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Publication numberUS3010160 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 28, 1961
Filing dateJun 8, 1959
Priority dateJun 8, 1959
Publication numberUS 3010160 A, US 3010160A, US-A-3010160, US3010160 A, US3010160A
InventorsLytton Kenneth G, Wise Cecil S
Original AssigneeFiber Controls Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Material feeding system
US 3010160 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 28, 1961 LYTTON ET AL 3,010,160

MATERIAL. FEEDING SYSTEM Filed June 8, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS KENNETH G. LYTTON CECIL $.WISE

JM MW ATTORNEY-5 1961 K. G. LYTTON ET AL 3,010,160

MATERIAL FEEDING SYSTEM Filed June 8, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS 5 K.G?LYTTON c.s.w|sE

' I ATTORNEYS 3,010,160 MATERIAL FEEDING SYSTEM Kenneth G. Lytton and Cecil S. Wise, Gastonia, N.C., assignors to Fiber Controls Corporation, Gastonia, N.C., a corporation of North Carolina Filed June 8, 1959, Ear. No. 818,795 7 Claims. (Cl. 19-69) This invention pertains to material feeding systems, and more particularly to an improved system for feeding material as required to a plurality of machines from a single source. While capable of wide utilization, the system is particularly adapted for feeding textile fibers, such as cotton or cotton blends, to a plurality of pickers, and is so described and illustrated hereinafter.

Textile fibers, after being opened, are transferred from place to place in a mill, such as from a blending line in an opening room to a picker, usually by a pneumatic conveyor. Frequently it is desired to feed more than one fiber processing machine, such as a picker, with a single pneumatic conveyor. At the present, apparatus is in use to automatically distribute the discharge from a single pneumatic conveyor to one or the other of two pickers in accordance with the demands of the latter. For various reasons, however, such apparatus is unsuitable for feeding more than two pickers. Furthermore, in order to avoid undesirable packing of the fibers or clogging, a pneumatic conveyor usually runs continuously.

Consequently, apparatus devised to date for feeding more than one fiber processing machine from a single pneumatic conveyor embodies an overflow box. Fibers are diverted into such box whenever the hoppers of the fiber processing machines are filled by the pneumatic conveyor. It will be seen that the use of an overflow box is undesirable because fibers tend to become packed in such a box and need to 'be reopened.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved system of the type described for auto matically maintaining a desired material supply in the hopper of each of a plurality of pickers.

A further object resides in the provision of such a system having a minimum number of control components, thus rendering the system relatively inexpensive and facilitating installation thereof.

Another object resides in theprovision of such a system from which one or more of the fiber processing machines may be withdrawn, as for temporary repair, without affecting the operation of the system as to the remaining machines.

It is another obiect of this invention to provide an improved system for feeding fibers to three pickers from a single pneumatic conveyor, wherein such conveyor runs continuously, but when the hoppers of all of the pickers are full, the source of supply of the fibers, such as an automatic blending line, is shut down.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved system for feeding fibers from a single pneumatic conveyor to a plurality of fiber processing machines without the employment of an overflow box.

Other objects and advantages will be in part evident and in part pointed out hereinafter in the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment of the invention, which should be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a schematic representation, including a Wiring diagram, of the invention for feeding three pickers with a single pneumatic conveyor.

FIGURE 2 is a front view of the condenser, distributing apparatus, and picker hoppers schematically shown in FIGURE 1, and

FIGURE 3 is a side view taken along line 33 of FIGURE 2.

ran Patented Nov. 28, lfifil.

Referring now to the drawings, there are shownin FIGURES l and 2, three conventional pickers, 4, 6 and 8, arranged in a row and having hoppers designated H1, H2 and H3, respectively. Extending above and between hoppers H1 and H3 and across hopper H2, is an endless belt conveyor 10 having a frame which includes side walls 12, supported on posts 14 and carrying, at each end, a roller 16 over which an endless belt 18 is trained. At each end, the conveyor 10 is arranged to discharge any material or fibers on the upper flight of the belt 18 into the hopper H1 or the hopper H3, depending on the direction of movement of the belt. The belt 18 is capable of being driven in either direction, as by a reversible electric motor RM (FIGURE 1) connected by a chain or belt 20 to one of the end rollers 16 of the conveyor 10. Thus, when the top flight of the belt 18 moves to the left, as viewed in FIGURES 1 and 2, the conveyor delivers any fibers thereon to hopper H1; when such flight moves in the opposite direction, to the right, the hopper H3 receives the fibers. It will be noted that the Width of the conveyor is less than the corresponding dimension of the mouth of each of the picker hoppers H1, H2 or H3, for reasons later evident.

