US3419199A - Shirt folding machine and method - Google Patents

Shirt folding machine and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US3419199A
US3419199A US38200764A US3419199A US 3419199 A US3419199 A US 3419199A US 38200764 A US38200764 A US 38200764A US 3419199 A US3419199 A US 3419199A
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Prior art keywords
folding
shirt
tail
sleeve
collar
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Frank C Lornitzo
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Ametek Inc
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Ametek Inc
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Priority claimed from US3514020D external-priority patent/US3514020A/en
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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
    • D06F89/00Apparatus for folding textile articles with or without stapling
    • D06F89/02Apparatus for folding textile articles with or without stapling of textile articles to be worn, e.g. shirts
    • D06F89/023Apparatus for folding textile articles with or without stapling of textile articles to be worn, e.g. shirts of shirts
    • D06F89/026Details, e.g. collar holders
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F89/00Apparatus for folding textile articles with or without stapling
    • D06F89/02Apparatus for folding textile articles with or without stapling of textile articles to be worn, e.g. shirts
    • D06F89/023Apparatus for folding textile articles with or without stapling of textile articles to be worn, e.g. shirts of shirts

Description

Dec. 31, 1968 F. c LORNlT ZO 3,419,199

SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed July 13, 1964 Sheet of 15 INVENTOR. PEA/V16 C. [Gk/V/IZO BY Am; gm

Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD I Sheet Filed July 13, 1964 INVENTOR. F'Pfl VK C. AaP/v 720 By M4: m

QT GPNEYI Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD sheet Of 15 Filed July 13 1964 Q Q Qfi m N7 mp w .c. M i m P @Q a W f a N\ W 5 @R NY T f L BYmmm Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Sheet 4 of 15 Filed July 13, 1964 INVENTOR. Fwd/VA c, ZOAVV/TZO BY Mm m Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO 3,419,199

SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed July 13, 1964 Sheet 5 of 15 INVENTOR. IP/9 C. ZOE/0720 BY wim a rrohygnvs Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO 3,419,199

SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed July 13, 1964 Sheet 6 r of 15 FIG. 5.

| E o n (J; O /4 I I O o I O H a. 224 0? 0Q w". 24/ o M 7 w w i 2 41 J 2/2 ul I I i .1: 1" In l j 4; 10'! 9 A;

INVENTOR. FRANK C. ZOE/10720 BY mm 197' TOE/V5 78 Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO 3,419,199

SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed July 13, 1964 Sheet 7 of 15 BY Wm Dec. 31, 1968 v F. c. LORNITZO 3,419,199

SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed July 13, 1964 Sheet 8 of 15 I I y w i em k c. Z g y/$2 k FIG. ll. H M A214 Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Sheet Filed July 13, 1964 INVENTOR. F7944? C 40/940720 mmm Dec. 31, 1968 Filed July 13, 1964 F. C. LORNITZO SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD fjc FIG. 13.

Sheet /0 of 15 INVENTOR. Fen/v4 c. 4 oolv/rzo BY m4 2m Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO 3,419,199

SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed July 13, 1964 Sheet of 15 FIG. I5.

9 fir FIG. {6.

f6 41 f 17 I4 114 INVENTOR. J4 man/k c zae/v/rza BY mi Mm Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO 3,419,199

SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed July 13, 1964 FIGZI.

INVENTOR. Fkfl/Vk C. 40/90/720 m4 tam-M ,0 TI'OEMEYS Dec. 31, 1968 F. c LORNITZO SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Sheet Filed July 13, 1964 xtlpt a.

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Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Sheet Filed July 13, 1964 mar/4 Dec. 31, 1968 F. c. LORNITZO SHIRT-FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Sheet Filed July 13, 1964 INVENTOR. Fen/we c. (oz W United States Patent 3,419,199 SHIRT FOLDING MACHINE AND METHOD Frank C. Lornitzo, Pawtucket, R.I., assignor to Ametek, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 13, 1964, Ser. No. 382,007 28 Claims. (Cl. 223-37) The present invention relates generally to garmenthandling apparatus and methods, and in particu ar to a machine for folding shirts of the type including a collar, a shirt body and sleeves and to an improved method for folding such shirts.

Numerous machines and methods have been available for the manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic folding of shirts after laundering. However, such machines have not been found to meet the practical day to day requirements imposed under actual operating conditions in commercial laundry and cleaning establishments. Optimally, a shirt-folding machine should be able to handle, without the need for adjustment, shirts ranging from size 14 to size 18, materials ranging from lightweight dress shirt fabrics to heavyweight work shirt fabrics, and styles ranging from conventional dress shirts to sport shirts, to heavy work shirts and to formal dress shirts. The situation is somewhat more complicated in that the intermix of shirt sizes and styles also involves an intermix of sleeve lengths and sleeve types, including short sleeves, conventional barrel culf sleeves, and French cuffs. Folding of the aforesaid random intermixture of shirt sizes, styles and types must be accomplished under conditions wherein the resulting package is neat and attractive and is relatively compact such that it can be banded, taped or bagged, with the overriding requirement that the folding not crease or distort the shirt such that it will retain its press for use by the wearer. From the standpoint of operation in a laundry, it is important that the machine be capable of being loaded by a relatively inexperienced operator such that practically any available worker can be assigned the task of operating the shirt-folding machine, with reasonable assurance that there is no likelihood of malfunctioning of the machine and possible damage to the shirt and/or the operator. Preferably, such relatively unskilled operator should be able to load the machine in a comparatively short period of time, without the need to remain in constant attendance as the machine goes through its automatic shirt-folding cycle. This enables the operator to perform another task, such as loading a companion unit, while the machine goes through its cycle.

Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provice a shirt-folding machine and methods which realize one or more of the aforesaid objectives. Specifically, it is within the contemplation of the present invention to provide a machine and methods for folding shirts of varying sizes, styles, and materials on a mass production basis, while employing relatively unskilled operators requiring minimal manual dexterity. Advantageously, such machine and method produces a well folded shirt of a neat and attractive appearance which is substantially wrinkle free when unfolded.

In accordance with apparatus aspects of the present invention, there is provided a machine for folding a shirt of the type including a collar, a shirt body having a tail portion and sleeves which comprise a support having a body form mounted thereon. The body form has a leading edge and opposite side edges and is adapted to receive a shirt board, as of cardboard, about which the shirt is folded. A collar clamp is mounted for movement between a loading position-spaced from the body form to a clamping position overlying the body form wherein the collar 3,419,199 Patented Dec. 31, 1968 ice clamp is engaged within the collar of the shirt when the latter is draped over the body form with the collar facing upwardly. A tail-folding bar is mounted for movement from a retracted position spaced below the body form through a tail-folding sequence to a tail-folding position wherein the tail-folding bar moves beneath the body form and folds the shirt body about the leading edge of the body form, with the tail portion thereof folded beneath the body form. Tail-clamping means are arranged beneath the body form and are operable in response to movement of the tail-folding bar to clamp the folded tail portion against the body form. First and second sleeve-folding arms are disposed in clearance positions at opposite sides of the body form and spaced respectively from the adjacent side edges thereof. First and second body-folding arms are disposed in draping positions at opposite sides of the body form and respectively arranged intermediate the adjacent side edge and the adjacent sleeve-folding arm. The sleeves of the shirt are adapted to be draped over the body-folding arms and extend downwardly between the adjacent body-folding and sleeve-folding arms. The sleeve-folding arms are mounted for movement through respective sleeve-folding sequences from the clearance positions to sleeve-folding positions beneath the body form, with the sleeves being respectively folded about the body-folding arms. Provision is made for moving the tail-folding bar through the tail-folding sequence, followed by the movement of the s eevefolding arms through the respective sleeve-folding sequences into the sleeve-folding positions after the tail-folding bar has moved to the retracted position. Provision is made for then moving the body-folding arms from the draping positions to body-folding positions beneath the body form, with the opposite side portions of the shirt body and the folded tail portion being folded about the opposite side edges of the body form. The body-folding arms are placed into operation only after the sleeve-folding arms have moved through their respective sleeve-folding sequences, into the sleeve-folding positions.

As a further feature of the invention, and when the machine is to be used in conjunction with short sleeve shirts, respective manually operable sleeve-folding means are provided which are engageable beneath the bodyfolding arms for folding the short sleeves about the bodyfolding arms in advance of automatic operation of the machine. Accordingly, when the random shirt assortment presents a short sleeve shirt to the machine operator, all the operator need do is manipulate the additional manually operable sleeve-folding means to fold the short sleeves in a preliminary step as part of the loading and draping of the shirt. When the machine is then placed into automatic operation, the automatically operable sleeve-folding means will move through the sleeve folding sequence as if a long sleeve shirt were present in the machine, but will not engage the short sleeves. If the random selection next presents a long sleeve shirt, the operator is not required to manually operate the sleeve-folding means for the short sleeves'which remain in their retracted clearance positions and the machine will go through a normal long sleeve shirt-folding cycle, as previously described.

Other apparatus features of the present invention include provision of a collar-clamping mechanism which holds the shirt during the folding operations and extends and shapes the collar incident thereto; anti-whip mechanisms which find particular application in the handling of long sleeve shirts, principally those including French cuffs to assure neat and wrinkle-free folding; a shirt-front clamping mechanism which engages the front strip of the shirt to avoid buckling and to further contribute to a neat folded package and a corresponding wrinkle free shirt for the wearer; and diverse other mechanical innovations which will become apparent as the description proceeds.

In accordance with method aspects of the present invention, a long sleeve shirt is folded by draping the shirt over an elongated board and auxiliary supports disposed at the opposite sides thereof, with the tail portion depending from one end of the board, the opposite side portions of the shirt body overlying the auxiliary supports and the long sleeves depending from the outer edges of the auxiliary supports. This initial draping step is followed by the folding of the tail portion beneath the board and the auxiliary supports and about a transverse fold line coextensive with said one end of the board. After folding of the tail portion, the long sleeves are folded about the outer edges of the auxiliary supports. As a final step, the opposite side portions of the shirt body are folded beneath the board and about spaced longitudinal fold lines substantially coextensive with the opposite sides of the board. Thereupon, the folded shirt may be bagged and or handed in accordance with techniques which are generally understood.

In accordance with further method aspects of the present invention, a short sleeve shirt is draped in substantially the same manner but such short sleeves are folded about the outer edges of the auxiliary support, preliminary to folding the tail portion and of the opposite side portions of the shirt body as previously described.

