US 2749115 A
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June 5, 1956 s. COHN ETAL 2,749,115
FOLDING APPARATUS FOR TRAVELLING was MATERIAL Filed Dec. 15, 1952 FIG.I
INVENT RS Sam?! Ca /7 ATTORN F OLDHIG APPARATUS FOR TRAVELLING WEB MATERIAL Samuel C0111], Eugene Cohn, and Jules G. Walter, New York, N. Y., assignors to Samcoe Holding Corporation, Woodside, N. Y., a corporation of New York Application December 13, 1952, Serial No. 325,752
1 Claim. 7 (Cl. 27t)79) This invention relates to apparatus for folding a travelling web of material such as a continuous length of tubular knitted fabric in flattened form.
Tubular knitted fabric is produced in continuous lengths which are subjected to various treating operations prior to being cut into garments. In between various treat- States Patent ing operations the fabric is folded into a pile so that it may be easily transported to the starting point of a successive treating operation. In many instances it is not essential that an extremely accurate folding be accomplished, and it is in these instances that the apparatus of this invention is particularly useful.
Heretofore folding apparatus for continuous lengths of textile fabric have not been capable of folding the fabric into satisfactory, though perhaps slightly rough, folded piles at a rate much in excess of to 35 yards a minute. Most of the previously known folders employ oscillating guide rolls and it is believed that the relatively rapid acceleration and deceleration of the guide rolls inherent in such apparatus is responsible for the limited capacity.
It is an object of this invention to provide a folding apparatus that will provide satisfactory, though perhaps not extremely accurately folded piles of fabric at rates of 120 yards per minute, and in certain instances at rates even considerably greater.
According to the invention, the web material or fabric is fed downwardly by a suitable feeding means at a substantially constant speed toward a supporting surface which is adapted to support the material as it is folded. The depending length of material is freely engaged by a guide means at a point substantially closer to its upper end than to the supporting surface. The guide means is moved outwardly from the vertical plane of the feeding means a predetermined distance, carrying the constantly changing intermediate section of the depending length of material with it. The guide means is then moved inwardly again and the intermediate section of the depending length of material is thereby permitted to return freely to its vertically depending position in the vertical plane of the feed means. The speed of the feeding means and the speed of movement of the guide means are preferably so synchronized that the web material forms continuous folds, one on top of the other, on the supporting surface, the length of each of which is substantially equal to or perhaps a little greater than the distance which the guiding means travels outwardly from the vertical plane of the feeding means. By varying the relative speed of the guiding means with respect to the speed of the feeding means, folds of different lengths may be formed.
For a more detailed description of one type of apparatus embodying the invention, reference may be had to the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. l is an elevation thereof;
Fig. 2 is a partial plan view of the apparatus of Fig. 1; and
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary section in elevation of the guiding means taken along line 33 of Fig. l.
The apparatus comprises any suitable framework 10 mounted on a support 11 to partially overlie a supporting surface 12 adapted to receive a pile of folded fabric. A housing 13 also mounted on support 11 supports within it a pair of feed rolls 14 and 15 which cooperate to draw a length of fabric 16 into the apparatus. The lower feed roll 15 is carried on a shaft 17 which has aflixed thereto a double sprocket 18. To one part of such sprocket is secured a drive chain 19 by which shaft 17 and feed roll 15 are rotated. Upper feed roll 14 is supported by feed roll 15 and is permitted to move freely up and down to accommodate fabrics 16 of varying thickness. For this purpose feed roll 14 is mounted on a shaft 21, the opposite ends of which are confined between pairs of vertical guides 22 (only one pair being here shown).
After passing between feed rolls 14 and 15, the fabric 16 is drawn upwardly by an overhead feed roll 23 having a rough surface. Feed roll 23 carried by a shaft 24 journaled in bearings 25 secured to upper members 26 of the frame (only one bearing and upper frame member being shown) extends transversely of the frame and lies in a substantially horizontal plane. The outer end of shaft 24 has secured thereto a drive sprocket 27 whereby the feed roll may be positively rotated by means of a chain drive 28.
Beneath the feed roll 23 are located a pair of endless chains 30, one on each side of the frame 10 and only one being shown in the drawing. The chains are mounted on pairs of sprockets 31 and 32, sprockets 31 being in turn fixed to a drive shaft 33 supported on frame members 34 (only one shown) and extending transversely of frame 10. The outer end of shaft 33 carries a pair of drive sprockets 36 and 37. Drive sprocket 37 is connected by a drive chain 38 to double sprocket 18 of the intake feed roll 15, drive sprocket 36 being connected to the drive sprocket 27 for feed roll 23 by drive chain 28. Sprockets 32 are idler sprockets freely mounted on stud shafts 40 secured to frame members 34. Collars 41 maintain sprockets 32 on their respective stud shafts.
