US3906701A - Apparatus and method for packaging shoelaces - Google Patents

Apparatus and method for packaging shoelaces Download PDF

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US3906701A
US3906701A US359251A US35925173A US3906701A US 3906701 A US3906701 A US 3906701A US 359251 A US359251 A US 359251A US 35925173 A US35925173 A US 35925173A US 3906701 A US3906701 A US 3906701A
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shoelaces
pair
shoelace
convolute
folded
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US359251A
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Newman Mcintyre
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MCINTYRE PACKAGING Co
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MCINTYRE PACKAGING Co
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B63/00Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on articles or materials to be packaged
    • B65B63/04Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on articles or materials to be packaged for folding or winding articles, e.g. gloves or stockings
    • B65B63/06Forming elongated hanks, e.g. of shoe laces

Abstract

Pairs of shoelaces are packaged in convolute wound relation by forming a folded portion in a pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof, connecting the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces to a rotatable member with the opposite halves of the pair of shoelaces trailing therebehind, and rotating the rotatable member to wind the opposite halves of the pair of shoelaces into a series of four convolute windings on the rotatable member. The convolute wound pair of shoelaces is then removed from the rotatable member and flattened, and a wrapper is secured around a medial portion of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to maintain the same intact and form a package.

Description

United States Patent [191 [111 3,906,701 McIntyre Sept. 23, 1975 APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PACKAGING SHOELACES [75] Inventor: Newman' McIntyre, Shelby, NC. [73] Assignee: McIntyre Packaging Company, Shelby, NC.
[22] Filed: May 11, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 359,251
[52] US. Cl 53/3; 53/118; 53/198 R [51] Int. Cl. B65B 13/16 [58] Field of Search 53/3, 31, 33, 228, 116, 53/117,118, 119,120,198 R; 28/21; 242/861 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 677,993 7/1901 Jones 242/86.1 697,006 4/1902 Nuhring 242/86.1 972,222 10/1910 1,202,645 10/1916 2,620,609 12/1952 3,024,580 3/1962 3,053,024 9/ 1 962 3,145,516 8/1964 3,416,287 12/1968 3,694,998 10/1972 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS United Kingdom 53/119 United Kingdom 53/119 [57] ABSTRACT Pairs of shoelaces are packaged in convolute wound relation by forming a folded portion in a pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof, connecting the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces to a rotatable member .with the opposite halves of the pair of shoelaces trailing therebehind, and rotating the rotatable member to wind the opposite halves of the pair of shoelaces into a series of four convolute windings on the rotatable member. The convolute wound pair of shoelaces is then removed from the rotatable member and flattened, and a wrapper is secured around a medial portion of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to maintain the same intact and form a package.
22 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures SUPPLY Souece WIEAPPER W US Patent Sept. 23,1975 Sheet 1 of 6 3,906,701
WRAPPER US Patent Sept. 23,1975
SUPPLY Souece Sheet 2 of 6 US Patent Sept. 23,1975
Sheet 3 of 6 US Patent Sept. 23,1975 Sheet 4 of6 3,906,701
US Patent Sept. 23,1975 Sheet 5 of6 3,906,701
US Patent Sept. 23,1975 Sheet 6 of6 3,906,701
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PACKAGING SHOELACES This invention relates to an apparatus and method for winding and packaging shoelaces, and more particu larly to an apparatus and method for forming shoelaces into a stable convolute wound package.
As far as is known, all conventional shoelace packaging machines and attendant methods of operating have employed the principle of winding the shoelaces from one end thereof to form the pair of shoelaces into a respective pair of convolute coils. For example, my earlier US. Pat. No. 3,024,580 discloses an apparatus and method for automatically winding and packaging shoe laces wherein one end of a pair of shoelaces is secured to a tubular mandrel and the shoelaces are wound on the mandrel into a pair of side-by-side convolute coils with one end of each shoelace being located interiorly of the respective coil and with the other end being located on the exterior surface of the coil. The coils are then removed from the mandrel and flattened, and a wrapper is applied around a medial portion of the flattened coils to maintain the same intact.
When the shoelaces are wound in accordance with the aforementioned principle, the time required to complete the winding operation is of importance since the winding time imposes a limitation on the rate at which the shoelaces may be wound and packaged. This winding time is of particular concern when packaging laces of considerable length, such as bootlaces. Additionally, when forming long laces such as bootlaces into a conventional convolute coiled package, the package formed is relatively unstable due to the large number of turns or windings in each convolute coil.
With the foregoing in mind, it is an object of this invention to provide an apparatus and method for winding and packaging shoelaces which is considerably more efficient than the previously known methods'and machines, and wherein the amount of time required for winding the shoelaces is considerably reduced by winding opposite halves of a shoelace simultaneously into a pair of convolute windings.
It is another object of this invention to provide a shoelace packaging apparatus and method of improved efficiency, wherein the shoelaces are wound into a series of convolute windings at one station and the wound laces are packaged at another station to permit simultaneously winding a pair of shoelaces while packaging a previously wound pair of shoelaces, thereby increasing the rate of winding and packaging shoelaces.
It is another object of this invention to provide an apparatus and method for forming a pair of shoelaces into an improved package which is considerably more stable than prior shoelace packages by having a broader base or foundation with a fewer number of windings thereupon, and which is particularly suited as a package for laces of considerable length such as bootlaces.
It is a more specific object of this invention to provide an apparatus and method for winding and packaging shoelaces wherein the amount of time required for winding the shoelaces is considerably reduced by forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length of a pair of shoelaces and simultaneously winding the respective runs or remaining portions or halves of the pair of shoelaces on a rotatable member into a series of four convolute windings.
Someof the objects of the invention having been stated, others will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a plan view of the shoelace packaging apparatus;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the shoelace gripping means in the creel;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the apparatus looking from arrow 3 in FIG. 1 and showing the package transfer arm at thewinding station;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the package transfer arm at the packaging station;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view of the winding station and the shoelace folding mechanism associated therewith; 7
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 66 of FIG. 5;
FIGS. 7-9 are enlarged vertical sectional views of the winding station at successive stages of the winding and flattening operation;
FIG. 10 is a front elevation of the shoelace package transfer arm;
FIG. 11 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 1111 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a plan view of the shoelace package transfer arm shown in FIG. 10;
FIG. 13 isa vertical sectional view taken along line 1 313 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 14 is a front elevation of the shoelace package transfer arm in its position at the packaging station;
FIGS. 1517 arevertical sectional views of the packaging mechanism taken substantially along the line 1Sl5 of FIG. 14 and showing successive steps of the operation thereof; and
FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a pair of shoelaces packaged by the apparratus and method of this invention.