The above brief description, as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be best appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of a presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention, and methods for folding of long and short sleeve shirts, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shirt-folding machine embodying features of the present invention, shown in advance of loading and with the several folding members in their respective starting positions;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view similar to FIG. 1 but on a somewhat reduced scale showing the shirt-folding machine having a shirt draped thereon, with the collar clamped and after the tail portion of the shirt has been folded beneath the body form and bodyfolding arms and preliminary to the sleeve-folding sequence;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the shirt-folding cycle advanced to the point Where the sleeve-folding arms have almost completed a sleevefolding sequence during which the sleeves are folded about the outer edges of the body-folding arms and beneath the folded tail portion;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 3, but showing the shirt-folded cycle advanced to the point where the shirt is almost folded, with the body-folded arms illustrated in an intermediate position during the body-folding sequence. N

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the shirt-folding machine, shown on an enlarged scale, with parts broken away and including a fragmentary showing of a shirt cardboard on the body form;

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the present shirtfolding machine, with parts broken away and with the dot-dash arrowed lined showing the respective paths of movement of the operative edges of the sleeve-folding arms and the body-folding arms;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially along the lines 7 7 of FIG. 5 and look in the direction of the arrows, with parts broken away and sectioned, showing constructional details including the manually operable auxiliary sleeve-folding mechanisms used for the preliminary folding of the short sleeve shirts;

FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view of the shirt-folding machine, showing the details of the pneumatically-controlled actuating and sequencing mechanisms;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary rear elevational view, with parts broken away and on an enlarged scale, showing the respective actuating mechanisms for the sleeve-folding arms and the body-folding arms, said arms being shown by the dotted lines and the mechanisms and the arms being illustrated in the starting position corresponding to FIGS. 1 and 8;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary rear elevational view similar to FIG. 9, but showing the mechanisms in an intermediate position during the movement of the sleeve-folding arms through the sleeve-folding sequence, the intermediate position of the sleeve-folding arms being shown by the dotted lines;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary rear elevational view similar to FIG. 10 showing the mechanisms in an intermediate position during the body-folding sequence, with the bodyfolding arms being shown by the dotted lines and in the corresponding intermediate position;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary rear elevational view similar to FIG. 9, but showing the mechanisms at the end of the shirt-folding sequence, with the respective sleeve-folding arms and the body-folding arms in their operative positions;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary plan view showing the details of the collar-clamping mechanism which is illustrated in the retracted or loading position removed from the body form;

FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of the collar-clamping mechanism shown in the retracted or loading position, with parts broken away and sectioned, a shirt being draped on the body form and the tail-folding bar being shown during the tail-folding sequence solely for the purpose of illustration;

FIG. 15 is a plan view similar to FIG. 13, but showing an expanded position for the three collar-clamping jaws;

FIG. 16 is a view similar to FIG. 14, showing the expanded collar-clamping jaws in engagement with the collar of the shirt and the button clamp in engagement with the button strip thereof;

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary plan view of a shirt loaded in the machine and having the three collar-clamping jaws received Within the neck band thereof prior to expansion and clamping of the shirt collar;

FIG. 18 is a view similar to FIG. 17, but showing the collar-clamping jaws after expansion and in the collarclamping position wherein the jaws distend and shape the collar;

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary plan view, with parts broken away and sectioned, showing the details of the manually operable machine control illustrated with the starting handle in a neutral position;

FIG. 20 is a view similar to FIG. 19, but showing the starting handle in the operating or running position for the machine;

FIG. 21 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a short sleeve shirt draped over one of the body-folding arms, with the auxiliary manually-operable sleeve-folding arms in position to drape and fold the sleeve about the adjacent body-folding arm;

FIGS. 22A and 2213 together comprise a schematic and diagrammatic showing of the controlling and actuating mechanisms for the present shirt-folding machines;

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a modified anti-whip arrangement which may be incorporated in the present machine, with the full line showing of the shirt sleeve illustrating a typical loaded position for a French cuff shirt and the dotted line shown illustrating a typical loaded position for a conventional barrel cutf shirt; and,

FIG. 24 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 2424 of FIG. 23 and looking in the direction of the arrows.

Preliminary reference will first be made to FIGS. 1 to 6 inclusive for a general description of a shirt-folding machine 30 demonstrating features of the present invention to facilitate a better understanding of the subsequent (le tailed description. The shirt-forming machine 30 includes a frame or housing 32 which supports and receives the various actuating and control mechanisms. Projecting forwardly from the upstanding main wall 34 of the main housing 32a is an elongated rectangular and substantially horizontal body form 36 having a leading end edge 36a and opposite side edges 36b, 36c, the leading end edge 36a being cut away at 36d. The body form 36 is adapted to support a shirt insert or board, such as the cardboard B shown in FIG. 5.

Disposed at opposite sides of the body form 36 in substantial coplanar relation therewith are first and second body-folding members or arms 38, 40. As seen in FIG. 5, the body folding arms 38, 40 each have a leading end edge 38a, 40a in spaced end to end alignment with the leading end edge 36:: of the body form 36 and respective outer side edges 38b, 40b. As seen in FIG. 2, the shirt S is draped over the body form 36 and the body-folding arms 38, 40, with the collar facing upwardly, the button hole and button strips superposed as if the shirt were buttoned, the tail portion depending from the aligned leading edges 36a, 38a, 40a, and the sleeves depending from the outer side edges 38b, 40b of the side-folding arms 38, 40. The FIG. 2 showing is of the shirt S after the tail portion thereof has been folded beneath the body form 36 and beneath the auxiliary supports provided by the bodyfolding arms 38, 40.

