US3433187A - Apparatus for automatically producing diapers,towels and the like - Google Patents

Apparatus for automatically producing diapers,towels and the like Download PDF

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Publication number
US3433187A
US3433187A US3433187DA US3433187A US 3433187 A US3433187 A US 3433187A US 3433187D A US3433187D A US 3433187DA US 3433187 A US3433187 A US 3433187A
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Prior art keywords
cloth
work piece
workpiece
support
workpieces
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Henry A Haefele
Orland B Reid
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Singer Co
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Singer Co
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    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D05SEWING; EMBROIDERING; TUFTING
    • D05BSEWING
    • D05B23/00Sewing apparatus or machines not otherwise provided for
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D05SEWING; EMBROIDERING; TUFTING
    • D05BSEWING
    • D05B33/00Devices incorporated in sewing machines for supplying or removing the work
    • D05B33/02Devices incorporated in sewing machines for supplying or removing the work and connected, for synchronous operation, with the work-feeding devices of the sewing machine
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2301/00Handling processes for sheets or webs
    • B65H2301/30Orientation, displacement, position of the handled material
    • B65H2301/34Modifying, selecting, changing direction of displacement
    • B65H2301/341Modifying, selecting, changing direction of displacement without change of plane of displacement
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D05SEWING; EMBROIDERING; TUFTING
    • D05DINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES D05B AND D05C, RELATING TO SEWING, EMBROIDERING AND TUFTING
    • D05D2207/00Use of special elements
    • D05D2207/02Pneumatic or hydraulic devices
    • D05D2207/04Suction or blowing devices
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D05SEWING; EMBROIDERING; TUFTING
    • D05DINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES D05B AND D05C, RELATING TO SEWING, EMBROIDERING AND TUFTING
    • D05D2305/00Operations on the work before or after sewing
    • D05D2305/14Winding or unwinding
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D10INDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBLASSES OF SECTION D, RELATING TO TEXTILES
    • D10BINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBLASSES OF SECTION D, RELATING TO TEXTILES
    • D10B2509/00Medical; Hygiene
    • D10B2509/02Bandages, dressings or absorbent pads
    • D10B2509/026Absorbent pads; Tampons; Laundry; Towels

Description

March 18, 1969 H. A. HAEFELE ETAL 3,433,187 APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY PRODUCING DIAPERS, TOWELS AND THE LIKE Filed July 5, 1967 Sheet of 5 g 9 mm 7 8 w g I [1/ l 3 a) i 8 Q I g #1 N S 8 7 1 VI" a '0 o .2 ID
INVENTORS Henry A. Haefe/e WITNESS Orland 8. Reid' BY TTORNE March 18, 1969. H. A. HAEFELE ETAL 3,433,137
APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY PRODUCING DIAPERS, TOWELS AND THE LIKE Filed July 5. 1967 sheet 3 of s INVENTORS Henry A. Haqfe/e wmvsss Orland 8. Reid W/ m Fig'a w/ rams! March 18, 1969 H, H E ET AL 3,433,187
APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY PRODUCING DIAPERS, TOWELS AND THE LIKE Filed July 5, 1967 v Sheet 3 0f 5 INVENTORS Henry A. Haefele Orland B. Reid AT ..QBNE Y WITNESS March 18. 1969 H. A. HAEFELE ET L 3,433,187
APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY PRODUCING DIAPERS, TOWELS AND THE LIKE Filed July 3, 1967 Sheet INVENTORS Henry A. Haefe/e Orland 5. Re! BY QM .ATIQRMEY WITNESS m r/4422;
March 18, 1969 H. A. HAEFELE ETAL* 3,433,187
APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY PRODUCING DIAPERS, TOWELS AND THE LIKE Filed July 5, 1967 Sheet 5 of 5 INVENTJI K Henry A. Haefgle WITNESS Orland B. Reid United States Patent F 3,433,187 APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY PRODUCING DIAPERS, TOWELS AND THE LIKE Henry A. Haefele, Cedar Grove, and Orland B. Reid, Kenilworth, N.J., assignors to The Singer Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed July 3, 1967, Ser. No. 650,777 U.S. Cl. 112-2 24 Claims Int. Cl. Db 23/00, 27/00, 35/02 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A machine having apparatus for automatically drawing cloth from a roll of cloth, cutting it into sections of predetermined size, sewing a hem along at least one side of the cut cloth section and stacking the sewn cloth sections on a self-adjusting movable platform.
Background of the invention The prior art discloses apparatus for drawing cloth from rolls thereof, cutting the cloth into sections or workpieces, sewing a hem along one side of the work pieces and thereafter stacking the sewn work pieces on a pair of self-adjusting movable side-by-side platforms. Such an apparatus is disclosed in the United States Patent No. 3,126,848, Mar. 31, 1964, J. E. Gastonguay. The United States Patent No. 2,667,132, Jan. 26, 1954, B. C. Golden discloses apparatus for sewing hems along two opposite sides of cut cloth work pieces.
It has been found that the most difiicult step in the production of hemmed Work pieces by apparatus that feeds the work pieces to the sewing machines is guiding the work pieces to the point of stitch formation in such a manner as to produce straight hems. This is particularly diflicult where a hem must be formed on two 0ppositely disposed sides of the work piece. Thus, for example, where it is necessary to form a hem on the two cut sides of a work piece to complete the production of, for example, a towel or diaper, if the work piece enters the hem folding guide just slightly out of alignment or askew in the direction of feed the hem-end edges of the hem plies are disposed so as not to be all perpendicular to the normal hem line. This results in a finished work piece in which the hem ends are unsightly and are susceptible of raveling.
