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Publication numberUS3052464 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 4, 1962
Filing dateNov 21, 1958
Priority dateNov 21, 1958
Publication numberUS 3052464 A, US 3052464A, US-A-3052464, US3052464 A, US3052464A
InventorsRudolph Funk
Original AssigneeRudolph Funk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for folding flexible sheets
US 3052464 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 4, 1962 R. FUNK 3,052,464


BY Rudqph Funk 5M 5. 65mm A'L'Lorn e Sept. 4, 1962 R. FUNK APPARATUS FOR FOLDING FLEXIBLE SHEETS 11 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 21. 1958 INVENTOR BY udol pk Funk b ATTORNEY p 1962 R. FUNK 3,052,464


BY Rudolph FunK My M m Attorney Sept. 4, 1962 R. FUNK APPARATUS FOR FOLDING FLEXIBLE SHEETS Ill/I'l/Ill/l/l/ll/l/ I!!! 11 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Nov. 21, 1958 INVENTOR. zygudolph Funk M )9. 5mm

Attorney Sept. 4, 1962 R FUNK APPARATUS FOR FOLDING FLEXIBLE SHEETS 11 Sheets-Sheet 5 +1 n07- ow 0 @N INVENTOR- BY Rudd ph Funk fl/d r/Z W. (5nd! fl-t-Larne Filed Nov. 21, 1958 Sept. 4, 1962 Filed Nov. 21. 1958 R. FUNK 3,052,464


BY Rudohok FunK R. FUNK 3,052,464

11 Sheets-Sheet 8 Fun K an APPARATUS FOR FOLDING FLEXIBLE SHEETS Sept. 4, 1962 Filed NOV. 21. 1958 Sept. 4, 1962 R. FUNK APPARATUS FOR FOLDING FLEXIBLE SHEETS Sept. 4, 1962 R. FUNK APPARATUS FOR FOLDING FLEXIBLE SHEETS 11 Sheets-Sheet 10 Filed Nov. 21, 1958 BYRUd \Ph FumK Attm-nc Sept. 4, 1962 R. FUNK 3,052,464

APPARATUS FOR FOLDING FLEXIBLE SHEETS Filed Nov. 21 1958 11 Sheets-Sheet 11 lNVENTOR BY Rudohnh'Funk M L H- QM ATTORNEY ttes This invention relates to apparatus for folding flexible sheets of precise or random lengths and widths into a standard-sized folded packet and pertains particularly to the automatic folding of blueprints and the like.

The uses of great numbers of blueprints in industrial organizations is well known. The filing and storage thereof, without losing ready location and withdrawal of same, has become a problem of increasing complexity. It has been customary to manually fold same into an approximation of a predetermined folded packet size for such filing and storage. This manual procedure is quite disadvantageous and expensive, because; of the labor costs of such folding; of folding inaccuracies inherent in the procedure, rendering given packets incompatible in dimensions with other packets of a related series; in many cases the folds effect turned-in corners which affect the ability of the opened blueprint to lie in a general plane when opened out for inspection as well as unduly increasing the thickness of the packet; in many cases the folding procedure may present the outer fold surface bearing the title block, as of smaller dimensions than the packet, so that the title block, in the filing and storage condition, is below the level of others of adjacent packets, and may therefore be hard to locate; and finally, in many cases the important title block is not located on the outside area of the outside fold and cannot be located either for filing or locating without opening up the packet.

It will be understood in this description that although the invention is primarily directed toward the folding of blueprints, whether such prints are made of paper or of any other flexible fabric, it is applicable to the folding of any sheets, whether blueprints or not. Usually such sheets have a readable top surface, and a blank lower surface. It will also be understood that the sheets are those which are initially substantially or generally planar, and may be, generally speaking, of various thicknesses, provided each still possesses the attribute of flexibility, by which is meant the ability to be folded upon itself and to generally retain the folds until unfolded.

It is among the objects of the invention to provide a sheet folding apparatus, which; is safe, both to the operator and to the sheets being folded; is rapid; is of highly compact size; is of relatively low cost; is of uniformity of edge dimensions of the folded packet substantially regardless of the number of folds and the thickness of the packet; can receive and fold sheets of random length into a predetermined packet area; can effect exact predetermined folded packets of sheets of random lengths and widths automatically without any adjustments; can fold sheets of different widths into the same predetermined packet size; is operated and controlled by a single operator, who merely preliminarily positions a sheet and effects the complete folding cycle by a single, momentary, motion of a treadle or the like, or by an electrical or mechanical impulse from an automatic sheet feeding device, when the latter is provided; primarily folds the sheet length-wise on transverse lines in successive alternate directions of folds, hereinafter designated as accordion folds, and secondarily effects either none, one or more cross-folds, according to the width of the instant accordion folded sheet; always produces the first accordion fold on a predetermined transverse line at a predetermined atent ice distance from the advancing edge of the sheet, regardless of the length or width of the sheet; incorporates constantly driven creasing, folding and feeding drums, each mounting creasing and folding mechanism, complementalof each other in the respective drums, with means insuring an exact cyclic relation of the drum-s before the advancing sheet contacts said drums to insure that the first fold on the first transverse line is always of the same distance from the advancing sheet front edge; is so organized in its cyclic progression that with any instant sheet preliminarily positioned in a standard unforgettable manner by the operator, the title block of the given or instant print always appears at the same place on an external surface of the packet; and many other objects and advantages will become more apparent as the description proceeds.

In the accompanying drawings, forming part of this description:

FIG. 1 represents a plan of an illustrative sheet A, such as a blue print to be folded according to the invention, of purely illustrative dimensional proportions, showing the location of the title block thereon, and indicating in dotted lines the crease lines of the accordion folds to be effected on the sheet.

FIG. la represents an edge view of the sheet of FIG. 1, with the direction of the accordion folds indicated by small creases leading into the respective crease line apices.

PEG. 2 represents a plan of the sheet in rudimentary packet form with an illustrative three panels of accordion folded creasing in respective overlying and underlying relation, showing in dotted transverse lines the lines of cross folds to be effected.

FIG. 3 represents a perspective view of the rudimentary packet organization shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 represents a perspective view of the rudimentary packet after receiving a first cross-fold, forming a semipacket.

FIG. 5 represents a perspective View of the complete packet, after the semi-packet of FIG. 4 has received its second cross fold, and is ready for delivery.

FIG. 6 represents a partially fragmentary perspective view of the apparatus and the enclosing housing taken toward the front thereof.

FIG. 7 represents a related perspective view of the device as shown in FIG. 6, but taken from the rear thereof.

FIG. 8 represents a fragmentary, partially diagrammatic, section through the apparatus, showing the crease drums with their axes lying in an inclined plane, and showing an illustrative form of tilted tray for receiving the accordion folded rudimentary packet.

FIG. 9 represents a related section through a modified organization of crease drums and tray, in which the axes of the drums are in a horizontal plane, and the rudimentary packet is delivered to a generally horizontal tray.

FIG. 10 represents a fragmentary vertical section through the forward, accordion folding section or part of the apparatus, showing the stationary cam organizations cooperating with the rotatable components mounted on the drums for respectively operating the crease rolls and extensible blades in the drums.