The apparatus of the present invention will be described first in general terms, broadly pointing out the primary elements of the apparatus. These primary elements and other parts of the apparatus will be later described in more detail. Only those parts of the apparatus are shown which are necessary to an understanding of the invention, it being understood that any suitable driving mechanism may be employed for providing the required movement of the parts shown in the drawings.
Referring now more particularly to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the apparatus illustrated includes a creel,
broadly designated at 10, upon which an operator positions the shoelaces to be packaged. A folding station 20 is positioned adjacent creel 10 and is adapted for successively receiving a pair of shoelaces A from the creel, forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of thelength of the pair of shoelaces, and presenting the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces to a winding station 30. The winding station 30 includes a rotatable mandrel 31 adapted for receiving the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces and winding the remaining portions or halves of each of the shoelaces thereon into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings lying in parallel planes, and also includes a mechanism for removing the convolute wound pair of shoelaces from the mandrel and flattening the same, applying a wrapper around a medial portion of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces, and delivering the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces and wrapper to a package transfer arm 100. The package transfer arm 100 is pivotally mounted and adapted for receiving the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces and wrapper and transferring the same to a packaging station 120 positioned remotely of the winding station 30. The packaging station 120 includes means for folding the wrapper around the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces for securing the ends of the wrapper in overlying relation to complete the package, and for removing the completed package from the transfer arm.
CREEL The creel (FIG. 1) includes a horizontal shaft 11 driven for continuous rotation by a suitable drive mechanism, not shown, and having a pair of flat, circular support plates 12, 13 mounted at spaced locations on the shaft. Support plate 12 is fixedly secured to one end of shaft 11 and includes a series of radially extending notches 14 (FIG. 2) equally spaced around the circumference of the support plate for receiving pairs of shoelaces therein. Cooperating with each notch 14 is a shoelace gripper arm 15 which is pivotally mounted at one end on support plate 12 and which has the opposite free end extending radially outwardly on the support plate in front of notch 14. Gripper arm 15 is biased by a suitable spring (not shown) to normally remain in front of notch 14 for pinching a pair of shoelaces between one side of notch 14 and the cooperating arm 15 for retaining the pair of shoelaces in the notch.
The support plate 13 is also of flat circular construction similar to support plate 12 and is releasably secured to the shaft 11 by suitable means such as a set screw 13a so that plate 13 may be adjustably positioned along the length of shaft 11. This permits adjusting the spacing between the pair of support plates 12, 13 when different lengths of shoelaces are being wound for positioning the midpoint of the length of the pairs of shoelaces at the proper location in the creel for being presented to folding station 20. Support plate 13 includes a plurality of shoelace retaining members 16 (FIG. 2), equal in number to the number of gripper arms 15 on support plate 12, which are equally spaced around the circumference of plate 13. Each shoelace retaining member 16 includes a base member 17 which is secured to plate 13 adjacent the outer edge thereof and which carries a post 18 extending radially outwardly from plate 13. Base member 17 also carries an arcuate shield 19 which is positioned beside the post 18 and is spaced apart therefrom to provide an arcuate slot S for receiving the end of a pair of shoelaces.
During operation of the machine, an operator loads the creel by first positioning a pair of shoelaces in an arcuate slot S on plate 13 and then drawing the hardened tips of the shoelaces into the slot. The spacing between post 18 and shield 19 is adapted to permit a pair of shoelaces to freely slide through slot S but is adapted to cause the hardened tips of the shoelaces to become wedged between the post 18 and shield 19, thereby positioning the tips of the shoelaces side-by-side in substantial alignment when drawn into the slot as shown in FIG. 2. The pair of shoelaces is then stretched across the creel and positioned in a correspondingly located notch 14 on support plate 12, so that about half of the length of the pair of shoelaces is maintained in extended relation on the creel with the remaining portions of the pair of shoelaces dangling freely from support plate 12.
FOLDING STATION As creel 10 rotates to advance successive pairs of shoelaces to folding station 20, the midpoint of the length of each successive pair of shoelaces A is presented in the path of a reciprocating blade 21 (FIG. 3). Blade 21 is mounted for horizontal reciprocating movement along a suitable track 22 and is driven by an arm 23 in timed relation with the arrival of a pair of shoelaces in the folding station.
Blade 21 is formed of relatively thin material, such as sheet metal, and has a bifurcated leading end, the two legs of which define a shoelace engaging slot 21a therebetween. Slot 21a is of a width adapted to receive the thickness of a single shoelace therein so that when a pair of shoelaces is positioned in the slot, the shoelaces will be arranged laterally of one another.
On its forward stroke, blade 21 is reciprocated from its retracted position as illustrated in FIG. 3 forwardly into a restricted passageway defined between opposing side walls 24a, 25a (FIG. 6) of a cooperating pair of guiding plates 24, 25 to the position illustrated in FIG. 4, it being noted that guiding plates 24, 25 are undercut along their length to define the opposing walls 24a, 25a and position the same in spaced relation. During this forward stroke the blade engages the pair of shoelaces delivered by creel 10 substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof and advances the same forwardly, forming a folded portion or bight substantially about the engaged portion of the pair of shoelaces with the remaining portions or halves of each of the shoelaces of the pair trailing behind the folded portions on opposite sides of blade 21. The slot 21a at the leading end of blade 21 causes one shoelace of the pair to be positioned forwardly of the other shoelace in the slot so that upon the forward stroke of blade 21, the folded portion of one shoelace of the pair is positioned astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace and in nesting relation therewith.
Preferably, for aiding in removing the pair of shoelaces from creel 10 upon being delivered to the folding station 20 and engaged by blade 21, a pair of arms 26, 27 (FIG. 1) are provided extending upwardly adjacent support plates 12, 13 on the side thereof closest to folding station 20. As seen in FIG. 3 with respect to arm 26, but which likewise applies for arm 27 which is not visible in FIG. 3, arm 26 is pivoted at the lower end 26a thereof and is adapted for swinging forwardly in timed relation with the delivery of a pair of shoelaces at folding station 20 to strike the pair of shoelaces adjacent the point of engagement on support plate 12 to free the pair of shoelaces from engagement on the creel for being subsequently folded and wound into convolute relation.
As blade 21 enters the passageway defined between opposing walls 24a, 250, the remaining portions or halves of the pair of shoelaces are guided beneath an Upper pressure plate 28 is biased by a spring 28a to apply pressure against the shoelaces in the passageway. As seen in FIG. 1, spring 28uis adjustable by a thumbscrew 29 (FIG. I) to control the amount of pressure applied against the shoelaces by pressure plate 28. Pressure plate 28 thus servesto prevent the pair of shoelaces from moving rearwardly-with blade 21 on its return stroke and also serves to tension the Shoelaces during'winding thereof on mandrel 31.