The teachings of the prior art, including the patents cited above, have not adequately solved the problem set forth above.
Summary of the invention The present invention comprises apparatus for conveying cloth work pieces to a sewing machine in such a manner as to produce a stitched hem. The invention includes mechanism for aligning the work pieces between a pair of edge guides preparatory to sewing by the sewing machine to produce properly formed hems for the finished work pieces. The present invention also provides stacking mechanism which receives the finished work pieces and stacks them in a conveniently indexed pile. In addition, the present invention provides mechanism for detecting cloth work pieces having a flaw therein which detecting mechanism thereafter actuates pneumatic apparatus for removing the defective work pieces before they are conveyed to the sewing machines.
The described embodiment of the present invention solves the alignment problem set forth above by providing positioning arms that guide the cloth work pieces into the area between the edge guides. The edge guides are aligned properly to guide the cloth work pieces into the folding guides which fold the margins at each of 3,433,187 Patented Mar. 18, 1969 the cut sides of the cloth work pieces and form two straight parallel hems for sewing.
It is an object of this invention to provide an improved mechanism for aligning cloth work pieces with the stitch forming instrumentalities of sewing machines thereby to produce properly formed hems.
It is another object of this invention to provide improved stacking mechanism for substantially flat articles conveyed thereto.
It is still another object of this invention to provide improved mechanism for detecting and removing from conveying apparatus, cloth work pieces having flaws therein.
Having in mind the above and other objects that will be evident from an understanding of this disclosure, the invention comprises the devices, combinations and arrangements of parts as illustrated in the presently preferred embodiment of the invention which is hereinafter set forth in such detail as to enable those skilled in the art readily to understand the function, operation, construction and advantages of it when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Brief description of the drawing FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of a part of the stacking mechanism of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a plan view, partially broken away, of the cloth work piece alignment and sewing area of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is an elevational view, partly in section, of the cloth work piece positioning arms of the present invention.
FIG. 6 is an elevational view, partly in section, of the cutting and flaw detecting mechanism of the present invention.
FIG. 7 is an elevational view of a part of the stacking mechanism of the present invention.
FIG. 8 is a view taken substantially along line 88 of FIG. 7.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a substantially Lshaped cloth hemming apparatus 10 including a support structure 12 at one end of which is journaled a roll 14 of cloth sheet material 16 which is drawn from the roll 14 by a roller 18 driven by a motor (not shown) and delivered to a scray 20 for cloth accumulation thereon. The scray 20 is conventional and cooperates with an equally conventional measuring apparatus (not shown) to stop the motor for the roller 18 after a predetermined amount of the cloth sheet material 16 has accumulated on the scray.
It is here noted that the electrical and pneumatic components utilized by the present invention are conventional and a description thereof will not be made in this specification except where it is necessary for an understanding of the present invention. An enclosure 22 holds the various terminal boards for the electrical and pneumatic circuits and are connected to sources (not shown) of electrical and pneumatic energy. A control box 24 mounted on the support structure 12 provides the operator with the manually operable switches necessary to start or stop the automatic sequence of operation by which the cloth sheet material 16 is drawn from the roll 14, cut, hemmed and stacked, as described below. A pair of control boxes 25 (only one of which is shown) have mounted thereon, manually operated switches which are connected to provide the operator with a means for running a single cycle of hemming and sewing for test and alignment purposes.
The cloth sheet material 16 is led from the scray 20 to cutter mechanism 26 which includes a vertically movable blade 28 and a fixed ledger blade 30 which cooperate to cut the sheet material 16 into sections of predetermined length. After each length of the sheet material 16 is cut, an index roller 32 (FIG. 6) is rotated sufliciently to move the end of the sheet material a short distance past the plane of the path of the vertically movable blade 28 for a reason which will be explained below.
A fixed bracket unit 34 mounted on the support structure 12 between the cutter mechanism 26 and the support for the driven roller 18 serves to support a plurality, six in this instance, of conventional flaw or hole detector units 36 which point downwardly toward a strip of reflective tape 38 extending transversely of the path of the sheet material 16. From each detector unit 36 there extends a conduit 39 (only one of which is shown) that leads to a flaw detector control unit (not shown). The strip of tape 38 is mounted on an arm 40 that also extends transversely of the path of the sheet material 16.
Mounted forwardly (in the direction of material feed) of the cutter mechanism 26 are a plurality of parallel spaced endless conveyor belts 42 intermittently driven by a motor (not shown). The conveyor belts 42 extend transversely of the direction of feed from the roll 14 of the sheet material. Mounted between the upper and lower leg of one of the conveyor belts 42 on an arm 44 is an angle flawed workpiece deflector 46 (FIG. 6) which extends along substantially the length of the conveyor belt 42. The base leg 48 of the deflector 46 is secured to the arm 44 while the deflector or angled leg 50 extends upwardly and inwardly toward the cutter mechanism, as seen in FIG. 6.
Above the workpiece deflector 46 there is mounted a pair of air nozzles 52 on a support bracket 54 secured to the support structure 12. The nozzles 52 are fluidly connected by air conduits 56 to a valve (not shown) which is responsive to the detectors 36. The nozzles 52 point downwardly and inwardly (toward the cutter mechanism 26) so that air streams may be directed between two of the conveyor belts 42 at the deflector leg 50 of the deflector 46. Positioned directly beneath the work piece deflector 46 and the conveyor belts 42 is a flawed work piece receptacle 57. The function of the detectors 36, the deflector 46 and the air nozzles 52 will be explained below.
