GB2484313A - Faulty Yarn End Replacement Apparatus - Google Patents

Faulty Yarn End Replacement Apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2484313A
GB2484313A GB201016794A GB201016794A GB2484313A GB 2484313 A GB2484313 A GB 2484313A GB 201016794 A GB201016794 A GB 201016794A GB 201016794 A GB201016794 A GB 201016794A GB 2484313 A GB2484313 A GB 2484313A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
gripper
loom
tuft
operable
yarn
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB201016794A
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GB2484313B (en
GB201016794D0 (en
Inventor
Richard Stewart
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
ULSTER CARPET MILLS (HOLDINGS) Ltd
Ulster Carpet Mills Holdings Ltd
Original Assignee
ULSTER CARPET MILLS (HOLDINGS) Ltd
Ulster Carpet Mills Holdings Ltd
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Application filed by ULSTER CARPET MILLS (HOLDINGS) Ltd, Ulster Carpet Mills Holdings Ltd filed Critical ULSTER CARPET MILLS (HOLDINGS) Ltd
Priority to GB1016794.8A priority Critical patent/GB2484313B/en
Publication of GB201016794D0 publication Critical patent/GB201016794D0/en
Publication of GB2484313A publication Critical patent/GB2484313A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2484313B publication Critical patent/GB2484313B/en
Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D03WEAVING
    • D03DWOVEN FABRICS; METHODS OF WEAVING; LOOMS
    • D03D39/00Pile-fabric looms
    • D03D39/02Axminster looms, i.e. wherein pile tufts are inserted during weaving
    • D03D39/08Gripper Axminster looms

Abstract

A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus (12) repairs faulty yarn ends (18) presented in one or more yarn carriers (16) of a weaving loom (10). The apparatus (12) comprises a maintenance unit (20) including a repair module (22), which is selectively operable to repair a faulty yarn end (18). A guide is provided to guide longitudinal movement of the maintenance unit (20) along a path of travel and a driver is drivingly connected to the maintenance unit (20) for moving the maintenance unit (20) along the path of travel. The driver is operable to move the maintenance (20) unit to a selected position along the path of travel, which may correspond to a position at which a faulty yarn end is detected by a sensor. A controller is operable to actuate the repair module (22) when the maintenance unit (20) is located in the selected position along the path of travel. The repair module may also comprise an oiling module and a cleaning module. The apparatus is preferably used with an Axminster gripper loom. Two embodiments of yarn end replacement devices are disclosed. The presence of tufts in tuft holders may be detected in order to identify empty tuft holders and yarn ends may be accordingly repaired.

Description

FAULTY YARN END REPLACEMENT APPARATUS
The invention relates to an apparatus and method for replacing faulty yarn ends presented in one or more yarn carriers of a weaving loom, particularly, but not exclusively, an Axminster gripper loom.
The invention also relates to a weaving loom incorporating the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus.
In a jacquard Axminster loom, grippers are provided across the width of the loom to present tufts for insertion into a carpet being woven on the loom. Supplies of tuft yarns are fed into yarn carriers, which also extend across the width of the loom in correspondence with the grippers. Each yarn carrier includes a yarn end for each colour required by the pattern of the carpet. A jacquard controls movement of the yarn carriers so as to present a selected yarn to each gripper for each row of the carpet. The gripper draw a predetermined length of the presented yarn ends, which are cut by a series of knives or cutting blades. The grippers then insert the resultant tufts between warp threads, the tufts being held in position in the resultant carpet by each pass of the weft yarn.
In a typical 4 yard wide loom with a pitch of 7 tufts per inch, 1008 tufts are inserted into a carpet across its width in each row. This means that setting up the loom to weave a carpet including 8 different colours results in a creel including 8 bobbins of yarn per tuft insertion point, namely 8064 bobbins of yarn.
WO 95131594 discloses a tuft carrier loading apparatus for a gripper loom that greatly reduces the number of bobbins required in the creel of a gripper loom. The tuft carrier loading apparatus includes an elongate tuft carrier having a plurality of tuft retention sites into which tufts of yarn are fed in a sequential manner from a plurality of tuft forming means spaced across the width of the loom. Each of the tuft forming means includes a yarn carrier carrying a yarn end from which a predetermined length of yarn is drawn, cut by a series of knives or cutting blades and inserted into a corresponding tuft retention site of the tuft carrier. Following insertion of a complete row of tufts into the tuft carrier, the tuft carrier presents the tufts to the grippers of the loom for insertion into a carpet as a complete row.
According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a faulty yarn end replacement apparatus for repairing faulty yarn ends presented in one or more yarn carriers of a weaving loom, the apparatus comprising: a maintenance unit including a repair module, the repair module being selectively operable to repair a faulty yarn end; a guide to guide longitudinal movement of the maintenance unit along the path of travel; a driver drivingly connected to the maintenance unit for moving the maintenance unit along the path of travel, the driver being operable to move the maintenance unit to a selected position along the path of travel; and a controller for controlling selection of the repair module, the controller being operable to actuate the selected repair module when the maintenance unit is located in the selected position along the path of travel.
During operation of a gripper loom, a yarn carrier might fail to present a yarn end for the purposes of forming a tuft of yarn as a result of knots or bulky joins in the yarn end. Such a yarn end may, for example, be too thick to allow the yarn end to pass freely through a yarn trapping mechanism of the yarn carrier, or the gripping mechanism used to draw a predetermined length of yarn from the yarn carrier may tear fibres from the yarn end leaving it a non-viable yarn source for the loom.
If the weaving process is continued without correcting a faulty yarn end in a yarn carrier, it will likely result in faults in the resultant carpet caused by missing tufts. Correction of faults of this nature requires manual intervention to identify the faults and insert replacement tufts. This exercise requires a significant amount of skill and is inevitably a time consuming process.
The faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to the invention allows for automated repair of yarn ends presented in one or more yarn carriers of a weaving loom, and thereby significantly reduces the risk of faults occurring in the resultant carpet as a result of missing tufts.