Disposed outwardly of the body-folding arms 38, 40 is a main or first set of sleeve-folding arms, 42, 44 which are normally disposed in respective clearance positions such that the sleeves of a long sleeve shirt may be draped in the path of movement thereof for folding, as shown in FIG. 2. Arranged outwardly of the respective sleeve-folding arms 42, 44 is an auxiliary or second set of sleevefolding arms 46, 48 which may be manually operated when it becomes necessary to fold a short sleeve shirt, as will be subsequently described in conjunction with FIG. 21. The showing of the auxiliary or short sleeve-folding arms 46, 48 has been eliminated from the progressive illustrations of FIGS. 2 to 4 inclusive to simplify the drawmgs.

Disposed below and somewhat forwardly of the body form 36 is a tail-folding bar 50 which is operable to fold or tuck the depending tail portion of the shirt body beneath the aligned body form 36 and body-folding arms 38, 40, with the tail-folding bar 50 having a movable leading edge 50a cooperating with the aligned stationary leading edges 36a, 38a, 40a to fold the tail porton about such stationary leading edges.

Extending above the body form 36 is a collar distending and clamping mechanism 52 which is movable from a loading position (shown in FIG. 1) to an operative position (shown in FIGS. 2 to 5) inclusive wherein the spreadable jaws thereof are engaged within the neck band of the collar of the shirt to shape the collar and hold the shirt for the draping and folding operations, which will now be generally described.

As previously indicated, the shirt S is draped over the stationary body form 36 and the substantially coplanar movable body-folding arms 38, 40 substantially in the condition shown in FIG. 2, except that the tail portion thereof depends from the aligned leading edges 36a, 38a, 40a. Thereupon, the tail-folding bar 50 is swung through a tail-folding sequence from the retracted position (illustrated in FIGS. 2 to 5 inclusive) through an upwardly directed are into a tail-folding position beneath the body form 36 and the body-folding arms 38, 40. The upward and return strokes of the tail-folding bar 50 during the tailfolding sequence illustrated schematically by the directional arrows in FIG. 2, while an intermediate position of the tail-folding bar is shown in FIG. 14. As will subsequently be described, provision is made for clamping the folded tail portion beneath the body form 36 and the body-folding arms 38, 40 such that the tail-folding bar 50 may be withdrawn to the retracted position. Thereupon the first and second sleeve-folding arms 42, 44 are moved from the respective clearance positions shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 through corresponding inward sweeps or strokes into superposed sleeve-folding positions illustrated in FIG. 3. As may be appreciated by progressively inspecting FIGS. 2 and 3, the second or right sleeve-folding arm 44 leads the first or left sleeve-folding arm 42 during the sleevefolding sequence to avoid interference therebetween and to successively fold the sleeves beneath the folded tail portion. Following the sleeve-folding sequence for the illustrated long sleeve shirt, the first and second bodyfolding arms 38, 40 move from the draping positions illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3 inclusive through respective inward sweeps or strokes-into the body-folding positions beneath the body form 36, as may be appreciated by progressively inspecting FIGS. 3 and 4. The second or right body-folding arm 40 leads the first or left body-folding arm 38 during the body-folding sequence to successively fold the opposite side portions of the shirt body about the opposite side edges 36b, 36c of the body form 36. At the end of the folding machine cycle, and as subsequently will be described, provision is made to partially relieve the bearing pressure between the several folding members 38, 40, 42, 44 and the body form 36 and to automatically retract the collar-clamping mechanism 52 to enable the withdrawal of the folded shirt S and the board B wrapped therein from the body form 36. Such withdrawal is accomplished by the operator grasping the end of the folded shirt immediately adjacent the operators position in the region of the cut-out 36d and pulling the folded shirt toward the operator whereupon the same slips off of the body form or mandrel 36. Having generally described the basic components of the present machine to facilitate a general understanding of a number of the related functions thereof, there now follows a detailed description of the illustrated mechanisms.

As best seen in FIGS. 13 to 16, the body form 36 includes a right angle extension 3612 at its rearward end which is secured to the upstanding main wall 34 of the machine support or frame 32. In this illustrative embodiment, the body form 36 extends substantially horizontally and at right angles to the wall 34. In some instances, it has been found desirable to impart a slight upward pitch to the body form from the mounted end 36c to the leading edge 36a since such inclination may result in a more perfect folding action. Further, and as seen best in FIG. 6, the body form 36 is bowed upwardly between the opposite side edges 36b, 360 such that the holding action of the folding members 38, 40, 42, 44 will be exerted only contiguous to the opposite side edges 36b, 360. This has been found to facilitate the withdrawal of the folded shirt or package from the body form or mandrel 36 and to contribute to a better folding action. Contiguous to its rearward end, the body form 36 is provided with left and right corner stops 36f, 36g which positions the shirt cardboard B in relation to the body-form for the folding of the shirt S thereabout.

