US 2989774 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 27, 1961 H. E. ERICKSON Erm.
MAT HANDLING ME'Tx-xon AND APPARATUS 16 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 21, 195'? idrhllili; hun v June 27, 1961 H. E. ERICKSON ETTAL MAT HANDLING METHOD AND APPARATUS 16 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 2l, 195".7
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MAT HANDLING METHOD AND -`APPARATUS Filed March 21, 195%7 16 Sheets-Sheet 6 336= l G 'r I 3/4 33@ JNVENTORS F |'G 8 HAROLD E.ER|CKSON NORMAN E.NELSON BY CHARLES v. NELSON DALE L. SCHUBERT June 27, 1961 H. E. ERICKSON ETAL 2,989,774
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INVENTORS HAROLD E.ER|CKSON NORMAN E NELSON BY CHARLES v. NELSON DALE L. SCHUBERT AT Y.
June 27, 1961 H. E. ERICKSON ETAL 2,989,774
MAT HANDLING METHOD AND APPARATUS Filed March 2l, 195'? 16 Sheets-Sheet 13 hhlh.
70 INVENToRs HAROLD E.ER|cKSON NORMAN ENELsoN Y CHARLES v NELsoN DALE L. SCHUBERT EN MR?? 16 Sheets-Sheet 14 H. E. ERICKSON ETAL MAT HANDLING METHOD ANDAAPPARATUS .NR NK NGN NR n June 27, 1961 Filed March 21, i957 June 27, 1961 H. E. ERxcKsoN ETAL 2,989,774
MAT HANDLING METHOD AND APPARATUS 16 Sheets-Sheet 15 Filed March 2l, 195'?l INVENTORS HAROLD E.ERICKSON NORMAN E. NELS BY CHARLES V.- NE
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AT Y June 27, 1961 H. E. ERlcKsoN ETAL 2,989,774
MAT HANDLING METHOD AND APPARATUS Filed March'2l, 1957 16 Sheets-Sheet 16 INVENTORS HAROLD E.ER|cKsoN NORMAN E. NELSON BY CHARLES v. NELSON DALE L. SCHUBERT FIG. 35
nited States Patent Omkce Patented `lune 27, 1961 MAT HANDLING METHOD AND APPARATUS Harold E. Erickson, Auburn, and Norman E. Nelson,
`Charles V. Nelson, and Dale L. Schubert, Tacoma,
Wash.; said yErickson assigner to said Schubert, and
said Norman E. Nelson and said Charles V. Nelson assignors, by mesne assignments, to Industrial Development Co., Tacoma, Wash., a corporation of Washington Filed Mar. 21, 1957, Ser. No. 647,589 Claims. (Cl. 18-4) This invention relates to mat handling method and apparatus. It pertains particularly to method and apparatus for handling compactable mats composed of small pieces of lignocellulose.
yIn the manufacture of hardboard and other composition board products, lignocellulose particles are lirst mixed with adhesive and formed into mats by suitable felting apparatus. For convenience in handling as Well as `for application in a subsequent hot pressing operation, the mats are formed directly upon, or are transferred to, metal caul plates of suitable dimensions. The caul plates and superimposed mats then are conveyed to a press loader which loads them into a multi-opening hot press. There the mats are pressed to the desired density.
Several serious difhculties are inherent in the foregoing sequence of operations. In the first place, the edges of the mats should be kept uniform so that the edges of the final consolidated products also will be uniform. This is diicult of accomplishment, however, since the mats are several inches thick and composed of loosely piled particles which may break away as the mats are being conveyed to the press.
One widely practiced solution to this difficulty has been to make oversize boards which are trimmed to the stipulated dimensions. Such a procedure is wasteful, however, for the reason that the trim which comprises from 5 to 10% of the lignocellulose starting material, having been consolidated under the combined iniluence of heat and pressure, can not be recycled to the production of a -urther quantity of composition board and conventionally is burned. This obviously causes a significant operating loss.