FIG. 10a represents a diametric section through one of the crease drums taken on line Illa-10a of FIG. 11.

FIG. 10b represents a fragmentary elevation of a modified form of feed rolls for imparting a preliminary crease in a sheet before it reaches the accordion crease drums.

FIG. 11 represents a fragmentary plan, partially in section, of the cams and cooperating elements at one end of the respective crease drums.

FIG. 12 represents a fragmentary side elevation of the elements comprising the compound lever mounted on the frame adjacent to one of the brackets supporting the upper primary feed roll actuatable by transitory deflection of a treadle, showing in full lines the lever in its bracket supporting position, and showing in dotted lines the secondary position of the lever in which the bracket is free to drop relative to the lever pursuant to downward treadle or related motion.

FIG. 13 represents a fragmentary section, partially in elevation, showing the treadle connection to the compound lever for releasing the feed roll supporting bracket, and the cam and detent organization for permitting the upper primary feed roll to fall with its mounting bracket.

FIG. 14 represents a fragmentary plan, partially in section, showing the blade lock-out (or hold-in) mechanism in its ineffective inoperative position, in full lines, and showing its effective operative position in dotted lines.

FIG. 14a represents a fragmentary detail of FIG. 14, showing the detent holding the lock-out lever in its inoperative relation.

FIG. 14b represents a fragmentary detail showing the side groove cam for forcing the lockout lever out of the operative into its inoperative attitude.

FIG. 15 represents a fragmentary side elevation of the mechanism including the side groove cam shown in FIG. 14 with frame components removed for clarity.

FIG. 15a represents a fragmentary elevation, partially in section, of a modified form of lock-out mechanism, in a simplified, presently preferred form, showing in full lines its operative lock-out position, and in dotted lines its inoperative position. In the instant case, this is disclosed, for ease of disclosure, in a plural drum organization having their respective axes in a common horizontal plane.

FIG. 16 represents a fragmentary plan of a portion of a modified form of tray, with complemental downwardly turning crease and feed rolls, for helping to elfect a cross fold, and staggered fingers for alternatively tilting the effective bottom of the tray, for guiding the accordion folded panels into proper relation relative to the tray.

FIG. 16a represents a schematic fragmentary section of the floor of the modified tray of FIG. 16 showing its relation to the downward crease feed rolls, shown in FIG. 16.

FIG. 17 represents a fragmentary detail of the mounting of the downward crease-feed rolls of FIGS. 16 and 16a.

FIG. 18 represents a fragmentary end elevation of the tray and roll organization of FIG. 16, partially in section. FIG. 19 represents a section, partially in rear elevation, of one form of mechanism for effecting cross folding of an accordion folded sheet, in rudimentary packet form, as disposed on a tray according to the disclosure of FIG. 16.

FIG. 19a represents a presently preferred mechanism in elevation, partially in section, for effecting cross folds in an accordion folded rudimentary packet.

FIG. 20 to 26a inclusive, represent purely schematic diagrams of the structure and functions of the parts correlated with the tray of FIG. 16, shown in one choice of attitude of the respective drums, i.e., as suggested in FIG. 9.

FIGS. 27 to 33 inclusive represent purely schematic diagrams of the structural and functional interrlations of the drums and their various cam for effecting the cyclic folding procedures of the invention, shown in another choice of attitude of the respective drums; i.e. in reverse of the disclosure of FIG. 8.

FIG. 34 represents a fragmentary elevation of a tilting cam unit for accelerating the withdrawal of the projected blade of one drum from the crease rolls of the complemental drum.

FIG. 35 represents a fragmentary vertical section taken on line 35-35 of FIG. 34.

Before discussing the particular illustrative mechanism involved it will be helpful to explain what is to be accomplished thereby, in the conversion of a generally planar sheet, such as a blueprint, into a packet of predetermined bi-lateral dimensions. For purely illustrative example, it will be assumed that the ultimate dimensions of such ultimate packet are to be 8 /2 inches by 11 inches. Obviously, if desired, it could be of any other dimensions, such again, for purely illustrative instance, it might be 9 inches by 12 inches, or any other arbitrary dimensions. The illustrative 8% inches by 11 inches is presently preferred, as it comports Well with certain standard sizes of blueprints.

For illustrative purposes, therefore, as noted, it will be assumed that the sheet A, of FIGS. 1 to 5, is the sheet to be folded, and, for expository purposes is of major width, as later explained, that it is of rectangular form and has a front or leading edge B, 34 inches wide (an even multiple of 8 inches) a side edge C, 33 inches long, and the title block D is at the corner of the reading side of the sheet at the intersection of front edge B and side edge C. It will be understood that these dimensions of sheet A are illustrative only, and various changes may occur therein causing either the width along edge B to be greater or less than an even multiple of the illustrative 8% inches, or the length may be greater than an even multiple of the illustrative 11 inches. Reference is made hereinafter to the manner in which the apparatus takes care of odd dimensions of sheets.

At any rate, for illustrative purposes, the sheet A as described, with an illustrative length of 33 inches, is just such as to receive two evenly spaced accordion folds, along lines indicated at 1 and 2 in dotted lines in FIG. 1, parallel to the front edge B. The edge B and the line 1 define a front panel A4, line 2 defines the rear end of a median panel A5 and the front edge of a rear panel A6, and each panel is substantially 11 inches by 34 inches. According to the invention the formation of the first accordion fold on line 1, to establish panel A4- and an edge of panel A5, is always made in such direction of fold, as suggested by the small crease leading into line 1 in FIG. 1a, that the front panel A4 is bent downwardly under panel A5. This folding places the title block D on the surface of panel A4 as presenting downwardly and outwardly. The next accordion fold on line 2, completing the definition of central panel A5 and the leading edge of rear panel A6, is always in the opposite direction from that of the first fold, as indicated by the small crease leading into line 2 in FIG. la, so that panel A5 presents upwardly above the first panel A4, whereas panel A6, overlying the middle panel A5, presents downwardly, and has the usually blank rear surface of the sheet exposed upwardly.

With completion of the two accordion folds, or as many more as may be required by the length of the sheet in excess of the illustrative 33 inches, a composite accordion folded rudimentary or intermediate partial packet, of at least the three panels described is produced, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. As will be noted in those figures and from what has been described the title block is on the lower surface at the corner, presenting downwardly. The composite rudimentary or intermediate assembly, according to the illustrative case, is substantially 11 inches by 34 inches.

Assuming a sheet width of the 34 inches mentioned, the composite rudimentary panel 7 of FIG. 2. is folded with a crossfold, along a median line 3, to form a semi packet, composite panel assembly 6, of one cross fold and of six layers, and having lateral dimensions of 11 inches by 17 inches. At this juncture the title block D is on the outer exposed half of the panel A4 in the upper left hand corner thereof. Finally, a second crossfold, on line 4, is made, producing the final packet 9 of the desired dimensions of substantially 8 /2 inches by 11 inches and of twelve thicknesses of sheet. The final cross-fold on line 4 continues the presentation of the title block D on the upper left hand corner of the outer surface of the packet 9. The packet is then ready for delivery, filing and storage.