Forwardly of the cutter mechanism 26 there is mounted a pneumatically operated cloth drawing unit which includes a carriage 58 that is adapted to slide toward and away from the cutter mechanism 26 on a pair of parallel rods 60 mounted on the support structure 12 and extending in the direction of cloth feed from the roll 14. Adjusting mechanism 59 allows the operator to adjust the furtherest position from the cutter mechanism 26 that the carriage 58 may reach between a predetermined maximum and minimum distance. The carriage 58 includes pneumatically operated cloth gripping mechanism (not shown) which, when the carriage 58 advances to the cutter mechanism is adapted to grip the leading edge of the cloth sheet material 16. When the carriage 58 retracts from the cutter mechanism 26, it pulls the sheet material between the blades 28 and 30 and after it has fully retracted and the cloth material has been cut by the cutter mechanism 26, the gripping mechanism is adapted to release the cloth material.
Mounted on a bracket 61 (FIG. 4) beneath the conveyor belts 42 near the delivery end of the conveyor belts are a pair of vertically arranged spaced air cylinders 62 which are fluidly connected to a solenoid actuated valve (-not shown) by air conduits 64. An air actuated piston rod 66 is mounted in each cylinder and each rod is secured to a support element 67 which supports a workpiece arm 68 formed with a finger 69 that extends in the direction of workpiece feed and substantially parallel with the plane of the conveyor belts 42. Extending rearwardly [from and integrally connected with the finger 69 is a finger 71 which angles downwardly, as seen in FIG. 4, from the finger 69 so that when the arm 68 is in the raised position, shown in dotted outline in FIG. 4, the free end of the finger 71 dips below the plane of the top leg of the conveyor belts 42.
Forwardly of the conveyor belts 42 in the direction of workpiece feed there is mounted a fiat workpiece receiving surface 70 consisting of a cross piece (consisting of three elongated plates) 72 secured to the support structure 12 by screws 74 and three side-by-side abutting flat plates 76 secured to the support element 12 by screws 78. The flat plates 76 abut the cross piece 72 and extend between and past a pair of sewing machines '80 mounted on the support structure 12 on opposite sides of the surface 70. To each end of the cross piece 72 there is secured by one end a guide finger 82 which curves upwardly to ward its free end and then dips down between two of the belts 42, as seen in FIGS. 35. The guide fingers 82 extend from their secured ends back toward the belts 42 also inwardly toward the center of the work piece feed path.
On each side of the flat workpiece receiving surface 70 there is mounted a vertically disposed workpiece edge guide 84 which cooperates to center the cloth workpiece 86, previously cut from the cloth sheet material 16, that they will be fed to the sewing machines in proper alignment. Mounted in each of the outer plates 76 is an air nozzle 88 whose mouth is parallel with and opens out of the surface 70. The air nozzles 88 are fluidly connected by conduits 89 to the air supply through a suitable solenoid actuated valve (not shown). Each nozzle 88 is angled to direct a jet of air toward its nearest edge guide 84 at an angle of about 45 from the direction of cloth feed. The nozzles are also pointed upwardly at a small angle from the plane of the surface 70. The jets of air that issue from the nozzles 88 assist the workpiece positioning arm 68 and the edge guide 84 in aligning the workpiece 86, as explained more fully below.
Secured to the top of each edge guide 84 is a horizontal elongated plate 90 which extends inboard of the edge guide 84 a short distance to overhang a small section of the outboard plates 74. As seen in FIG. 4, the plates 90 bend downwardly as they extend toward the sewing machine 80 to act as guides against vertical movement of the workpiece 86 as the leading end of each workpiece enters the receiving ends of a pair of conventional hem forming guides 92. A margin 91 (FIG. 5) along each out side of each cloth work piece 86 is measured by the width of the section of the cloth work piece necessary to form the hems. The hemming guides 92 fold the oppositely disposed margins 91 so that the raw, cut oppositely disposed edges will not be exposed, thereby preventing unraveling of the cut edges. Each of the hemming guides 92 and the corresponding sewing machines 80 may be adjusted by a corresponding adjusting mechanism 93 (only one of which is shown). Each adjusting mechanism 93 is arranged to allow the operator to move the corresponding sewing machine and hemming guide simultaneously toward or away from the opposing sewing machine and hemming guide. The margins 91 of the cloth workpieces 86 are pulled through the hemming guides 92 to the stitch forming instrumentalities of the sewing machines by a pair of hemmer belts 94 which are driven by a motor 96 through the intermediacy of a belt 98, pulley 100, shaft 102 and belts 104. The bottom leg of the hemmer belts 94 press against a metal strip 106 that is slightly bowed upwardly (FIG. 4) to insure that the middle section of the bottom leg will press against the strip 106 thereby properly to grip to workpiece 86. Near the sewing machine end of the bottom leg of each of the hemmer belts 94 there is mounted a biasing unit 108. The biasing unit 108 includes an arm 110 pivoted at one end and adapted to support a rotatable wheel 112 at the other end. The end of the arm 110 supporting the wheel 112 is biased downwardly by a spring 114, whereby the rotatable wheel 112 exerts a downard force on the lower leg of the belt 94 just before (in the direction of work piece feed) the stitching instrumentalities. The sewing machines 80 are operated by a conventional power transmitter 116 and connecting drive elements. Overhanging the flat workpiece receiving surface 70 (FIG. 3) are a plurality of pairs 118, 120 and 122 of photo-cell units, adjustably mounted on a support bracket unit 124, which control the operation of the sewing machines. In addition, a pair of air operated thread chain cutter units 126 are mounted at the rear of the sewing machines and are adapted to sever the thread chain trailing from each cloth piece 86 after sewing by the machines 80.