Depending on the speed of operation of the loom, it is possible to effect such repair without stopping the loom or at least minimising cessation of the loom. In any event the apparatus eliminates manual intervention to repair the faulty yarn end, which would inevitably require cessation of the loom and likely take longer to effect. The use of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus thereby improves the efficiency of operation of a weaving loom and minimises cessation time of the loom.
In preferred embodiments of the invention the repair module includes: an auxiliary gripper mounted for reciprocal movement between first and second gripper positions, the auxiliary gripper being operable when located in the second gripper position to close gripper jaws; a pair of guide jaws located between the first and second gripper positions, the guide jaws being operable to close following movement of the auxiliary gripper from the second gripper position to the first gripper position; a release pin guided for reciprocal movement relative to the auxiliary gripper and the guide jaws between first and second pin positions; a cutter located between the guide jaws and the second gripper position, the cutter being operable to cut following closure of the guide jaws and the auxiliary gripper being operable to open the gripper jaws following operation of the cutter; and a needle guided for reciprocal movement relative to the auxiliary gripper between first and second needle positions relative to the guide jaws, the needle passing through the guide jaws during movement from the first needle position to the second needle position and the guide jaws being operable to open following movement of the needle from the first needle position to the second needle position and before movement of the auxiliary gripper from the first gripper position to the second gripper position.
The provision of a release pin facilitates disengagement of a yarn trapping mechanism in a yarn carrier whilst the gripper draws the faulty yarn end from the yarn carrier. The guide jaws guide and locate the yarn whilst the cutter removes a faulty tail from the yarn end. The provision of the needle then allows re-insertion of the newly cut yarn end back into the yarn trapping mechanism of the yarn carrier.
In other embodiments, the repair module includes: an auxiliary gripper mounted for reciprocal movement between first and second gripper positions, the auxiliary gripper being operable when located in the second gripper position to close gripper jaws; a pair of guide jaws located between the first and second gripper positions, the guide jaws being operable to close following movement of the auxiliary gripper from the second gripper position to the first gripper position; a release pin guided for reciprocal movement relative to the auxiliary gripper and the guide jaws between first and second pin positions; a cutter located between the guide jaws and the second gripper position, the cutter being operable to cut following closure of the guide jaws and the auxiliary gripper being operable to open the gripper jaws following operation of the cutter; and a needle guided for reciprocal movement relative to the auxiliary gripper between first and second needle positions relative to the guide jaws, the needle passing through the guide jaws during movement from the first needle position to the second needle position and the guide jaws being operable to open following movement of the needle from the first needle position to the second needle position and before movement of the auxiliary gripper from the first gripper position to the second gripper position.
In particularly preferred embodiments, the repair module further includes a nozzle, the nozzle being operable to direct a jet of fluid towards the auxiliary gripper during opening of the gripper jaws.
is The provision of a jet of fluid facilitates removal of the faulty tail that is cut from the yarn end, and thereby prevents the faulty tails falling into the warps and becoming embedded in the carpet being woven on a loom in which the apparatus according to the invention is incorporated.
In other embodiments the apparatus may further include a plurality of maintenance modules, the maintenance modules including a selectively operable oiling module to apply oil to a cutting blade of the weaving loom and a selectively operable cleaning module to clean tuft holders of the weaving loom; the driver being operable to move the maintenance unit back and forth along the path of travel at predetermined intervals; and the controller being operable to actuate the or each selected maintenance module during movement of the maintenance unit along the path of travel.
Regardless of whether a weaving loom for producing a carpet employs a jacquard to control yarn selection or a tuft carrier loading apparatus, such as that disclosed in WO 95/31594, the weaving loom includes at least one elongate cutting blade for use in the formation of the tufts.
Typically a first cutting blade is fixed relative to the yarn carriers of a jacquard loom or relative to the tuft forming means of the tuft carrier loading apparatus, and a second cutting blade or knife is provided to move relative to the first cutting blade to cut yarns pulled from the yarn carriers or the tuft forming means. The reliability of this cutting operation may be improved, and the overall lifetime of the cutting blades increased, by careful maintenance of the cutting blades, This may be achieved effectively through the application of oil to the fixed cutting blade.
The loom will also include a plurality of tuft holders, either in the form of the grippers of a jacquard loom or in the form of tuft retention sites of the tuft carrier of a loom employing a tiuft carrier loading apparatus, such as that disclosed in WO 95/31594. The reliability of these tuft holders is affected by the presence of debris, such as fluff or loose yarns trapped in the tuft holders following formation of tufts.
The provision of maintenance modules in the form of an oiling module and a cleaning module, configuring the driver to drive the maintenance unit back and forth along the path of travel at predetermined intervals and configuring the controller to actuate the or each selected maintenance module during movement of the maintenance unit along the path of travel, allows for automated maintenance of a cutting blade and tuft holders of a weaving loom.
This ensures that oiling of the cutting blade and cleaning of the tuft holders is performed automatically on a regular basis and does not require reliance on the input of a loom operator. The apparatus therefore eliminates the risk of regular maintenance being forgotten or ignored by a loom operator, particularly in circumstances where the loom operator is under pressure to maximise productivity and minimise cessation time of a weaving loom.
The oiling module preferably includes a brush to remove debris from the cutting blade and an applicator to apply oil to the cutting blade. The brush and applicator are mounted on a pivotably mounted arm, the arm being pivotable to move the brush and the applicator into a maintenance position on actuation of the oiling module.
an may be applied to the applicator via means of an external oil supply. In particularly preferred embodiments however, the applicator may be connected to an integral oil supply. Such an arrangement ensures that the oil applicator applies an even distribution of oil along the length of the cutting blade.
The cleaning module preferably includes at least one nozzle operable to generate and direct a jet of fluid on actuation of the cleaning module. In use the jet of fluid is directed at the tuft holders to remove debris from the tuft holders in an effective and efficient manner.
It will be appreciated that the apparatus might employ one of a number of different fluids to clean tuft holders but, in particularly preferred embodiments, the or each nozzle is connected to a source of compressed air.
In other embodiments it is envisaged that the cleaning module may include a nozzle connected to a vacuum device to genereate suction on actuation of the cleaning module.
In use the suction is directed at the tuft holders to remove debris from the tuft holders in an effective and efficient manner.