Referring to FIGS. 6 to 9, and as shown in one or another of these figures, a compact vertical enclosing housing support 10 is provided, having suitable access doors (not shown), and at the forward upper portion has a sheet entrance opening 11 and at the lower rear portion has the packet delivery chute 8.

The support 10 is preferably provided toward its upper end with an external horizontal shelf or table 5, aligned with the lower edge of the sheet entrance opening 11. The shelf or table 5 and opening 11, each wider than the sheet width capacity of the machine, extend substantially the width of the housing 10. The table 5 mounts a lateral guide on its right side edge (looking along the table toward the front of the housing 10), and illustratively the side or lateral guide 15 is comprised of vertical pegs as shown. A constantly driven primary lower feed roll 13 is journaled in the housing inwardly of the opening 11, the surface of which is substantially tangential to the upper surface of the table 5, and the feed roll 13 is adjacent to the inwardly disposed vertically adjustable leading-edge stop pins 16 (FIG. 6). The latter pins in their upward disposition are of such small vertical extent as to just intersect the sheet A along its front edge B, when the sheet is disposed on table 5 with its side edge C engaging the side guide pegs 15 and slid forward on the table to abut stop pins 16, and this stopped attitude of the sheet A is effected by the operator in positioning the sheet. In the thus stopped position of the sheet, the forward portion, behind edge B, overlies the lower primary feed roll 13, in harmless general contact therewith as the roll rotates. At this juncture also the title block D, is located in the forward right hand corner of the sheet, adjacent to the front edge B abutting adjustable stops 16, inside of the opening 11. The feed roll 13, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, is clockwisely driven, and by itself has no feeding function on the sheet A.

In order to effect positive primary feed of the sheet A, a rotatable primary upper feed roll 12 is provided, journalled in vertical slots 12' in the forward ends of a pair of spaced brackets -20 (FIG. 13), pivotally mounted in the housing, with the feed roller 12 normally vertically spaced above the driven roller 13. By compound timing means to be described, the upper feed roll 12 drops or moves downwardly with the forward ends of the brackets, 20-20, to engagement with the upper surface of the positioned sheet A, in synchronism with the downward withdrawal of the stops 16 (as illustrated in FIG. 13). The sheet A is thus compressed against the driven roll 13 and the rotations of the latter effect primary feeding of the sheet across the table 5, across the line of stops 16, and into a pair of secondary feed rolls 21-22. The preferred gravitational pressure of feed roll 12 against the sheet A is to protect the sheet and also to prevent injury to the opera-tor should he inadvertently get his hand between the roller 12 and sheet A.

It is a feature of the invention that the contact of the upper primary feed roll 12 with the sheet A is purely transitory, being maintained just long enough to insure inward feed of the sheet until the advancing edge B passes between secondary feed rolls 21 and 22. By mechanism to be described, substantially as soon as the sheet A has been gripped between the secondary feed rolls 21-22 to continue the inward feed, the brackets 20-21! are actuated to raise the upper primary feed roll 12. Although in synchronism with this motion, the vertically adjustable stops 16 may also be raised, this stop disposition has no adverse eifect on the feed, as the sheet A simply slides over the upper edge or edges thereof as a general continuation of the sliding of the sheet as it is fed inwardly of the apparatus.

In order to eifect smoothness of the secondary feed, it is preferred that although the rolls 21 and 22 may be geared together to rotate oppositely, in the preferred case,

the lower secondary feed roll 22 is journalled in the frame on a fixed axis and turns clockwisely, the upper secondary feed roller 21 is journalled to float vertically a small distance relative to lower feed roller 22, while rotating counterclockwisely, to account for variations in thickness of the sheets A. If desired, the secondary feed rolls 21 and 22 need not be geared together, and the upper roll 21 may simply rest gravitationally on driven roll 22, or on the sheet A passing between the rolls.

The secondary feed rolls 21-22 advance the leading edge B of the sheet A toward the meeting line of two oppositely rotating synchronously driven complemental creasing drums 23 and 24, which are geared together and preferably constantly driven during the operation of the apparatus. As shown, in all figures except FIGS. 27 to 33, the lower drum 24 is driven clockwisely and the upper drum 23 is driven counterclockwisely, so that a sheet A entering between same is fed inwardly thereby, while also receiving the appropriate accordion folds, previously described. In said FIGS. 27 to 33, this operation is reversed, but only for illustration. It will be understood that the actual folding necessitates high speed, accurate, supplemental mechanism, and requires 'various internal creasing and expelling mechanisms, and internal and external cams and the like for various cyclically successive functions during the cyclic progression of the creasing drums 23 and 24.

It will be understood that a definite predetermined linear distance exists between the meeting line of the upper and lower primary feed rolls, across the meeting line of the secondary feed rolls 21-22 and to the common intersection of drums 23-24. It will also be understood that, as explained, the initiation of the feed by the primary feed rolls is closely coordinated with the predetermined relative angular relation of the drums so that an advancing tab of the sheet is passed between the drums just before the blade of the upper or one drum becomes radially juxtaposed to the crease rolls of the other or lower drum. With a different distance between the center line of the primary feed rolls and the meeting line of the drums 23-24, and with a predetermined angular relation of the drums at the instant of primary feed initiation, as by the dropping of the upper primary feed .roll 12, it will be understood that the secondary feed rolls 21-22 may be omitted. It is preferred to use the latter, however, as they establish control of the sheet despite the subsequent separation of the primary feed rolls, while locating the drums 23 and 24 well within the enclosure housing 10, to facilitate proper delivery of the accordion folded sheet on the tray.

The creasing drums 23-24, as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 10a, are complemental to each other in structure and creasing functions. Each comprises a hollow metal drum, having axially extending generally radial openings on centers peripherally apart. The drums may each have a superficial external coating of rubber or like friction material, as illustrated at 23 of FIG. 10a, so as to grip and advance a sheet, or may grip by virtue of a serrated pattern on the periphery of the metal drums. One of the longitudinally extending openings is a slot 31, for the radial extension and retraction of a blade 32. The other opening 28, is wider and contains a pair of complemental rubber or like-coated or serrated metal crease rolls 43 and 44, both substantially tangential to the projected circumferential periphery of the drum. The center of the opening is the meeting line of the crease rolls, and this is diametrically opposite the centerline of the blade 32. It is a feature of the invention that the crease drums 23-24 are conttinuously driven in opposite directions so as to continuously feed an advancing sheet, while subjecting the sheet to the successive accordion folds. In the cyclic progression of the two crease drums 23-24, the blade 32 of one first drum becomes juxtaposed to the crease rolls of the complemental second drum, and after 180 of angular travel the blade of the second drum becomes juxtaposed to the crease rolls of the first drum. Means, to be described, are provided for cyclically projecting and retracting each blade as it approaches juxtaposition to the crease rolls of the other drum, and for synchronously rotating the juxtaposed crease rolls of the other drum in one direction to draw in and crease an area of sheet projected ahead of the advancing blade and then rotating the same crease rolls in the opposite direction during the continued rotation of the crease drums to expel said fold.