WINDING STATION Referring now to FIG. 4, a pair of parallel plates 32, 33 are provided in spaced apart relationin winding station 30, with plate 33 having a central bore in which the end of a rotatable mandrel 31 is positioned for longitudinal movement toward'and away from plate 32. Rotatable mandrel 31 is of tubular construction and has four equally spaced slots therein adapted for receiving the folded portion of a pair of Shoelaces. A- sleeve 34 (FIG. 5) is mounted within mandrel 31 and is provided with four equally spaced slots corresponding to the slots in mandrel 31, which are maintained in alignment with the slots of mandrel 31 when the mandrel is stationary to provide an opening forreceiving the folded portions of a pair of Shoelaces therein. Sleeve 34 is adapted for being rotated a fraction of a turn with respect to mandrel 31 as shown in FIG. 7 upon beginning the winding operation to grip the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces between mandrel 31 and sleeve 34. As shown in FIG. 4,a vertically movable arm 35 is adapted for engagingan outwardly extending lug 36 on the rear por. tion of mandrel 31 for positioning the aforementioned slots in alignment. I
During the forward stroke of blade.21, the free end of mandrel 31 is withdrawn from the space between plates 32,.33 as shown in FIG. 5 to permit the blade to move therebetweem Upon the folded portion of the pair of Shoelaces being deposited atwinding station by blade 21, the free end of mandrel 31 is moved toward plate 32 by a pivotable arm 37, with one of the four slots facing blade 21 for sliding over the folded mandrel into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings lying in parallel planes on the mandrel.
Upon completing the winding, the rotation .of man.-
drel 31 is. stopped with the tips of-the Shoelaces positioned uppermost on the windings. The free end of mandrel 31 is thenwithdrawn from the space between plates 32, 33 to strip theconvolute wound pair of shoelaces from the mandrel. v i 1 Follower arms 45, 46 (FIG. 8) are positioned adjacent mandrel 31 and are adapted for engaging the. pe
riphery of the convolute windings asuthey are built upl onthe mandrel during winding, and for .trapping the free ends of the laces on the periphery of the respective means such as a outwardly (FIG. 9) and applying a force to the periphery of the removed convolute windings to flatten the same while moving the flattened convolute windings upwardly into package transfer arm 100.
A strip of a predetermined length of label or wrapper material W is fed from a suitably positioned wrapper supply reel 60 (FIG. 1), between cooperating feed rolls 61, 62, through a wrapper directing plate 63, between a fixed cutter blade 64 and a movable cutter blade 65, and above plates 32, 33 of the winding station. Wrapper directing plate 63 is adapted to move upwardly as shown in FIG. 4 upon feeding a strip of wrapper material to direct the same across the top of plates 32, 33,
and to assume alowered position after feeding the strip of wrapper material to permit cutting thereof. After a strip of wrapper material W has been fed across the top of plates 32, 33, package transfer arm returns from the packagingstation 120 (as illustrated in FIG. 4) to the winding station 30 (as illustrated in FIG. 3), and the wrapper material W is clamped between a lower portion of transfer arm 100 and the upper surface of plate 33. Movable cutter blade 65 is .then lowered to sever I the strip of wrapper material. As the plunger 50 moves upwardly to flatten the removed convolute wound pair I of Shoelaces and to move the same upwardly into the transfer arm 100, wrapper W is formed around three sides of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces, astride a medial portion thereof, with a length of wrapper material extending downwardly on opposite sides of the flattened convolute wound Shoelaces and forming legs L1, L2 adapted to be folded over each other and secured together to form the package P.
PACKAGE TRANSFER ARM Referring to FIG. 3, the package transfer arm, broadlydesignated at 100, includes a base plate 101 carriedby a hollow shaft 102 which is journaled in a horizontal position by suitable bearings 103 (FIG. 1), and which is adapted for being rotated through approximately 180 degrees by an associated rack and pinion assembly 104. A pair of spaced parallel package receiving legs 105 106 are carried by base plate 101 and are adapted'for being moved upon rotation'ofshaft 102 between a position adjacent winding station 30 and overlying the upper surface of plates 32, 33, and a position adjacent the packaging station for transferring the flattened convolute wound pair of Shoelaces and wrapper from winding station-30 to packaging station 120. Transfer arm 100 also includes a movable platen 107 which is carried-by a shaft 108 positionedwithin hollow shaft 102 and adapted for longitudinal movement with respect thereto. Platen- 107 is moved toward and away from baseplate 10'1 upon'longitudinal movement of inner shaft 108 to operate the associated movable parts of transfer arm 100, to be later described. Parallel legs 105. 106 are spaced apart a distance corresponding to the spacing of plates 32, 33 and are adapted for receiving' the flattened convolute wound pairof shoelaces and overlying wrapper from the winding station upon the upward movement of plunger 50.
Aa movable back-up plate 110 is carried by a pivot arm 11] (FIG. 12) and is biased by a spring 112 to normally remain in a position between legs 105, 106, but which is adapted to be moved away from leg 105 upon the longitudinal movement of inner shaft 108. Back-up plate 110 cooperates with plunger 50 upon the upward stroke thereof for flattening the convolute wound pair of shoelaces therebetween and positioning the flattened pair of shoelaces in the transfer arm. Again referring to FIG. 3, an arm 113 extends parallel to legs 105, I06 of the transfer arm and is carried by movable platen 107 for movement toward and away from the legs 105, 106.
For retaining the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces between the legs 105. 106 of the transfer arm during the transfer operation, a pair of movable pins 114, 115 are slideably positioned across the upper surface of plates 32, 33 in notches in the upper surface thereof (FIG. 4) so as to be located beneath the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces while plunger 50 is at its uppermost position as seen in FIGS. and 11. Pins 114, 115 are spaced apart so as to engage the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces adjacent opposite ends thereof and on opposite sides of the wrapper W which is positioned in the medial portion of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces. Pins 114, 115 extend from opposite sides of a plate 116 which is carried by arm 113 for movement toward and away from legs 105, 106. After pins 114, 115 have been moved under the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces and into cooperating engagement with legs 105, 106 to retain the package in the transfer arm, rack and pinion assembly 104 is operated by suitable means such as a pneumatic cylinder, not shown, to rotate shaft 102 and move transfer arm 100 from winding station to the packaging station 120.
After transfer arm 100 is removed from winding station 30, arm 113 is moved a further step toward transfer lega 105, 106 to bring the leading edge 116a of plate 116, which extends along the width of wrapper W, into contact with the wrapper to fold the upstanding leg L1 of wrapper W down across the surface of the convolute wound pair of shoelaces as shown in FIG. 15.