Disposed above the hopper H2, and above the conveyor 10, is an open-bottomed hopper or chute 22 of a width about twice that of the conveyor 10. One side wall 24 of the chute 22 is substantially flush with one of the side walls 12 of the conveyor, while the opposite side wall 26 of the chute is disposed beyond the other side wall of the conveyor. Depending from the bottom of the chute 22, to oneside of the conveyor 10, is a smaller chute 28 for feeding material or fibers directly into hopper H2. Pivotally connected to the upper portions of the chute 22 adjacent the upper edges of the opposite side walls 24 and 26 thereof and depending thereinto are a pair of defleeting doors 30 and 31. The doors 30 and 31 may be connected to rods 32 journalled in opposite walls of the chute 22 and having their outer ends provided with crank arms 34 connected together by a link 36 for simultaneous swinging movement of the doors. The arrangement is such that when the door 30 is flush against the side wall 24- of the chute 22, the other door 31 completely covers the mouth of the smaller chute 28, so that any material or fibers dumped into the chute 22 are deposited on the the conveyor 10. On the other hand, when the doors are swung in the opposite direction and the door 31 lies flush against the side wall 26 of the chute 22, the door 30 completely covers that portion of the interior of the chute 22 overlying the conveyor 10 so that any material dumped into the chute 22 will be deposited in the hopper H2, as shown in the drawings.

Mounted on the side of the chute 22 is a single-acting fluid pressure cylinder 38 having the outer end of its piston rod 40 pivotally connected to one of the crank arms 34. The admission of fluid pressure to the cylinder 38 via a conduit 42 serves to extend the piston rod 40 and swing the doors 30 and 31 to the left, as viewed in the drawings, for deposit of any material in the chute 2-2 on the conveyor 10. A coil compression spring 44 within the cylinder 38 constantly urges the piston rod 40 to retract. Consequently, when the supply of fluid pressure to the cylinder 38 is relieved, the piston rod 40 retracts and swings the doors 30 and 31 to the right so that any material in the chute 22 will be deposited in hopper H2. Preferably, the supply and exhaust of pressure fluid to and from the cylinder 38 is controlled by a three-way solenoid-operated control valve SV connected into the fluid pressure supply conduit 42. When the valve SV is energized pressure fluid is admitted to the cylinder 38.

Fibers are supplied to the chute 22 by a pneumatic conveyor system which includes a relatively large duct 46 that may lead from an opening room at a textile mill.

Fibers may be supplied to the inlet end of the duct 46 in the opening room (not shown) from any appropriate source, such as from a beater-blender (not shown) that constitutes the final fiber processing machine in an automatic blending line of the type shown, for examplefln the copending application of Lytton et al. Serial No. 348,406. Connected to the outlet end of the duct 46 is a condenser 48 which may be of the type shown in the copending application of Lytton et a1. Serial No. 654,735 which'receives the fibers from the duct 46. The condenser 48 separates out the conveying air and discharges the fibers into the upper end of the chute 22. Preferably, the fiber-conveying passageway between the condenser 48 and the top of the chute 22 is completely covered, as by appropriate sheet metal panels, the covering preferably being provided with an access door 50, as shown in FIGURE 3.

Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, which illustrates the automatic distributing system constituted by the chutes 22 and 28, the swinging doors 30 and 31, and the reversible conveyor 10, each of the hoppers H1, H2 and H3 is provided with a device which will indicate when the hopper is full or when the hopper should be supplied with additional fibers. Each sensing device may take the form of an arm 52 which is pivotally mounted at its upper end adjacent the upper interior side of a side wall of the hopper and depends thereinto, as shown in FIGURE 3. The arm 52 is biased, as by a counterweight 54, against the mass of fibers in the hopper. As the amount of fibers in the hopper decreases, the arm 52 rotates clockwise, as shown in the drawings, under the influence of the counterweight 54, and in so doing, closes the normally'open contacts of an associated sensing switch S1, S2 or $3, when the amount of fibers decreases to a certain level. Likewise, when the amount of fibers in each hopper H1, H2 or H3 increases to a certain level,

the contacts of the associated sensing switch S1, S2 or S3 are opened.

Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, current for the control components of the system is conducted thereto from a suitable source of electric power, such' as conductors 56. This same power source may be utilized to supply motor RM, or if desired and as shown, motor RM may be connected to a separate source of three-phase electric power, such as the conductors 58.