It also has been proposed that the handling of the mats between the felter and press may be facilitated by prepressing them to a coherent, self-sustaining form. It then is possible to move them into the press loader, and thence into the press, without substantial loss of the particles of which they are formed.
This procedure is subject to the disadvantage, however, that `even though the mats are prepressed, the edges of the consolidated boards made from them are still irregular and must be trimmed with attendant loss of material. Also, it is diflicult to introduce the incoherent, loose mats into a prepress without some of the component particles working their `way beneath the caul plates. Then when pressure is applied the caul plates are dented and eventually made unlit for use.
Still another diculty inherent in the formation of fibrous mats and their conversion into consolidated products resides in the fact that prepressing operations such as are outlined above are time consuming and as a consequence it is not possible to employ a felter of high capacity to full advantage in a progressively moving plant production line.
Accordingly it is the general purpose of the present invention to provide method and apparatus for handling mats of varying dimensions, the application of which results in the production of prepressed mats having square, uniform edges at a rate suflciently high to keep pace with a high capacity felter. The mats thus produced then are suitable `for loading rapidly into a press loader and thence into a hot press for consolidation into boards having edges of uniform density which require little trimming. .In this manner a very substantial loss of material is virtually eliminated.
The manner in which the `foregoing and other objects of this invention are accomplished will be apparent from the accompanying specification and claims considered together with the drawings wherein:
fFIG. 1 is a schematic view illustrating the various apparatus units employed in carrying out the herein described mat handling method;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of an impeller unit used for driving a succession of linearly arranged, spaced apart workpieces, e.g. caul plates with superimposed mats, a predetermined distance along a predetermined travel path until they are located precisely in position for the next operating unit of the assembly;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 3 3 of FIG. 2 illustrating further the ifmpelling apparatus of that ligure;
FIG. 4 is a View in side elevation of a jump conveyor unit into which the work units are transferred from the felter by means of the impelling apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3; this conveyor having for its function the Idivision of the rapidly moving line of work units into two parallel lines which may be stopped for a time suilicient to prepress the units;
FIG. 5 is a view in end elevation of the jump conveyor illustrated in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a view in side elevation of the edge press included in the herein described mat handling apparatus;
FIG. 7 is a view in end elevation of the edge press of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a detail sectional View taken along line 8 8 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a plan view of a `driving unit for conveying work units on the edge press of FIGS. 6 and 7, partly in section;
FIG. l() is a view in side elevation, o-f t-he drive unit of FIG. 9;
FIG. 1l is a detail View in side elevation of a control unit employed in conjunction with the drive unit of FIGS. 9 and l0, looking in the direction of line 11-11 of FIG. 9;
FIG. l2 is a plan View of a ldeckle plate assembly employed in conjunction with the edge press of FIGS. 6 and 7;
FIG. 13 is a view in side elevation of the deckle plate assembly of FIG. l2;
FIG. 14 is an end view of the deckle plate assembly;
FIGS. l5 and 16 are sectional views taken along lines 15 and 16 of FIG. l2;
FIG. 17 is a View in end elevation of a prepress included in the herein described mat handling apparatus;
FIG. 18 is a plan view and FIG. 19 is a View in side elevation of a deckle assembly used in conjunction with the prepress o-f FIG. 17;
FIGS. 20, 2l, 22, 23 and 24 are detail sectional views taken along the corresponding lines of FIG. 19 and further illustrating the construction of the deckle assembly of that gure;
FIG. 25 is a view in side elevation of a trim saw employed in conjunction with the edge press and prepress of the preceding ligure;
FIG. 26 is a view in end elevation of the trim saw of FIG. 25;
FIG. 27 is a detail plan view, partly in section, of the trim saw of FIGS. 25 and 26;