PACKAGING STATION Referring now to FIG. 4, packaging station includes a folding and sealing head 12] which is carried by arm 122 and reciprocating shaft 123 to provide horizontal movement to the head 121. A rail 124 extends parallel to'arm 122 and is engaged by a movable follower arm 125 carried at the upper end of a vertically reciprocatable shaft 126 for providing up and down movement to head 121 during the folding and sealing operation to be presently described. The packaging station additionally includes a doffer arm 127 (FIG. 3) for removing the completed package from the transfer arm and a chute 128 for deflecting the doffed package away from the apparatus for collection in a suitable receptacle.
As illustrated, folding and sealing head 121 comprises an electrically heated iron which is adapted for activating a thermoplastic adhesive coating on the inner surface of wrapper W to secure the ends of the wrapper in overlying relation. However, when other types of wrapper material are employed. as for example a stiff foil, folding and sealing head 121 may comprise an unheated iron or anvil, since such foil is sufficiently stiff to maintain the package intact after folding without requiring securement by adhesive.
The folding and sealing of the package at the packaging station is effected by a combination of horizontal and vertical movement of head 121. As illustrated in FIG. 15, head 121 is shown to the left of transfer arm for permitting movement of transfer am 100 from winding station 30 to packaging station 120. As previously noted, leg L1 of wrapper W is folded over the package by the movement of the leading edge 116a of plate 116. Upon the transfer arm 100 arriving at the packaging station, head 121 is moved to the right and downwardly as indicated by the dashed lines of FIG. 15 to the position shown in FIG. 16, thereby folding leg L2 over previously folded leg L1 and sealing the two legs in overlying relation to complete the package. Head 121 is then moved upwardly and to the left, to the position shown in FIG. 17. At this point, back-up plate and movable pins 114, are retracted to release the package P from the transfer arm 100. Transfer arm 100 is then returned from package sealing station to winding station 30 for receiving a subsequently wound pair of shoelaces. As legs 105, 106 of the transfer arm move upwardly as shown in FIG. 17, they pass on opposite sides of stationary doffer arm 127, thereby causing the completed package P to be ejected downwardly from the transfer arm.
OPERATION The method of operation of the apparatus has already been given in connection with the detailed description of the parts, however, it is believed that a brief review of the operation of the basic elements of the apparatus would be helpful to an understanding of the invention.
During the operation of the apparatus an operator, seated to the left of creel 10 as viewed in FIG. 1, loads the creel by successively positioning the ends of a pair of shoelaces within the arcuate slot S of an advancing shoelace retaining member 16 on support plate 13, drawing the hardened tips of the pair of shoelaces into slot S to align the same in side-by-side relation, stretching the pair of shoelaces across the creel, and inserting the pair of shoelaces between a corresponding located notch 14 and gripper arm 15 on support plate 12 to maintain a medial portion of the pair of shoelaces in extended relation while permitting the respective runs or remaining portions of the pair of shoelaces to hang freely from support plate 12.
Referring now to-FIG. 3, the advancing pairs of shoelaces on creel 10 are successively delivered to folding station 20 where they are engaged substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof by reciprocating blade 21 and drawn through a restricted passageway in the folding station to form a folded portion in the pair of shoelaces about the point of engagement with blade 21. The folded portion of the pair of shoelaces is delivered to winding station 30 by blade 21 with the remaining portions or halves of the pair of shoelaces extending behind the folded portion and positioned in side-byside relation. At the winding station, the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces is connected or secured to a rotatable mandrel 31, and the mandrel is rotated to wind the respective runs or remaining portions or halves of the pair of shoelaces into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings on the mandrel. After the pair of shoelaces has been wound on the mandrel, the mandrel is withdrawn from the space-between plates 32, 33ito strip the convolute wound pair of shoelaces from the mandrel;
ing station, and package receiving arm 100 is moved from packaging station 120 into its position adjacent winding station 30 with the legs 105, 106 overlying'the upper surface of plates 32, 33.
Plunger 50 then moves upwardly to flatten the' removed convolute wound pair of shoelaces and to move the same upwardly into transfer arm 100 while forming wrapper W around three sides of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to form a pair of upstanding legs L1, L2 on the wrapper. Pins 114, 115 of transfer arm 100 are then positioned beneath the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces and wrapper to retain the same in the transfer arm, and the transfer arm is moved from adjacent the winding station 30 to its position adjacent the packaging station 120. After transfer arm 100 leaves winding station 30, and preferably during the time that the transfer arm is moving from the winding station 30 to "the packaging station l20the leading edge 116a of plate 1 16, folds upstanding leg L1 of wrapper W down across the surface of the convolute wound pair of shoelaces.
After transfer arm 100 arrives at packaging station 120, folding and sealing head 121 folds the remaining leg L2 of wrapper W into overlapping relation with the previously folded leg L1 and sealably secures the legs together tocomplete the package.
Upon completing the package, the movable pins 1 14, 1 l5 and the back-up plate 110 of the transfer arm are retracted, and the doffer arm 127 is positioned between opposing legs 105, 106 of the transfer arm to thereby eject-the completed package P from the transfer arm upon the return thereof from packaging station 120 to winding station 30.
Meanwhile, during the time that transfer arm 100 is away from winding station 30, a succeeding pair of shoelaces is engaged by blade 21, folded, delivered to the winding station, and wound on rotatable mandrel 31. Thus, when transfer arm 100 returns from pack ag ing station 120 to winding station 30 after the-previously wound pair of shoelaces has been packaged, another convolute wound pair of shoelaces is immediately ready to be flattened by plunger 50 andmoved upwardly into transfer arm 100. By simultaneously winding and packaging successive pairs of shoelaces on theapparatus in this manner, it can be seen that the various elements of the apparatus'are functioning mostefficiently with very little dead time, and the rate of production of the apparatus is thereby increased.-
Finally, during the return of transfer arm 100 from packaging station 120 to winding station 30, back-up plate 110 is again positioned betwen legs 105, 106 of the transfer arm, and the transfer arm is again ready toreceive a pair of convolute wound shoelaces. Referring to FIG. 18, it can be seen that the pair of."
shoelaces packaged in accordance with this invention comprises four convolute windings arranged in side-byside relation with the terminal ends of each shoelace located on the exterior surface of the'package. By forming each shoelace of the pair'into a pair of convolute windings rather than into a single coiled winding, as is conventional, a more stable' or wider package is formed which is less likelyto become disarranged or unwound. Thisis so since a fewer number of strand windings are located in each convolute winding than if the'same length strand were conventionally wound into a single convolute coil.
The present invention has been illustrated and described herein with particular reference to winding and packaging apair of shoelaces. It should be evident from the foregoing description, however,.that the invention may be employed, when desired, for .forming a single shoelace into a-convolute wound package. In addition, it should be apparent that the present invention is also adapted for winding and packaging other types of strand material in addition to shoelaces.