The supply of fibers to the conveyor 10 is controlled by a circuit which includes the solenoid valve SV and a set ofnormally-open contacts of a control relay CR connected in series across the conductors 56 by conductors 60, 62 and 64. Connected in parallel with this circuit by the conductors 66, 68, 70 and 72 is an opening room relay ORR, a manual switch SR and another set of normally-open contacts of the relay CR. The opening room relay ORR is effective, when energized, to close a normally-open set of contacts in a power supply circuit for the opening room machinery so that the latter will supply fibers to the chute 22. In other words, the opening room relay ORR may serve to control an automatic blending line, such as that disclosed in the above-mentioned copending application of Lytton et 211., Serial No. 348,406.

The relay CR is controlled alternatively by therelays R1 and R2. Thus, the coil of the control relay CR, together with a set of normally-open contacts of the relay R1, is connected in series With the power conductors 56, via the conductors 66, 74, 76, 78 and 80. A set of normally-open contacts of the relay R2 is connected in parallel with the aforementioned set of contacts of relay R1, by conductors 82 and 84.

The coils of the relays R1 and R2 are part of and are energized by two control circuits which include the sensing switches S1 and S3 of the hoppers H1 and H3, respectively. The control circuit for the relay R1 includes the conductors S0 and 82, switch S1, conductor manual safety switch SS1, conductor 86, a set of normally-closed contacts of relay R2, conductor 88, coil of relay R1, and conductors. 89 and 90, all connected in series across the power conductors 56. The control circuit for the relay R2 includes the conductor 90, coil of relay R2, conductor 92, a set of normally closed contacts of relay R1, conductor 94, a manual safety switch SS3, conductor 96, switch S3, and conductor 8%, all connected in series across the power conductors 56.

Electric power for the motor RM is, as previously mentioned, supplied from the power conductors '58, which preferably have a manual switch M51 connected in series therewith. Also connected in series with the conductors 53 are three sets of normally-open contacts of a holding relay HR and cross connected across the last-mentioned contacts are three sets of normally-open contacts of a holding relay HRZ. The arrangement is such that when the relay HRl is energized, the motor RM operates to drive the conveyor 1t? in a direction to deposit any fibers thereon in hopper H1, and when the relay HRZ is energized, the motor RM reverses and operates in the other direction to deposit fibers in the hopper H3. The two relays HRl and HRZ are interlocked mechanically, as shown in dotted lines, so that when one of these relays is energized, it automatically opens the contacts of the other relay. Each of these relays HRl and HRZ also includes a fourth set of normally-open contacts.

The coil of relay HR1 is controlled by a set of normally-open contacts of the relay R1, these being connected in series with the power conductors 56 via the conductors 9t), 98, 99, 100, 162, and 80. Connected in parallel with the last-mentioned set of contacts of the relay R1 is a holding circuit for the relay HRl which includes the conductor 10%), the fourth set of normally-open contacts of the relay HRI, conductor 104, a set of normally closed contacts of relay R2, conductor 106, and conduc tor 80. Consequently, when relay R1 is energized by clos= ing of the sensing switch S1, relay HR1 is energized, and, by reason of its holding circuit, remains energized to maintain conveyor 10 operating, and in the same direction, even though relay R1 is deenergized by opening of the switch S1.

Similarly, the coil of relay HR2 is controlled by a cir cuit which includes a set of normally-open contacts of the relay R2, these being connected across the power conductors 56 by the conductors 90, 1&8, 110, 112, and 80. A holding circuit for the relay HRZ also is provided and connected in parallel with the last-mentioned set of contacts of the relay R2, this holding circuit including the conductor 110, the fourth set of normally-open contacts of the relay HR2, conductor 114, a set of normally-closed contacts of the relay RLand conductor 116. Consequently, when relay R2 is energized, by closing of the sensing switch $3, the relay HRZ is energized to thus cause the motor RM to operate the conveyor 10 in the opposite direction to deposit material in the hopper H3. The aforementioned holding circuit for the relay HRZ, however, continues to cause the conveyor to operate in the same direction even though the sensing switch S3 opens and de-energizes the relay R2v As aforedescribed, the energizing circuit for the relay R1 includes a set of normally-closed contacts of the relay R2, so that when the latter relay is energized, the relay R1 will be temporarily unresponsive to its sensing switch S1. Conversely, the energizing circuit for relay R2 includes a set of normally-closed contacts of the relay R1, so that when the latter relay is energized, the relay R2 will be unresponsive to its circuit which includes sensing switch S3. Consequently, only one of the relays R1 or R2, can be energized at one time.