FIG. 28 is a `detail View in end elevation of the trim saw of FIGS. 25-27, partly in section, along line 28-28 of FIG. 27;
FIGS. 29 and 30 are detail sectional views taken along V lines 29-29 and 30-30 of FIG. 28 and illustrating the construction of a trolley assembly employed in the trim saw unit of FIGS. -28;
FIG. 31 is a detail view in side elevation of a deckle assembly employed in the trim saw unit of FIGS. 25-30;
FIG. 32 is a detail sectional view taken along line 32-32 of FIG. 31;
FIG. 33 is a view in side elevation of an outfeed jump conveyor in which the work units are transferred from the prepress, this conveyor having for its function transferring the work from the upper and lower outfeed levels of the prepress to the single infeed level of a press loader or other unit;
FIG. 34 is a view in end elevation of the outfeed jump conveyor of FIG. 33;
FIG. 35 is a detail fragmentary, plan view of the outfeed end of the outfeed jump conveyor of FIGS. 33 and 34 and of the infeed end of the press loader, or next following operating unit;
FIG. 36 is a fragmentary, detail view in elevation of the outfeed end of the outfeed jump conveyor and the infeed end of the press loader;
FIG. 37 is a sectional View of a Work impeller unit mounted on the outfeed jump conveyor of FIGS. 33-36 for impelling the work thereon, taken along line 37-37 of FIG. 38; and
FIG. 38 is a detail plan view of the Work impelling apparatus of FIG. 37, viewed from the underside in the direction of the arrows 38-38 of FIG. 33.
Generally stated, the presently described mat handling method comprises arranging in a line a plurality of longitudinally spaced apart, compactable mats, moving the mats linearly to a succession of stations, compacting the leading portion of a leading mat at a first station, compacting the remainder of the leading mat `at a second station, and compacting the leading portion of the next succeeding mat at the first station. The trailing end of the leading mat and the leading end of the next succeeding mat are trimmed off while maintaining both mats under compacting pressure. The pressure then is released and the leading mat advanced `to a subsequent station for further processing, while the next succeeding mat is advanced to the second station for further compaeting. This sequence is repeated as the remaining mats are moved into the described first and second stations.
The foregoing method results in the formation of prepressed mats having trimmed leading and trailing edges. The side edges may be maintained square and uniform by retaining them between deckle plates or otherwise during the compacting operation. Also, the mat line may be divided into two lines each traveling at an over-all reduced rate to make possible the compacting of the mat output of a high capacity felter.
Considering the foregoing in greater detail and with particular reference to the drawings:
The various operational units employed in carrying out the herein described invention are illustrated schematically in FIG. 1. A felter indicated generally at 60 deposits pieces of lignocellulose or other material on metal caul plates until they are built up into mats of suitable thickness. These mats are conveyed successively out of the felter on a suitable conveyor at a relatively rapid rate. As they reach the outfeed end of the conveyor they are impelled forwardly by impelling apparatus 62 until they are located precisely on an infeed jump conveyor 64.
The jump conveyor has the function indicated above of dividing the rapidly moving mat production line into two lines which move at relatively reduced over-all rates. The mats in these two lines then are transferred to a double edge press 66 having for its function the prepressing ofthe leading edges of the mats so that they may be guided into a double prepress unit 68. Thel latter unit prepresses or compacts the remaining area of each mat to the desired thickness.
While adjacent mats are being prepressed in units 66,
68 they are acted upon by traveling saws 70 which trim and square off the trailing edge of the leading mat and the leading edge of the following mat. During these operations the side edges of the mats may be retained between side deckles, not illustrated in FIG. 1 but to be described in connection with subsequent figures.
After the mats have been prepressed and trimmed, they are transferred to a second jump conveyor 72 which receives mats alternately from the upper and lower units of prepress 68 and loads them into a press loader conveyor 74. 'Ihis carries them to an injector which, in turn, delivers them to the loader of a hot press of suitable design where they are consolidated to the desired density and thickness.
