US 2887313 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ADJUSTABLE WIDTH SMALL PIECEFOLDER AND sTAcxER A Filed Jan. 5, 1955 C. S. MALOTT, JR
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ADJUSTABLE WIDTH SMALL PIECE FOLDER AND S'IIACKER Filed Jan. 5. 1955 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENToR. CZ/FraN NHL 077' J7?.
"May 19, 1959 c. s. MALOTT, JR 2,387,313
ADJUSTABLE WIDTH SMALL PIECE FOLDER AND STACKER Filed Jan. 5, 1955 5 Sheets-Sheet i5 May 19, 1959 c. s. MALo'rT, JR
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* ADJUSTABLE WIDTH SMALL PIECE FOLDER AND STACKR "Fml A yllllllnhn A IN1/wrox 6.1. /Frmv f N42 arr Jie.
Arrnwrys United States ADJUSTABLE WIDTH SMALL PIECE FOLDER AND STACKER Clifton s. Maine, Jr., Silverton, ohio, signor to The American Laundry Machinery Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Application January 5, 1955, Serial No. 479,884
8 Claims. (Cl. 270--86) This invention relates to folding and stacking devices such as are used, for example, to fold laundry atwork articles such as towels, pillowcases or the like. The invention is an improvement on that particular type of folding machine which utilizes forward movement of a succession of articles along a conveyor for producing longitudinal folds therein. ,f
For a detailed study of folding and stacking machines of this general type reference may be had, respectively, to my prior United States Letters Patents No. 2,579,746, granted December 25, 1951, for Machine for Folding Limp Flat Articles, and No. 2,488,674, granted November 22, 1949, for Stacking Device for Folding Machines.
.In United States Letters Patent No. 2,579,746, above identified, there is disclosed a machine for folding atwork articles of moderate size wherein each article is moved on a conveyor along the top surface of a fixed folding plate with the lateral edges of the article depending from the lateral edges of the plate. In their forward progress these lateral edges of the article come into contact withprespective turning wings extending along and beneath the right and left lateral edges of the folding plate, and the contour of these wings is such that the said depending edges of the article are directed inwardly and progressively under and upwardly towards the folding plate so that when the article is moved past the folding plate it is longitudinally folded along two well-defined folding lines which are spaced apart a distance slightly exceeding the width of the folding plate. Thereafter the article may be folded transversely, after which it proceeds to an automatic stacking device such as shown, for example, in my aforesaid United States Letters Patent No. 2,488,674.
It will be understood that in folding machines of the character described, which make longitudinal folds by moving the article along a folding plate and sequentially turning up the depending edge portions by means of suitably curved turning plates, t-he width of the folding plate defines the width of the fold, and this width is approximately one third of the maximum Width article which can be handled by the folding machine. For example with a folding plate of seven inch width, the maximum width article would be about twenty inches and the minimum width article would be about fourteen inches. Narrower or wider pieces could not be folded in that machine, and if the articles were of greater or smaller width than the above range, one or more additional machines would be required.
An object of the present invention is to provide a folding machine of the type hereinabove under discussion wherein means is provided for readily varying the width of the folding plate, and for simultaneously adjusting the relative spacing between the turning wings, whereby the folding machineis thus adaptable to operation on articles of a considerably extended range of widths.
A further object of the invention is to provide a folding machine as defined in the last preceding paragraph wherein an associated stacking device is likewise and simultaneously dimensionally adjustable responsive to unitary main manipulating means, so as to properly receive and stack the articles issuing from myjimproved folding means.
@mentari May i9, i959 A further object of the invention is to provide simultaneously-adjustable folding and stacking: means of the type defined in the last two preceding paragraphs, wherein simple operator-operatable means is provided for rapidly and simultaneously pre-adjusting the width of the folding plate, the spacing of the turning wings, and the dimensional characteristics of the stacker to conform to the dimensional requirements of the articles to be folded and stacked.