To facilitate removal of debris caught or otherwise lodged in the tuft holders in use of the apparatus, the maintenance modules may further include a selectively operable brush i5 module to clean the tuft holders. In such embodiments the brush module may have a brush mounted on a movable arm, the arm being movable to move the brush into a maintenance position, and the brush being rotatable, on actuation of the brush module.
In circumstances where debris is detected in one or more tuft holders during operation of a weaving loom incorporating the apparatus, thereby rendering specific cleaning of that or those tuft holders separately from routine cleaning, the driver of the apparatus may be operable to move the maintenance unit to a selected position along the path of travel and the controller may be operable to select and actuate one or more maintenance modules when the maintenance unit is located in the selected position.
This allows the maintenance module to be moved to one or more specific tuft holders in which debris is detected and to actuate a rotatable brush to clean the debris from those tuft holders.
According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a weaving loom having at least one yarn carrier holding a plurality of yarn ends, an elongate cutting blade extending widthwise of the loom and a plurality of tuft holders arranged widthwise of the loom to deliver tufts to a tuft insertion position in a weaving process, the loom including one or more detectors associated with the tuft holders to detect the presence of tufts in the tuft holders and a faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to the first aspect of the invention, the path of travel of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus being aligned with the or each yarn carrier, the elongate cutting blade and the tuft holders.
The weaving loom may be provided in the form of an Axminster gripper loom in which the yarn carrier presents a plurality of yarn ends widthwise of the loom and an intermediate tuft carrier is provided to receive a complete row of tufts and present the tufts to the grippers of the loom for insertion into the weaving process. In such embodiments, the tuft carrier defines the plurality of tuft holders.
In other embodiments, the weaving loom may be provided in the form of a jacquard Axminster gripper loom in which a plurality of yarn carriers is arranged widthwise of the loom, each yarn carrier including a plurality of yarn ends and being movable to present a selected yarn end at each of a plurality of gripper positions across the width of the loom,.
In such embodiments, the grippers define the plurality of tuft holders and the loom further includes a loom controller to move a selected yarn carrier and present a selected yarn end to the auxiliary gripper of the repair module of the faulty yarn end apparatus is following detection of a faulty yarn end.
To ensure regular oiling of the cutting blade of the weaving loom, the driver of the oiling and cleaning apparatus may be movable to move the maintenance unit back and forth along the path of travel after a predetermined number of picks of the weaving process.
In preferred embodiments, the loom may further include a pipe extending widthwise of the loom, the pipe defining a plurality of selectively operable nozzles spaced across the width of the loom, the nozzles being operable to direct a fluid towards the tuft holders. In such embodiments, the pipe may be supplied to a source of compressed air and the nozzles may be defined by holes provided in the pipe, the source of compressed air to the pipe being controllable to operate the nozzles.
The provision of a pipe including nozzles to direct a fluid towards the tuft holders provides a readily operable mechanism for seeking, as an initial step, to clean and remove debris in the form of fluff or loose yarns from the tuft holders in the event debris is detected in one or more of the tuft holders.
The pipe may be located to direct a fluid towards the tuft holders from an opposite direction to the cleaning module of the maintenance unit and thereby provides an alternative mechanism for removing debris from the tuft holders. This is advantageous in circumstances where the debris is lodged in a tuft holder such that a jet of fluid directed from the cleaning module pushes the debris into the tuft holder as opposed to removing it from the tuft holder, In the event the fluid directed from the pipe is not sufficient to remove any debris, or in other embodiments in which the pipe is not provided, the or each detector may be connected to the driver and the controller of the oiling and cleaning apparatus to identify tuft holders containing debris. In such embodiments, the driver may be operable in response thereto to move the maintenance unit along the path of travel into alignment with the or each dirty tuft holder and the controller being operable to select and actuate one or more maintenance modules to clean the or each dirty tuft holder.
According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a method of replacing faulty yarn ends in a weaving loom performing a weaving process, the method including the steps of: detecting the presence of tufts in each of a plurality of tuft holders prior to insertion of the tufts into the weaving process to identify empty tuft holders; and repairing any faulty yarn ends carried in yarn carriers associated with any empty tuft holders.
Preferably the step of repairing any faulty yarn ends involves gripping and pulling the or each faulty yarn end, releasing the faulty yarn end from the yarn carrier in which it is carried, cuffing a tail from the yarn end and re-inserting the cut yarn end into the yarn carrier.
Embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 shows a schematic cross-sectional side view of a weaving loom incorporating a faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention; Figures 2 to 7 illustrate operation of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus of Figure 1 to repair and replace a yarn end presented in a yarn carrier of the weaving loom; Figure 8 shows a schematic cross-sectional front view of a weaving loom incorporating a faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention; Figures 9 to 12 illustrate operation of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus of Figure 8 to repair and replace a yarn end presented in a yarn carrier of the weaving loom; Figure 13 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a weaving loom incorporating a faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to a further embodiment of the invention; Figure 14 shows a schematic front elevational view of the weaving loom of Figure 13; Figure 15 shows a brush and an applicator of an oiling module of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus of Figure 13; Figure 16 illustrates use of the oiling module of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus of Figure 13; and Figure 17 illustrates use of a cleaning module of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus of Figure 13.
A weaving loom 10 incorporating a faulty yarn end replacement apparatus 12 according to an embodiment of the invention is shown in Figure 1.
The loom 10 is a gripper loom including a plurality of tuft feeders 14 spaced widthwise across the loom 10, each of the tuft formers 14 including a yarn carrier 16 presenting a yarn end 18. Each yarn carrier 16 includes a spring biased yarn trap (not shown) to hold the respective yarn end 18 in position in the yarn carrier 16.
The loom 10 also includes a tuft carrier (not shown) located beneath the tuft formers 14, the tuft carrier defining a plurality of tuft holders in the form of tuft retention sites to receive tufts of yarn from the tuft formers 14 for presentation to grippers (not shown) of the loom 10.
The faulty yarn end replacement apparatus 12 includes a maintenance unit 20 including a repair module 22. The repair module 22 is selectively operable to repair a faulty yarn end presented in any of the yarn carriers 16.