Thus in the schematic illustration of FIG. 1 there are depicted a number of work units in various stages of processing. The work unit comprising mat 76 on caul plate 78 is just leaving felter 60 and entering the lower unit of jump conveyor 64. Mat 80 on caul plate 82 is being transferred from the upper unit of conveyor 60 to the upper unit of edge press 66.
Mat 84 on caul plate 86 is depicted in the process of having its leading edge prepressed in the lower unit of edge press 66. Mat 88 on caul plate 90 is illustrated in position in prepress 68. The trailing edge of mat 88 and the leading edge of mat 84 are being trimmed olf by the lower unit of cut-off saws 70. While this is occurring mat 92 on caul plate 94 is being transferred from the upper unit of prepress 68 to the upper unit of jump conveyor 72. Finally, mat 96 on caul plate 98 is being transferred from the lower unit of jump conveyor 72 into press loader conveyor 74.
The individual units of the above assembly are described below.
Tlze work mpelling zmt The work impelling unit (caul kicker) 62 employed for removing the work from felter 60 and locating it precisely on jump conveyor 64 is illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. It is stationed at the outfeed end of the felter conveying system which is supported on a frame which includes transverse frame member 104 and end plate 106. The conveyor frame mounts a pair of spaced parallel angle irons 108, 110. These are traversed by work units including caul plates 78, 78' arranged end to end in spaced apart, linear relationship and each supporting a supcrimposed mat as has been described above.
The lcaul plates are driven at a uniform, relatively rapid rate from-drive shaft 112 rotatably mounted in bearings 114, 1'16. Sprockets 118-, 120 are keyed to the drive shaft. The sprockets carry chains 124, 126 which engage the caul plates. Guides 128, 130 on each side of the conveying system direct the caul plates in a precisely linear path.
Drive chains 124, 126 carry the work units to the outfeed end of the conveying system, transferring them into one or the other of the divisions of jump conveyor 64.V However, because of the space necessarily present between the felter and the jump conveyor, the work units can not be located on the latter with the precision necessary for timing the subsequent operations. impeller unit 62 is employed for controlling this operation with thc requisite precision.
The impeller unit is driven by a crank 132 rigid to the end of conveyor drive shaft 112. Pin 134 on crank 132 is journaled in one end of a connecting rod 136. A second pin 13S on a crank arm 140 is journaled in the other end of the connecting rod. Crank is keyed to a rocking shaft 142 journaled in bearings 144mounted on the frame of the unit.
Shaft 142 drives the impelling mechanism which is employed in pairs, one unit on each side of the apparatus. To this end, segmental pinion gears 146 are keyed one to` each end of the shaft. These gears engage racks 148 which move in guideways formed by the spaced, parallel strips 150, '152.
Slides 154 connected to one end of the racks slide on strips 150, 152 and support their respective outer ends. The balance of the load is carried by pinion gears 146 working against cross pieces 156 which interconnect the guide strips directly opposite and above the pinion gears. In this manner the racks may be supported and reciprocated back and forth within the guideways.
An impelling arm assembly is mounted on each rack. This assembly includes a standard 158 having a forwardly projecting end portion. The body of the standard is transversely perforated and mounts a pin 169 having slotted ends.
'Ihe lower end of an outwardly and upwardly extending arm 162 is journaled on pin 160. The upper end of the arm carries an extension 166 extending downwardly and provided with a substantially vertical face surface which is adapted to engage the trailing edges of the work units.
Resilient means are connected to the arm for urging it normally toward the path of travel of the work units and into engagement therewith. Accordingly coil springs 168 are mounted on the respective ends of pin 160, one end of each spring being retained in the adjacent slotted end of the pin and the other end being fastened to a pin 170 extending outwardly from the side of the arm.
Means also are present for limiting the extent of advancement of the arm into the path of travel of the work units. In the illustrated embodiment the limi-ting means comprises a cross bar 172 Welded across the bottom of the arm and positioned for engagement by the forwardly extending end portion of .standard 158.