In the drawings and specification, there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention and although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.
I claim: I d
1. A method of forming a shoelace into a convolute wound package comprising the steps of:
a. feedinga shoelace to a rotatable member with at least medial length portions of the shoelace extending parallel to the rotatable member and then form- 1 ing a folded portion in the shoelace substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof and connecting the folded portion of the shoelace to the rotatable member with the remaining portions of the shoelace trailing therebehind,
b. rotating the rotatable member while guiding the remaining portions of the shoelace into overlying relation with the folded portion and into side-byside relationship in parallel planes to form'on the rotatable member respective side-by-side convolute windings interconnected by the folded portion 1' and with the respective free ends of the shoelace being beside each other,
c. removing the interconnected convolute shoelace windings from the rotatable member and thereafter flattening the same, and
d. positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings to maintain the same intact and form a package.
' 2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the step offorming the folded portion in the shoelace comprises engaging the shoelace substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof and drawing the engaged portion of the shoelace through a restricted passageway with the remaining'portions of the shoelace trailing therebehind to thereby form the folded portion in the shoelace about the engaged portion thereof.
"3.A method of forming a pair of shoelaces into a convolute wound package comprising the steps of:
a. feeding a pair of shoelaces to a rotatable member with at least medial length portions of the shoelaces extending parallel to the rotatable member and then forming a folded portion in the pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof and connecting the folded portion of each of the shoelaces to the rotatable member with the folded "portion of a first shoelace of the pair positioned astraddle the folded portion of the second shoelace of the pair and nesting therewith and with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair trailing therebehind,
b. rotating the rotatable member while guiding the remaining portions of the second shoelace into side-by-side relationship and into overlying relation with the folded portion thereof and guiding the remaining portions of the first shoelace on opposite sides of the remaining portions of the second shoelace to form the first and second shoelace into respective outer and inner pairs of convolute windings lying in parallel planes on the rotatable member and with the respective free ends of the shoelaces being beside each other.
4. A method according to claim 3 wherein the step of forming the folded portion in the pair of shoelaces comprises engaging the pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof while positioning the first shoelace forwardly of the second shoelace and in contiguous relation therewith, and drawing the engaged portions of the pair of shoelaces forwardly through a restricted passageway to form the folded portion in each of the shoelaces about the point of engagement thereof with the folded portion of the first shoelace being positioned astraddle the folded portion of the second shoelace and nesting therewith.
5. A method according to claim 3, wherein the step of positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings includes positioning the wrapper to engage terminal end portions of the pair of shoelaces on the periphery of the respective convolute windings to prevent dislocation thereof from their convolute wound position.
6. A method of packaging pairs of shoelaces comprising the sequential steps of:
a. advancing a plurality of shoelaces in pairs to a folding station with at least medial length portions of the shoelaces extending transverse of the direction of advancing,
b. successively receiving a pair of the advancing shoelaces in the folding station and forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof,
c. presenting the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces to a rotatable member and connecting the same thereto with the folded portion of one of the shoelaces of the pair positioned astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace of the pair and nesting therewith and with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair trailing therebehind,
d. rotating the rotatable member while guiding the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair into side-by-side parallel relationship to form a series of four side-by-side convolute windings lying in parallel planes on the rotatable member and with the respective free ends of the shoelaces being beside each other,
e. removing the interconnected pairs of convolute shoelace windings from the rotatable member and thereafter flattening the same, and
f. positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings to maintain the same intact and form a package of the pair of shoelaces.
7. A method according to claim 6 including the further step of maintaining at least a medial portion of the respective pairs of advancing shoelaces in extended side-by-side relationship by grippingly engaging the respective pairs of shoelaces at spaced locations along their length on opposite sides of the midpoint of the length.
. 8, A method according to claim 7 including the further step of moving the respective pairs of advancing shoelaces from their grippingly engaged position for being folded and presented to the rotatable member for winding thereon.
9. A method according to claim 6 which comprises repeating on a succeeding pair of shoelaces several of all of the steps recited prior to completing the last recited step on the preceding pair of shoelaces.
10. A method of packaging pairs of shoelaces comprising the sequential steps of:
a. advancing a plurality of shoelaces in pairs to a folding station with at least medial length portions of the shoelaces extending transverse of the direction of advancing,
b. successively receiving a pair of the advancing shoelaces in the folding station and forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof,
c. presenting the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces to a rotatable member and connecting the same thereto with the folded portion of one of the shoelaces of the pair positioned astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace of the pair and nesting therewith, and with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair trailing therebehind,
d. rotating the rotatable member while guiding the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair into side-by-side parallel relationship by passage through a restricted passageway to form a series of four side-by-side convolute windings lying in parallel planes on the rotatable member and with the respective free ends of the shoelaces being beside each other,
e. removing the interconnected pairs of convolute shoelace windings from the rotatable member and thereafter flattening the same, and
f. positioning a wrapper astride at least a medial portion of the flattened convolute shoelace windings,
g. transferring the flattened convolute shoelace windings and wrapper to a packaging station, and
h. securing the wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings at the packaging station to form a package of the pair of shoelaces.
l l. A method according to claim 10 wherein the step of positioning a wrapper astride at least a medial portion of the flattened convolute shoelace windings comprises moving at least a medial portion of the flattened convolute shoelace windings into engagement with the wrapper and moving opposite ends of the wrapper toward each other to form a pair of upstanding legs on the wrapper with the flattened convolute shoelace windings positioned therebetween in parallel planes, andwherein the step of securing the wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings comprises folding the upstanding legs of the wrapper into overlapping relation and securing the same together to complete the shoelace package.
12. Apparatus for packaging a pair of shoelaces comprising a. a rotatable mandrel about which a pair of shoelaces is adapted to be wound into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings,
b. means positioned adjacent said mandrel for forming a folded portion in the pair of shoelaces substantially aboutthe midpoint of the length thereof,
positioning the folded portion of one ofthe-shoelaces astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace and in nesting relation therewith, and delivering the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces into engagement with said mandrel with the remaining portions of .each of the shoelaces trailing therebehind, V 1 l c. means associated withsaid last recited meansfor guiding the remaining portions of the pair of shoelaces into side-by-siderelation for being wound on said mandrel into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings, i
d. means for removing the convolute wound pair of shoelacesfrom said mandrel, i V
e. means associated with said removing means for flattening the removed convolute wound 'pairof shoelaces, and i I f. means cooperating with said flattening means for positioning a wrapper around the ffattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to maintain the same intact and form a package.
