification or other markings may be added to the opaque or semi-opaque or transparent material. Printing on either the transparent or opaque webs may be accomplished prior to or subsequent to the sheets being joined together. In a preferred aspect, the webs are printed after being laminated. Printing may be completed with any equipment that is known in the art capable of printing on the substrates described above for transparent sheet 12 and opaque or semi-opaque sheet 14.

The composite web may be slit at least once after the joining or securing of the materials. For instance, in one aspect, an opaque web may be slit to form two intermediate webs. Slitting may be accomplished by any suitable slitting equipment known in the art to cleanly cut a moving web into separate webs. For example, in one aspect, a slotted blade angled at 20° to the web that is slideably attached to a circular mount may be used to slit the web. In one form, the center opaque web may be twice as wide as the outer two opaque webs. This configuration produces a food wrap 10 having the viewing area 16 approximately centered in the wrap. In another form, the center opaque web may be narrower or identical in width to the outer two opaque webs. This alternative form produces a food wrap 10 having the viewing area 16 off center as previously described. In addition, the method to produce food wrap 10 can easily and cost efficiently produce a variety of different sized wraps by simply relocating the position of the slitter knife. There is no need to fabricate a new, expensive mold or retool complicated bag forming equipment.

After slitting, the intermediate webs may be wound onto a continuous roll, perforated to from a sheet pattern and then wound onto a continuous roll, sheeted, or cut into various shapes. During sheeting, in one aspect, the intermediate webs are cut in the cross-web direction to form the food wrap 10. Any type of sheeting equipment known in the art is suitable to sheet the slit webs. During sheeting, the webs are cut in the cross web direction to the desired length of food wrap 10. In other aspects, the intermediate webs may be cut, die cut stamped, or the like into various shapes or configurations depending on the specific use of the wrap.

In some aspects, the location of each input roll 30 or 32 may be adjusted such that the distances from the input roll to the laminator may be different than other input rolls in order to compensate for differential web stretching or different tension profiles between the webs. For instance, in one aspect, the transparent input rolls 32 may be positioned closer to the nip rolls than the opaque or semi-opaque rolls 30; the web of transparent material may be unwound over fewer rollers than the opaque or semi-opaque material and/or the tension profiles at the webs may be adjusted using other methods. In other aspects, the tension control equipment may be located in different locations for each type of web to compensate for varying tension profiles. In yet another aspect, the correct tensions generally must be applied to the webs at the slitting station; accordingly, the tension control may be altered for each web such that the tension between the transparent and opaque or semi-opaque webs are sufficiently equalized to permit proper slitting of the web.

It will be understood that various changes in the details, materials, and arrangement of the parts and components that have been herein described and claimed in order to explain the nature of the invention may be made by those skilled in the art within the principle and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.