The maintenance unit 20 is mounted on a guide (not shown) for moving the maintenance unit 20 along a path of travel across the width of the loom 10. A driver (not shown) is drivingly connected to the maintenance unit 20 for moving the maintenance unit 20 along the path of travel, and a controller is also provided to control selection and actuation of the repair module 22.
In the embodiment shown in Figure 1, the repair module 22 includes an auxiliary gripper 24 mounted for reciprocal movement between a first gripper position, shown in Figure 1, and a second gripper position, shown in Figure 2, the auxiliary gripper 24 including open and closable gripper jaws 25. A pair of open and closable guide jaws 28 is located between the first and second gripper positions. A release pin 30 is guided for reciprocal movement relative to the auxiliary gripper 24 and the guide jaws 28 between a first pin position, shown in Figure 1, and a second pin position, shown in Figure 2.
The repair module 22 also includes a cutter 32 located between the guide jaws 28 and the second gripper position, and a needle 34 guided for reciprocal movement relative to the auxiliary gripper 24 between a first needle position, shown in Figure 1, and a second needle position, shown in Figure 7.
The repair module 22 further includes a nozzle (not shown) connected to a source of compressed air and directed towards the auxiliary gripper 24 when it is located in the second gripper position.
A detector (not shown) is associated with each of the tuft holders to detect the presence of a tuft or other debris, such as fluff or loose yarns, in each of the tuft holders.
Preferably the detector associated with each of the tuft holders is provided in the form of a light gate at each tuft holder, a tuft or other debris in the tuft holder breaking the path of light from an emitter to a detector, thereby allowing a control circuit connected to the detector to detect the presence of a tuft or other debris.
in other embodiments, the tuft carrier may be formed from an electrically insulating material and the bottom of each tuft holder may be fitted with an electrical contact. In such embodiments, when an electrically conductive finger or pusher presses a tuft into the tuft holder, the tuft prevents a contact being made between the two components.
However the absence of a piece of yarn or any other debris will allow a contact to be made and this can be detected by a control circuit.
In use, the tuft formers 14 are operable to insert tufts into the tuft holders of the tuft carrier. Following completion of each tuft forming step to insert a tuft into a tuft holder, the controller cycles a detecting process in which the detector associated with the tuft holder determines whether a tuft is present in the tuft holder.
In the event the detector determines that a tuft is not present in the tuft holder, the driver is operable to move the maintenance unit 20 into registry with the faulty tuft feeder 14.
The controller then selects and actuates the repair module 22 to remove and repair the faulty yarn end 18 presented in the yarn carrier 16 of the faulty tuft feeder 14.
The repair module 22 removes and repairs the faulty yarn end by moving the auxiliary gripper 24 from the first gripper position (Figure 1) to the second gripper position (Figure 2). In the second gripper position the auxiliary gripper 24 is operable to close the gripper jaws 25 about the faulty yarn end 18 presented in the yarn carrier 16 of the faulty tuft feeder 14.
During movement of the auxiliary gripper 24 from the first gripper position to the second gripper position, the release pin 30 also moves from the first pin position (Figure 1) to the second pin position (Figure 2). In the second pin position, the release pin 30 engages the yarn trap of the yarn carrier 16 and releases the faulty yarn end 18 from the yarn carrier 16.
Following closure of the gripper jaws 25 about the faulty yarn end 18, movement of the auxiliary gripper 24 from the second gripper position to the first gripper position acts to pull the faulty yarn end 18 from the yarn carrier 16 (Figure 3). The position of the first gripper position relative to the pair of guide jaws 28 and the cutter 32 means that movement of the auxiliary gripper 24 to the first gripper position pulls the faulty yarn end 18 between the pair of guide jaws 28 and between cutting blades of the cutter 32.
When the auxiliary gripper 24 returns to the first gripper position, the guide jaws 28 close about the faulty yarn end 18 and the cutter 32 is operable to remove the tail of the faulty yarn end 18 (Figure 4), which is the portion of the yarn end 18 previously held in the yarn trap of the yarn carrier 16 and therefore the portion of the yarn end 18 most likely to have included the fault.
Following operation of the cutter 32 to remove the tail of the faulty yarn end 18, the needle 34 moves from the first needle position through a channel 36 in the guide jaws 28 whereupon it engages the cut yarn end 18 (Figure 5). Continued movement of the needle 34, towards the second needle position, pushes the cut yarn end 18 from the guide jaws 28 and into the yarn carrier 16 (Figure 6). In the second needle position, the needle 34 pushes the cut yarn end 18 into the yarn trap of the tuft carrier 16 (Figure 7) such that, on movement of the needle 34 back to the first needle position, the yarn trap retains the cut yarn end 18 in the yarn carrier 16 of the tuft feeder 14.
A weaving loom 40 incorporating a faulty yarn end replacement apparatus 42 according to a second embodiment of the invention is shown in Figure 8.
The loom 40 is a jacquard gripper loom including a plurality of elongate yarn carriers 44 arranged widthwise across the loom, each yarn carrier 44 including a plurality of yarn traps holdling a plurality of yarn ends 46. The loom includes a jacquard (not shown) to control movement of each of the yarn carriers 44 so as to align the correct yarn with each of a plurality of grippers (not shown) on each cycle of the loom during a weaving process, the grippers defining tuft holders.
The faulty yarn end replacement apparatus 42 includes a maintenance unit (not shown) is including a repair module (not shown). The repair module is selectively operable to repair a faulty yarn end presented in any of the yarn carriers 44.
The maintenance unit is mounted on a guide (not shown) for moving the maintenance unit along a path of travel across the width of the loom 10. A driver (not shown) is drivingly connected to the maintenance unit for moving the maintenance unit along the path of travel, and a controller (not shown) is also provided to control selection and actuation of the repair module.
In the embodiment shown in Figure 8, the repair module includes first and second auxiliary grippers 52,54 mounted for reciprocal movement between first gripper positions, shown in Figure 8, and second gripper positions, shown in Figure 9, each of the auxiliary grippers 52,54 including open and closable gripper jaws 55.
