\ May 17,1966 w. M. LocKRcJwl ETAL 3,251,518' i GA AND INSPECTION `A y Filed April so, 1965 s sheets-sheet `1 -lNvENoRs wlLBuR M. LocKRow uEwls n. GENTLE, sR.
f AhoRNENs May 17, 1966 w. M. LocKRow ETAL GARMN' TURNING AND INSPECTIONPPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 'fr Filed April so, 1965 zNvENToRs weLBuR- M. LocKRow LEwls R. GENTLE, SR.
ATTORNEY` May 17, 1966 w. M. LocKRow ETAL 3,251,518
GARMENT TURNING AND INSPECTION APPARATUS Filed April 30, 1965 3 SheetS-Sheei'I 3 INVENTORS` WILBUR M. LOCKROW LEWIS R. GENTLE, SR.
BY jaw/QQ@ ATTORNEY S United States Patent O 3,251,518 GARMENT TURNING AND INSPECTION APPARATUS l Wilbur Merchant Lockrow and Lewis R. Gentle, Sr.,
The present invention relates to a garment turning and inspection apparatus and method of operating the same. The method and apparatus here involved lare particularly suited to the turning of elongate tubular type garments which are closed atone end (such as for example, childrens pajamas).
In the manufacture of garments of this type, it is the general practice to sew the garment together such that it is wrong side out after sewing. Before turning the garment an operator will inspect the garment to insure that all seams are properly sewn. In order to expedite operations, it is common for the operator to trim any loose threads resulting from the sewing of the seams. After inspection and trimming the operator then'turns the garl ment right side out so that it may be folded and .packaged. This inspection and trimming operation is extremely time consuming when done solely by hand. The operator has to turn the garment by inserting his hand and arm inside the garment, gripping the end and pulling the garment through itself. This procedure is Very cumbersome and often results in the garment becom-l ing tangled.
In order to facilitate this inspection and trimming operation, the prsent apparatus has a tubular rod over which an operator may slip a garment. A vacuum is drawn in the tubular rod such that the suction holds the closed end of the garment. In this manner, the operator is left with both hands free to draw the garment off of the rod and onto an adjacent holding arm, thus turning the garment right side out.
It is therefore a major object of this invention to provide apparatus which will facilitate the turning of elongate tubular type garments. Another object of this invention is to provide apparatus to aid in inspection and turning of garments of the type specified. It is a further object to provide apparatus of the type referred to above which is inexpensive to manufacture, simple to operate and easy to maintain.
These and other objects and features of the invention will become `apparent from the following specification and the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing the entire unit;
FIGURE 2 is a partial section side elevation view'of the suction mechanism;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the vacuum pump filter with the Vacuum pump shown in phantom lines;
FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view showing the interior mechanism of the holding mechanism; and
FIGURE 5 is a schematic diagram showing the electric circuit involved.
, Referring now to the drawings, the apparatus is comprised of a suction mechanism -shown generally as 1 and a holding mechanism shown generally as 20. Housing 2 supports hollow rods 3 in a substantially horizontal position. Hollow rods 3 are preferably parallel but need not be. The hollow rods 3 are connected by tubing 4 (FIG. 2) to a T joint 4a which is connected to vacuum relief valve 6. Vacuum relief valve 6 is in turn connected to vacuum pump 5 (FIG. 3) by main line 41. The suction in rods 3 is controlled by this vacuum relief valve 6 located inside'of housing 2. Valve 6 is actuated by solenoid 7 which in turn isv controlled by on-oif switch 8 located on the exterior of housing 2.
When vacuum relief valve 6 is4 closed plug 9 sits in orifice 10 so as to seal the orifice. As a result air is drawn into the openings 11 of rods 3 by the action of the vacuum pump 5. The suction created at openings 11 is released by actuating the solenoid 7 to raise valve plug 9. With the plug 9 in la raised position, air is allowed to enter orifice 10, this in turn reduces the amount of air drawn into openings 11.
Holding mechanism 20 is comprised of a housing 21 and holding-arms 22 which are pivotally mounted at points 23. Arms 22 are preferably formed'so that they are substantially flat and rounded on the edges with tapered outer ends. Arms 22 are pivoted `about points 23 by actuating solenoid 24 which has a movable core connected to both arms 22. When solenoid 24 is deactivated arms 22 return to their original horizontal position by the force of gravity with the aid of small return springs 25. Solenoid 24 is activated by switch 26 located on the exterior of housing 21.
Referring now to FIGURE 5, the electrical interconnection between the suction mechanism 1 and the holding mechanism 20 is disclosed. Switch 32 is the main power switch and is closed during operation of the apparatus. Light 33 is a pilot light used to indicated switch 32 is closed. Switch S is a spring biased normally closed switch which is pushed to open. On the other hand switch 26 is shown here as a spring biased normally open switch which is pushed to close. NOW when switches 8 and 26 are closed the auxiliary relay 30 is energized and normally open contacts 31 are closed thus completing the circuit to solenoids 7 and 24. Actuation of solenoid 7 lifts plug 9 and cuts olf the suction in rods 3. At the same time, actuation of solenoid 24 pivots arms 22 such that the outer ends are raised. The opening of switch 8 breaks the circuit to relay 30 which allows contacts 31 to open which in turn opens the circuit to the solenoids 7 and 24. When solenoid 7 is deactivated plug 9 returns to orifice 10 thus starting the suction in rods 3. When solenoid 24 is deactivated, arms 22 return to a horizontal position.