Disposed beneath the body form 36 is a tail clamp 54 which is normally disposed in an open position to receive the folded tail portion of the shirt as the tail-folding bar 50 moves through its upward and forward stroke. The tail clamp 54 is movable under control of a clamp-actuating piston and cylinder assembly 56 into a clamping position bearing upwardly against the body form 36 and the interposed folded tail portion of the shirt S (see FIG. 16) in response to movement of the tail-folding bar into the tail-folding position. The tail clamp 54 includes a clamp body 54a underlying the body form 36 and shaped to conform generally thereto which is pivotally mounted by a rearwardly directed mounting arm 54b and :hinge 54c interconnected between the arm 54b and the body form 36. The clamp-actuating piston and cylinder assembly 56 includes a piston 56a which is operable to swing the clamp body 54a in the counterclockwise direction about the hinge 540 to close the clamp 54 at the appropriate time during the shirt-folding cycle after the tail-folding sequence.

As seen in FIGS. 1, and 6, the body-folding arms 38, are of identical construction and are mirror images of each other. Accordingly, it will suffice to describe only one in detail, with like reference numerals being applied to the other. The first or left body-folding arm 38 includes a pivot shaft 380 which is journalled on the upstanding main wall 34 and carries a laterally and outwardly projecting mounting arm 380. which supports a forwardly projecting main section 382. Overlying the main section 386 is a resilient hold-down finger 38 which is adapted to have the adjacent side portion of the shirt body slip therebeneath. Projecting outwardly and downwardly from the main section 38c is a lateral extension 38g which terminates in the outer side edge 38]) about which the corresponding sleeve is folded. The inner side edge of the main section 38a is relieved away at 3811 such that the body-folding arm 38 will not interfere with unloading (which is accomplished by grasping the multiple plies of the shirt overlying and underlying the cutout 36d), as may be appreciated by comparing the full and broken line showings in FIG. 5. Extending forwardly from the main section 388 inwardly of the cut-out 3811 is a spring-like finger 38j which has a terminal end aligned with the leading edges 36a, 38a, 40a. The finger 38f contributes to defining an unbroken leading edge about which the shirt tail may be folded, yet does not interfere with the ultimate withdrawal of the shirt S 'from the body form 36, as likewise may be appreciated by inspecting the full and broken line showings in FIG. 5.

Underlying the body-folding arm 38 is a tail clamp 58 which includes (see FIG. 7) a clamp body 58a extending beneath the main section 382, a rearwardly projecting arm 58b and a pivot 58c on the mounting arm 38d of the body-forming arm 38. The clamp body 58a. is formed with upwardly directed teeth 58d which are engaged through a cut-out in the tail-folding bar to grip the folded tail portion against the underside of the body-folding arm 38. A clamp-actuating piston and cylinder assembly is mounted on the arm 38d, with the piston 60a thereof depending into engagement with the rearwardly projecting arm 58b of the tailclamp 58. An identical tail clamp 52 and clamp'actuating piston and cylinder assembly 64 is mounted on the second right body-folding arm 40 for movement therewith. As seen best in FIG. 6, flexible air lines are connected to the respective clamp-actuating means 56, 60, 64 associated with the three tail clamps 54, 58, 62.

The left and right main sleeve-folding arms 42, 44 are of identical construction and are mirror images of each other. Accordingly, it will suffice to describe only one of the sleeve-folding arms, with identical reference numerals being applicable to the other. The first or left sleeve folding arm 42 (see FIGS. 1, 5 and 6) includes a substantially U-shaped main section 42a mounted on an inwardly directed arm 42b connected to a pivot 42c journalled on the main wall 34 outwardly of and above the pivot 38c. The arm 42!) is shaped to appropriately position the U-shaped main section 42a in a clearance position outwardly of the adjacent sleeve of the shirt. The spaced fingers of the U-shaped section 42a contact the sleeve at spaced apart transverse locations (see FIG. 3) to sweep the sleeve inwardly and beneath the body form 36, with the outer finger moving into bearing relation with the body form 36 contiguous to the edge 56c thereof (see FIG. 6). A stop 66 is positioned to abut the arm 42b of the main sleevefolding arm 42 and a similar stop 68 is provided for the sleeve-folding arm 44. The stops 66, 68 may be adjustable to establish the outer limits of the arcuate travel of the respective sleevefolding arms 42, 44.

Since the auxiliary or short sleeve-folding arms 46, 48 are manually engaged and do not participate directly in the automatic shirt-foldin cycle, detailed description of such folding members and their use will be deferred.

The tail-folding bar 50 (see FIG. 1) is of U-shaped configuration and has respective body segments constructed and arranged to sweep beneath the body form 36 and the body-folding arms 38, 40 in substantially uniform wiping relation thereto to thereby provide a sharp fold of the tail portion of the shirt S about the aligned leading edges 36a, 38a and 58a. Specifically, the tailfolding bar 5i) extends from side-to-side of the machine and has a medial body segment 50b which is of a curvature to conform to the bowing of the body form 36 and angled side body segments 50c, 50d inclined to cooperate with the correspondingly inclined body-folding arms 38, 40. The side body segments 50c, 50d are notched at Stle, 50 to provide clearance for the respective gripping fingers or serrations on the tail clamps 58, 62 which take over and hold the folded tail portion as the tail-forming bar 50 is retracted.