The circuitry associated with hopper H3 is simpler than that previously described for hoppers H1 and H2, inasmuch as the former need exercise no control over conveyor 10 or the solenoid valve SV because, as previously mentioned, when valve SV is tie-energized, the deflecting doors 30 and 31 are moved by the spring 44 into a position to cause the fibers from condenser 43 to be dumped directly into the hopper H2. It is only neces-' sary, therefore, for sensing switch S2 to control the supply of fibers to the condenser 48. This control is accomplished by a series circuit which includes conductors and 11S, switch S2, safetystop switch SS2, conductor 120, conductor 7ti,.safety switch SR, conductor 68, relay ORR, and conductor 65. Consequently, the opening room machinery is operated by switch S2 independently of the solenoid valve SV, and without affecting the operating direction of conveyor 10.

Assuming, therefore, that hopper H2 requires fibers, and that H1 and H3 do not, switch S2 would close and thus energize relay ORR which would cause the opening room equipment to operate to deliver fibers through the pneumatic conveyor system 46 to the condenser 48. Since the solenoid valve SV is de-energized, because the switches S1 and S2 are open, the deflecting doors 30 and 31 are positioned to direct the fibers being deposited in the chute 22 directly into the hopper H2. When this latter hopper is full, the switch S3 will open and stop the flow of fibers to the condenser 48.

Preferably, a master switch M84 for the entire control system is connected in series with the power supply lines 56. The manual safety stop switches SS1, SS2, and SS3, when open, serve to take any one of their corresponding hoppers H1, H2 or 1-13 out of the control system. In this connection, it will be noted that removal of any one of the pickers from the system does not aifect the operation thereof with respect to the remaining pickers.

Assuming now that the switches SS1, SS2, SS3, SR, M81, and M84 are closed, the operation of the system is as follows:

If, and assuming, the picker hopper H1 needs fibers, the switch S1 will close which energizes relay R1. Energization of relay R1 energizes control relay CR and also motor control relay HRl. Energization of relay HR1 starts motor RM to operate and drive the conveyor in a direction to discharge into hopper H1. Energization of control relay CR energizes the solenoid valve SV to cause any fibers in the chute 22 to be deposited on the conveyor 10. At the same time, energization of control relay CR energizes opening room relay ORR to cause fibers to be supplied through the pneumatic conveying system 46 into the chute 22 and onto the conveyor 10.

If picker hopper H3 should require fibers before hopper H1 is full, sensing switch S3 would close, but the remainder of the control system would be unaffected since the control circuit for the relay R2 includes a set of contacts of the relay R1 that are open when such latter relay is energized. Consequently, the conveyor will continue to run until hopper H1 is full, thus opening switch S1, which will de-energize relay R1.

If at this time, switch S3 is closed, relay R2 will become energized which will also serve to energize relay HR2 and reverse the direction of operation of the motor RM so that fibers on the conveyor will be deposited in the hopper H3.

When both hoppers H1 and H2 are full, so that both switches S1 and S3 are open, both relays R1 and R2 will be de-energized, but the conveyor will continue to run in the direction in which it was last operating, because the contacts of the relay HR1 or HRZ which is controlling the motor RM will continue to remain closed because of the existence of the aforedescribed holding circuit which includes a set of the normally-open contacts of the controlling relay and a set of the normally-closed contacts of the relay R2 or R1, respectively. Of course, when the sensing switches S1 and S2 are opened, so that the relays R1 and R2 are tie-energized, the control relay CR is de-energized so that the solenoid SV is de-energized and any material deposited in the chute 22 will be deflected into the hopper H2. In this connection, it also will be noted that de-energization of the control relay CR will also serve to de-energize the opening relay room 6 ORR so that no fibers'will be supplied to the chute 22 unless the sensing switch S2 for the hopper H2 is closed. Closing of this switch S2, of course, will serve to energize the opening room relay ORR independently of the control relay CR.

If hopper H2 is satisfied before hoppers H1 or H3 require fibers, the opening room machinery again ceases to supply fibers to the pneumatic conveyor system 46, as the switch S2 opens. Otherwise, the feeding of hopper H2 is interrupted by the closing of either switch S1 or S3, which causes the deflecting doors 3t) and 31 to direct fibers onto the conveyor 10, and thence to the hopper H1 or H3 requiring such fibers. When this hopper, either H1 or H3 is satisfied, the other hopper will then receive fibers, if needed, if the other hopper does not require feeding, or after it is satisfied, solenoid SV is de-energized and feeding of hopper H2 is resumed.

