US3386192A - Equipment for feeding laundry to flatwork ironer - Google Patents

Equipment for feeding laundry to flatwork ironer Download PDF

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Publication number
US3386192A
US3386192A US52558166A US3386192A US 3386192 A US3386192 A US 3386192A US 52558166 A US52558166 A US 52558166A US 3386192 A US3386192 A US 3386192A
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manifold
ironer
laundry
flatwork
fiatwork
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Ray P Fornaciari
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Ray P. Fornaciari
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    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F67/00Details of ironing machines provided for in groups D06F61/00, D06F63/00, or D06F65/00
    • D06F67/04Arrangements for feeding or spreading the linen

Description

June 4, 1968 R. P. FORNACIARI 3,385,192

EQUIPMENT FOR FEEDING LAUNDRY T0 FLATWORK IRONER Filed Feb. 7, 1966 IVENT R.

ATTORNEY United States Patent ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGJSURE The present invention is directed to a removable adjustable attachment for fiatwork ironers and comprises a manifold removably secured underneath the leading edge of the feed member of the flatwork ironer and in close proximity thereto; said manifold having openings in the bottom thereof in communication with suction means for causing a continuous flow of air to be drawn into and out of said manifold, and said manifold having a series of openings in the front Wall thereof for admitting air from the atmosphere into the manifold, a guard and stripper element on the top of the manifold projecting forwardly and downwardly therefrom to define a transversely extending shallow pocket between said guard and stripper element and said front wall of said manifold, said suction means in operation creating a vacuum in said shallow pocket for drawing depending portions of the laundry articles thereinto during advancement thereof to the presser units of the ironer to retard such advancement and to be engaged by said guard and stripper element whereby any folds or wrinkles in the laundry articles are removed and the articles are maintained smooth as they are fed to the presser units of the ironer.

The invention, in general, relates to industrial laundry equipment and more particularly relates to a fiatwork feeding aid device for maintaining fiatwork laundry items of all types smooth and unwrinkled as they are fed to a mangle or flatwork ironer thus to improve the quality of the finished work.

Probably the two greatest problems involved in laundrying such articles as sheets, tablecloths, towels, pillowcases, napkins and the like are of producing finished ironed fiatwork completely free of folds and wrinkles, and of reducing the cost of flatwork ironing operations to a minimum. The cost reductions, of course, largely include labor and equipment costs but they also involve increased production and improved quality of completed laundry items. The present invention is directed to the provision of a relatively inexpensive device or attachment for ironers which obviates all of the disadvantages of prior devices of this general nature and appreciably improves the quality of the laundered articles in a lesser time than heretofore has been possible.

While the present invention is entirely suitable for smoothing paper or other flat materials for purposes of winding the same upon rolls for future unwinding and use, I have illustrated the device and will hereinafter describe the invention in the environment of laundry equipment and methods of smoothing or flattening out such items as sheets, pillowcases and the like solely for purposes of explanation as well as brevity.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide improved equipment for rapidly smoothing and stretching out fiatwork preliminarily to as well as continuously during the feeding of the fiatwork to a mangle and thus affording an appreciable increase of items that may be fed to the mangle within a predetermined period of time.

Another important object of the present invention is to provide improved equipment for handling laundry items as they are advanced to a mangle or fiatwork ironer sgasaisz Patented June 4, 1968 "ice which is of relatively simple construction and relatively inexpensive to manufacture and install.

Other objects of the present invention will appear from the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention in the equipment which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that I am not to be limited to the precise embodiment shown nor to the precise arrangement of the various components thereof, as my invention, as defined in the appended claims can be embodied in a plurality and variety of forms and can be carried out in a plurality and variety of ways.

Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention in operative position on a flatwork ironer which is shown in fragmentary form; this view also is showing in broken elevation the conduits of the embodiment leading from a suction fan driven by a conventional motor.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

In its preferred form, my improved equipment for feedin laundry to a fiatwork ironer preferably comprises, in combination with the feeding apron of a fiatwork ironer, a longitudinally adjustable manifold having a plurality of openings therein which are graduated in size and which are arranged serially along said manifold, a forwardly extending guard closely underlying said feeding apron and projecting downwardly from the top of said manifold to define a shallow pocket between said guard and the front wall of said manifold, means for detachably fastening said manifold in underlying relationship and in close proximity to the underside of said apron, together with means for causing a stream of air of uniform volume to flow in one direction through said manifold; said stream of air entering the manifold through said openings adjacent to said shallow pocket to effect a vacuum in said pocket, and means for controlling the air flow through said manifold whereby fiatwork fed to said ironer may be partially drawn into said pocket and stripped by the leading edge of said guard to afford a smoothing of the fiatwork transversely as Well as longitudinally of the fiatwork fed to the ironer.