To lfacilitate passage of the work units across the arm the latter is provided with rollers 174. These are mounted on a shaft 176 rotatably mounted on the outer end of the arm.
In operation, the impelling apparatus reciprocates beneath the work units at a rate determined by the speed of rotation of conveyor belt drive shaft 112. During traversal of the arm assembly by the work units, the arm is depressed against the resilient force of spring 168. Rollers 174 track on the under surfaces of the work units. However, as soon as a given work unit has passed over the assembly, spring 168 drives the arm upwardly to a position determined by that at which the projection on standard 158 engages cross bar 172.
Continued reciprocation of the impelling apparatus brings the vertical pushing surface of extension 166 into contact with the trailing edge of the work unit which accordingly is advanced until rack 148 reaches the forward limit of its travel. The work unit thus is located on the infeed jump conveyor precisely in position for the next operation, while the impelling apparatus is retracted by continued operation of the reciprocating drive.
The nfeed jump conveyor As has been indicated above, the function of the infeed jump conveyor is to receive work units from a production line traveling at a relatively high rate of speed and to divide them into two lines to permit the performance of a selected, time-consuming operation upon them. For example, in the illustrated embodiment the jump conveyor receives work units comprising fibrous mats, each carried by a caul plate on which it has been deposited by a high capacity felter, and discharges them alternately into two outgoing lines in which `they are subjected to a relatively time consuming mat prepressing operation.
Broadly considered, the jump conveyor described herein `for accomplishing the foregoing purpose comprises a pair of vertically spaced apart, work unit receiving racks, means for mounting the racks for vertical reciprocation between a iirst station wherein the lower rack is in position for receiving a work unit from an incoming line and the upper rack is in position for discharging a work unit into an upper outgoing line, and a second station wherein from the incoming line and the lower rack is in position for discharging a work unit into a ylower outgoing line. Drive means are connected to the racks for reciprocating them substantially synchronously between the two stations, and discharging means are positioned at each station for discharging the work units from the racks into the respective outgoing lines.
Considering the foregoing in greater detail and with particular reference to FIGS. 4 and 5 of the drawings which illustrate the herein described infeed jump con veyor.
As is apparent from the drawings, the conveyor is mounted in a rectangular frame which includes the Vertical standards 180, cross pieces 182, top pieces 184 and diagonal braces 186. Vertically disposed tracks 190 are mounted on standards 180. Where, as illustrated, the standards are I-beams, the tracks may comprise elongated members aflixed to -the webs of the I-beams and having V-shaped tracking surfaces.
A pair of vertically spaced apart horizontal racks are mounted within the frame for receiving the work units from the incoming line. The racks include cross pieces 192 welded to uprights 194 which carry at their lower extremities the inwardly directed support pieces 196. The intermediate uprights are braced by diagonale 198.
Spaced, longitudinally-disposed plates 200, 202 are supported on the upper level by cross pieces 192 and on the Ilower ylevel by support pieces 196. A plurality of spaced, horizontally disposed rollers 204 are journaled in these `two plates `for supporting the work units.
Where the work units include mats of unconsolidated lignocellulose particles, the side edges of the mats may be retained by deckle assemblies, the construction of which is illustrated in FIG. 5. These assemblies include deckle plates 206, supported on uprights 194 by deckle support arms 208. 'Ihese arms are provided with horizontal slots, and the uprights 194 with vertical slots so that both horizontal and vertical adjustment of the deckle plates may be secured by adjusting bolts 210.
Means are provided for securing the vertical reciprocation of the racks which support the work units. To this end, the rack assembly is provided with vertically disposed, grooved wheels 212 which ride on vertical tracks 190. The assembly is driven by means of a Huid operated cylinder 220 which is mounted horizontally on top piece 184 of the frame. To one end of the piston rod of cylinder 220 is connected a llexible link member, e.g. chain 222, which is mounted about the periphery of a wheel, e.g. sprocket 224.