A release pin 56 is guided for movement relative to the first and second auxiliary grippers 52,54 between a first pin position, shown in Figure 8, and a second pin position, shown in Figure 9.
The repair module also includes a cutter (not shown) located between the first and second auxiliary grippers 52,54, and a needle 60 guided for movement between a first needle position, shown in Figure 8, and a second needle position, shown in Figure 12.
The repair module further includes a nozzle (not shown) connected to a source of compressed air and directed towards the first auxiliary gripper 52 when it is located in its first gripper position.
A detector (not shown) is associated with each of the tuft holders to detect the presence of a tuft or other debris, such as fluff of loose yarns, in each of the tuft holders.
The detector may be provided in the form of a camera that monitors each of the tuft holders and determines whether or not a tuft or other debris is present in each of the tuft holders.
In other embodiments a light gate may be provided at each tuft holder, a tuft or other debris in the tuft holder breaking the path of light from an emitter to a detector, thereby allowing a control circuit connected to the detector to detect the presence of a tuft or is other debris.
In use, the jacquard causes movement of each of the yarn carriers 44 to align a selected yarn end 46 in each yarn carrier 44 to a corresponding gripper. The grippers define tuft holders in that they each grip and pull a predetermined length of the selected yarn end 46 from the corresponding yarn carrier 44. The yarn end 46 is then cut between a fixed cutting blade (not shown), located relative to the yarn carriers 44, and a movable knife or cutting blade (not shown) that moves towards the fixed cutting blade.
On operation of the cutting blades to cut a plurality of tufts, the controller cycles a detecting process in which the or each detector associated with tuft holders determines whether tufts are present in the tuft holders.
In the event one or more missing tufts are detected, a loom controller moves the faulty yarn carrier so as to present the faulty yarn end 46 to a gripper position. The driver of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus 42 is operable to move the maintenance unit into registry with the or each faulty yarn end 46.
The repair module removes and repairs the faulty yarn end by moving the first and second auxiliary grippers 52,54 from first gripper positions (Figure 8) to second gripper positions (Figure 9). In the second gripper positions the first and second auxiliary grippers 52,54 are operable to close the gripper jaws 55 about the faulty yarn end 46.
During movement of the first and second auxiliary grippers 52,54 from the first gripper positions to the second gripper positions, the release pin 56 moves from the first pin position (Figure 8) to the second pin position (Figure 9). In the second pin position, the release pin 56 engages the yarn trap of the yarn carrier 44 holding the faulty yarn end 46 in the yarn carrier 44 and releases the faulty yarn end 46 from the yarn carrier 44.
Following closure of the gripper jaws 55, the first auxiliary gripper 52 is moved from the second gripper position back to the second gripper position (Figure 10) and thereby pulls the faulty yarn end 46 from the yarn carrier 44. During movement of the first auxiliary gripper 52 from its first gripper position to its second gripper position, the second auxiliary gripper 54 remains in its second gripper position, as shown in Figure 10.
The position of the first auxiliary gripper 52 in its first gripper position relative to the second auxiliary gripper 54 in its second gripper position aligns the faulty yarn end 46 is with the cutter (not shown), which is operable to remove the tail of the faulty yarn end 46, as shown in Figure 11. The tail cut from the faulty yarn end 46 is the portion of the yarn end 46 previously held in the yarn trap of the yarn carrier 44 and therefore the portion of the yarn end 46 most likely to have included the fault.
Following operation of the cutter to remove the tail of the faulty yarn end 46, the needle moves from the first need position (Figure 8) through a channel 58 (Figure 12) in the second auxiliary gripper 54, which remains in its second gripper position, whereupon it engages the cut yarn end 46. Continued movement of the needle 60 to the second needle position pushes the cut yarn end 46 from the second auxiliary gripper 54 and into the yarn carrier 44 (Figure 12) such that, on movement of the needle 60 back to the first needle position, the yarn trap retains the cut yarn end 46 in the yarn carrier 44.
In each of the weaving looms 10,40 described above with reference to Figures 1 to 12, the maintenance unit 20 of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus 12,42 may further include oiling and cleaning modules for oiling the fixed cutting blade of the loom and cleaning the tuft holders.
For simplicity, the structure and operation of oiling and cleaning modules 72,74 will be described with reference to the loom 70 shown in Figures 13 to 17, which is similar in structure to the loom 10 shown in Figure 1.
The loom 70 includes a fixed cutting blade 76 and a tuft carrier 78, the cutting blade 76 and the tuft carrier 78 extending widthwise of the loom 71. The tuft carrier 78 defines a plurality of tuft holders 80, in the form of tuft retention sites, spaced along its length to receive tufts of yarn from tuft feeders 81.
The loom 70 is provided with a maintenance unit 82 that, in addition to repair module, includes oiling and cleaning modules 72,74. The oiling module 72 is selectively operable to apply oil to the cutting blade 76 and a selectively operable cleaning module 74 to clean the tuft holders 80.
The maintenance unit 82 is mounted on a guide 84 to guide longitudinal movement of the maintenance unit 82 along a path of travel, indicated by arrow A in Figure 14.
A driver (not shown) is drivingly connected to the maintenance unit 82 for moving the Is maintenance unit 82 along the path of travel A, and a controller 86 is also provided to control selection and actuation of the oiling and/or cleaning modules 72,74.
In the embodiment shown in Figures 13 and 14, the oiling module 72 includes a brush 88 (Figure 15) and an applicator 90 to apply oil to the cutting blade 76. The brush 88 and applicator 90 are mounted on a pivotably mounted arm 92. The arm 92 is pivotable between a first position in which the brush 88 and applicator 92 are spaced from the cutting blade 76, shown in Figure 13, and a second position in which the brush 88 and the applicator 90 are brought into contact with the cutting blade 76, as shown in Figure 16. Movement of the pivotable arm 92 between its first and second positions is illustrated by arrow B in Figure 16.
In other embodiments it is envisaged that the oiling module 72 may be adapted to include a pair of brushes, one located on either side of the applicator 90, or may be adapted to omit the brush 88 altogether.