13. Apparatus according to claim 12 wher'ifi' said guiding means comprises meansdefining a'restricted passageway, and wherein said means (b')'comprises reciprocablemeans 'mounted for reciprocating movement into and out of said passageway for engaging a pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof, positioning the engaged portions of the pair of shoelaces alongside each other in contiguous relation, and drawing the engaged portions of the pair of shoelaces through said restricted passageway to form nesting folded portions in the pair of shoelaces.
14. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said reciprocable means comprises an elongate blade having a bifurcated leading end defining a shoelace engaging slot with the shoelace engaging slot being of a width adapted to receive the thickness of a single shoelace therein and to arrange the engaged portions of the pair of shoelaces in said folded nesting relation.
15. Apparatus according to claim 12 wherein said rotatable mandrel is of tubular construction and includes a longitudinally extending slot for receiving therein the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces, and wherein said mandrel has means associated therewith for releasably securing the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces in said slot.
16. Apparatus according to claim 12 including means adjacent said mandrel for engaging the terminal ends of the pair of shoelaces on the periphery of the respective convolute windings to prevent dislocation thereof from their convolute wound position.
17. Apparatus for packaging a pair of shoelaces comprising a. a rotatable mandrel about which a pair of shoelaces is adapted to be wound into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings,
b. creel means for receiving and advancing a plurality of shoelaces of substantially equal length arranged in pairs,
c. means for successively receiving the advancing pairs of shoelaces from said creel means, forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length of the pair of shoelaces, positioning the folded portion of one of the shoelaces astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace and in nesting relation therewith, and delivering the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces into engagement. with :said mandrel with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces trailing therebed. means associated with said'last recited means for guiding the remaining portions of the pair of shoelaces into side-by-side relation for being wound on said mandrel into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings,
v e. means'for removing the convolute wound pair of shoelaces from said mandrel,
f. means associated with said removing means for flattening the removed convolute wound pair of shoelaces, and
g. means cooperating with said flattening means for I positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to maintian the same intact and form a package.
18. Apparatus-according to' claim 17 wherein said creel means includes a plurality of laterally spaced pairs of shoelace gripper means adapted for movement toward said means (c), each pair of shoelace gripper means being positioned for engaging a pair of shoelaces at spaced locations along the length thereof on opposite sides of the midpoint of the length and being adapted for maintaining a medial portion of the pair 'of shoelaces in extended relation while moving the same toward said means (0). i
19. Apparatus according to claim 18 including mea ns cooperating with said creel means for engaging the pair of shoelaces adjacent the locations of engagement by said pair of gripper means to remove the pair of shoelaces from engagement thereby for being delivered to said mandrel for winding thereon.
20. Apparatus for packaging a pair of shoelaces comprising a. a rotatable mandrel about which a pair of shoelaces is adapted to be wound into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings,
b. creel means for receiving and advancing a plurality of shoelaces of substantially equal length arranged in pairs,
c. means for successively receiving the advancing pairs of shoelaces from said creel means, forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length of the pair of shoelaces, positioning the folded portion of one of the shoelaces astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace and in nesting relation therewith, and delivering the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces into engagement with said mandrel with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces trailing therebehind,
d. means associated with said last recited means for guiding the remaining portions of the pair of shoelaces into side-by-side relation for being wound on said mandrel into a series of side-by-side convolute windings,
e. means for removing the convolute wound pair of shoelaces from said mandrel, I
f. plunger means associated with said removing means for flattening the removed convolute wound pair of shoelaces while moving the same away from said mandrel,
g. means adjacent said plunger means for providing a predetermined length of wrapper material in the path of movement of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces,
h. means positioning adjacent said plunger means for receiving the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces from said plunger means and cooperating therewith for positioning the wrapper astride at least a medial portion of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces,
i. said last recited means being movable from said position adjacent said plunger means to a position remote therefrom for transferring the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces and wrapper away from said mandrel and said plunger means for quickly freeing said mandrel for winding a successive pair of shoelaces thereon, and
j. packaging means positioned adjacent said remote position of said last recited means for securing the wrapper around the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to complete the package.
21. A method of forming a shoelace into a convolute wound package comprising the steps of,
feeding a shoelace to a folding station with at least medial length portions of the shoelace extending transverse of the direction of feeding and then forming a folded portion substantially at the midpoint of the length of the shoelace with the runs of the shoelace extending therefrom,
b. winding the runs of the shoelace into convolute windings positioned in side-by-side relationship in parallel planes with the folded portion of the shoelace being in the innermost winding of the convolute windings,
c. flattening the convolute windings, and
d. positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute windings of the shoelace to maintain the same intact and form a package.
22. A method of forming a pair of shoelaces into a convolute wound package comprising the steps of,
a. feeding a pair of shoelaces to a folding station with at least medial length portions of the shoelaces extending transverse of the direction of feeding and then forming a folded portion substantially at the midpoint of each of the shoelaces of the pair with the folded portions of one of said pair being nestingly arranged to the other and with the respective runs of the shoelaces extending from the folded portions,
b. winding respective runs of the shoelaces into four convolute windings positioned in side-by-side relationship in parallel planes with the folded portions of the shoelaces being in the innermost winding of the convolute windings,
c. flattening the convolute windings and d. positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute windings of the shoelaces to maintain the same intact and form a package.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 3, 906, 701 DATED September 23, 1975 N I Newman McIntyre It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 5, Line 24, "portions" should be portion--. Column 6, Line 53, "surface" should be surfaces. Column 7, Line 41, "lega" should be legs. Column 9, Line 9, "surface" should be --surfaces--. Column 11, Line 9, CLAIM 3, after "other" change the period to a comma and insert the following:
--(c) removing the interconnected convolute shoelace windings from the rotatable member and thereafter flattening the same, and
(d) positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings to maintain the same intact and form a package.
Column 15, Line 1, CLAIM 20, "positioning" should be -positioned- Signed and Scaled this twenty-third D ay Of December I 9 75 [SEAL] A ttes t:
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner nflarents and Trademarks

Claims (22)

1. A method of forming a shoelace into a convolute wound package comprising the steps of: a. feeding a shoelace to a rotatable member with at least medial length portions of the shoelace extending parallel to the rotatable member and then forming a folded portion in the shoelace substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof and connecting the folded portion of the shoelace to the rotatable member with the remaining portions of the shoelace trailing therebehind, b. rotating the rotatable member while guiding the remaining portions of the shoelace into overlying relation with the folded portion and into side-by-side relationship in parallel planes to form on the rotatable member respective side-by-side convolute windings interconnected by the folded portion and with the respective free ends of the shoelace being beside each other, c. removing the interconnected convolute shoelace windings from the rotatable member and thereafter flattening the same, and d. positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings to maintain the same intact and form a package.