It will be noted in Fig. 2 that the apparatus described in the previous paragraph, except for shaft 33, lies wholly on one or the other side of the framework and thus does not interfere with the fabric 16 as it passes over feed roll 23 and moves downwardly toward supporting surface 12. Additionally, shaft 33 is located substantially directly below feed roll 23 and slightly to the rear (to the left, as seen in Fig. 1) of the vertical plane in which the fabric 16 leaves the surface of the feed roll 23.
A guide roll 50 supported on a shaft 51 extends transversely of the machine in a substantially horizontal plane, the ends of shaft 51 being supported in anti-friction bearings 52 (Fig. 3) which are in turn mounted on brackets 53 secured to drive chains 30. The brackets 53 supporting the opposite ends of the guide roll shaft 51 are secured to corresponding links in drive chains 30. Additionally, drive sprockets 31 which support corresponding ends of the drive chains 30 are secured to drive shaft 33 so that their respective teeth are in alignment. Hence, as the endless chains 30 are moved by the drive sprockets 31, the guide roll 50 will always be maintained parallel to drive shaft 31, that is, it will always extend transversely of the machine and lie in a horizontal plane. The surface of drive roll 50 is preferably smooth, but in any event because of its mounting in anti-friction bearings 52 it will in no way affect the downward course of the fabric 16 from feed roll 23.
In operation, the length of fabric 16 is fed to the bite of feed rolls 14 and 15 and thence is drawn upwardly and over feed roll 23. From there it drops downwardly toward supporting surface 12. The guide roller 50, which is moved back and forth by drive chains 30, engages the fabric as the links of the chain from which it is supported leave drive sprockets 31 and move to the right, as seen in Fig. 1, through the upper flights of the chains. The intermediate section of the fabric is thus moved to the right longitudinally of the frame, as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 1. Provided that the speed of the chains and the speed of rotation of the feed roll 23 are properly synchronized, a fold which is substantially equal in length to the distance between sprockets 31 and 32 is formed. If the feed speed of the fabric is relatively less, a shorter fold will be formed.
When the feed roll reaches the sprockets 32, it moves downwardly and thence back towards sprockets 31 on the lower flights of the chain. With the speeds of the chains and the feed roll synchronized, as first stated above, the guide roll 50 during its return travel will actually move out of contact with the fabric and the fabric will be permitted to form with the fold purely by reason of the gravitational force thereon.
For proper operation of the apparatus, the supporting surface 12 should be located a sufiicient distance beneath the path of travel of the guide roll 50 so that the unsupported lengths of fabric beneath the guide roll is always greater than the length of fabric between feed roll 23 and guide roll 50. The reason for this will be clear in that, unless such is the case, there would be a tendency for the fabric to drop downwardly behind guide roll 50 during the outward travel thereof.
It will also be clear that to obtain the greatest fold length possible without interference, the relative positions of the feed roll 23 and the guide chains 30 should be as shown, that is, the feed roll 23 should lie substantially directly above and perhaps slightly to the rear of the inner ends of the endless chains 30 supported on sprockets 31. This also results in the feed roll 50 being definitely clear of the fabric during its change from return travel 0 to outgoing travel.
Various changes and modifications in the apparatus 4 illustrated and described will of course be apparent to those skilled in the art and it should therefore be understood that the invention is not to be limited except to the extent set forth in the appended claim.
Folding apparatus for travelling web material comprising a frame, an overhead web-feeding roll supported by said frame and extending transversely thereof, means for driving said web-feeding roll, said overhead web-feeding roll being adapted to feed the web downwardly to a supporting surface, a pair of endless chains supported on opposite sides of said frame beneath said web-feeding roll and extending longitudinally of the frame, means for driving said chains, means interconnecting said feeding roll driving means and said chain-driving means whereby one is operated in synchronism with the other, and a single guide bar supported by and between said endless chains and extending transversely of the frame, said guide bar being thereby movable back and forth lengthwise of the frame and being adapted to engage during at least a portion of its travel a web fed downwardly by the web-feeding means, one pair of adjacent ends of the endless chains lying substantially directly beneath the feeding roll whereby the guide bar is moved outwardly substantially from the vertical plane of the feeding roll and then inwardly thereto and said endless chain being so located with respect to the feeding roll and the supporting surface that the unsupported length Of web below the guide bar is always longer than the length of web extending from the feeding roll to the guide bar.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,408,083 Durot Feb. 28, 1922 2,482,764 Haeberlin Sept. 27, 1949 2,497,786 Miller Feb. 14, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS 55,267 Germany July 19, 1890 149,976 Switzerland Dec. 16, 1931