The cleaning module 74 includes a nozzle 94 connected to a source of compressed air by means of a hose 96. The nozzle 94 is mounted on a linear actuator to move the nozzle from a first position in which the nozzle 94 is spaced from the tuft holders 80, shown in Figure 13, and a second position in which the nozzle 94 is located to direct compressed air into the tuft holders 80, shown in Figure 17.
The weaving loom 70 also includes an elongate pipe 98 extending widthwise of the loom below the tuft carrier 78. The pipe is connected to a source of compressed air and includes a plurality of holes 100 spaced equally along its length.
A detector (not shown) is associated with each of the tuft holders 80 to detect the presence of a tuft or other debris, such as fluff or loose yarns, in each of the tuft holders 80.
Preferably the detector associated with each of the tuft holders 80 is provided in the form of a light gate at each tuft holder 80, a tuft or other debris in the tuft holder 80 breaking the path of light from an emitter to a detector, thereby allowing a control circuit connected to the detector to detect the presence of a tuft or other debris.
In other embodiments, the tuft carrier 78 may be formed from an electrically insulating is material and the bottom of each tuft holder 80 may be fitted with an electrical contact. In such embodiments, when an electrically conductive finger or pusher presses a tuft into the tuft holder, the tuft prevents a contact being made between the two components.
However the absence of a piece of yarn or any other debris will allow a contact to be made and this can be detected by a control circuit.
In use, a plurality of the tuft feeders 81 spaced widthwise across the weaving loom 70 are operable to insert of tufts into the tuft holders 80 of the tuft carrier 78. Following insertion of a complete row of tufts, the tuft carrier 78 presents the tufts to a plurality of grippers (not shown) spaced widthwise across the loom 10 for insertion into a weaving process as a complete row.
Following completion of each row, the controller 86 cycles a detecting process in which each of the detectors checks that the grippers have removed all of the tufts from the tuft holders 80 and thereby determines whether any tufts or debris remain in any of the tuft holders 80.
In the event one or more of the detectors determined that a tuft or other debris remains in a tuft holder 80, the controller 86 actuates the source of compressed air connected to the pipe 98 located below the tuft carrier 78. This causes compressed air to be directed via nozzles defined by the holes 100 in the pipe 98 for a predetermined period of time towards the underside of the tuft carrier 78 and into the underside of each of the tuft holders 80. The compressed air thereby acts to dislodge the tuft or other debris contained in the or each dirty tuft holder 80 and thereby clean the or each dirty tuft holder 80.
Following completion of the cleaning cycle performed by the compressed air fed via holes 100 in the pipe 98, the controller 86 re-cycles the detecting process to again determine whether any tufts or debris remain in any of the tuft holders 80.
In the event one or more of the detectors determines that a tuft or other debris remains in a tuft holder 80, the driver is operable to move the maintenance unit 82 into registry with the dirty tuft holder 80. The controller 86 then selects and actuates the cleaning module 74 to clean the tuft holder 80 and remove the tuft or other debris.
The cleaning module 74 cleans the dirty tuft holder 80 by moving nozzle 94 towards the tuft carrier 78 so as to direct a jet of compressed air into the top of the dirty tuft holder 80 so as to dislodge the tuft or other debris contained in the dirty tuft holder 80.
In the event a plurality of dirty tuft holders 80 are detected, this step is repeated for each of the dirty tuft holders 80.
The controller 86 then re-cycles the detecting process to again determine whether any tufts or other debris remain in any of the tuft holders 80. In the event one or more of the detectors determined that a tuft or other debris remains in a tuft holder 80, the controller 86 stops the loom 70 and alerts the loom operator that manual intervention is required to clean a tuft holder 80.
Preferably the apparatus includes a display to identify the or each of the dirty tuft holders to the loom operator, thereby enabling the loom operator to locate the dirty tuft holder(s) and minimise cessation of the loom 70.
It will be appreciated that locating the pipe 98 below the tuft carrier 78 so as to direct compressed air into the tuft holders 80 from the underside of the tuft carrier 78, and arranging the cleaning module 74 so as to direct a jet of compressed air into a tuft holder from the topside of the tuft carrier 78, maximises the chances of one or other of the pipe 98 and the cleaning module 74 succeeding in removing any tuft or other debris contained in a dirty tuft holder 80.
In other embodiments it is envisaged that the locations of the pipe 98 and the cleaning module 74 may be changed so as, for example, to direct compressed air from the pipe 98 into the tuft holders from the topside of the tuft carrier 78 and so as to direct a jet of compressed air from the nozzle 94 of the cleaning mode 74 into a tuft holder 80 from the underside of the tuft carrier 78.
In yet further embodiments, it is envisaged that the maintenance unit 82 may include an additional maintenance module in the form of a brush module. The brush module may include a rotatable brush mounted on a movable arm, the arm being movable from a from a first position in which the brush is spaced from the tuft holders 80 and a second position in which the brush is located to brush the tuft holder 80 located in registry therewith. The controller 86 may be operable to actuate rotation of the brush when it is located in its second position.
In such embodiments, the controller 86 may actuate the brush module instead or following actuation of the cleaning module 74 on detection of a dirty tuft holder 80 following cycling of the detecting process.
Following operation of the weaving loom 70 to complete a predetermined number of picks, and insert a corresponding number of rows of tufts into a carpet, the driver is operable to drive the maintenance unit 82 back and forth along the guide 84, along the path of travel. The maintenance unit 82 is thereby moved back and forth across the entire width of the loom 70.
During movement of the maintenance unit 82 in a first direction from a first end of the path of travel to a second, opposite, end of the path of travel, the oiling module 72 is actuated and the pivotable arm 92 moves to its second position so as to bring the brush 88 and applicator 90 of the oiling module 72 into contact with the cutting blade 76 of the loom 70, as shown in Figure 16.
The brush 88 and applicator 90 are arranged relative to each such that on movement of the maintenance unit 82 in the first direction, the brush 88 leads the applicator 90. In this manner, the brush 88 acts to remove any debris from the cutting blade 76 in advance of contact between the cutting blade 76 and the applicator 90.
The applicator 90 is connected to a source of oil so that, as the applicator 90 passes along the blade 76, an even distribution of oil is applied to the cutting blade 76.