The peripheral areas of the respective drums are calculatedly such with relation to the centers of blade 32 in slot 31 and of the crease rolls 43 and 44 in opening 28, that exactly the illustrative 11 inches of sheet ultimately exists between the front edge B thereof and the first fold 1, and between folds l and 2, 2 and 3, etc. The paper slippages incident to the formation of each crease fold are calculable. Due to this calculable slippage the leading or front edge B of the sheet A must be somewhat beyond the common center line of the drums 23 and 24 at the instant the blade of one drum is exactly opposite the crease rolls of the other drum. As the first juxtaposition of a blade and crease rolls at the center line of the drums is immediately behind the front edge B of the sheet, a premature fold would be effected at the edge B if measures were not taken to prevent it. As will later be described two different organizations of blade lock-out are provided for preventing the formation of such premature and undesired fold.

A discussion of the slippages involved may be helpful. There are two distinct slipp-ages that occur as each panel A4, A5, A6 etc., feeds into crease position. As the blade begins to form the paper into the V between the contiguous crease rolls, the panel already past this point slips backward a distance equal to the difference between the two crease roll arcs that the paper contacts just prior to the actual gripping of the paper by the crease rolls and the straight line distance between the center of the crease rolls (=2 crease roll radius). This slip, again, is in a direction opposite the direction of paper feed, thus representing a calculable shortening of the instant panel. From the instant the grip of the crease rolls is effected there is a contrary slip of the following panel caused by the fact that the feed rolls, traveling with the instant drum, have a motion relative to the main drum and this relative motion causes the paper to accelerate its motion ahead of the instant drum and prior feed rolls, slipping forward with respect thereto as the paper is drawn between the crease rolls to form the crease.

These two slips are of critical importance when:

(1) Computing the main drum diameters. (2) Computing the distance from the common center line of the main drums to the stop pins 16.

It will be understood that it is because of these slippages that the leading edge B of the paper must be ahead of the common center line of the drums when the blade and crease rolls are just opposite each other to furnish the exact illustrative 11 inches between the leading edge B and the first fold 1, and that it is this condition that necessitates holding out of the blade.

As previously explained, creasing and folding the sheet by drums 23-24 requires the sheet to be deflected out of its generally planar course between the drums, by the blade of one drum moving radially of its drum across the advancing sheet to preliminarily crease the sheet about the blade and to force this creased area between the crease rolls of the opposite drum outwardly of their common circumferential meeting line, Where the completion and ejection of the fold is consummated. It is important, in this creasing operation, that the blade not insert the sheet to the common centerline of the complemental crease rolls, as this would substantially require the advancing edge of the blade to at least approach if not traverse said common center line and this would form a fold about a radius at the edge of the blade which is less than sharp or acute and require more time. It is also important, in this connection, that the blade at its extreme outer projection not only not traverse the common center line, preferably, but also that it be out of direct abutting engagement with the respective crease rolls, as shown in FIG. 13, although within the circumferential line of the drum between the outer arcs of the crease rolls. The projected blade thrusts against the sheet toward the crease rolls in a preliminary crease or fold which is taut against and wrapped partially around arcs of the respective crease rolls, as shown in FIG. 10. With the sheet under tension against these arcs, rotation of the crease rolls inwardly, by their frictional contact with areas of the preliminary fold, draw in the latter between and across the common meeting line of the crease rolls, creasing it at its apex and compressing it together adjacent to the apex. Reversal of the direction of rotation of the crease rolls, positively ejects the creased fold, while imparting a secondary creasing to the apex thereof as the latter passes outwardly across the common meeting line of the crease rolls. It will be seen that with such organization, there can be no sharp accordion folding unless the blade and crease rolls are operative as just described.

The means for effecting the initiation of the inward feed of sheet A, after its stopped preliminary setting against the relatively short vertical pegs or stops 16, is one which incorporates a time delay, used when necessary until in the cyclic progression of the parts everything is properly set for inward feeding progress of the instant sheet. While this initiation of the feed of the sheet into and through the apparatus may comprise any electrical switch means actuating desired circuitry in the apparatus, it is preferred that the control comprise a me chanical device. These may operate functionally with automatic sheet feed, if desired. In a purely illustrative form thereof the operators initiating mechanism comprises a movable treadle or like lever 14. To simplify the operators functions it is further preferred that the mechanical system operated by the treadle be by a mere tripping function, by which the treadle can be actuated and immediately released, in place of mechanism that must be manually held until the completion of the time delay period, the completion of all folds, or the like. According to the invention, actuation and immediate release of the treadle initiates the complete cyclic functioning of the apparatus to the ultimate delivery of the accurately shaped folded packet.

The schematic FIGURES 8 and 9 illustrate the general organization and functioning of the apparatus from the initial drawing-in and accordion folding of the sheet to delivery outwardly thereof to a receiving tray 25, etc. for

the reception of the accordion folded partial or rudimentary packet 7, which tray is so organized and mounted as to facilitate cross-folding, as shown in FIG. 19. In FIGS. 8 and 9 the tray is shown as having a lower tray-surface 2-5 and left and right side (front and rear) walls 27 and 26. In FIG. 8 the tray is shown tilted relative to the horizontal so that as the front edge B of the first panel A4, resulting from the first accordion fold 1, drops into the tray, the leading edge B and thus this panel is deflected downwardly to prevent crumpling, or other misalignment with the tray surface 25. As will be later explained additional means are preferably provided for effecting this important result. FIG. 9 is to illustrate that the creasing drums need not be in inclined relation as in FIG. 8, but can be provided with both axes in a common horizontal plane. In FIG. 9 the bracket-controlling cam 70 (FIG. 13) is separate from and above drum 23, but is driven in synchronism therewith. The delivery in FIG. 8 may be to a horizontal tray as well. It will be understood that with the tray in the disposition shown in FIG. 9, the movable components of the later described figures will be preferably incorporated so as to effect proper and positive guidance to the accordion folds of the sheets. In any case, the trays of FIGS. 8 and 9 are susceptible to the cross folding accomplished as in FIG. 19.

The foregoing exemplifies the conversion of a substantially planar sheet into a rudimentary accordion folded packet on the tray, with the panels in substantial parallelism with each other and with the tray, and having a length longer in the line of the folds than in width transverse of such folds.

Reference is made to FIGS. 10, 10a and 11, for a disclosure of parts at least of the creasing drums 23 and 24, and their associated creasing elements, to assist in understanding of FIGS. 8 and 9, and other figures. FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate the cams and like cooperating elements.

Drums 23 and 24 are mounted by end plates 45 for rotation with respective drive shafts 3t} and 3t), journalled in the end walls of the housing 10. Each drum (FIG. 10a), has a blade slot 31 extending longitudinally axially, of the instant drum, through which the creasing blade 32 can be cyclically projected and retracted. This function is attained in retraction by means of axially projecting blade extensions 32, mounting cam rollers 50, engaging the inner surface of fixed internal cams 51, outward of each drum at the opposite extremities thereof. For extension suitable spring biasing means 32a are provided between each blade 32 and its instant shaft 30, for urging the blade 32 outwardly through its slot 31, when the position of the roller 50 with relation to the internal recess 52 of the fixed cam permits. After the roller 54 moves into the internal cam recess 52, and the blade 32 is projected resiliently radially outward, it will be seen that, cyclically, with rotation of the instant drum, the rollers 56 move out of the recess 52 and retract the blade 32.