2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the step of forming the folded portion in the shoelace comprises engaging the shoelace substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof and drawing the engaged portion of the shoelace through a restricted passageway with the remaining portions of the shoelace trailing therebehind to thereby form the folded portion in the shoelace about the engaged portion thereof.
3. A method of forming a pair of shoelaces into a convolute wound package comprising the steps of: a. feeding a pair of shoelaces to a rotatable member with at least medial length portions of the shoelaces extending parallel to the rotatable member and then forming a folded portion in the pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof and connecting the folded portion of each of the shoelaces to the rotatable member with the folded portion of a first shoelace of the pair positioned astraddle the folded portion of the second shoelace of the pair and nesting therewith and with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair trailing therebehind, b. rotating the rotatable member while guiding the remaining portions of the second shoelace into side-by-side relationship and into overlying relation with the folded portion thereof and guiding the remaining portions of the first shoelace on opposite sides of the remaining portions of the second shoelace to form the first and second shoelace into respective outer and inner pairs of convolute windings lying in parallel planes on the rotatable member and with the respective free ends of the shoelaCes being beside each other.
4. A method according to claim 3 wherein the step of forming the folded portion in the pair of shoelaces comprises engaging the pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof while positioning the first shoelace forwardly of the second shoelace and in contiguous relation therewith, and drawing the engaged portions of the pair of shoelaces forwardly through a restricted passageway to form the folded portion in each of the shoelaces about the point of engagement thereof with the folded portion of the first shoelace being positioned astraddle the folded portion of the second shoelace and nesting therewith.
5. A method according to claim 3, wherein the step of positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings includes positioning the wrapper to engage terminal end portions of the pair of shoelaces on the periphery of the respective convolute windings to prevent dislocation thereof from their convolute wound position.
6. A method of packaging pairs of shoelaces comprising the sequential steps of: a. advancing a plurality of shoelaces in pairs to a folding station with at least medial length portions of the shoelaces extending transverse of the direction of advancing, b. successively receiving a pair of the advancing shoelaces in the folding station and forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof, c. presenting the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces to a rotatable member and connecting the same thereto with the folded portion of one of the shoelaces of the pair positioned astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace of the pair and nesting therewith and with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair trailing therebehind, d. rotating the rotatable member while guiding the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair into side-by-side parallel relationship to form a series of four side-by-side convolute windings lying in parallel planes on the rotatable member and with the respective free ends of the shoelaces being beside each other, e. removing the interconnected pairs of convolute shoelace windings from the rotatable member and thereafter flattening the same, and f. positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings to maintain the same intact and form a package of the pair of shoelaces.
7. A method according to claim 6 including the further step of maintaining at least a medial portion of the respective pairs of advancing shoelaces in extended side-by-side relationship by grippingly engaging the respective pairs of shoelaces at spaced locations along their length on opposite sides of the midpoint of the length.
8. A method according to claim 7 including the further step of moving the respective pairs of advancing shoelaces from their grippingly engaged position for being folded and presented to the rotatable member for winding thereon.
9. A method according to claim 6 which comprises repeating on a succeeding pair of shoelaces several of all of the steps recited prior to completing the last recited step on the preceding pair of shoelaces.
10. A method of packaging pairs of shoelaces comprising the sequential steps of: a. advancing a plurality of shoelaces in pairs to a folding station with at least medial length portions of the shoelaces extending transverse of the direction of advancing, b. successively receiving a pair of the advancing shoelaces in the folding station and forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof, c. presenting the folded portion of the pair of shoelaces to a rotatable member and connecting the same thereto with the folded portion of one of the shoelaces of the pair positioned astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace of the pair and nesting therewith, and with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair trailing therebehind, d. rotating the rotaTable member while guiding the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces of the pair into side-by-side parallel relationship by passage through a restricted passageway to form a series of four side-by-side convolute windings lying in parallel planes on the rotatable member and with the respective free ends of the shoelaces being beside each other, e. removing the interconnected pairs of convolute shoelace windings from the rotatable member and thereafter flattening the same, and f. positioning a wrapper astride at least a medial portion of the flattened convolute shoelace windings, g. transferring the flattened convolute shoelace windings and wrapper to a packaging station, and h. securing the wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings at the packaging station to form a package of the pair of shoelaces.
11. A method according to claim 10 wherein the step of positioning a wrapper astride at least a medial portion of the flattened convolute shoelace windings comprises moving at least a medial portion of the flattened convolute shoelace windings into engagement with the wrapper and moving opposite ends of the wrapper toward each other to form a pair of upstanding legs on the wrapper with the flattened convolute shoelace windings positioned therebetween in parallel planes, and wherein the step of securing the wrapper around the flattened convolute shoelace windings comprises folding the upstanding legs of the wrapper into overlapping relation and securing the same together to complete the shoelace package.
12. Apparatus for packaging a pair of shoelaces comprising a. a rotatable mandrel about which a pair of shoelaces is adapted to be wound into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings, b. means positioned adjacent said mandrel for forming a folded portion in the pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof, positioning the folded portion of one of the shoelaces astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace and in nesting relation therewith, and delivering the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces into engagement with said mandrel with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces trailing therebehind, c. means associated with said last recited means for guiding the remaining portions of the pair of shoelaces into side-by-side relation for being wound on said mandrel into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings, d. means for removing the convolute wound pair of shoelaces from said mandrel, e. means associated with said removing means for flattening the removed convolute wound pair of shoelaces, and f. means cooperating with said flattening means for positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to maintain the same intact and form a package.
13. Apparatus according to claim 12 wherein said guiding means comprises means defining a restricted passageway, and wherein said means (b) comprises reciprocable means mounted for reciprocating movement into and out of said passageway for engaging a pair of shoelaces substantially about the midpoint of the length thereof, positioning the engaged portions of the pair of shoelaces alongside each other in contiguous relation, and drawing the engaged portions of the pair of shoelaces through said restricted passageway to form nesting folded portions in the pair of shoelaces.
14. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said reciprocable means comprises an elongate blade having a bifurcated leading end defining a shoelace engaging slot with the shoelace engaging slot being of a width adapted to receive the thickness of a single shoelace therein and to arrange the engaged portions of the pair of shoelaces in said folded nesting relation.
15. Apparatus according to claim 12 wherein said rotatable mandrel is of tubular construction and includes a longitudinally extending slot for receiving therein the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces, and wherein said manDrel has means associated therewith for releasably securing the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces in said slot.
16. Apparatus according to claim 12 including means adjacent said mandrel for engaging the terminal ends of the pair of shoelaces on the periphery of the respective convolute windings to prevent dislocation thereof from their convolute wound position.