In other embodiments it is envisaged that the structure of the oiling module 72 may be simplified and oil may be applied to the surface of the applicator 90 from an external source.
When the maintenance unit 82 reaches the second end of the path of travel, the pivotable arm 92 of the oiling unit moves to its first position where the brush 88 and applicator 90 are spaced from the cutting blade 76, as shown in Figure 13.
The driver then reverses the movement of the maintenance unit 82 to move in a second, opposite, direction along the path of travel.
During the second direction of movement of the maintenance unit 82, the controller 86 actuates the cleaning module 72 and the linear actuator moves the nozzle 94 from its first position to its second position so as to direct a jet of air into each of the tuft holders 80, as shown in Figure 17.
When the maintenance unit 82 returns to the first end of the path of travel, the linear actuator of the cleaning module moves the nozzle 94 to its first position where the nozzle 94 is spaced from the tuft holders 80.
The maintenance module 82 is then retained at the first end of the path of travel until completion of a predetermined number of picks in the weaving process, or until such time as a detector identifies a dirty tuft holder 80 following re-cycling of the detecting process described above.
In other embodiments, it is envisaged that actuation of the oiling module 72 and the cleaning module 74 during movement of the maintenance unit 82 between the first and second ends of the path of travel may be reversed, the cleaning module 74 being so actuated during movement of the maintenance unit 82 from the first end to the second end and the oiling module 72 being actuated on movement of the maintenance unit 82 from the second end back to the first end. It is also envisaged that the back and forth movement of the maintenance unit 82 may be repeated immediately as opposed to awaiting completion of a predetermined number of picks of the weaving process. This might be desirable in circumstances where for example a greater amount of oil is required to maintain the cutting blade 76 and/or the nature of the yarn being used in the weaving process results in a significant amount of fluff or loose yarns remaining in the tuft holders 80.
In yet further embodiments, it is envisaged that the controller 86 may actuate the oiling and cleaning modules 72,74 at the same time as each other.
In yet further embodiments, it is envisaged that the nozzle 94 of the cleaning module 74 may be connected to a vacuum device by means of hose 96 so as to create suction on actuation of the cleaning module 74. In such embodiments, the linear actuator moves the nozzle 94 from its first position to its second position so as to direct suction into each of the tuft holders 80, in a similar manner to shown in Figure 17.
The embodiment described with reference to Figures 13 to 17 shows the cutting blade 76 positioned immediately below the tuft feeders 81 and above the tuft carrier 78. It will be appreciated that in other loom arrangements, the relative positions of the cutting blade 76, tuft feeders 81 and tuft carrier 78 may change. It is therefore envisaged that the first and second positions of the oiling and cleaning modules 72,74 may be adapted to accommodate changes in the relative positions of the cutting blade 76, the tuft carrier 78 and the tuft feeders 81.
Operation of the oiling and cleaning modules 72,74 has been described with reference to a gripper loom 70, corresponding to the loom 10 shown and described with reference to Figures 1 to 7, and provided with an intermediate tuft carrier 78 to present a complete row of tufts to the grippers of the loom 70. The oiling and cleaning modules 72,74 may also however be incorporated in the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus of a jacquard gripper loom, corresponding to the loom 40 shown and described with reference to Figures 8 to 12, and including a plurality of yarn carriers to present yarn ends to the grippers of the loom. In such embodiments, the orientation of the pivotable arm 92 of the oiling module 72 may be re-arranged so as to ensure contact between the brush 88 and applicator 90 and the cutting blade 76 of the loom 70. The nozzle 94 of the cleaning module 74 may also be arranged to direct a jet of compressed air into the grippers of the loom 70 when located in its second position so as to remove any tufts or debris remaining in the grippers following insertion of a row of tufts into the weaving process.
In such embodiments, the pipe 98 may be omitted or its position relative within the loom may be changed so as to direct compressed air via holes 100 towards the grippers of the loom 70.

Claims (23)

  1. CLAIMS1. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus for repairing faulty yarn ends presented in one or more yarn carriers of a weaving loom, the apparatus comprising: a maintenance unit including a repair module, the repair module being selectively operable to repair a faulty yarn end; a guide to guide longitudinal movement of the maintenance unit along the path of travel; a driver drivingly connected to the maintenance unit for moving the maintenance unit along the path of travel, the driver being operable to move the maintenance unit to a selected position along the path of travel; and a controller for controlling selection of the repair module, the controller being operable to actuate the selected repair module when the maintenance unit is located in the selected position along the path of travel.
  2. 2. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to Claim 1 wherein the repair module includes: an auxiliary gripper mounted for reciprocal movement between first and second gripper positions, the auxiliary gripper being operable when located in the second gripper position to close gripper jaws; a pair of guide jaws located between the first and second gripper positions, the guide jaws being operable to close following movement of the auxiliary gripper from the second gripper position to the first gripper position; a release pin guided for reciprocal movement relative to the auxiliary gripper and the guide jaws between first and second pin positions; a cutter located between the guide jaws and the second gripper position, the cutter being operable to cut following closure of the guide jaws and the auxiliary gripper being operable to open the gripper jaws following operation of the cutter; and a needle guided for reciprocal movement relative to the auxiliary gripper between first and second needle positions relative to the guide jaws, the needle passing through the guide jaws during movement from the first needle position to the second needle position and the guide jaws being operable to open following movement of the needle from the first needle position to the second needle position and before movement of the auxiliary gripper from the first gripper position to the second gripper position.
  3. 3. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to Claim 2 wherein the repair module includes: first and second auxiliary grippers mounted for reciprocal movement between first and second gripper positions, the auxiliary grippers being operable when located in the second gripper positions to close gripper jaws and the second auxiliary gripper being operable to remain in its first gripper position whilst the first auxiliary gripper returns to its first gripper position; a release pin guided for movement relative to the first and second auxiliary grippers between first and second pin positions; a cutter located between the first and second auxiliary grippers, the cutter being operable to cut following movement of the first auxiliary gripper from its second gripper position to its first gripper position and the first auxiliary gripper being operable to open its gripper jaws following operation of the cutter; and a needle guided for movement relative to the second auxiliary gripper in its second gripper position between first and second needle positions relative to the second auxiliary gripper in its second gripper position, the needle passing through the second auxiliary gripper in its second gripper position during movement from the first needle position to the second needle position and the second auxiliary gripper being operable to open following movement of the needle from the first needle position to the second needle position.