In this connection it will be appreciated that the blade 32 is to move outwardly in entering the cam recess 52 and to move radially inwardly as the roller 56 rides out of the cam recess 52, during the rotation of the drums. This, by space limitations and by design criteria requires a very rapid thrusting in and out motion of blade 32 limiting the outward tip of blade 31 to a path along which it will not contact and possibly damage the rubber sheath on crease rolls 43-44. High cam pressure angles on the pull-out side of recess 52 of internal cam 51 cause noisy operation and high mechanical loads. To the end of an easy and positive means for retracting the blade in facilitation of rapid pull-out of blade 31 without the imposition of untoward forces on the drums and cams, the mechanism shown in FIGS. 34 and 35 may be preferred. Referring to these figures, the fixed cams 51 at each end of the drums may comprise a unitary body 51 juxtaposed to the end of both drums 23 and 24, having a lower recess 350, and juxtaposed to a frame extension 10' having a boss 351 extending through a suitable aperture in the cam plate 51'. The frame extension 19 is suitably apertured to receive a spring biased indexing stud or plunger 352, extending transversely across the recess 350, normal to the plane of the cam plate 51. A generally fiat guiding lever element or operator 353 is provided, pivotally mounted on an axle 354, threaded into the boss 351. The element or operator 353 on its rear face has two suitably spaced indexing recesses 355 and 355. The element 353 is preferably partially asymmetrical in contour with relation to a median longitudinal axis and comprises a front edge 356 from which a pair of sloping guiding or camming surfaces diverge downwardly, as at 357 and 358, each leading by a rounded edge into a semi-cylindrical recess, respectively 364} and 361. Recess 360 is only partially arcuate and has a lower edge surface 362 which is generally linear and tangential to the arcuate portion of the recess 360. Preferably the recess 361 is more arcuate and approaches a semi-circle. The remainder of the edges of the element may be anything desired as they play no part in the operation of the tilting lever or operator.

According to the position of the lever element or operator the respective recesses 360 and 361 register laterally, in whole or in part with the given cam recesses 52. Although obviously this guiding tilting element 353 may be formed of any material, it is preferred that it be formed of a suitable synthetic resin, and preferably of Nylon or other resilient material.

With the parts as shown in FIG. 34 the element 353 is tilted to the left, counterclockwise, about the pivot 3'54, and is resiliently held therein by entrance of the indexing plug 352 into the juxtaposed recess 355. The drum 23 has rotated to the degree that the roller 50 of the blade 32,'under the bias of the springs 32a, simultaneously enters the cam recess 52 and the element recess 360. At this juncture the blade has been projected radially outward toward the juxtaposed crease rolls of the drum 24. The surface edge 362 is angularly divergent from the inner cam surface 51. Continued rotation of the drum 23 forces the roller 50 against the generally linear edge 362, exerting a moment on the element 353 with reference to its axle 354, urging the element to turn clockwise on its pivot. This motion is accompanied by the turning of edge 362 toward tangency with the inner surface of the cam 51, forcing the roller 50 inward until it and the surface 362 attain such relative disposition that the roller 51 is deposited on and continues to ride on the inner periphery of the cam. At this juncture the element has tilted to its maximum degree and the indexing stud has been forced out of one recess 355 and the element has moved to dispose the stud in the other indexing recess 355. synchronously the tilting of the element has brought the recess 361 into lateral substantial registration with the cam recess 52 of the drum 24. When, in the cyclic progression of the drums, the roller 50 of the blade of drum 24 enters into the cam recess 52 of the cam 51, it also enters the recess 361 of the element 353. Continued motion of the roller '50 with the drum 24 forces the element counterclockwise to force the roller outwardly to disposition on the inner surface of the cam 51' of the drum 24. If by mischance of any sort, the element 353 is improperly cocked for the approaching roller 50, the sloping edge surface 358 or 360 (depending upon which roller 50 is then approaching the element), is engaged by the roller and the roller rides and pushes upon the then juxtaposed surface 358 or 360, to tilt the element into position for the proper reception and subsequent retraction of the instant roller 50.

Referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, each drum mounts internally a crease roll 44 on a shaft 45, journalled in the end walls 45. Shaft 45 mounts a pinion gear 46. Each drum axially externally mounts a sector gear 33, on the end of an arm 33, pivoted to the adjacent end wall 45' at 34. The sector gear 33 is in constant mesh with a pinion gear 35 keyed to a shaft 36 journalled in the outer free ends of oscillatable arms 37-37, pivotally mounted on the instant shaft 30 of the given drum. The shaft 36 mounts a crease roll 43, internally of the instant drum, and complemental to crease roll 44. Spring means 42, hearing against arms 37, yieldably urge the crease roll 43 toward crease roll 44. The sector gear arm 33' between the pivot 34 and the sector gear 33, mounts an actuating roller 39, moving within a fixed internal cam 40. A suitable spring 41 urges the sector gear arm 33' and roller 39, against the inner periphery of the internal cam 46. Internal cam 40 has a camming internal projection 38, sloping in both directions angularly from its crest. Shaft 36 of crease roll 43 mounts a pinion gear 47 in constant mesh with pinion gear 46, so that a folded sheet entering between the complemental crease rolls 44 and 43, and yieldably moving them relatively apart, does not disrupt the meshing of the pinion gears which cause them to rotate oppositely.

It will be seen that during most of the travel of an instant drum, the sector gear 33 is at one limit of its travel and the crease rolls are stationary in the rotating drum. It will also be understood that as the crease rolls are general- 1y tangential to the periphery of each instant drum (as shown in FIG. a), the space for reception of the blade guided fold is generally symmetrical of a radial line tangential to both crease rolls. It will also be seen that once in each cyclic rotation of each drum, the roller 39 rides inward on one slope of the cam projection 38 causing the sector gear to rotate the crease rolls in such relative rotations as to pull in and crease an area of sheet pushed into it by the blade of the complemental drum, followed by outward riding of the roller on the opposite surface of the cam projection 38, causing such relative rotation of the crease rolls as to eject the same sheet area. It will be noted that this function of outward extension of the blade of one drum to push the area of sheet into the crease rolls of the complemental drum and to withdraw, in synchronism with the intake of the area into creasing contact with the complemental crease rolls, followed in synchronism by the ejection of the creased area, is functional with the continued rotation of the complemental creasing drums. As the respective drums 23 and 24 continue to turn and to feed the advancing sheet, the latter is given alternately opposite accordion folds for location of the composite accordion folded sheets on the receiving tray bottom 25, directionally determined according to which drum presents the creasing blade to the moving sheet, as will be clear. It will be understood that this cyclic progression of turning of the creasing rolls in the respective drums to take in and complete the folds of one portion of the sheet and then to eject same by the reversing of the roll operation is continued for the full length of the blueprint or sheet A. Just as the running of the creasing rolls in one direction and then in reverse, is functional with the rotation of the respective drums, due to the operation of the fixed cam 40, so also is the projection and retraction of the blade 32 relatedly controlled in exact synchronism with the crease rolls by fixed cam 51.