Other objects and advantages will be apparent from a study of the following description of one embodiment of the invention, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. l is a side elevational view of folding and stacking means embodying my invention, the operators position being at the left end of the figure.
Figs. 2, 3, 4 and 5 are sectional views, somewhat enlarged, taken respectively on the lines 2-2, 3 3, 4-4 and 5- 5, looking in the direction of the arrows.
Fig. 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 6--6 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 7 is a plan view from approximately the position of the line 7--7 of Fig. 3.
Fig. 8 is a sectional view taken on the line 8-8 of Fig. 6.
Fig. 9 is a vertical sectional view of the control lever for making dimensional adjustments in the folding plate, the turning wings, and the stacking device.
General description of the folder and stacker Although the general characteristics and operation of the folding machine shown in the drawings has been set out with particularlity in my aforesaid U.S. Patent No. 2,579,746, the machine will herein be described sufficiently to permit an understanding of the.` novel and improved features.
Speaking first generally, with reference generally to Fig. l in this preliminary description, an operator stands at the left end, beside a so-called compensating feed board comprising a fabric apron`20 upon which rests a stack of articles 21, hereinafter assumed to be towels which have vbeen ironed and require folding. Member 20 is attached at 22 to frame bracket 23, the supporting side arms 24 being pivoted at 25, and the assembly being biased upwardly by tension springs 26. It will be understood that the load 21 decreases in weight as the operator places successive towels on the moving feed ribbons 27, and as the weight of the load decreases, the stack rises proportionately with decrease in spring loading, with the result that the top towel is always at a. height suitable for the operators convenience. When idle, the feed mechanism is held in place by means of a notched handle arm 28 coasting with a slotted bracket Z9.
It will be obvious that all mechanism herein described are supported on a frame comprising a base 32, ends 33 and 34, and any suitable or necessary intermediate columns 35, 36 together with the usual cross braces, plates, etc., required for a working mechanical unit.
Feed ribbons 27 carry the towel to a central belt 37 and thence over a bridge member 38 into the bite between a main conveyor 39 and the upper surface of a folding plate 40. Conveyor 39 comprises a pair of endless fabric belts running over a roller 43 at its upper end, nearest the operatorand a roller 44 at its lower, right-hand end. This latter is the driver roll, being itself driven by a large sheave 45 from motor 46 by belt 47. Tension for conveyor belts 39 is maintained by cooperating tension rolls 48 and 49.
By the time the towel has reached the right end of conveyor belts 39 it has been longitudinallyfolded, by'
means now to be described.
anemia 3 As the towel slides along the top surface of folding plate 40, with its lateral edge portions depending over the corresponding plate edges, the lead-ing edge corner on the right side (as viewed from the operators position) makes contact with an angular turned down portion 52a of the right hand turning plate 52 (Fig. 7) and is thereby progressively turned up under folding plate 40, supported by a portion of turning plate 52 which extends under and parallel to plate 40 (Fig. 3).
An advance portion 52h of turning'plate 52 is vertically disposed, and at the front end extends out beyond the normal path of the towel to guide the right side of the towel accurately onto plate S2. Similarly the left depending portion of the ytowel contacts a left side turningv plate part 53a and is progressively turned up onto the supporting plate 53 which lies below and parallel to plate 52'. This left turning plate 53 has a forward guiding portion 53b, and there is also a portion 53e secured to a supporting strip 53d to guide the towel and control flapping of the leading edge. These various parts of the turning plates may be formed in any suitable way, although economic considerations are persuasive and I have found 'that the main portion of each plate can be formed from mechanically deformed sheet metal, and the vauxiliary extension portions can be formed separately and attached to the main portion during the machine assembly.