  4. 4. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to Claim 2 wherein the repair module further includes a nozzle, the nozzle being operable to direct a jet of fluid towards the or the first auxiliary gripper during opening of its gripper jaws.
  5. 5. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to any preceding claim wherein the maintenance module further includes a plurality of maintenance modules, the maintenance modules including a selectively operable oiling module to apply oil to a cutting blade of the weaving loom and a selectively operable cleaning module to clean tuft holders of the weaving loom; the driver being operable to move the maintenance unit back and forth along the path of travel at predetermined intervals; and the controller being operable to actuate the or each selected maintenance module during movement of the maintenance unit along the path of travel.
  6. 6. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to Claim 5 wherein the oiling module includes a brush to remove debris from the cutting blade and an applicator to apply oil to the cutting blade, the brush and applicator being mounted on a pivotably mounted arm, the arm being pivotable to move the brush and the applicator into a maintenance position on actuation of the oiling module.
  7. 7. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to Claim 6 wherein the applicator is connected to an oil supply.
  8. 8. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to any one of Claims 5 to 7 wherein the cleaning module includes at least one nozzle operable to generate and direct a jet of fluid on actuation of the cleaning module.
  9. 9. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to Claim 8 wherein the or each nozzle is connected to a source of compressed air.
  10. 10. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to any one of Claims I to 7 wherein the cleaning module includes a nozzle connected to a vacuum device to generate suction on actuation of the cleaning module.
  11. 11. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to any one of Claims 5 to 10 wherein the maintenance modules further includes a selectively operable brush module to clean the tuft holders, the brush module having a brush mounted on a movable arm, the arm being movable to move the brush into a maintenance position, and the brush being rotatable, on actuation of the brush module.
  12. 12. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to any one of Claims 5 to 11 wherein the controller is operable to select and actuate one or more maintenance modules when the maintenance unit is located in the selected position along the path of travel.
  13. 13. A faulty yarn end replacement apparatus generally as herein described with reference to and/or as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
  14. 14. A weaving loom having at least one yarn carrier holding a plurality of yarn ends, an elongate cutting blade extending widthwise of the loom and a plurality of tuft holders arranged widthwise of the loom to deliver tufts to a tuft insertion position in a weaving process, the loom including one or more detectors associated with the tuft holders to detect the presence of tufts in the tuft holders and a faulty yarn end replacement apparatus according to any preceding claim, the path of travel of the faulty yarn end replacement apparatus being aligned with the or each yarn carrier, the elongate cutting blade and the tuft holders.
  15. 15. A weaving loom according to Claim 14 wherein the loom is an Axminster gripper loom in which the yarn carrier presents a plurality of yarn ends widthwise of the loom and an intermediate tuft carrier is provided to receive a complete row of tufts and present the tufts to the grippers of the loom for insertion into the weaving process, the tuft carrier defining the plurality of tuft holders.
  16. 16. A weaving loom according to Claim 14 wherein the loom is a jacquard Axminster gripper loom in which a plurality of yarn carriers is arranged widthwise of the loom, each yarn carrier including a plurality of yarn ends and being movable to present a selected yarn end at each of a plurality of gripper positions across the width of the loom, the grippers defining the plurality of tuft holders and the loom further including a loom Is controller to move a selected yarn carrier and present a selected yarn end to the auxiliary gripper of the repair module of the faulty yarn end apparatus following detection of a faulty yarn end.
  17. 17. A weaving loom according to any one of Claims 5 to 13 and any one of Claims 14 to 16 wherein the driver of the faulty yarn end apparatus is operable to move the maintenance unit back and forth along the path of travel after a predetermined number of picks of the weaving process.
  18. 18. A weaving loom according to any one of Claims 14 to 17 wherein the loom further includes a pipe extending widthwise of the loom, the pipe defining a plurality of selectively operable nozzles spaced across the width of the loom, the nozzles being operable to direct a fluid towards the tuft holders.
  19. 19. A weaving loom according to any one of Claims 14 to 18 wherein the the or each detector is connected to the driver and the controller of the faulty yarn end apparatus to identify tuft holders containing debris, the driver being operable in response thereto to move the maintenance unit along the path of travel into alignment with the or each dirty tuft holder and the controller being operable to select and actuate one or more maintenance modules to clean the or each dirty tuft holder.
  20. 20. A weaving loom generally as herein described with reference to and/or as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
  21. 21. A method of replacing faulty yarn ends in a weaving loom performing a weaving process, the method including the steps of: detecting the presence of tufts in each of a plurality of tuft holders prior to insertion of the tufts into the weaving process to identify empty tuft holders; and repairing any faulty yarn ends carried in yarn carriers associated with any empty tuft holders.
  22. 22. A method of replacing faulty yarn ends in a weaving loom according to Claim 21 where the step of repairing any faulty yarn ends involves gripping and pulling the or each faulty yarn end, releasing the faulty yarn end from the yarn carrier in which it is carried, cutting a tail from the yarn end and re-inserting the cut yarn end into the yarn carrier.
  23. 23. A method of replacing faulty yarn ends in a weaving loom generally as herein described with reference to and/or as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
GB1016794.8A 2010-10-06 2010-10-06 Faulty Yarn End Replacement Apparatus Expired - Fee Related GB2484313B (en)

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Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2093989A (en) * 1981-02-12 1982-09-08 Management Dev Services Ni Ltd A monitor and method of monitoring
GB2198459A (en) * 1986-12-09 1988-06-15 Crowthers Carpets Limited Improvements in and relating to carpet looms

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2093989A (en) * 1981-02-12 1982-09-08 Management Dev Services Ni Ltd A monitor and method of monitoring
GB2198459A (en) * 1986-12-09 1988-06-15 Crowthers Carpets Limited Improvements in and relating to carpet looms

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GB201016794D0 (en) 2010-11-17

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Effective date: 20191006