Forwardly of the sewing machines 80, in the direction of work piece feed, there are mounted a plurality of parallel endless conveyor belts 128 which transport the finished cloth work pieces 86 toward stacking apparatus 130. As each workpiece 86 passes over a photocell unit 132 (FIG. 2) mounted on a bracket beneath the conveyor belts 128 the photocell unit responds to the work piece and actuates a pneumatic cylinder 134 which operates a rack and pinion arrangement 136 to rotate a shaft 138 journaled on the support structure at the delivery end of the conveyor belt 128. Secured by one end to the shaft 138 are a plurality of flipper fingers 140 which normally rest between the belts 128 below the upper leg of the belts so that the cloth workpieces may freely pass over the fingers on the belts. However, when the photocell unit 132 actuates (by means of electrical and pneumatic apparatus, not shown) the pneumatic cylinder 134 the shaft 138 is rotated. As the shaft 138 rotates, the fingers 140 pivot upwardly between the belts 128 thereby to raise the workpiece 86 that had been laying on the belts above the fingers and flip it over onto a vertically movable platform 142 of the stacking apparatus 130.
The stacking apparatus 130 includes a frame 144 mounted on wheels 146 which in turn are mounted on and are adapted to roll along a pair of parallel rails 148. Mounted on cross braces 150 positioned between the rails 148 is a pneumatic cylinder and piston unit 152 (FIG. 7) which operates a pull-wire 154 that is secured to the frame 144 at 156. Mounted on the frame 144 are two limit switches 158 and 160 having trigger fingers 159 and 161, respectively, which are actuated by corresponding trigger fingers 162 and 164.
The remainder of the stacking apparatus (including platform 142) is divided into two sections, A and B. Sections A and B are identical and function in the same manner, therefore, only one section will now be described. The work piece receiving platform 142 is secured to four brackets 166 which brackets are slidably mounted on two parallel bars 168 in turn supported by four mounting blocks 170 mounted on an upper support platform 172. Also mounted on the upper supporting platform 172 are two limit switches 174 and 176 which are actuated by one of the brackets 166 which acts as a trigger for the limit switches. A pneumatic cylinder and piston unit 178 is mounted on the upper support platform 172 and is connected by its piston rod to the work piece receiving platform 142. The photo-cell unit 132 is connected to a counter which cooperates with conventional electrical and pneumatic circuits (not shown) to actuate the cylinder and piston unit 178 each time a predetermined number of work-*ieces have been stacked on the platform 142. Each time that the piston unit 178 is actuated, it moves the Work piece receiving platform 142 alternatively to the right or left (as viewed in FIGS. 7 and 8), as determined by which of the two limit switches 174 and 176 is actuated. The platform 142 is moved to the right or left preferably about three inches, although such distance may be adjusted as desired. Assuming now that the predetermined amount of work pieces, for example, six has been deposited on the platform 142, if the platform 142 is positioned as seen in FIG. 8 with bracket 166 actuating the limit switch 174, that limit switch is connected to signal the associated electrical and pneumatic circuits to actuate the piston unit 178 so as to move or index the platform 142 to the right, as viewed in FIGS. 7 and 8. By alternately indexing the platform 142 in one direction and then in the opposite direction each time a predetermined number of work pieces have been deposited thereon an indexed stack of work pieces is built up. The indexed stack allows a worker conveniently and easily to remove the exact amount of work pieces that he desires without having to count each individual work piece.
The upper support platform 172 is in turn supported by four vertical posts 180 slidably received by bearings mounted in the frame 144. The bottom of the vertical posts 180 are mounted on a lower support platform 182. Forming part of the lower support platform 182 is a support plate 184 which supports a pneumatic piston unit 186 and a one-way clutch unit 188 which is adapted to rotate a worm 190 connected at its upper end to the support platform 172. Mounted on a support plate 192 which forms part of the frame 144 is a pneumatic piston unit 194 which operates a threaded jaw 196 that is moved by the piston unit into and out of threaded engagement with the worm 190. Mounted on the frame 144 is a limit switch 198 that is actuated by a trigger finger 200, which is secured to the lower support platform 182, when the platform reaches its fully lowered position. Also mounted on the frame 144 is a limit switch 202 that is actuated by a trigger finger 204, which is secured to the upper support platform 172 when the platform 172 is in its fully raised position.
The counter associated with the photo-cell unit 132 is connected to actuate the pneumatic piston unit 186 each time a predetermined number of work pieces have been stacked on the movable platform 142. Actuating the piston unit 186 operates the one-way clutch 188 to turn the worm 190 and lower by a predetermined amount the support platforms 172 and 182 and the work receiving platform 142 which is mounted on the support platform 172. When the platform 172 has lowered a predetermined amount indicative of a full load of work pieces, the limit switch 198 is actuated by the trigger finger 200. Through conventional circuitry (not shown) the triggering of the limit switch 198 actuates the pneumatic piston unit 152 which causes the entire frame 144 to move to the right, as seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, taking Section A out of its work piece receiving position and moving Section B into Work piece receiving position. Section A is now in its unloading position and an operator may conveniently unload that section while the finished cloth pieces are delivered to Section B. When the operator is unloading Section A, he need merely manually operate a switch on the appropriate one of the control boxes 206 to raise the support platforms 172 and 182 and the work receiving platform 142. By electrical and pneumatic connections (not shown) the operation of the platform raising switch actuates the piston unit 194 to release the jaw 196 from engagement with the worm 190 and then actuates a pair of pneumatic piston units 208 mounted on the support plate 192. The piston units 208 include piston rods 210 secured by one end to the supporting platform 172. Actuation of the piston units 208 raises the support plat-forms 172 and 182 and the work receiving platform 142 supported thereby back to its fully raised unloaded position whereupon the piston unit 194 is actuated to once again engage the jaw 196 with the worm 190. Once the jaw and worm are again engaged, the piston units 208 are deactivated to allow the platforms to lower when the worm 190 is turned. When the support platforms 172 and 182 are returned to their fully raised position, the finger 200 is brought into contact with the trigger finger of the limit switch 198, which limit switch functions to signal the electrical control system that the work receiving platform 142 is back in its fully raised position. Thus, when the Section B becomes fully loaded, the electrical control system will initiate another shifting of the frame 144 to move the now loaded Section B into its unloading position and the Section A into its work piece receiving position. If the first Section A had not been unloaded and raised sothat the limit switch 200 was actuated, the frame 144 would not have shifted when the other Section B became fully loaded because the limit switch 200 had not signaled the electrical control system that the frame 144 was ready for shifting.