The towel, thus longitudinally folded around the folding plate, continues to move forwardly as urged by belts 39, crosses a gap G (Fig. 1) and slides down a chute plate 54. In its progress the leading edge of the towel raised a finger 55 and operates a switch 56 to initiate operation of a timer (not shown) so as to eventually cause operation of a transverse folding blade 57 which swings through gap G and inserts the fold zone of the towel into the bite between rolls 44 and 58. Actuation of the folding blade is effected by energization of a solenoid 59 which initiates operation of a one-revolution clutch 60 in the stacker, and which through chain drive 61, 62 rotates a controlling'cam 63 in the cross fold mechanism. Simultaneously a stacking operation is performed on the immediately preceding towel 'by rotation of stacker cams 64, as more fully shown and described in U.S. Patent No. 2,488,674 to which I have previously referred.
The folded towel slides up around arcuate guide plate 66. (Figs. 1 and 4)v and on to another set of conveyor belts 67 which run around a roll 68 adjacent to the stacker. The -two innermost belts 67a go through a cutout in a bridge member 69 pivotally` connected to the front end of the stacker plate 70. A narrow center belt 67b ru-ns onwardly into the stacker, supported by a roller 71 at the stacker end. This stacker belt is adjustably tiltable relative to the upper surface of the stacker plate, roller 71 being adjustable vertically by means of adjusting knob 72 (Fig. l) as disclosed in my aforesaid Patent No. 2,488,674. A front height adjustment is also provided consisting of a smooth curved shoe 73 (Fig. 5) contacting the under surface of belt 67h. Thisshoe is on an arm 73a fixed to a shaft 74 jou'rnalled in brackets carried on the frame, and operable up and down through linkage to a plunger 75. a
As the folded towel moves onto the stacker plate 70, under the impetus supplied by 'belt 67b, it is brought to rest against a main stop member 78 (Figs. l and 4). In a conventional arrangement a counting device (not shown in detail) causes stop 78 to lower at intervals to below the level of the stacker plate, permitting the next article to move somewhat further into contact with a second stop 79. When this protruding article is jmoved upwardly into the main stack, it will, of course, project outwardly enough to mark the limit of a counted group. The growing stack of articles is guided and supported by dimensionally adjustable means, later to be described, since it forms a part of the present invention. Sheet metal forms 80 prevent endwise tipping of the stack.
4 The 4general operation of the folding and stacking means has been described sufficiently to permit an understandl tions of the various novel features are dependent on each other, so as to function in combination with each other.
The main control shaft All related adjustment controls are operated through a main shaft 83 which runs the full length of the machine base, being journalled in bearings 84 i-n the machine frame at its front and rearfe'nds. It appears in section in Figs. 2, 3 and 5, and is indicated in dotted line showing in Fig. 1.
The shaft 83 is rocked to effect the required adjustments by means of a linkage from operating lever 85 which is pivoted to a frame side plate at 86 (Fig. 2) to operate a rod 87 connected at its lower end to a rock lever 88. Lever 88 rocks around stub shafts 89 in a bearing 90 in the machine 'base and at its other end has a clevis 88a which operates a roller on a smaller rocker 91 fixed to main shaft 83. The maximum extent of rotation of shaft 83 is indicated in full and dotted lines in Fig. 5.
Lever 85, which manually operates the linkage just described, is shown in some detail in Fig. 9, and comprises a rod portion 85a slidable in a `bore in the main lever and having a pin 85b movable in a slot in the `said main lever Wall to limit forward and -rearward movement of the rod portion 85a. The rod part has an enlarged collar with a shoulder 85e yto serve as a rear abutmentA for a spring 85d which urges rod 85a outwardly to the limit permitted by pin 85b. The shoulder 85C also a'buts the' inner arcuate wall of a calibrated member 94. It canfbe seen in Fig. 9 that depression of knob 85e permits the lever assembly to be moved up and down the slot in member 94 with maintained stops in any desired enlargement 94a in the slot. 94a represents a one-half inch increment of fold width, the narrowest setting being at the top of the arc.