The tailfolding bar 5t includes rearwardly directed mounting arms 50g, 5011, which are secured to the opposite ends of the body 53!), Silo, 50d and are secured at their rearward ends to the tail-bar shaft 70. As seen best in FIGS. 1 and 5 to 7 inclusive, the tail-bar shaft 7) extends from side-to-side of the machine between the opposite side housings 32b, 320. The tail-bar shaft has its opposite ends journalled on appropriate bearings, such as shown in the left side housing 32b (see FIG. 6). Thus, the tail-folding oar 50 is mounted for arcuate movement from the retracted position (see FIG. 1) through the operative stroke of the tail-folding sequence to the tail-folding position (see FIG. 14) in response to turning movement being imparted to the tailbar shaft 76. As seen best in FIG. 7 rocking motion is imparted to the tail-bar shaft 70 by a tail-bar actuating piston and cylinder assembly 74 which includes a cylinder 74a pivoted on the support or housing 32 at 74b. The assembly 74 has its piston 74c pivotally connected to a crank arm 76 which is secured to and projects rearwardly from the tail-bar shaft 70. As air is admitted into the pressure side of the piston and cylinder assembly 74, the cylinder 74a rocks the pivot 74b and the piston 74c moves through its operative stroke to swing the crank arm 76 in the clockwise direction which brings about a corresponding turning movement of the tailfolding bar 50 through an upward and clockwise are about the shaft 70 from the retracted position to the tailfolding position, as previously described and shown by the dot-dash lines in FIG. 7. The tail-folding bar 50 is returned to its retracted position by internal spring 74d within the cylinder 74a (see PEG. 2213), with the return bias being supplemented by a return spring 78 which is coupled to the crank arm 76 and is mounted on the support 32.

The rocking motion of the cylinder 74a and the extension of the piston rod 740 are employed to initiate several control functions in the shirt-folding cycle, as will be described in detail in connection with FIGS. 22A, 22B. For the present purposes, it will suffice to observe that the motion of the piston and cylinder assembly 74 from the full line position to the broken line position illustrated in FIG. 7 is operable to actuate a self-locking pilot-operated valve 80, a valve-porting cylinder and piston assembly 82 (shown in FIG. 22B) and a sequencing valve 84. Since these elements are conventional and well known pneumatically-operated devices, their detail description will be dispensed with in the interests of brevity. Specifically, a valve-operating member 86 is pivotally mounted on an appropriate support at 86a and is coupled by link 88 to the crank arm 76 via a lost motion connection which includes a pin 90 on the crank arm 76 riding within an elongated slot 88a in the coupling link 88. The pin-andslot of the lost motion connection are arranged, as may be best appreciated by inspecting the full and broken line showings in FIG. 7, to rock the valve-operating member 86 in the counterclockwise direction about its pivot 86a at the end of the operative stroke of the tail-folding bar 50 to actuate the self-locking, pilot-operated valve 80 by depressing the valve actuator 80a. The sequencing valve 84 is normally held open by the cylinder 74a of the assembly 74, is closed in response to movement of the cylinder from the full line position to the broken line position, and is reopened as the cylinder 74a returns to the full line position werein the shirt-folding bar 50 is in its retracted position. Upon restoration of the cylinder 74a to the normal position, the sequencing valve 84 is effective to initiate the next phase of the shirt-folding cycle, as will be subsequently described. Appropriate adjustable stops are associated with the tail-folding mechanism to permit ad justment of the normal and/or retracted positions, the operative stroke, and the like.

Reference will now be made to FIGS. 13 to 18 inclu sive for a description of the collar-clamping mechanism 52 which distends, shapes and clamps the collar of the shirt and includes a manually movable clamp carrier 92 mounted on a frame for movement into and out of the clamping position. Specifically, the clamp carrier 92 is pivotally mounted on the upstanding wall 34 by hinges 94, 96 and carries three collar-clamping jaws 98, 100, and 102. With the carrier in the depressed clamping position, the collar-clamping jaws 98, 100, 102 are mounted for movement from a retracted position relative to each other (see FIGS. 14 and 17) to an extended clamping position (see FIGS. 15, 16 and 18). As seen best in FIGS. 17 and 18, the side by side collar-clamping jaws 98, 100 have profiled forming faces 98a, 100a which engage the neckband of the collar at the opposite sides and rear of the collar, while the collar-clamping jaw 102 has a profile-forming face 102a which engages the neckband of the collar at the opposite side-s of the collar button. The clamping jaws 98, 100 extend to the opposite sides of a line of symmetry through the collar from the collar button to the rear edge thereof, while the clamping jaw 102 has symmetrical sections on the opposite sides of such line of symmetry. Appropriate heaters, such as the heater 104 associated with the jaw 98, are mounted within the respective collarclamping jaws for maintaining the jaws at an elevated temperature during operation of the machine for heating the collars during distending, shaping and clamping thereof. The actuating mechanisms associated with the collarclamping jaws 90, 100, 102 are arranged such that the side by side jaws 90, 100 move at right angles to the line of symmetry and away from each other into their respective clamping positions, followed by the movement of the clamping jaw 102 along the line of symmetry into its expanded clamping position. As the jaws move from the retracted positions (illustrated in FIG. 17) to the expanded clamping positions (illustrated in FIG. 18), the jaw projections 98b, 100b, 10212 extend over the collar and the profiled forming faces 98a, 100a, 102a engage the neckband for the shaping and clamping functions. In the illustrative arrangement, the collar-clamping jaws are configurated to provide a so-called sleeping collar, that is one wherein the collar tends to lie downwardly against the folded shirt. However, with minor modification, it is possible to adapt the instant machine to provide a so-called stand-up collar wherein the rear of the collar extends at an angle to the folded shirt.