It will thus be seen that there has been provided by this invention a system in which the various objects and advantages hereinbefore set forth have been accomplished. Inasmuch as various modifications of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the foregoing description and accompanying drawings should be considered merely illustrative, and not limitative.

We claim:

1. A system for feeding material to a plurality of machines comprising: reversible conveying means adapted to receive, between the ends thereof, material from a source and selectively operable to deliver material from the opposite ends of said conveying means alternatively to at least two of said machines; flow-directing means operable in a first position to direct material from the source to said conveying means and in a second position to direct material from the source to a third of said machines; and sensing means responsive to the individual material requirements of each of said machines for controlling the direction of operation of said conveying means and the position of said flow-directing means.

2. A system as in claim 1 and further including controllable means for supplying material from the source to said flow-directing means.

3. A system as in claim 2 wherein said sensing means also controls said supplying means.

4. A system for feeding material to a plurality of machines comprising: conveying means selectively operable to deliver material thereon alternatively to two of said machines; flow-directing means {for directing material when in a first position to said conveying means, and when in a second position to a third of said machines; controllable means for supplying material to said flowdirecting means; an electrical circuit for controlling said flow-directing and said material-supplying means; a first sensing switch means associated with one of said two machines; a second sensing switch means associated with the other of said two machines; a third sensing switch means associated with said third machine, each of said switch means being responsive to the material demands of its associated machine; said first and second switches being associated with said circuit; and a second electric circuit for controlling said supplying means, said third switch being associated with said last-mentioned circuit.

5. A system as in claim 4 including a reversible motor drivably connected to said conveying means and included in the first circuit, the first switch being effective when actuated to energize said motor to drive said conveying means in a direction to discharge into the one machine, and said second switch being efiective when actuated to energize said motor to drive said conveying means in an opposite direction to discharge into the other machine.

6. A system for feeding materials to three machines comprising: chute means; controllable means for feeding material into said chute means; reversible conveying means positioned below said chute means and adapted to receive material therefrom, said chute means being selectively operable to deliver the received material a1- 7 ternatively to two of said machines; movable deflector 7. The structure defined in claim 6 in which the sensmeans associated with said chute means and operable g means 3150 COIIUOIS the feeding 11163118- in a first posiion to. direct material fromblsaid chute References Cited in the file of this patent means onto sar conveying means, an opera e m a second position to directmaterial from said chute means 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS to a third of said machines; and sensing means respon- 314071500 Thomas 1922 sive to the material requirements of each of said rna- 2 2 w sePt- 1952 chines for controlling the direction of operation of said 3 Semor et 1954 conveying means and for controlling the position of said FOREIGN PATENTS deflector means. 10 7,956 Great Britain of 1908

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1407500 *Jan 15, 1921Feb 21, 1922Thomas Arthur SCotton-preparing machinery
US1875356 *Feb 28, 1929Sep 6, 1932 Cotton bistbibuting system
US2665453 *May 26, 1950Jan 12, 1954Proctor & Schwartz IncFiber blending apparatus
GB190807956A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3504908 *Jan 17, 1968Apr 7, 1970Xerox CorpDocument feeding apparatus control
US4010824 *Dec 24, 1975Mar 8, 1977Bavis Edward FConveyor system for drive-in banks and the like
US4124145 *Oct 21, 1977Nov 7, 1978King-Seeley Thermos Co.Diverter valve assembly and priority control circuit for ice distribution systems
US4874049 *Feb 3, 1989Oct 17, 1989Kee Equipment And EngineeringAutomatic weighing method and apparatus
US5611420 *Jul 27, 1995Mar 18, 1997J & J Snack Foods Corp.Dough-Handling Machine
US6111211 *Nov 16, 1999Aug 29, 2000Aec, Inc.Fill level sensor for granular material
US6168006 *Mar 19, 1999Jan 2, 2001Trumpf Gmbh & Co.Sorting apparatus for parts from workpiece cutting machine
US6499604 *Apr 5, 2000Dec 31, 2002Crisplant Inc.Compound induction system
US6736591 *Oct 5, 2001May 18, 2004Libla IndustriesAutomatic pallet fabrication apparatus and methods
EP0945196A2 *Mar 16, 1999Sep 29, 1999Trumpf GmbH & CoDevice for sorting workpieces at a machine for cutting workpieces
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/63, 198/360, 198/371.2, 198/358, 222/485
International ClassificationB65B37/06, D01G23/00, B65B37/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B37/06, D01G23/00
European ClassificationB65B37/06, D01G23/00