Folding plate width adjustment In the description of the means whereby the width of the folding plate may be adjusted, special attention is directed to Figs. 2, 6, 7 and 8. As will appear, the folding plate 40 is split longitudinally yinto two distinct portions 40a and 40b, widening of the plate being, therefore, a matter of moving these two portions apart or together. In one commercial embodiment the maximum spacing at the widest separation is three inches, and the width range of the plate is SI/z inches to 81/2 inches. This permits variation in article width from 11 inches to 24 inches.
Each plate hall:` is secured, by welding or otherwise, to a heavy sheet metal supporting member 96, 97, these members being in turn carried on respective brackets 98, 99. Each bracket has a respective boss 100, and 101, these bosses having axially aligned bores so as to 'be slidable towards and away from each other on cross shafts 102 and 102a which are supported in respective end lugs 103 and 104 fixed in end plate 105 on frame mem-bers 33. As well seen in Fig. 6, this mounting of the plate halves overhangs to the right of the rotational axis on shafts 102 and 102:1, and therefore the lower end of the brackets carry rollers 106 which move on tracks 107 on the frame plate 105.
The 'brackets and their frame halves are moved uniformly and simultaneously as follows. Hubs and 101 have respective pivoted Ilink rods 110 and 111 connected thereto and also to the respective ends of two opposed arms on a rocking lever 112 which is rockable on a stub shaft 113 supported on frame plate 105 (Fig. 6). Fixed on shaft 113 is a crank arm 114 connected by a link 115 to the end of rock lever 91 on main shaft 83.
Referring now to Figs. 2 and 9, operation of the folding plate width control should be obvious. With the parts It may `be mentioned that each notch.
in full line position, and the plate parts 40a and 40b in contact, knob 85E is pushed in and lever 85 swung counterclockwise (Fig. 9) thereby lowering rod 87, swinging rock lever 88 counterclockwise (Fig. 2) and causing rocker 91 to rotate clockwise. This pulls rod 115 downwardly, swings crank 114 clockwise, vrotates rocker 112 clockwise, and pushes links 110 and 111 outwardly so as to slide plate portions 40a and 4Gb apart to the broken line position of Figs. 2 and 7, this position being shown in full line in Fig. 8.
Referring particularly to Figs. 6 and 7, it will be noted that the measuring nger 55 extends down through a cutout orifice between plate 40a and 40b and exerts downward light pressure against the travelling article. By reason of the 'gap between the plate halves in all positions except the narrowest, I have provided supporting means lbetween said plate halves in the neighborhood of the measuring linger. This support comprises an elongated bar 116 extending for the most part beneath the folding plate 40, and pivoted at 117 on a lug 118 on frame plate 105. The tip 116a (Fig. 7) of bar 116 is bifurcated to straddle finger 55, and extends upwardly just enough to lbe level with the upper surfaces of plate parts 40a and 4Gb. This upward extension is adjustable 'by screw 119 on the end portion 116b of bar 116. Additional bracing means 120, adjustable in length, connects the rbar 116 at an intermediate point with the neighborhood of its pivot 117, and this bracing means may even be used to bowthe bar, if sufficient stress is placed on the length-adjusting nut 121.
Turning plate adjustment AIt will be `obvious that as the folding plate portions are moved towards or away from each other the cooperating turning plates or wings must be changed in' some way so as to maintain the proper relationship between the outer lateral edges of the folding plate halves and the respectively adjacent turning plates. While, after a consideration of the present structure, it will be apparent to those mechanically inclined that both turning plates could be moved for this purpose, I have devised an arrangement whereby movement of one turning plate alone is sufficient. The significant factor to be taken care of is the proper positioning 'of the parallel portions of wings 52 and 53 underneath the folding plate in any set position of the folding plate halves. In conjunction with the following description, particular attention may be directed to Figs. 3 and 7.
l In Fig. 7 the full lines show the position of the folding plates 40a and 40b, and the turning plates 52 and 53 for the narrowest fold. Looking from the left end of Fig. 7 the right hand depending portion of a towel will contact plate portion 52a first, and thereafter the horizontal part 5 2 so as to be folded rup under foldin-g plate half 40b.