A basic function of the present invention in securing its highly accurate and eflicient results lies in the feature of automatically feeding the sheets into the machine in such timed relation, and in such length, as to force the formation of the first accordion fold, on line 1, in a correct place every time while control of the sheet is maintained through all stages of the folding manipulation. To the end of insuring complete feeding control, while the advancing sheet advances just exactly the right predetermined distance to receive the first accordion fold, the operation of the treadle and its associated mechanism will be described.

Reference is made to FIGS. 12 and 13. Having placed the sheet A against the stops =16 forwardly and laterally against the lateral guide edge 15, and with the title block D in its proper position as indicated in FIG. 6, the operator steps on the treadle 14, pushing it all the way down as far as it will go, and then releases same. The purpose of the treadle organization and the associated parts, to be described, is to insure that the feeding and creasing mechanisms are in exactly the right place cyclically before the paper is advanced beyond the initial setting against stop 16. It will be understood that if an automatic sheet feeding device is provided, operative, for instance, when the trailing edge of a sheet passes a given point in the apparatus, this can provide a means for effecting an automatic simulation of a manually operated device like the treadle disclosed. Upon the depression of the treadle or its automatic actuation, a number of things occur which will now be described.

The first consideration is the time delay by which the complemental drtuns attain exactly that relative rotative position whereby the advancing edge B of a sheet A, in its forward and inward feed by the primary and secondary feed rolls travels just that distance and in that time to permit the advancing edge B of such sheet to be engaged between drums 23 and 24 to establish and maintain control of the sheet while rotating thereafter just the distance that will force the information of the first accordion fold on line 1, at the predetermined distance from edge B. In the illustrative case, the said 11 inches. Therefore the time delay initiated by the actuation of the treadle 14, is primarily concerned with the properly timed dropping of brackets -2i) to that datum attitude of upper primary feed roll 12, at which it engages the sheet against the rotating lower primary feed roll 13, in synchronism with downward withdrawal of the stop 16 out of the path of the sheet, to start the inward feed of the sheet in exact correlation with the exactly proper rotative attitudes of the drums 23 and 24, as has been previously described.

Still referring to FIGS. 12 and 13, the treadle 14, pivoted to the frame at 14', is biased upwardly by a suitable spring 52, and is pivotally connected, at both ends of the apparatus, to a link 53, moved vertically downwardly upon treadle deflection. As noted, if desired this may be an automatically controlled device in place of the manual operator disclosed. The upper end of each link 53 is pivotally connected to a compound lever organization, formed of a dogleg lever 54, pivoted to the frame at its upper end, at 55, on an axis generally parallel to the longitudinal extent of bracket 2% Each dogleg lever 54 is pivoted to swing transversely relative to the contiguous bracket 20, and on its forward edge is formed with a detent shoulder 56, for engagement under bracket 2 1 in the elevated condition of the latter. The dogleg lever 54 has a lower foot extension 57, upon which transversely U-shaped main lever 53 is pivoted, as at 64 The inner end of the foot 57 has a recessed lower surface 61, against which a transverse stop pin 62, mounted on the main lever 58, may abut. The dogleg lever 54 mounts a transverse pin 63- adjacent to and just below the detent shoulder 56. An arm 64 is pivoted to the frame It and extends beside the dogleg lever 54, and on its upper edge has a recess 65. The arm 64 is biased upwardly toward the pin 63 by a suitable spring 66. When detent shoulder 56 is under bracket 20, the pin 63 of the dogleg lever is engaged upwardly by the upwardly biased arm 64, out of registration with upper recess 65 therein.

When the operator depresses the treadle, which depression may be momentary only, or the apparatus otherwise effects a related function, the links 53 pull the compound levers, comprised of the dogleg and main levers, downwardly and rearwardly about the pivots 55, into the position indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 12. At this juncture pins 63, with dogleg levers 54, have been pivoted to a position over recesses 65 in arms 64 and the latter under spring bias, have snapped upwardly, and pins 63 have entered recesses 65 in arms 64, holding dogleg levers 54 in their attained, secondary, retracted, position. The detent shoulders 56 have been moved out from under the instant brackets 20. At this juncture, if no other limits were placed upon them, both brackets 24), and feed roll 12, would fall by gravity and initiate feeding of the instant sheet A. Pursuant to release of the pressure on the treadle 14, upward movement thereof permits the links 53 to move upwardly, but this motion is operative only on the main levers 58, which swing on their pivots 6th on the feet 57, and assume a new position in which transverse stop pins 62 are out of contact with recessed surfaces 61. However, in relation to the situation noted, there are two additional factors which must be correlated and rendered operative, before the brackets 2t? can drop to place feed roll 12 into datum feeding juxtaposition to roll 13 to progress the sheet inwardly into the apparatus.

Referring to FIG. 13, and some other figures, it will be seen that the upper creasing drum 23 mounts externally, at both ends of the apparatus, a driven cam having both an internal and an external cam surface, of importance in this present connection. As shown in this figure (and some of the schematic diagrams, to be discussed), the rotatable cam 7% has an internal cam surface 71, comprising an internal periphery 73 of large radius, and an internal periphery 72 of smaller radius. The peripheral surfaces 72 and 73 merge into each other by sloping internal surfaces, of which one is a cam fall surface 74- and the other is a cam rise surface 74'. The cam 70, rotatable with the crease drum 23, also has an external cam surface of large radius 77, merging, by sloping cam rise surface 79, and cam fall surface 79, into a cam surface of smaller radius 76.

Each bracket 20, is pivoted to the frame, as at 20', and, as noted, journals, vertically loosely, the axle ends of the primary upper feed roller 12, at their front ends, on one side of the pivots 26, and, on the other sides of the pivots, toward their rear ends, mount laterally projecting cam rollers 75, riding against the internal cam surfaces 71.

Trip release arms 80, pivoted to the frame at 80' respectively mount rollers 78, which are urged toward the external cam surfaces 77, by suitable springs 91, and, toward their free outer upper ends, have downwardly projecting detent shoulders 81, disposed for overlying and latching down the rear ends 99, of the brackets 20.

It will be understood that so long as bracket rollers 75 run on internal cam surfaces 72 of the earns 79, in rotation of the latter, the brackets 20 will be held, with relation to their pivots 20', with the primary upper feed roller 12 elevated. It will also be clear that when the feed roller 12 has fallen, for its transistory initiation of inward feed of the sheet, this can only occur when the rollers 75 are juxtaposed to the internal cam surfaces 73 of larger radius. Furthermore, with the brackets so swung on their pivots that the feed roller 12 is disposed upon the sheet A for feeding same, when rollers 75 engage the appropriate internal sloping cam rise surfaces 74, the brackets are forcibly swung on their pivots to elevate the feed roller 12. Relatedly it will be noted that with the detent latch shoulders 81 on arms 811 overlying the ends 90 of the brackets 29, with the latter elevating the feed roller 12, with the rollers 78 riding on external cam surfaces 76, the latches 81 will prevent falling of the brackets and feed roller 12, until the rollers 78 of the detent arms ride outwardly on the appropriate sloping cam rise surfaces 79. This latter action forces the arms 86- rearwardly, and release the rear or inner ends 90 of the brackets 20 for upward movement to lower feed roll 12 when permitted by the cyclic progression of the drums.