In accordance with my present invention, and as particularly illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the accompanying drawings, I provide an attachment, generally designated by the reference numeral 11, which can be adjustably supported on the frame, not shown, of a conventional flatwork ironer by means of suitable brace rods, also not shown, so as to position attachment 11 adjacent to the feeding apron or, as in the case illustrated, to the endless belt 12 which is trained about the feed roller 13 of the fiatwork ironer for receiving the sheet or other flatwork 14. The attachment 11 preferably comprises a manifold 15 which is entirely enclosed by a front wall 7, a rear wall 18 and a pair of end walls 19 and 2%) as well as a bottom 21 with the exception of a plurality of perforations or openings 22 which are arranged serially in spaced relationship to one another adjacent to the top 21' of the manifold 16; such perforations or openings 22 being formed preferably in the front wall 17 of the manifold. The top 21 of the manifold 16 conveniently is so fashioned as to provide a raised slanting section 23 adjacent front wall 17 of the manifold, as particularly shown in FIG. 1 of the annexed drawings. It is to be understood, of course, that the manifold 16 extends transversely of the fiatwork ironer and I have shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings that the manifold can be adjustable lengthwise by utilizing telescopically arranged sections so that one section lies within another and these two sections may be adjusted longitudinally and set in the adjusted positions to meet the conditions of the width of any given ironer. it is to be understood, of course, that the openings 22 in the manifold 16 are vented to the atmosphere and serve to draw air from the atmosphere to the interior of the manifold. In this connection, the one telescopic section of the manifold can be cut away, as shown in FIG. 3, so as not to interfere with the passage of air through openings 22.

An important feature of the present invention is the provision of a guard on the front wal of the manifold so as to project forwardly and downwardly therefrom. This guard element, designated generally by the reference numeral 24 may aptly be termed a stripper inasmuch as the leading edge 26 thereof engages the sheets or other fiatwork 14 as it is being fed to the roller 13 of the flatwork ironer and serves to strip the same adjacently or transversely of the flatwork 14 to maintain the same smooth throughout its width as well as longitudinally. The combination of the guard element 24 with the front wall 17 of the manifold defines a relatively shallow pocket 27 therebetween which lies adjacent to the openings 22 so that a vacnum is created Within the pocket 27 upon the operation of the means for drawing a uniform volume of air through the manifold 16. This pocket 27 serves, in conjunction with the air flow, to draw upon the flatwork 14 and retard slightly the advance thereof over the roller 13 thus providing a dual function to the guard or stripper 24 consisting of retarding the advance of the sheet slightly as well as at the same time stretching the fiatwork so as to smooth wrinkles which would otherwise occur therein both transversely and longitudinally. It is, of course, to be understood that the guard or stripper 24 extends transversely of the manifold and of the ironer and is coextensive in length with the length of the manifold.

Any suitable means may be employed for providing the vacuum in pocket 27 as well as providing a uniform flow stream of air of constant volume through the manifold 16 for the above stated purposes, such as a suction fan generally designated by the reference numeral 31 and a pair of flexible conduits 32 and 33 establishing communication between the manifold 16 and the inlet 34 of the fan 31. The flexible conduits 32 and 33 each may be detachably connected to the underside of the manifold 16 by means of angle irons 36 and 37 together with screwbolts 3S and 39 respectively which are fitted or screwed into the bottom 21 of the manifold adjacent each end thereof so as to place the inlet of each flexible conduit 32 and 33 with openings 41 and 42 respectively formed in the bottom of manifold 16. Suitable damper mechanisms consisting of a lever 43 attached to a disk 44- confined within the bracket 45 supporting the flexible conduits 32 and 33 may be provided for controlling the flow of air stream from the manifold into the conduits and out through the vent 46 of each of the fans 31. Each of these levers 43 of the damper mechanisms is rotatably mounted in suitable journals 47 secured to opposite sides of bracket 45 so that they may be readily turned in either direction to place the disk 44 thereon in proper position for controlling the flow. These are conventional damper mechanisms and need not be further explained, inasmuch as they specifically form no part of the present invention.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a standard belt and pulley drive, designated generally by the reference numeral 48 may be established between the fan 31 and a motor 49 to serve as a prime mover for effecting the operation of the fan 3 it being understood, of course, that a chain and sprocket wheel drive may be established between the shafts 51 and 52 of the fan and motor 31 and 4? respectively.