. The left lateral edge of plate 52, marked A, is close to the left edge of folding plate part 40a. Thus if the widest article for this arrangement, wherein 40a and 4Gb are in contact, 'is being folded, the right side portion turned under -by turning plate 52. will be completely` supported by said turning plate 52. The left hand turning plate 53 contacts the left depending edge of the towel and turns it upwardly and inwardly, the thus folded up portion resting on turning plate section 53. The edge B of turning plate 53 lies outwardly to the right beyond the folding plate part 40h so that the left side portion of the widest article will have full support. The turning plate 53 is fixed in position so that in the narrowest dimension of the folding plate parts there is more than ample room along edge B.
When the folding plate parts 40a and 40h are separated to their widest extent, the left edge of plate part 40a is at C and the right hand edge of part 40b is at point D.
I Edge B of fixed turning plate 53 is now close to the edge been shifted inwardly, so that its left edge, formerly marked as A is now at E. It is of interest to note that edge E of plate 52 is again adjacent the left hand edge C of folding plate part 40a, Ibecause both said edges have shifted to the left, and this neighboring relationship of the left edges of members 40a and 52 maintain this relationship at all width settings, their operating linkages being simultaneously operated, and predetermined to perform this function. The widths of turning plates 52 and 53 are such that at maximum width article setting the upturned stitiener flanges 52e and 53e (Fig. 3) are spaced an ampleclearance distance away from the outer lateral edges of folding plate parts 40a and 4Gb.
There is actually a reason for making plate 52 adjustably movable. lIf plate 52 were fixed, having the width as shown, then when the folding plates were extended for a wider fold, the plate edge at A (Fi-g. 7) would be considerably short of the folding plate edge at C so that the outermost portion of a wide article, namely the right hand depending portion which is turned inwardly towards the left, would |be unsupported. Or again, if plate 5 2l vto the left to permit turning plate 53 to turn the towel accurately around folding plate part 40a.
The adjusting means for performing the adjustments on folding plate parts and folding wing 52 (the movable wing) is as follows, still referring to Figs. 3 and 7.
For moving turning plate 52, while still keeping it parallel to the folding plate 40 and the other turning plate 53, I use a parallel ruler type of support in which the four pivotal corners of the parallelogram maintain the same distance, each from its neighbors. Pla-te 52 has channel-shaped pieces 124 fixed on the under side thereof and extending outwardly therebeyond. At their outer end they are bolted to a cross member 125. The horizontal leg of member 125 is cut out at several places to makev room for hinges 123. Also secured Vto the hinge and to member 125 are two short pieces 126 which have lugs or ears 127. A rod 128 is connected to each hinge, and a rod 129 is pivotally connected to each lug at 129a. At the lower end rods 128 have collarportions mounted on and secu-red to a shaft 130 which is journalled in a support 131 on the base. Rods 129 have a clevis 129b connecting to support ear portions 131s. Rods 128 and 129 are spaced a substantial distance longitudinally, and more closely in the transverse direction. While these rods do not appear to 'be parallel, when viewed in Fig. 3 the arrangement is actually a true parallel motion linkage since the determining points are at the pivots 130, 123a, 12911 and 129e` (Fig. 3) and these constitute the corners of an actual parallelogram. Therefore, when plate 52, supported on this parallelogram as will appear, is shifted in or out by rotation of shafts 83 and 130 as will appear, it still maintains its position parallel to the folding plate 40 and the fixed' turning plate 53.
For shifting plate 52 shaft 130 is rocked by an arm 134 xed to shaft 130 and connected by a link rod 135 to a crank arm 136 fixed on main shaft 83. Sulicient play is provided to allow for angularity lbetween the shafts, and the link 13S and arm 134 being twisted slightly to suit.