FIGURE 3 shows the vacuum pump 5 and associated *filter or trap 40 which is connected with the inlet side of pump 5. Trap 40 is comprised of la box 42 preferably having one transparent wall so as to allow the operator a view of the amount of material'collected therein. Trap 40 is connected in series with vacuum pump 5. Main line 41 connects relief valve 6 with one side of trap 40 and inlet line 44 connects the opposite side of trap 40 with the inlet of vacuum pump 5. Located intermediate the trap inlet from line 41 and the trap outlet to line 44 is a screen 43 which acts as a filter of the air passing through trap 40. Located above and on the inlet side of screen 43 is a removable plate 45 which when removed allows the operator to empty the material collected on screen 43. The reason for this filter or trap arrangement is to prevent loose pieces of material, fabric, thread, etc from being drawn in to pump 5.
Vacuum mechanism 1 and holding mechanism 20 are arranged such that hollow rods 3 are in axial alignment with holding arms 22, when arms 22 are in a horizontal position. The two mechanisms are spaced such that the ends of rods 3 and arms 22 are only a few inches apart,
at most .about six inches.
In actual practice the operation is started by pushing switch 26 while main power switch 32 and switch 8 are both4 on. Thus at the start of the operation the suction in rods 3 is off and holding arms 22 are in a raised or pivoted position. The operator takes a garment to be inspected, such as a pair of childrens pajamas which have foot portions attached to the legs, and slips it over rods 3 such that one rod 3 is in each leg. As the arms 22 are in a raised position, the ends of rods 3 are readily accessible for this purpose. While the garment is on rods 3, the
garment is inspe-cted and any loose threads, etc. are trimmed and removed. The operator then pushes switch 8 which breaks the circuit to solenoids 7 and 24. As a result relief Valve 6 closes and suction is created in rods 3. At the same time arms 22 return to a horizontal position. Air being drawn into openings 11 holds the ends of the garment while the operator grips the opposite end of the garment and pulls it toward and over arms 22. In this manner the garment is inverted and placed upon v holding arms 22. The operator then pushes switch 26 which causes completion of the circuit to solenoids land 24 and thus cuts 0H the suction while raising arms 22. With the arms 22 in .a raised position, the operator can easily slip the garment, which is now ready for packaging, o" of the arms 22. Now the apparatus is in position for the procedure to be followed again with another garment. Upon conclusion of the days work the operator need only turn otf switch 32 in order to shut down the.
The foregoing description is one embodiment of the invention and it will be apparentv to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention.
What we claim as our invention is:
l. A garment inspecting and turning device comprising at least one hollow rod connected to a vacuum source, valve means for controlling suction in said hollow rod, at least one pivotally mounted holding arm for mounting a garment to be inspected and having a normal position of axial alignment with said hollow rod, said arm comprising means for facilitating inspection of a garment mounted on the arm, means for pivoting said arm about a xed axis so that the end of the arm closest to the hollow rod is moved away from the said normal position to facilitate placing la garment on the said arm, and control means connecting said valve means with said pivoting means such that the suction in said rod is off when said arm is pivoted away from the normal position.
2. A garment inspecting and turning device as claimed lin claim l wherein the said means for facilitating inspec-` tion include the construction whereby the said arm is substantially at.
3. A garment inspecting and turning device having two substantially parallel hollow rods mounted in a horizontal position and connected to a vacuum source, valve means for controlling the suction in said hollow rods, rst switch means for actuating said valve means, two
substantially parallel holding arms pivotally mounted and having -a normal position such that each said arm is in axial alignment with one hollow rod,. said arms comprising means for facilitating inspection of a garment mounted on the arms, means for pivoting said arms from the horizontal position about an axis so that the end of the arms closest to the hollow rods is moved away from the said normal position to facilitate placing a garment on the `said arms, second switch means for actuating said pivoting means, and in interconnection between said switch means such that the suction in said rods is reduced when said arms are pivoted away from said normal position.
4. A- garment inspecting and turning device as claimed in claim 3 wherein the said means for facilitating inspection includes the construction whereby the said arms are substantially flat.
5. A garment inspecting and turning device comprising a first housing having two spaced substantially parallel hollow rods mounted thereon and spaced apart horizontally, a vacuum source connected to said rods, valve means mounted on said first housing for controlling suction in said rods, rst switch means mounted on said first housing for actuating said valve means, a second housing having two holding arms pivotally mounted thereon in a normally horizontal position, the ends of said arms being spaced apart -fr-om the ends of said rods, each arm being in substantial axial alignment with one hollow rod when in the normal position, said arms comprising means for facilitating inspection of a garment mounted on the arms, said arms being pivotable so that the end of the arms closest to the hollow rods are moved away from the said normal position to facilitate placing a garment on the said arms and an interconnection between said rst and second switch means such that the suction in said rods is reduced when said arms are pivoted from the horizontal position away from said normal position.
References Cited by the Examiner UNlTED STATES 'PATENTS 2,899,116 8/1959 Long et al 223-43 3,143,258 8/1964 Wittler 223-43 3,166,223 l/l965 Gazzaniga 223-41 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.
G. V. LARKIN, Assistant Examiner.