Sprocket 224 is keyed to a shaft 226 journaled in bearings 228 mounted on top pieces 184. The stroke of the piston rod of cylinder 220 is such that chain 222 rotates sprocket 224, and hence shaft 226, through a restricted arc, for example, one of about 180.
Keyed to shaft 226 are a pair of sprockets 230 which preferably are of substantial size relative to sprocket 224. Chains 232 are mounted on these sprockets with their respective ends attached thereto at points which are substantially at 180 from each other.
Chains 232 engage idler sprockets 234 keyed to shafts 236 which are journaled in bearings 238. The lower ends of the chains are attached to the outermost cross pieces 192 of the rack assembly.
Chains 232 thus support the weight of the racks, which may be reciprocated lbetween raised and lowered stations upon reciprocation of the piston rod of cylinder 220, the extent of raising and lowering of the racks being determined by such factors as the stroke of the piston rod and the relative diameters of sprockets 224, 230i.
The work units are discharged from the infeed jump conveyor by suitable discharge means. In the illustrated embodiment the discharge means comprises pusher assemblies, one for each rack, mounted on trolley supthe upper rack is in position for receiving a work unit ports and reciprocated in horizontal planes vfor push..
ing the work units out of the racks in the outfeed direction.
The discharge assembly for the upper racks mounted on a pair of tracks 244 which may comprise outwardly directed channel irons welded to cross pieces 182. It is driven from a reversible hydraulic motor 246, the shaft of which drives worm gears 248 which in turn rotate shaft 250. Keyed to shaft 250 is a sprocket 252 which engages and drives a chain 254extending the length of the apparatus between tracks 244. Chain 254 engages an idler sprocket 256 keyed to shaft 258 which is journaled in bearings 260.
The respective ends of chain 254 are fastened to and drive the work unit pushing assembly. This assembly includes a trolley comprising side plates 262, a face plate 264, and a horizontal stiening plate 266. One end of chain 254 is connected to the central section of face plate 264 while the other end of the chain is attached centrally to horizontal plate 266.
Wheels 270 are rotatably mounted on shafts carried by side plates 262. The wheels are arranged in upper and lower pairs which engage, respectively, the upper and lower flanges of channel irons 244. Accordingly by operation of reversible hydraulic motor 246, the discharging assembly may be reciprocated between a retracted position in which it is completely behind the work units as they rest on the racks and an advanced position in which it is at a forward limit at which the work units are discharged from the racks onto the next processing unit.
The lower work unit discharge assembly is of similar construction. It is mounted on a pair of tracks 274 which may comprise spaced apart, parallel, outwardly directed channel irons. The assembly is driven by a reversible hydraulic motor 276, the shaft of which drives worm gears 278. These gears are connected to a rotatable shaft 280 which carries a sprocket 282. A chain 284 engages sprocket 282, the lower stretch of the chain being supported by a chain guide 285. Chain 284 also engages an idler sprocket 286 keyed to a shaft 28S which in turn is journaled in bearings 290.
The respective ends of chain 284 are fastened to the work pushing unit which comprises a pair of spaced, parallel, side plates 292, a face plate 294, a top plate 296, and a horizontal bottom plate 298. Wheels 300 tracking on the upper and lower flanges of channel irons 274 are rotatably mounted on side plates 292. Thus the discharge assembly may be reciprocated by operation of the reversible hydraulic motor 276 between a retracted position wherein it lies entirely behind the work unit and an advanced position wherein it discharges the work unit from the outfeed side of the apparatus.