Reference will be made to FIGS. 13 to 16 inclusive for a detailed description of the pneumatically-controlled actuating mechanisms for spreading and retracting the respective collar-clamping jaws 98, 100, 102. The pivoted clamp carrier 92 is seen to include a cross head 92a at its forward end which is provided with aligned transversely extending slots 92b, 92c. Lying beneath the slot 92b and the adjacent end of the cross head 92a is the collar-clamping jaw 98 which is suspended for transverse movement by the provision of a headed mounting bolt 98:: and an actuating pin 98d. In a similar fashion, the collar-clamping jaw is suspended beneath the opposite end of the cross head 92a by the headed mounting bolt 100a and the actuating pin 100d. Further, the clamp carrier 92 includes a forwardly projecting extension 92d which is formed with a longitudinal slot 92e which serves to suspend the collarclamping jaw 102 for movement along a path at right angles to the paths of movement of the jaws 98, 100.

Overlying the clamp carrier 92 is a ram member 106 which is slidable lengthwise of the clamp carrier 92 and extends medially thereof. The ram member 106 includes an enlarged head 10611 at the rearward end thereof and a forwardly directed bar 106b which terminates in upstanding ears 1060, 106d. The bar 10Gb intermediate the ears 1060, 106d carries a pair of depending mounting studs 106e, 106 (see FIG. 14) which project downwardly through the longitudinal slot 922 in the extension 92d and serve to suspend the collar-clamping jaw 102 for movement and to actuate the same, as will be subsequently described.

Disposed at the opposite sides of the ram member 106 are respective actuating arms 108, for the collarclamping jaws 98, 100 which are mounted at arm pivots 108a, 110a for rocking movement in coplanar relation towards and away from each other. At their inner sides, the actuating arms 108, 110 carry follower rollers 108b, 1101) which are respectively engaged by cams 106g, 106k arranged symmetrically on the rearward head 106a of the ram member 106. A spring 112 engages the actuating arms 108, 110 to bias the follower rollers 108b, 110 b into engagement with the respective cams 106g, 106k. The cams 106g, 106h are arranged to rapidly spread the collarclamping jaws 98, 100 as the ram member 106 is moved through its operative or forward stroke, that is from the illustrated position in FIGS. 13 and 14 to the right and into the illustrated positions in FIGS. 15 and 16. Simultaneous with the spreading of the jaws 98, 100, the jaw 102 is thrust forwardly in that it is directly connected to the ram member 106, but the mechanisms are arranged such that the jaws 98, 100 engage the opposite sides and rear of the collar prior to engagement of the jaw 102 with the collar in the region contiguous to the collar button at the forward side of the neckband.

Operatively connected to the ram member 106 is a collar clamp-actuating piston and cylinder assembly 114 which includes a cylinder 114a pivotally mounted at 1141) on an upstanding supporting plate 116. The piston rod 1140 of the assembly 114 is connected via a cross pin 114d to the upstanding ears 1060, 106d of the ram member 106. The cross pin 114d is confined within an elongated slot formed in the ears 1060, 106d.

Underlying the piston and cylinder assembly 114 is a clamp activating valve 118 which is mounted on the upstanding wall 34 and the mounting plate 116 and is connected to a source of air under pressure, as will be described in connection with FIGS. 22A and 22B. Depending from the cylinder 1140 at the pressure end thereof is a coupling elbow 114-f which moves into engagement with the clamp-activating valve 118' to open the same and'to connect the pressure side of the cylinder 114a to the source of air under pressure in response to movement of the clamp carrier and the piston and cylinder assembly 114 from the retracted or loading position (illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14) to the clamping or operative position (illustrated in FIGS. 15 and 16). Thus, air is automatically connected to the pressure side of the cylinder 114a which will drive the piston head (not shown) and the piston rod 11 40 through its operative stroke to impart a corresponding forward thrust to the ram member 106 for spreading the collar-clamping jaws 98, 100 and 102. The pressure side of the cylinder 114a is connected via an elbow 114g and a fiexible tube 114h to a collar clamp-exhaust 120 (seen in FIG. 22B) which ports the collar clamp-actuating piston and cylinder assembly 114 to the atmosphere at the appropriate time during the machine c-ycle.

Claims (1)