It is to be especially observed that the openings 22 may be of circular cross section or rectangular cross section and, further, that such openings are so graduated in size to establish uniform vacuum across the face of the manifold 16 and the total area of the aggregate of the openings 22 shall not exceed the area of the two vacuum flexible conduits 32 and 33 to avoid reduction of the created vacuum. Moreover, the area of the manifold 16 is to be equal to or greater than the area of the vacuum manifolds 32 and 33 in order to avoid restriction of the vacuum in any way.

The attachment 11 is readily installed and adapted to any size of flatwork ironer presently in use or on the market today. All that need be done is to arrange the telescopic sections of the manifold 16 to the width of the feeding apron or width of the belt 12 of the ironer and adjust the rods, not shown, on the frame of the ironer, also not shown, so that the top of the manifold 16 is in close proximity to the endless belt 12 which is trained around the leading roller 13 of the ironer.

In operation, the attachment 11 is not in the way of an operator feeding the fiatwork to the ironer and, thereforme, in no way hinders the operation or functions of the operator. Because of the operation of the attachment, especially operation of the leading edge of the guard or stripper 24- mounted on the top of the manifold 11 and extending forwardly and downwardly therefrom to define the shallow pocket 27, and because of the regulated vacuum constantly established in the manifold by virtue of the openings 22, the operator merely places the leading edge of the flatwork 14 upon the endless belt 13, as shown in FIG. 1 and is free to release the same and pick up another fiatwork item for introduction in the ironer. Because of the ability to use one hand to feed a given item and the other hand to pick up a succeeding item the operator can feed the flatwork much faster than heretofore and production not only is increased but the quality of the production is improved because the stripper 24 not only smooths out the flatwork as it is being fed both transversely and longitudinally of the fiatwork and the vacuum created in the shallow pocket 27 retards the work just sufliciently to permit the complete functioning of the stripper element 24.

Not only will a flatwork ironer be able to handle sheets, pillowcases and the like but also fiatwork items of any size including handkerchiefs and similar small items. Thus a commercial laundry having a fiatwork ironer including my improved attachment could change from feeding relatively small pieces to large pieces and vice versa without making any changes whatsoever in the ironer in and of itself.

As a principal step in my improved method of smoothing out laundry items and appreciably speeding up the production of smooth finished laundered articles, whether it be the relatively large items of sheets and tablecloths or the relatively small items of handkerchiefs, napkins and pillowcases, I have provided a continuous full-width vacuum or suction area immediately underlying the leading edge of a feeding apron or at the upturn point of a conveyor belt used to feed the laundered articles to the conventional flatwork ironer. This full-width area of suction or vacuum is indicated in the annexed drawings by reference numeral 27 and is formed by the downwardly extending guard and stripper element 24 coacting with the upper portion of the front wall 17 of the manifold 11. The guard or stripper 24 has a dual function; namely, (1) of partially shielding the openings 22 and thus of preventing the laundry articles from being drawn inwardly to engage the front Wall 17 of the manifold and of being held there by the suction created in the manifold, and (2) of engaging the laundered articles at the outer end of the stripper to effect the smoothing out of folds or wrinkles that might otherwise occur both transversely and longitudinally of the sheet, tablecloth or other item being fed to the flatwork ironer and, of course, during the continuous movement of the laundered articles as they are drawn into the mangle.

As a result of this dual functioning guard and stripper element 24 as aforesaid, my improved method permits the elimination of a time-consuming operation required to be performed by laundry workers employed to operate the flatwork ironer of the standard type presently used in all commercial, industrial or institutional laundries. The eliminated operation is that of manually running the hands across the sheet, tablecloth or other articles as they are fed to the flatwork ironer to smooth out wrinkles and folds as well as to prevent the formation thereof as the work is fed to the mangle, The guard and stripper element 24, acting in conjunction with the vacuum area 27 immediately underlying and adjacent to the guard 24 performs the aforesaid former manual task of the operator. Consequently, the operator is permitted to release all attention to a preceding laundry article and use his or her hands to pick up a successive sheet or other article and place it on the belt 13 for feeding to the ironer. This avoids considerable lag in the feeding operation and speeds up appreciably the amount of ironing done by any given machine in any given time as well as produces much better finished work.

My improved equipment also includes an air duct 61 which leads from the outlet 46 of the suction fan and carries the exhaust of the fan to a location adjacent to the bottom of the feed apron of the flatwork ironer. Mounted adjacent to the oulet end of the air duct 61 is a manifold 63 provided internally thereof with directional louvers 64 to cause the emitted air to be directed onto the laundry piece or item, there-by to force the piece against a curbed bar 65 and thereby forcing the lateral edges of the sheet or item outwardly and maintaining them outwardly so as to smooth out any and all wrinkles therein. This action occurs with each successive laundry piece as it is delivered toward the ironer.