It will be seen therefore that there are three separate devices utilized to control the precisely timed drop of primary feed roll 12. Of primary importance is the inner contour 71 of cam 70, whereof cam fall surface 74 permits, through roller cam follower roller '75, and bracket 20 to which roller 75 is affixed, primary front feed roll 12 to be dropped into contact with the sheet A, at just the precise instant with respect to the cycle of drums 23 and 24, that will cause the sheet to feed just that right distance into drums 23 and 24 necessary to intercept and be engaged by the blade and crease rolls to form accordion fold 1 at its correct location. The delay arrangement of FIG. 12 and FIG. 13 has been incorporated to permit the operator to ready the machine to feed on the subsequent approach of cam fall surface 74, by initial actuation of the link 53, as by depressing the treadle 14. This arrangement also restricts feeding action so that it 'does not immediately succeed a depression of the treadle. Safety latch arm 80 prevents premature fall of the bracket 20 pursuant to depression of the treadle, despite the unlatching removal of latching shoulder 56 from under the bracket 20 by swinging of the compound lever 54-58 about the pivot 55, during that interval in which cam follower roller 75 is adjacent to but still spaced from the inner cam surface 73. Latch arm 80 is cammed away from its position as a detent to the inner end 90 of the bracket 20 by sloping rise cam surface 79 engaging cam roller 78 at the very instant that cam follower roller 75 moves downwardly (radially outwardly), on cam fall slope surface 74, to permit gravitational lowering of the bracket 24) and the primary feed roll 12.

The leading edge or sheet advance stops 16, are mounted on transverse bar 85, connected to and extending between the respective brackets 20-40, between primary feed roll 12 and pivot 20', and the stops are of such vertical extent as to drop below the line of the positioned sheet A, with the dropping of the upper feed roll 12 to its datum feeding position.

As an incident to the drop of upper primary feed roll 12, the bracket 20, in dropping, impinges against the outer free end of each pivoted arm 64, forcing the latter counterclockwise and lowering the recess therein to release the pin 63, permitting the dogleg lever 54 to move clockwise under the bias of spring 67, until the outer edge of the detent shoulder 56 pushes laterally against the side of the bracket 20, in position to engage thereunder, with a snap action, when the forward end of the bracket 20 is elevated by rise cam slope surface 74. When the bracket 20 has dropped about the pivot 20', after Withdrawal of the detent 81, in due course the cam surface 77 progresses far enough to permit roller 78 to move on cam fall slope 79, and release the outward pressure on the arm 80, through said roller 78, pursuant to which the detent end 81 of the arm is biased against the rear end 90 of the bracket 20. When the brackets 20 and roller 12 are forced upwardly, about bracket pivots 20, by downward pressure on roller 75 from slope 74, the detent shoulder 81 again passes over and latches the rear end 98 of the bracket, locking bracket 20 safe against inadvertent or premature response to treadle depression and dogleg lever retraction, as might occur during that portion of the rotation of cam when cam follower roller is out of contact with cam surface 73. The detent thus holds the upper primary feed roller upwardly preventing premature sheet feed and precluding any sheet feed until the proper initiation of the succeeding feed cycle.

Recognizing that the sheet must advance far enough through the feeding mechanisms to be engaged by the meeting feeding surfaces of the complemental drums 23 and 24, and that due to the geometry of the feeding section of the apparatus and the two sheet sli-ppages previously alluded to, a tab of the sheet adjacent leading edge B must extend slightly beyond the common main drum center line when leading edge B passes between complementary blade and crease rolls on that instant center line, it becomes important to prevent a premature fold by the adjacent juxtaposed blade and crease rolls.

It is necessary, according to the invention, to provide a blade hold-out, or, radially, a hold-in, for that blade in drum 23 which normally would effect a premature crease closely adjacent to the leading edge B of the sheet A. Reference is made to FIGS. 11, 14, 14a, 14b and 15, for a disclosure of one form of blade hold-out.

Shaft 30 of the lower drum 24, at each end mounts a cam having a side cam groove 96, and the latter contains a lateral (axial) knockout cam element 97. A compound blade hold-out lever is provided at each end of drum 24, comprising at one end a blade hold-out arm 100, and at the other end a latching arm 110, with the compound lever pivotally connected medially on a cocked axis 99 to an arm 101, pivoted on a horizontal axis 101'. The blade hold-out arm has an upper edge surface 102, which is suitably concaved for its function, to be described.

The arm 100 of the compound lever mounts a laterally extending roller 103. A spring device 104 surrounding the pivotal axis 99, biases the compound lever clockwise (in the plan of FIG. 14), urging the roller 103 toward the cam 95. Until the compound lever is released to respond to the urge of the spring 104, the roller is juxtaposed to and rests upon the hub 95' of the cam 95. In this attitude or configuration the arm 100 is sufficiently offset laterally (axially of cam 95), and vertically down- 7 'wardly, as to avoid impingement by the blade extension 32 in its rotation with the upper drum 23.

To maintain this normal attitude of the compound lever, a bracket 111 is mounted on the bracket 20, mounting a vertically extensible spring biased stop 112, normally projected vertically behind the lever end 110, to prevent its response'to the urge of the spring 104.

When, by the mechanism described, the instant bracket 20 and the upper feed roll 12, drops, to place the feed roll 12 in its datum position to start the inward feed of the sheet, the bracket 111 also drops relative to the compound lever arm 110, thus withdrawing the vertical stop 112 from behind the edge of arm 110, permitting the compound lever arm to swing on axis 99 relative to arm [01, by the force of spring 104, and moving the blade hold-out arm 100 toward the cam 95, as indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 14, to an attitude in which, as the extending roller 103 is juxtaposed to and enters cam groove 96 at its smallest radius, the arm 100 moves into vertical alignment with the advanoing blade extension 32' of the blade 32' of the drum 23. At this juncture the arm is below and out of intersecting relation with said extension 32'. The extending roller 103 is received in and encompassed by the cam groove 96, and as the lower drum Z4 and the cam 95 rotate, counter to the rotation of the upper drum 23 with its blade 32, the compound blade hold-out lever 100101 rises arcuately upwardly (about axis 101), due to the contour of the cam groove 96, moving arm 100 vertically until its upper concave surface 102 is positioned for intersection by the advancing extension 32 of the blade of drum 23', to forcibly hold said blade 32, radially inward to preclude any premature action thereof relative to the advancing sheet, and thus precluding any premature creasing and folding of the leading edge B of sheet A. Radial restraint (hold-out) to both ends of blade 32 through its extensions 32' is provided through similar mechanisms at each end of drum 24. During this continuous feeding sequence, the mechanism already described elevates the brackets 20 and upper primary feed roll 12, bringing up the yieldable stops 112 under the arms 110, in the then cocked attitude of the latter as indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 14. However, the stop is resiliently biased so that the mounting brackets 111 can elevate with the brackets 20 to their normal positions, depressing stop 112 under extension arms 110. However, as will be clear, the rollers 103, as an incident of the cocking of the compound levers by the springs 104, having entered laterally into the side cam grooves 96, ride in these grooves until in due course they are laterally ejected therefrom by riding up on knockout cam elements 97. This ejection forces the compound levers to turn on their axes 99 against the force of the springs 104, until the arms 110 move out of registration with the yieldable stops 112 into the full line position shown in FIG. 14, at which the spring biased stops 112 raise and are engaged by the side edge of instant arms 1.10, to hold the lockout levers out of action for the remainder of the instant accordion folding cycle. Synchronously the levers 100- 101 have lowered gravitationally until rollers 103 again ride on hubs 95.