Assuming that the infeed jump conveyor described above is initially in the position of FIGS. l, 4 and 5, its operation is as follows:
A work unit conveyed out of felter 60 is located precisely on rollers 204 of the lower rack by means of impeller assembly 62. Cylinder 220 then is released. The rack carrying the work unit thereupon drops to a position wherein it is aligned with face plate 294 of the lower discharge assembly. At the same time, the upper rack including the upper set of rolls 204 is brought into alignment with conveyor 126 of felter 60. This sequence occurs during the time interval elapsing between the discharge of the rst and second continuously moving. but spaced-apart, work units from felter 69.
The lower discharging unit then pushes the work unit out of the infeed jump conveyor into the next operational unit. Simultaneously, the next succeeding work unit is delivered onto the rolls of the upper rack and located there by the action of impeller 262. Thereupon the piston rod of cylinder 220 is retracted. This rotates sprockets 224, 230 in a counter-clockwise direction, elevating the racks to the position of FIG. 5, i.e. the full line position of FIG. 1.
Hydraulic motor 276 isfoperated in the reverse direction to return the lower pushing assembly to its starting position, and hydraulic motor 246 is operated to advance the upper pushing assembly against the work unit which now lies on the upper bank of rolls 204. This work unit is removed from the conveyor, the next succeeding mat being contemporaneously introduced into the lower bank of rollers and located there by impeller 262. Reversible motor 246 then is operated to return the upper discharge unit to its starting position. This completes the cycle, which is repeated as required to accommodate the continuous llow of work units out of felter 60.
The eiect of the operation thus is to divide the rapidly and continuously moving production line into two lines to provide a time interval suicient to permit the functioning of the next operating unit. Where the work comprises brous mats to be prepressed preliminary to introduction into a hot press, this operating unit comprises the edge press indicated generally at 66 in FIG. l.
The edge press unit The edge press selectively compacts the leading end portions of the mats. It includes a press platen, conveying means positioned for stationing the leading end of each mat in turn within the operating range of the platen, and drive means connected to the platen for alternately advancing and retracting it with respect to the mat. This compacts the leading end thereof to the predetermined thickness. The conveying means thereupon removes the mat to the next operating station. Deckles are provided for conning the side edges of the mat during this sequence.
The edge press unit indicated generally at 66 in FIG. l, is illustrated in detail in FIGS. 6-16 inclusive of the drawings. It is positioned immediately downstream from infeed jump conveyor 64 for receiving the work units from the discharge end thereof. Its frame includes the uprights 310, the horizontal members 31'2, and the transverse members 314.
It also includes upper and lower banks of longitudinally divided, horizontal rollers 316 upon which the work units are pushed from the infeed jump conveyor and on which they are advanced to communicating, longitudinally divided bed plates 317. Spaced, parallel deckle plates are located one on each side of the respective sets of rollers for retaining the side edges of the work units, which in the illustrated form of the invention comprise compressible mats of llbrous particles.
A platen 32) is supported and reinforced by a frame including spaced, parallel, side plates 322, top plate 324 and `face plate 326. This frame is pivotally mounted on arms 328, the outer ends of which are pivoted in a selected one of two or more positions of vertical adjustment by pins 330 inserted in openings through the arms and through standards 332 extending upwardly from longitudinal frame members 312.
Platen 320 comprises an angular metal plate having a removable end strip 321 and removable side strips 323 to accommodate mats of varying dimensions. Platen 320 is formed with a leading section adapted to lie horizontally when the platen is in pressing position and a trailing section which slopes gradually upwardly. Accordingly, when the platen is applied, it presses the leading end of the mat substantially flat, the portion of the mat immediately behind tapering upwardly toward the rear. This avoids fracturing the mat and makes possible introducing it easily into subsequent operating units.
The platen assembly is reciprocated between raised and lowered positions by means of fluid operated cylinders 334. The lower ends of these cylinders are pivotally attached to the frame by means of pins 336. The piston rods of the cylinders are provided with clevises 338 which are connected through pins 340 to extensions of the platen frame.
Hence as the piston rods of cylinders 334 are recipro-