It is apparent, therefore, that when main shaft 83 -is rocked to adjust the folding plate parts 40a and 40b, it also moves wing 52 appropriately to maintain the position heretofore described.
Stacker guide adjustment Patent No. 2,488,674 for a Stacking Device for Folding Machines. The main features of vthe stacker shown in this present application are similar to those in said prior patent, and the operation thereof is essentially the same,
a rod 156 with a lug 157 on the frame.
withl the exception of the guide adjustments soon to be described. Special reference may be had lin the present portion of the description to Figs. l, 4 and 5.
vFrom a prior portion of this application it will be recalled that an article already folded longitudinally and transversely, arrives on stacker plate 70 under the impetus supplied by belts 67 and 67a, and at the finish by belt 67b. The vertically reciprocable stacker plate 70 is raised under the influence of a cam, not shown herein in detail, to place the newly-arrived towel in stacked contact with the lower surface of a stack of towels supported on two sets of fingers 139, these ngers being'withdrawn laterally about the time the stacker plate with the new article approaches the bottom of the stack. As the lstacker plate passes the level of the fingers, they kagain move inwardly beneath the elevated stack. The stacker plate is then lowered leaving the stack supported on the fingers. plate, as well shown at the right end of Fig. 4, is slotted out to match fingers 139 to permit the plate to pass the finger assembly in vertical movement, this being of course not possible if a towel is lying on the plate, hence the lateral withdrawal of the fingers to permit passing at that time on the upward movement of the plate. The vertical movement of the plate must, therefore, be timed in synchronism with the withdrawal of the fingers. The stack supporting fingers have arms 140 (shown on the left side of Fig. in full line) secured to shafts 141, one on each side, these shafts being rockable by means of arms riding on cams in conventional fashion.
Shafts 141 also support guide adjusting arms 144 and 144a (Fig. 5), the arms being free on the shafts. There are two arms 144 on the left side and two arms 144:1 on the right side, longitudinally spaced. Arms 144 support an angle member 145 and arms 144a support an angle member 145a. Considering only the left side, because both sides are constructed and function equivalently, angle member 145 carries a pair of hinges 146 to which are attached yan elongated guide member 147 which has a series of inwardly extending fingers having upright guide faces 148 and these fingers fit in interlaced relationship with long and short stacker plate fingers 70a and 70b. The longer. fingers provide the required width of stacker surface when the machine is set for wider folds.
The upstanding finger ends or faces 148 make a slight angle with the longitudinal centerline, and the first couple of right-and-left pairs are, in addition, spaced slightly wider than the others, for the purpose of guiding the towel back into the stacker without catching the front corners. Beginning a short distance back from the front end, two thin sheet metal guide plates 149 having cutouts at the'bottom, are secured to end faces 148.
These plates 149 cooperate with stack guide bars 150 being held resiliently against bars 150 by narrow leaf springs 151. At the top, bars 150 carry a long stud or screw 152 which goes through a hole in standards 153 and is retained by a nut 154. A tension spring 155 urges bars 150 inwardly towards the narrow spacing, and this, along with the resilience of plates 149, provides enough side pressure on the stack to hold it solidly. In the case of a wider-fold, the guide members taper in spacing from the bottom to the top, and as the stack grows it moves the bars 150 further apart compressing the springs 155. A parallel linkage is also used here to pre-adjust the stacker guides for varying lateral Widths. The guide 147 has a rearward extension 147a and this is linked by Rod 156 is pivotally connected at its top end 156a to l47a and at its bottom endf156b to lug 157. The parallel link centers are 156a,1156b, hinge center 146 and shaft 141.