Turning now to the operation of the mechanism preceding the stacker, after power has been supplied to the apparatus, a machine start button on the control box .24 is operated thereby to energize the motors for transmitter 116, the conveyor belts 42 and 128 and the motor 96 which operates the hemmer belts 94. Then, by operating a cycle start button on the control box 24, the automatic production of hemmed work pieces by the apparatus is initiated.
When the cycle start button is operated, the carriage 58 is moved toward the cutter mechanism 26. A timed period after the carriage 58 begins to move toward the cutter mechanism, the motor for the conveyor belt 42 is actuated to rotate the conveyor belts. As the carriage moves toward the cutter mechanism 216, a limit switch (not shown) is actuated which operates a timed relay (not shown) that operates the cloth gripping elements after the carriage has moved as far toward the cutter mechanism 26 as it will go. When the cloth gripping elements are operated they clamp the leading edge of the cloth material 16 which extends past the path of the blade 28 on the carriage 58 side of the cutter mechanism 26 a distance sufiicient to present a suitable margin of cloth to the gripping elements. Thereafter the carriage 58 moves away from the cutter mechanism to its fully retracted position and in so doing pulls a predetermined length of the cloth material between the blades 28 and 30. As the carriage 58 retracts it trips a limit switch (not shown) that stops the motor for the conveyor belts 42. A short time after the carriage 58 reaches its fully retracted position, the cutter mechanism 26 is actuated by a timed relay in turn actuated by a limit switch (neither of which is shown) and blade 28 drops cutting the cloth sheet material 16 between the blades 28 and 30. As the blade 28 moves back up to its raised position, a limit switch (not shown) is operated which causes the actuation of the index roller 32 which advances the cloth sheet material 16 a short distance past the blades 28 and 30 to prepare the aforementioned margin of cloth for clamping by the gripping elements the next time that the carriage is moved to the cutter mechanism. A short time after the cutter mechanism 26 is actuated, the gripping elements release the piece of cut cloth which thereupon drops down onto the conveyor belts 42.
A short time, as determined by a timed relay (not shown), after the cloth work piece 86 drops onto the conveyor belts 42 the above described cycle beings anew and the conveyor belts 42 are rotated to move the work piece toward the sewing machines 80. The pneumatic cylinders 62 by means of a timed relay (not shown) are actuated a short time after the conveyor belts 42 begin to move thereby to raise the positioning arms 68 between the conveyor belts 42 as shown in FIG. and in dotted outline in FIG. 4. In the raised position, the end section of the fingers 71 of the arms 68 dip below the surface of the belts 42 so that in the event that the work piece 86 has not yet come abreast of the arms 68 when the arms are raised, the work piece will slide up the incline formed by the fingers 71. It is noted here that the guide fingers 82 prevent the corners of the leading end of the cloth work pieces 86 from slipping down between the cross piece 72 and the conveyor belts 42 as the work pieces move toward the sewing machines. The guide fingers 82 are necessary only when cloth material of relatively high flexibility is being used.
As the cloth work piece 86 slides over the positioning arms 68 humps are formed in the work piece and in the process the oppositely disposed cut ends 212 (FIG. 5) of the work piece 86 are drawn inwardly toward each other. The ends 212 are pulled in toward each other before the leading edge of the work piece 86 comes abreast of the vertical edge guides 84. After the leading edge of the work piece comes abreast of the edge guides 84, the same timed relay that actuated the pneumatic cylinder units 62 to raise the arms 68 new functions to cause the lowering of the arms 68 to the position shown in solid lines in FIG. '4. As the arms 68 lower the ends 212 move away from each other toward the edge guides 84. By the time that the work piece is about to be engaged by the hemmer belts 94, the work piece has been returned to a substantially flat condition. Thus, if the distance between the cut ends is just equal to the distance between the cut ends is just equal to the distance between the inner surfaces of the edge guides 84, even though the work piece is slightly askew or not perfectly aligned with the edge guides, as its leading edge comes abreast of the edge guides, the cut ends 212 'will clear the edge guides because the cut ends have been pulled inwardly a distance sutficient to rectify any alignment problems. When the work piece guide arms lower the weight of the work piece flattens out the work piece naturally aligns itself between the edge guides as the ends 212 come vup against the inner surfaces of the vertical edge guides. As the work piece 86 moves between the edge guides 84 a timed relay (not shown) actuates the solenoid that operates the valve that opens to permit a stream of air to be directed through each nozzle 88. The jets of air are directed as described above and assist in the alignment of the work piece 86. The jets of air serve to reduce the friction between the bottom surface of the workpiece and the surface 70 so that the work piece will more easily slide forward toward the hemmer belts. In addition, since the jets of air are directed toward the nearest edge guide, they assist in moving each cut end 212 toward its respective edge guide.