17. Apparatus for packaging a pair of shoelaces comprising a. a rotatable mandrel about which a pair of shoelaces is adapted to be wound into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings, b. creel means for receiving and advancing a plurality of shoelaces of substantially equal length arranged in pairs, c. means for successively receiving the advancing pairs of shoelaces from said creel means, forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length of the pair of shoelaces, positioning the folded portion of one of the shoelaces astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace and in nesting relation therewith, and delivering the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces into engagement with said mandrel with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces trailing therebehind. d. means associated with said last recited means for guiding the remaining portions of the pair of shoelaces into side-by-side relation for being wound on said mandrel into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings, e. means for removing the convolute wound pair of shoelaces from said mandrel, f. means associated with said removing means for flattening the removed convolute wound pair of shoelaces, and g. means cooperating with said flattening means for positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to maintian the same intact and form a package.
18. Apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said creel means includes a plurality of laterally spaced pairs of shoelace gripper means adapted for movement toward said means (c), each pair of shoelace gripper means being positioned for engaging a pair of shoelaces at spaced locations along the length thereof on opposite sides of the midpoint of the length and being adapted for maintaining a medial portion of the pair of shoelaces in extended relation while moving the same toward said means (c).
19. Apparatus according to claim 18 including means cooperating with said creel means for engaging the pair of shoelaces adjacent the locations of engagement by said pair of gripper means to remove the pair of shoelaces from engagement thereby for being delivered to said mandrel for winding thereon.
20. Apparatus for packaging a pair of shoelaces comprising a. a rotatable mandrel about which a pair of shoelaces is adapted to be wound into a series of four side-by-side convolute windings, b. creel means for receiving and advancing a plurality of shoelaces of substantially equal length arranged in pairs, c. means for successively receiving the advancing pairs of shoelaces from said creel means, forming a folded portion substantially about the midpoint of the length of the pair of shoelaces, positioning the folded portion of one of the shoelaces astraddle the folded portion of the other shoelace and in nesting relation therewith, and delivering the nesting folded portions of the pair of shoelaces into engagement with said mandrel with the remaining portions of each of the shoelaces trailing therebehind, d. means associated with said last recited means for guiding the remaining portions of the pair of shoelaces into side-by-side relation for being wound on said mandrel into a series of side-by-side convolute windings, e. means for removing the convolute wound pair of shoelaces from said mandrel, f. plunger means associated with said removing means for flattening the removed convolute wound pair of shoelaces while moving the same away from said mandrel, g. means adjacent said plunger means for providing a predetermined length of wrapper material in the patH of movement of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces, h. means positioning adjacent said plunger means for receiving the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces from said plunger means and cooperating therewith for positioning the wrapper astride at least a medial portion of the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces, i. said last recited means being movable from said position adjacent said plunger means to a position remote therefrom for transferring the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces and wrapper away from said mandrel and said plunger means for quickly freeing said mandrel for winding a successive pair of shoelaces thereon, and j. packaging means positioned adjacent said remote position of said last recited means for securing the wrapper around the flattened convolute wound pair of shoelaces to complete the package.
21. A method of forming a shoelace into a convolute wound package comprising the steps of, feeding a shoelace to a folding station with at least medial length portions of the shoelace extending transverse of the direction of feeding and then forming a folded portion substantially at the midpoint of the length of the shoelace with the runs of the shoelace extending therefrom, b. winding the runs of the shoelace into convolute windings positioned in side-by-side relationship in parallel planes with the folded portion of the shoelace being in the innermost winding of the convolute windings, c. flattening the convolute windings, and d. positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute windings of the shoelace to maintain the same intact and form a package.
22. A method of forming a pair of shoelaces into a convolute wound package comprising the steps of, a. feeding a pair of shoelaces to a folding station with at least medial length portions of the shoelaces extending transverse of the direction of feeding and then forming a folded portion substantially at the midpoint of each of the shoelaces of the pair with the folded portions of one of said pair being nestingly arranged to the other and with the respective runs of the shoelaces extending from the folded portions, b. winding respective runs of the shoelaces into four convolute windings positioned in side-by-side relationship in parallel planes with the folded portions of the shoelaces being in the innermost winding of the convolute windings, c. flattening the convolute windings and d. positioning a wrapper around the flattened convolute windings of the shoelaces to maintain the same intact and form a package.
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US4984410A (en) * 1989-07-24 1991-01-15 General Shoelace Co. Apparatus of winding and packaging shoelaces into pairs
US5311721A (en) * 1991-11-29 1994-05-17 Hanscom-Madex, A.I.E. Wire winding and tying machine with magnetized hanking head

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US972222A (en) * 1910-02-23 1910-10-11 Henry T Curtwright Hose-reel.
US1202645A (en) * 1915-10-12 1916-10-24 Joseph L Baldwin Hose-reel.
US2620609A (en) * 1948-02-13 1952-12-09 Mervyn Harold Hamilton Wills Machine for wrapping and labeling newspapers, magazines, and the like
US3024580A (en) * 1960-03-31 1962-03-13 Mcintyre Packaging Inc Strand winding and packaging apparatus and method
US3145516A (en) * 1961-03-06 1964-08-25 Warren W Hannon Apparatus for the packaging of newspapers or the like
US3053024A (en) * 1961-04-07 1962-09-11 Wexler Joseph Machine for folding and wrapping paper bundles
US3416287A (en) * 1966-08-19 1968-12-17 Mcintyre Packaging Inc Apparatus and method for winding and packaging web material
US3694998A (en) * 1970-06-25 1972-10-03 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Apparatus for wrapping a flexible endless band into a coil

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4106264A (en) * 1976-10-22 1978-08-15 H. F. Hanscom & Company, Inc. Apparatus for compressing and holding a hanked package of flexible material during fastening
US4696145A (en) * 1984-01-13 1987-09-29 Enviro-Spray Systems Incorporated Automatic container stuffing apparatus and method
EP0244679A2 (en) * 1986-04-24 1987-11-11 Yoshida Kogyo K.K. Apparatus for bundling an elongated article
EP0244679A3 (en) * 1986-04-24 1988-11-09 Yoshida Kogyo K.K. Method and apparatus for bundling an elongated article
US4783948A (en) * 1986-04-24 1988-11-15 Yoshida Kogyo K. K. Method and apparatus for bundling and elongated article
US4984410A (en) * 1989-07-24 1991-01-15 General Shoelace Co. Apparatus of winding and packaging shoelaces into pairs
US5311721A (en) * 1991-11-29 1994-05-17 Hanscom-Madex, A.I.E. Wire winding and tying machine with magnetized hanking head
USRE35015E (en) * 1991-11-29 1995-08-15 Hanscom-Madex, A.I.E. Wire winding and tying machine with magnetized hanking head

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