A glance at Fig. 5 shows the manner in which the stacker guides are operated. A crank lug 158 attached to main shaft `83 has a tie rod 159 running to a lever arm 144b integral with arm 144a previously described. Simultaneous operation of the guide-carryingV arms 14,4
The stacker asaasts and 144a is assured by the link 160 which operatively connects both said arms 144 and 144a. It will, of course, be recalled that operation of the main shaft 83 to move the stacker guides in or out also simultaneously operates the folding plate width and the position of one turning wing with respect to the other turning wing and the folding plate parts.
A further article guide is provided to direct the folded piece vto the center of the stacker lane for any width. This comprises a pair of cxible sheet metal strips 161 positioned on edge just above conveyor belts 67 (Fig. 4). The front ends (left of Fig. 4) are fixed with wide spacing. The rear ends are carried on rods 162 which are movable transversely with respect to the stacker plate approach, since the rods 162 pass through holes in the machine side plates and their outer ends are pivotally connected at 162a to bosses on a movable guide plate extension 147b. At this end of strips 161, therefore,"the
spacing corresponds at all width settings to the entrance spacing of the stacker guide members 148. The folded articles will, of course, usually be fairly well centered when they reach guide strips 67 because of the central position of the longitudinal folding means.
What I claim is:
1. In a folding apparatus wherein a longitudinal fold is performed by advancing a limp at article along longitudinally split, horizontal forming means having a first and a second outer lateral edge, each extending in the direction of movement of the article, the article having respective lateral edge portions depending over adjacent outer lateral edges of said forming means, and wherein a turning wing is disposed in cooperating relationship adjacent said first outer lateral edge of said forming means for contacting and turning inwardly one said depending edge portion around said first lateral edge of said forming means to thereby effect a longitudinal fold along said first lateral edge, means for adapting said apparatus to the folding of articles of different widths comprising means for producing relative lateral movement between the split portions of said forming means to vary the overall width of said forming means, and for simultancously adjusting the position of said turning wing whereby to maintain an edge of said turning wing in constant adjacent alignment with respect to the second outer lateral edge of said forming means.
2. A folding apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein a second turning wing is provided adjacent said second outer lateral edge of said forming means whereby to turn inwardly the second said depending edge portion of said article around said second outer lateral edge of said forming means.
3. Folding apparatus for folding moving limp, at articles comprising a fiat plate split longitudinally to provide a first and a second plate portion having respective first and second outer lateral edges, means for advancing an article along said plate, said article having ment of the article and for simultaneously adjusting the position of said turning wing also at right angles to the path of movement of the article whereby to maintain an edge portion of said turning wing in adjacent cooperating relationship with respect to the said outer lateral edge of said second plate portion, and a second turning wing disposed adjacent said second lateral edge POQn of said second plate portion.
assegna 4. Apparatus for folding and stacking moving limp at articles of varying widths comprising forming means split longitudinally to provide first and second portions having respective first and second outer lateral edges extending in the direction of movement of the articles, means for moving an article along said forming means with the lateral edge portions of the article depending respectively over said first and second outer lateral edges of said forming means, a first turning'wing adjacent said first lateral edge of said first portion for contacting and turning inwardly the adjacent depending lateral edge portion of the article around said first lateral edge of said forming means, means for producing relative lateral movement at right angles to the path of movement of the article between the first and second portions of said forming means and for simultaneously adjusting the position of said turning wing also at right angles to the path of movement of the article whereby to maintain an edge portion of said turning wing in adjacent cooperating relationship with respect to the second outer lateral edge of said second forming means, a second turning wing adjacent said outer lateral edge portion of said second forming means, stacking means including a stacking plate for receiving folded articles, right and left stacking guides movable inwardly and outwardly with respect to articles received on said stacking plate, and width control means for producing relative movement between said right and left stacking guides at right angles to the path of movement of the article simultaneously with the relative lateral movement between said first and second portions of said forming means as aforesaid, said width control means being operatively linked to said means for producing said lateral movement between said rst and second portions of said forming means.