1. A MACHINE FOR FOLDING A SHIRT INCLUDING A COLLAR, A SHIRT BODY HAVING A TAIL PORTION AND SLEEVES COMPRISING A SUPPORT, A BODY FORM ON SAID SUPPORT HAVING A LEADING EDGE AND OPPOSITE SIDES EDGES AND ADAPTED AND TO RECEIVE A BOARD THEREIN OVER WHICH SAID SHIRT IS DRAPED WITH THE COLLAR FACING UPWARDLY AND ABOUT WHICH SAID SHIRT IS FOLDED, TAIL-FOLDING MEANS, MEANS MOUNTING SAID TAIL-FOLDING MEANS FOR MOVEMENT THROUGH A TAIL-FOLDING SEQUENCE FROM A RETRACTED POSITION TO A TAIL-FOLDING POSITION WHEREIN SAID TAIL-FOLDING MEANS FOLDS SAID TAIL PORTION ABOUT SAID LEADING EDGE OF SAID BODY FORM, FIRST AND SECOND SLEEVE-FOLDING MEANS DISPOSED IN CLEARANCE POSITIONS AT OPPOSITE SIDES OF SAID BODY FORM AND SPACED OUTWARDLY FROM THE SIDE EDGES THEREOF, FIRST AND SECOND BODY-FOLDING MEANS DISPOSED IN DRAPING POSITIONS AT OPPOSITE SIDES OF SAID BODY FORM AND RESPECTIVELY ARRANGED INTERMEDIATE THE ADJACENT SIDE EDGE THEREOF AND THE ADJACENT SLEEVEFOLDING MEANS, SAID SLEEVES OF SAID SHIRT BEING ADAPTED TO BE DRAPED OVER SAID BODY-FOLDING MEANS AND EXTENDING DOWNWARDLY BETWEEN THE ADJACENT BODY-FOLDING AND SLEEVE-FOLDING MEANS, MEANS MOUNTING SAID SLEEVE FOLDING MEANS FOR MOVEMENT FROM SAID CLEARANCE POSITIONS TO SLEEVE-FOLDING POSITIONS BENEATH SAID BODY FORM WITH SAID SLEEVES BEING POSITIONS BENEATH SAID BODY SAID BODY-FOLDING MEANS, MEANS OPERABLE IN RESPONSE TO INITIATION OF A SHIRT-FOLDING CYCLE FOR MOVING SAID TAILFOLDING MEANS THROUGH SAID TAIL-FOLDING SEQUENCE, MEANS OPERABLE IN TIMED RELATION TO THE MOVEMENT OF SAID TAILFOLDING MEANS OUT OF SAID TAIL-FOLDING POSITION IN SAID TAILFOLDING SEQUENCE FOR MOVING SAID SLEEVE-FOLDING MEANS INTO SAID SLEEVE-FOLDING POSITION, MEANS MOUNTING SAID BODY-FOLDING MEANS FOR MOVEMENT FROM SAID DRAPING POSITIONS TO BODY-FOLDING POSITIONS BENEATH SAID BODY FORM WITH THE OPPOSITE SIDE PORTIONS OF SAID SHIRT BODY AND SAID FOLDED TAIL PORTION BEING FOLDED ABOUT SAID OPPOSITE SIDE EDGES OF SAID BODY FORM, AND MEANS OPERABLE IN TIMED RELATION TO THE MOVEMENT OF SAID SLEEVE-FOLDING MEANS INTO SAID SLEEVE-FOLDING POSITIONS FOR MOVING SAID BODY-FOLDING MEANS INTO SAID BODY-FOLDING POSITIONS.
US38200764 1964-07-13 1964-07-13 Shirt folding machine and method Expired - Lifetime US3419199A (en)

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US38200764 US3419199A (en) 1964-07-13 1964-07-13 Shirt folding machine and method
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NL6509027A NL6509027A (en) 1964-07-13 1965-07-13
US3514020D US3514020A (en) 1964-07-13 1968-09-10 Collar clamp for shirt-folding machine

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US3869073A (en) * 1973-02-26 1975-03-04 Kannegiesser H Kg A process for folding shirts or similar articles of clothing for packing
US4277005A (en) * 1978-06-15 1981-07-07 Iropa (Textile Accessories) Ltd. Apparatus for folding garments such as shirts
US5417351A (en) * 1993-10-14 1995-05-23 Grosz; Denis Garment folding aid
US5934523A (en) * 1997-07-16 1999-08-10 Southland Equipment Company, Inc. Universal automatic long sleeve folding device
US20100012688A1 (en) * 2006-09-14 2010-01-21 I.S.T. Corporation Folding apparatus
US20120196734A1 (en) * 2009-10-19 2012-08-02 Seven Dreamers Laboratories, Inc. Folding device and folding method
US20120228340A1 (en) * 2009-11-30 2012-09-13 Seven Dreamers Laboratories, Inc. Folding system for fabric product

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US2130733A (en) * 1935-02-09 1938-09-20 Combarette Gervais Benoit Linen folding machine
US2629521A (en) * 1950-09-26 1953-02-24 American Laundry Mach Co Power means for folding shirts
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US3869073A (en) * 1973-02-26 1975-03-04 Kannegiesser H Kg A process for folding shirts or similar articles of clothing for packing
US4277005A (en) * 1978-06-15 1981-07-07 Iropa (Textile Accessories) Ltd. Apparatus for folding garments such as shirts
US5417351A (en) * 1993-10-14 1995-05-23 Grosz; Denis Garment folding aid
US5934523A (en) * 1997-07-16 1999-08-10 Southland Equipment Company, Inc. Universal automatic long sleeve folding device
US20100012688A1 (en) * 2006-09-14 2010-01-21 I.S.T. Corporation Folding apparatus
US8066160B2 (en) * 2006-09-14 2011-11-29 I.S.T. Corporation Folding apparatus
US20120196734A1 (en) * 2009-10-19 2012-08-02 Seven Dreamers Laboratories, Inc. Folding device and folding method
US20120228340A1 (en) * 2009-11-30 2012-09-13 Seven Dreamers Laboratories, Inc. Folding system for fabric product
US8820594B2 (en) * 2009-11-30 2014-09-02 Seven Dreamers Laboratories, Inc. Folding system for fabric product

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
NL6509027A (en) 1966-01-14
DE1460823A1 (en) 1969-04-10

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