The distance between each edge guide 84 and its closest hemmer belt 94 is a measure of the width of the margin 91 along each of the cut ends 212, that is necessary to provide the desired hem. The hem is formed by the hemming guides -92 which receive the marigns 91 of the work pieces. As the work piece is fed toward the stitch forming instrumentalities of the sewing machines, the leading edge of the work piece passes beneath the first set of photocells 118. They function to activate the sewing machines. When the trailing edge of the work piece passes by the second set of photocells 120, the function to deactivate the sewing machines. When the leading edge of the next work piece passes by the first set 118 of photocells, the sewing machines start again and complete the sewing of the first work piece. As the first 'work piece clears the last pair of photocells 122, they function to operate the thread chain cutter units 126 which then sever the thread chain of the work piece which thereafter moves onto the conveyor belts 128. The conveyor belts 128 carry the work piece to the flipper fingers which transport the work piece to the stacking apparatus 130, as described above.
Having thus described the nature of the invention, what I claim herein is:
1. In a hem sewing apparatus, means for supporting cloth workpieces formed with at least two oppositely disposed parallel edges, a sewing machine positioned adjacent said cloth workpiece supporting means, a pair of edge guides disposed on opposite sides of the clotch workpiece supporting means before the sewing machine in the direction of cloth workpiece feed, means positioned between said sewing machine and said edge guides for folding a margin associated with at least one of the two oppositely disposed parallel edges of the cloth workpieces preparatory to sewing by said sewing machine, means for moving the cloth workpieces to said sewing machine, said means for moving the cloth workpieces to said sewing machine including means for moving the cloth workpieces onto said cloth workpiece supporting means, means for aligning the cloth workpieces between said edge guides as the cloth workpieces are moved onto the cloth workpiece supporting means, said aligning means including means for drawing the two oppositely disposed edges toward each other from a first, extended position to a second, contracted position before the cloth workpieces move between said edge guides and for returning said oppositely disposed edges to said first, extended position after at least a portion of said oppositely disposed edges have moved between said edge guides.
2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said cloth workpiece aligning means includes means for directing a stream of air against the underside of said cloth workpieces, as they move between said edge guides, in predetermined directions relatively to said edge guides and said cloth workpiece supporting means.
3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said cloth workpiece supporting means includes a fiat surface over which said cloth workpieces slide between said edge guides, and said means for directing streams of air includes a pair of nozzles having mouths positioned flush with and opening out of said flat surface, said nozzle mouth being formed and positioned to direct a stream of air toward each of said edge guides in the direction of workpiece feed thereby to assist the said edge drawing means to align the workpieces between said edge guides and also to urge the workpieces forwardly toward the margin folding means.
4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 including means for detecting flaws in the cloth workpieces, and pneumatic means responsive to said detecting means for removing flawed cloth workpieces from said means for moving the cloth workpieces onto said cloth workpiece supporting means.
5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein said pneumatic means for removing flawed cloth workpieces includes means for directing at least one stream of air at the flawed cloth workpieces with sufiicient pressure to remove the liawed cloth workpieces from said cloth moving means.
6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein said means for moving the cloth workpieces onto said cloth workpiece supporting means includes a plurality of spaced, parallel conveyor belts, said air directing means being adjusted to direct at least one stream of air downwardly at the flawed cloth workpieces being carried by said conveyor belts, the air stream being of sufiicient pressure to blow the flawed cloth workpieces downwardly between two of the spaced, parallel conveyor belts.
7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein said conveyor belts include a top feed belt layer and a lower return belt layer, deflector means positioned between the upper and lower belt layers, and said at least one stream of air being directed at said deflector means so that the flawed cloth workpieces blown downwardly between the conveyor belts will be directed by said deflector belts away from engagement with said lower return belt layer.
8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 including means for receiving finished cloth workpieces, means for delivering the cloth workpieces from the sewing machine, after they have been sewn by the sewing machine, to said finished cloth workpiece receiving means, said finished cloth workpiece receiving means including means for indexing the cloth workpieces received thereby, said lastnamed means including a horizontally movable cloth workpiece support and means for moving said support horizontally, alternately in one direction and then in the opposite direction each time that a predetermined number of the cloth workpieces have been deposited on said cloth workpiece support, said horizontal movements being equal to a distance that is a fraction of the measurement of the cloth workpiece in the direction of said horizontal movement, thereby to form a stack of indexed cloth workpieces on said support.
for indexing said cloth workpiece support includes pneumatic means operatively connected to said support for imparting said horizontal movement to said support and means associated with said cloth workpiece delivering means for counting the cloth workpieces delivered to said support and actuating said pneumatic means each time said predetermined number of cloth workpieces are delivered to said cloth workpiece support.
10. An apparatus as set forth in claim 8 including a vertically movable unit operatively connected to said cloth workpiece support, means for automatically lowering the said unit and said connected support each time that a predetermined number of cloth workpieces are received by said support.
11. An apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein said means for delivering the cloth workpieces includes conveyor belts and said means for receiving the finished cloth workpieces includes a shiftable frame, said shiftable frame being adapted to support said indexing means and said vertically movable means, said shiftable frame being adapted to support a second indexing and vertically movable means that is a duplicate of the first indexing and vertically movable means, and means for shifting said frame when a predetermined number of cloth workpieces are delivered to said first cloth workpiece support a distance sufiicient to move said first support out of the path of said cloth workpiece delivering means and simultaneously to move said second support into the path of said cloth workpiece delivery means thereby to provide for the removal of the workpieces previously delivered to said first support while the second support receives cloth workpieces from said cloth workpiece delivering means.
12. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said drawin means includes at least one vertically movable cloth workpiece positioning arm having a first vertical position beneath the path of the cloth workpieces and a second vertical position above the path of the cloth workpieces, means for raising and lowering said positioning arm at predetermined intervals coinciding with the movement of each cloth workpiece to the cloth workpiece supporting means, said positioning arm functioning to raise a central section of each cloth workpiece as it passes over the positioning arm prior to the movement of the cloth workpiece to the workpiece supporting means, and said positioning arm operating to lower to said first position after at least a portion of the cloth workpiece has moved between said edge guides, said positioning arm being formed to raise the central section of the cloth workpiece between the two oppositely disposed parallel edges to draw the two oppositely disposed parallel edges toward each other in the second position.
13. Apparatus as set forth in claim 12 wherein said means for raising and lowering said cloth workpiece positioning arm includes a pneumatic cylinder and piston unit and means for actuating the pneumatic piston and cylinder unit.
14. Apparatus as set forth in claim 12 including two spaced, parallel positioning arms, said arms extending in the direction of cloth work piece feed, both of which are adapted to raise the central section of the cloth work piece thereby to draw the two oppositely disposed parallel edges toward each other.
15. Apparatus as set forth in claim 12 wherein said cloth work piece guiding means includes means for directing a stream of air against the underside of the cloth work pieces, as they move between the edge guides in the direction of work piece feed, and toward one of said oppositely disposed edge guides and means for directing a stream of air against the underside of the cloth work pieces, as they move between the edge guides in the direction of work piece feed, and toward the other of said oppositely disposed edge guides to assist said cloth work piece positioning arm in aligning the cloth work pieces between the edge guides and also to urge said cloth work pieces toward the hem forming means.
16. An apparatus for automatically producing hemmed cloth work pieces comprising means for pulling cloth work material from a supply of cloth work material in a first horizontal direction, means for cutting said cloth material into sections of predetermined size and shape to form cloth Work pieces having at least two parallel oppositely disposed edges, a cloth work piece supporting surface, a sewing machine positioned adjacent said supporting surface, a pair of edge guides positioned on opposite sides of the supporting surface before the sewing machine in the direction of cloth work piece feed, means for conveying the cut cloth work pieces in a second horizontal direction, at an angle to the first horizontal direction, to said cloth work piece supporting surface, means positioned between said edge guides and said sewing machine for folding a margin associated with one of said parallel edges preparatory to sewing by said sewing machine, means for aligning the cloth work pieces between said edge guides as the cloth work pieces are moved onto the cloth work piece supporting surface, said aligning means including means for drawing the two oppositely disposed edges toward each other from a first extended, position to a second contracted, position before the cloth work pieces move between said edge guides and for returning said oppositely disposed edges to said first extended position after at least a portion of oppositely disposed edges have moved between said edge guides.
17. An apparatus as set forth in claim 16 wherein said cloth work piece aligning means includes means for directing streams of air against the underside of said cloth work pieces, as they move between said edge guides, in predetermined directions relatively to said edge guides and said cloth work piece supporting means.
18. Apparatus as set forth in claim 17 wherein said cloth work piece suporting means includes a fiat surface over which said cloth work pieces slide between said edge guides, and said means for directing streams of air includes a pair of nozzles having mouths positioned flush with and opening out of said flat surface, said nozzle mouths being formed and positioned to direct a stream of air toward each of said edge guides in the direction of work piece feed thereby to assist said edge drawing means to align the work piece between the edge guides and also to urge the work pieces forwardly toward the margin folding means.
19. An apparatus as set forth in claim 16 including means positioned before said cloth material cutting means for detecting flaws in the cloth work material drawn from the roll of cloth work material and pneumatic means responsive to said flaw detecting means for removing the detected flawed cloth material from said means for conveying the cut cloth work pieces in a second horizontal direction.
20. An apparatus as set forth in claim 19 wherein said means for conveying the cut cloth work pieces in a second horizontal direction includes a plurality of spaced, parallel, conveyor belts, and said pneumatic means includes at least one nozzle adjusted to direct a stream of air at the detected flawed cloth work pieces with suflicient force to blow the detected flawed cloth work pieces downwardly between two of said plurality of spaced, parallel conveyor belts.
21. An apparatus as set forth in claim 20 wherein said conveyor belts are formed with an upper feed belt layer and a lower return belt layer and including deflector means for preventing the downwardly blown flawed work pieces from coming into engagement with said lower return belt layer.
22. An apparatus as set forth in claim 16 including means for receiving finished cloth work pieces, means for delivering the cloth work pieces from the sewing machine, after they have been sewn by the sewing machine, to said finished cloth work piece receiving means, said finished cloth work piece receiving means including means for indexing the cloth work pieces received thereby, said last named means including a horizontally movable cloth work piece support and means for moving said support horizontally alternately in one direction and then in the opposite direction each time that a prede termined number of cloth work pieces have been deposited on said cloth work piece support, said horizontal movements being equal to a distance that is a fraction of the measurement of the cloth work piece in the direction of said horizontal movement, thereby to form a stack of indexed cloth work pieces on said support.
23. An apparatus as set forth in claim 16 wherein said drawing means includes at least one vertically movable cloth work piece positioning arm having a first vertical position beneath the path of the cloth work pieces and a second vertical position above the path of the cloth Work pieces, means for raising and lowering said positioning arm at predetermined intervals coinciding with the movement of each cloth work piece to the work piece supporting means, said positioning arm functioning to raise a central section of each cloth work piece as it passes over the positioning arm prior to movement of the cloth work piece to the work piece supporting means, and said positioning arm operating to lower to said first position after at least a portion of the cloth work piece has moved between said edge guides, said positioning arm being formed to raise the central section of the cloth work piece between the two oppositely disposed edges to draw the two oppositely disposed edges toward each other in the second position.