It is to be understood that the appended claims are to be accorded a range of equivalents commensurate in scope with the advances made over the prior art.

I claim:

1. Equipment for feeding laundry articles of variable sizes to a flatwork ironer; said equipment comprising, in combination with a feed member on the ironer having a leading edge upon which the leading end of a succession of laundry articles of the same or of different sizes is disposed for advancement to the presser units of the ironer, an adjustably supported manifold in close underlying relationship to the underside of said feed member adjacent to the leading edge thereof, suction means for causing a continuous flow of air to be drawn into and out of said manifold; said suction means having an inlet and an outlet, said manifold extending transversely of the ironer substantially coextensive with the width of said feed member and provided with a top, a bottom having openings therein, a rear wall, and a front wall having a plurality of openings therethrough for admitting air into the manifold, flexible conduits establishing communication between said openings in the bottom of said manifold and said inlet of said suction means, a guard and stripper element on said top of said manifold projecting forwardly and downwardly therefrom to define a transversely extending shallow pocket between said guard and said front wall of said manifold; said suction means in operation creating a vacuum in said shallow pocket for drawing depending portions of the laundry articles t hereinto during advancement thereof to the presser units of the ironer to retard such advancement and to be engaged by said guard and stripper element whereby any folds or wrinkles in thet laundry articles are removed and the articles are maintained smooth as they are fed to the presser units of the ironer, and means for actuating said suction means.

2. Equipment as defined in claim 1, and a curved bar supported below said leading edge of said feed member of the ironer, and a flexible conduit connected to said outlet of said suction means for carrying air exhausted therefrom to adjacent said curved bar and to cause depending portions of laundry articles extending in front of said curved bar to be forced into engagement with said bar whereby the lateral edges of the laundry articles are spread apart by the force of the exhausted air from said suction means and wrinkles and folds in the laundry articles are removed.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,976,625 3/196-1 Bazelmans 382 3,136,081 6/1964 Fredholm 382 X 3,231,267 1/1966 Boam et al 382 X 3,259,288 7/1966 Wassermann 226 .195 X 3,315,385 4/1967 Taylor 38- 143 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.

G. V. LARKIN, Assistant Examiner.

US3386192A 1966-02-07 1966-02-07 Equipment for feeding laundry to flatwork ironer Expired - Lifetime US3386192A (en)

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3474553A (en) * 1967-01-06 1969-10-28 Sheetmaster Corp Fabric spreading and feeding machine
US3483645A (en) * 1968-11-01 1969-12-16 Montecito Mfg Co Ironing machine for flatwork
US3504452A (en) * 1968-03-28 1970-04-07 Sheetmaster Corp Multilane spreader
US4967495A (en) * 1988-06-03 1990-11-06 Weir Henry J Vacuum feed system for feeding laundry articles onto a conveyor

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2976625A (en) * 1957-11-01 1961-03-28 Wilhelmus J C M Bazelmans Devices for removing creases from individual pieces of fabric by means of a current of air
US3136081A (en) * 1961-03-27 1964-06-09 Fredholm Gunnar Ivar Sheet spreading and feeding apparatus
US3231267A (en) * 1962-12-20 1966-01-25 Manlove Alliott & Co Ltd Feeding device for ironing machines
US3259288A (en) * 1964-03-09 1966-07-05 Datamark Inc Vacuum tensioning of paper in a high speed printer
US3315385A (en) * 1963-11-26 1967-04-25 Manlove Alliott & Co Ltd Feeding of laundry flatwork

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2976625A (en) * 1957-11-01 1961-03-28 Wilhelmus J C M Bazelmans Devices for removing creases from individual pieces of fabric by means of a current of air
US3136081A (en) * 1961-03-27 1964-06-09 Fredholm Gunnar Ivar Sheet spreading and feeding apparatus
US3231267A (en) * 1962-12-20 1966-01-25 Manlove Alliott & Co Ltd Feeding device for ironing machines
US3315385A (en) * 1963-11-26 1967-04-25 Manlove Alliott & Co Ltd Feeding of laundry flatwork
US3259288A (en) * 1964-03-09 1966-07-05 Datamark Inc Vacuum tensioning of paper in a high speed printer

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3474553A (en) * 1967-01-06 1969-10-28 Sheetmaster Corp Fabric spreading and feeding machine
US3504452A (en) * 1968-03-28 1970-04-07 Sheetmaster Corp Multilane spreader
US3483645A (en) * 1968-11-01 1969-12-16 Montecito Mfg Co Ironing machine for flatwork
US4967495A (en) * 1988-06-03 1990-11-06 Weir Henry J Vacuum feed system for feeding laundry articles onto a conveyor

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