5. Apparatus for folding and stacking limp fiat arti- 4 cles of varying widths comprising a flat horizontal plate split longitudinally to provide first and second plate portion, having respective first and second outer lateral edges, means for advancing an article along said plate with the lateral edge portions of the article depending respectively adjacent the outer first and second lateral edges of said plate portions, a first turning wing disposed adjacent the first said plate portion for contacting and turning inwardly one said depending edge portion of said article around said first outer lateral edge of said first plate portion to thereby effect a longitudinal fold along said first outer lateral edge, stacking means including a stacking plate for receiving folded articles, right and left stacking guides movable inwardly and outwardly with respect to articles received on said stacking plate, a main control shaft, linkage means operatively connected to said shaft and to said first and second plate portions, and other linkage means operatively connected to said right and left stacking guide whereby rotation of said `main control shaft simultaneously effects width-adjustment movements of said folding plate portions and said stacking guides, means for maintaining said second outer lateral edge of said second plate portion in operative alignment with an edge portion of said first turning wing, a second turning wing and means for maintaining said second turning wing in operative relationship with said second lateral edge of said second plate portion.
6. Apparatus for folding limp flat articles of varying widths comprising thin fiat horizontal forming means split longitudinally to provide first and second portions, means for moving an article along the upper surface of said forming means with its first and second lateral edges depending from the respective first and second lateral edges of said forming means, a first turning wing disposed in cooperating relationship adjacent a first lateral edge of said forming means for contacting and turning inwardly the first said depending edge portion around the `adjacent first' lateral edge of said forming means, means for producing lateral separation movement between said first and second portions of said forming means, a control shaft, linking means operatively con-.
first turning wing to maintain said turning wing in effective operating position with respect to said forming means, said linking means being adapted to maintain an edge portion of said first turning wing in operative relationship with said second lateral edge of said forming means in any separated position of said lirst and second portions of the forming means, and a second turning wing disposed adjacent said second lateral edge of said forming means.
7. Folding apparatus for folding and stacking limp flat articles comprising horizontal forming means split longitudinally to provide first and second portions, means for moving a limp flat article along said forming means with its first and second lateral edge portions depending respectively from the first and second outer lateral edges of said forming means, a first turning wing disposed in cooperating relationship adjacent a first lateral edge of said forming means for contacting and turning inwardly the first depending lateral edge portion of said article around the first lateral edge of the first portion of said forming means to thereby effect a longitudinal fold along said first lateral edge, means for producing relative separation movement between said first and second portions laterally to effect a width adjustment of said forming means and for simultaneously moving said first turning wing to maintain an edge portion thereof in constant alignment with the second lateral edge of said forming means, stacking means including a stacking plate for receiving folded articles, right and left stacking guides movable inwardly and outwardly with respect to articles received on said stacking plate, width control means for producing relative movement between said right and left stacking guides, and a second turning wing disposed adjacent said second lateral yedge of said second portion o said forming means.
8. In a folding apparatus wherein a longitudinal fold is performed by advancing a limp, flat article along a forming means, side portions of the article depending from first and second lateral edges thereof, and wherein said side portions successively engage respective first and second turning plates, the contour of which change progressively from vertical to horizontal disposition, whereby each said side portion is turned inwardly and upwardly into folded relation, and wherein the horizontal portion of the first turning plate continues below and parallel to said forming means to support the firstfold ply, the outer edge of said supporting plate portion being substantially aligned with the second lateral edge of said forming means so that the second side portion of the article is folded about both last-named edges, means for adapting said apparatus to the folding of articles of different widths, comprising a longitudinallydivided forming means providing respective first and second lateral folding edges, a laterally-shiftable first turning plate, means for producing relative lateral movement between said first andfsecond forming means sections to vary the overall width thereof, and for simultaneously i laterally moving said first turning plate in coincidence with said second section of the forming means whereby to maintain the above-recited alignment of the pair of second-fold edges.
References Cited in the file of this patent