24. An apparatus as set forth in claim 16 wherein said cutting means includes two cooperating cutter blades and said cloth work material pulling means includes pneumatically operated means for gripping the leading end of the cloth Work material and pulling a predetermined length of the cloth Work material between said cutter blades prior to actuation of said cutter blades, means for actuating said cutter blades after the predetermined length of cloth work material has been pulled between said cutter blades, said pneumatically operated gripping means being operated to release the cut cloth work material after said cutter blades have been actuated to allow said conveying means to convey the cut cloth work piece in the second horizontal direction.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,053,257 9/ 1936 Anderson 112-2 2,546,831 3/195 1 Newell. 2,738,746 3/1956 MacIsaac et al. 3,126,848 3/ 1964 Gastonguay. 3,345,965 10/ 1967 Gore. 3,375,796 4/ 1968 Greenberg et al.
JAMES R. BOLER, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R.
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US3783805A (en) * 1971-01-11 1974-01-08 Tech Des Ind De L Habillement Device for turning-in the border of pieces made of flexible sheets
US3796171A (en) * 1972-06-09 1974-03-12 C Arbter Apparatus for processing textile materials in flat strips, such as bedding materials
US3862610A (en) * 1974-01-17 1975-01-28 Riegel Textile Corp Apparatus for cutting and finishing segments of a traveling web
US4038931A (en) * 1975-11-25 1977-08-02 Union Special Corporation Fabric panel discontinuity sensor
FR2510151A1 (en) * 1981-07-22 1983-01-28 Rockwell Rimoldi Spa SEWING MACHINE
EP0052142B1 (en) * 1980-05-27 1985-03-20 Opelika Manufacturing Corporation Sheet production system with hem expander
US4608936A (en) * 1985-11-18 1986-09-02 Cannon Mills Company Apparatus for automatically fabricating cut and edge stitched textile articles
US4688837A (en) * 1985-12-11 1987-08-25 Fieldcrest Cannon, Inc. Robot end effector mechanism for gripping and holding a flat textile article in a predetermined orientation
EP0309419A1 (en) * 1987-09-22 1989-03-29 SOLIS S.r.l. Conveyor
WO1999063140A1 (en) * 1998-06-04 1999-12-09 Schmale-Holding Gmbh & Co. Device for transporting a flat article
US10987814B1 (en) * 2020-06-01 2021-04-27 Softwear Automation, Inc. Compliant perimeter end effectors

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US2053257A (en) * 1935-02-09 1936-09-08 Internat Handkerchief Mfg Co Method and apparatus for making handkerchiefs and like articles
US2546831A (en) * 1947-06-21 1951-03-27 Edward C Newell Method and apparatus for automatically making rectangular sheets of fabric
US2738746A (en) * 1952-06-04 1956-03-20 Fieldcrest Mills Inc Apparatus for making bed sheets and the like
US3126848A (en) * 1964-03-31 Apparatus for making pillow slips
US3345965A (en) * 1965-04-01 1967-10-10 Riegcl Textile Corp Apparatus for producing prefolded diapers
US3375796A (en) * 1965-09-01 1968-04-02 I C Herman & Company Inc Blank-forming apparatus

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US3126848A (en) * 1964-03-31 Apparatus for making pillow slips
US2053257A (en) * 1935-02-09 1936-09-08 Internat Handkerchief Mfg Co Method and apparatus for making handkerchiefs and like articles
US2546831A (en) * 1947-06-21 1951-03-27 Edward C Newell Method and apparatus for automatically making rectangular sheets of fabric
US2738746A (en) * 1952-06-04 1956-03-20 Fieldcrest Mills Inc Apparatus for making bed sheets and the like
US3345965A (en) * 1965-04-01 1967-10-10 Riegcl Textile Corp Apparatus for producing prefolded diapers
US3375796A (en) * 1965-09-01 1968-04-02 I C Herman & Company Inc Blank-forming apparatus

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3783805A (en) * 1971-01-11 1974-01-08 Tech Des Ind De L Habillement Device for turning-in the border of pieces made of flexible sheets
US3796171A (en) * 1972-06-09 1974-03-12 C Arbter Apparatus for processing textile materials in flat strips, such as bedding materials
US3862610A (en) * 1974-01-17 1975-01-28 Riegel Textile Corp Apparatus for cutting and finishing segments of a traveling web
US4038931A (en) * 1975-11-25 1977-08-02 Union Special Corporation Fabric panel discontinuity sensor
EP0052142B1 (en) * 1980-05-27 1985-03-20 Opelika Manufacturing Corporation Sheet production system with hem expander
FR2510151A1 (en) * 1981-07-22 1983-01-28 Rockwell Rimoldi Spa SEWING MACHINE
US4608936A (en) * 1985-11-18 1986-09-02 Cannon Mills Company Apparatus for automatically fabricating cut and edge stitched textile articles
US4688837A (en) * 1985-12-11 1987-08-25 Fieldcrest Cannon, Inc. Robot end effector mechanism for gripping and holding a flat textile article in a predetermined orientation
EP0309419A1 (en) * 1987-09-22 1989-03-29 SOLIS S.r.l. Conveyor
US4953687A (en) * 1987-09-22 1990-09-04 Solis S.R.L. Method and apparatus for automatically transferring and accumulating groups of flaccid articles
WO1999063140A1 (en) * 1998-06-04 1999-12-09 Schmale-Holding Gmbh & Co. Device for transporting a flat article
US10987814B1 (en) * 2020-06-01 2021-04-27 Softwear Automation, Inc. Compliant perimeter end effectors

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