As a preferred alternative to the blade lock-in system just described, reference may be made to FIG. 15a. In this figure parts that are common to the earlier description bear the same characters. This organization simplifies the mechanical structure involved. Referring to this figure a bell crank cam lever 308 is provided, pivoted at 309, detented counterclockwise against the clockwise bias of spring 310, and having a concave face edge 3-11 on one arm to correspond to the minor radius of blade cam 51 when caused to be pivoted into the hold-out position indicated in full lines in FIG. 15a. The lever 308 is normally positioned and detented in the position indicated in dotted lines, under the bias of spring 310, in which attitude theconcave face edge 811 is retracted out of intersection with the roller 50 of the blade 32 of the upper drum 23;. The bell crank 308 has a substantially horizontal arm 3-12, above which is located a vertical extenfolding.

sion 3&3 mounted on bracket 20. When bracket 20 falls about its pivot 20, as previously discussed, the extension 313 abuts the horizontal arm 312, and forces the lever 308 counterclockwise about the pivot 309, moving the concavely contoured edge radially toward the axis 30 of the drum 23, into position to be intersected by the roller 50 on the blade 32 of this drum, forcing the blade inwardly, or at least preventing its radial outward projection. A detent link 315 is pivoted to the frame at 319, is biased clockwise by a spring 3 20, mounts a cam roller 316, and has a terminal detent shoulder 314, disposed to engage over and to latch down the horizontal lever arm 3 12, to hold the latter in the full line position until roller 50 has traversed across and beyond the rise and fall contours of the recess 52 in the internal cam 51. At this point the roller 316 on link 315 is struck by projection 317 on drum 24 (or some other camming element) and pushed to the left (counterclockwise), retracting shoulder 314 from the horizontal arm 312 permitting the bell crank lever to respond to the bias of spring 310 and to move clockwise, retracting the concave edge 311 from intersection by the roller 50 of blade 32 of drum 23, and permitting the lever to attain the position of rest indicated in dotted lines. It will be seen that the modified blade hold in operates once on the dropping of bracket 20 and throughout the remainder of the accordion folding cycle it is inoperative.

It will be understood that it is only a small area or tab of the advancing sheet adjacent to its leading edge B that is engaged between. the drums 23 and 24, peripherally beyond the blade of the upper drum 23, during the brief functions interval of the described blade hold-out mechanism. While superifically, as has been explained, it might be assumed that this area would lengthen the width of the first panel A4, beyond the stated predetermined width, this is not so. This is for the important reason as stated, that when a fold is made as a result of creasing and folding the sheet by the complemental blade and crease rolls of the drums, material is drawn into the fold from both sides, and the small extended area just mentioned is just that which is absorbed in forming the first fold. The apparatus is calculated and designed to effect this important result. Before proceeding with the description of the next or cross fold devices it might be well to emphasize that all mechanisms involved in blade control, front feed roll control and hold-out are preferably duplicated at both ends of the apparatus, while, preferably crease roll function is single ended.

It will be understood that with the mechanism as so far discussed the properly located sheet progresses through the feeding and creasing procedures, effecting alternate accordion folds, of the same width for the full length of the sheet. Illustratively then, a rudimentary or subpacket is provided as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, dropped eventually into a tray or support, preliminary to cross It has been pointed out that it is desirable that the advancing edge B of the first panel A4 engage the tray surface at an acute angle so as to guide it and all subsequent panels into proper disposition on the tray or support. It will be clear that if the advancing edge B of panel A4 strikes a surface to which it is generally normal, as in FIG. 9, for instance, there is the possibility that the sheet may crumple or otherwise jam up. On the other hand, if a tray is disposed as in FIG. 8 to avoid this initial crumpling, because of the relatively acute angle between the advancing first panel and the tray bottom, there is nothing of similar effectiveness for guiding the second panel into its proper relation. Therefore the tray dispositions of FIGS. 8 and 9 are illustrative, and under favorable conditions are quite usable. However, it is preferred to provide a modification of the disclosures of these figures, to attain the maximum accuracy of flat centered plural accordion folds, as disclosed in FIGS. 16 to 19a inclusive, on a generally horizontal tray or support plate facilitating cross folding.

Referring to these figures, and to FIGS. 20 to 26 inelusive for diagrammatic disclosures, there are provided in the housing 10, vertical supports 130 (of which but one is shown in FIG. 16), mounting a horizontal support plate 129, having at least one transverse opening 139, within which is mounted, in general tangency to the tray bottom or support plate 129 a pair of oppositely rotatable downward feed rollers 150 and 151 (driven by means to be described). Above the bottom plate surface 129, primary shafts 133 and 134 extending the full length of the tray, are suitably journalled on the vertical supports 130, in parallel transversely spaced relation to each other, and these shafts are respectively controlled in oscillation by arms 135 and 136 respectively, by means disclosed in the schematic figures mentioned. These shafts respectively mount series of radially projecting pins, 138 on shaft 133, and 140 on shaft 134. Tubular shafts 141 and 142 are provided for rotation on and relative to the respective shafts 133 and 134, and are respectively controlled in oscillation by arms 144 and 145. The tubular shafts mount series of alternately mutually staggered fingers, respectively fingers 147 on tubular shaft 141, and fingers 148 on tubular shaft 142. These fingers occupy desired areas above the bottom tray or horizontal support plate surface 129, short of the feeding rolls 150 and 151, or of such additional numbers of the latter as will be described.

Feed rolls 150 .and 151, parallel to the respective staggered fingers 147 and 148, are mounted on transverse shafts 152 and 153 respectively, and the latter are geared together by pinion gears 160 and 162. These are suitably continuously driven as by a belt 159, and are yield ably urged toward each other by journalling one shaft, such as 152 in the support and journalling the other shaft 153 in a pair of arms 162, pivoted to the support at 163, and with a spring bias 164- operative on the arms to urge the feed rolls yieldably together. This is shown in FIG. 17. As will be explained in connection with other figures, and as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 16a, a transverse or cross folding blade 161 can be juxtaposed to the accordion folded panelled sheet to force a cross fold into the panels and into the space between the rolls 150 and 151.

The transverse relatively staggered fingers 147 and 148 have tray-defining upstanding flanges at each end, respectively 147 and 148', as continuations of the respective fingers themselves. These effect discontinuous sides to the tray, similar to sides 26 and 27 of tray 25 of FIGS. 8 and 9. It will be noted that the tubular shafts 141 and 142 are peripherally slotted to receive pins 138 and 140 respectively, extending radially of internal shafts 133 and 134, the radial planes lying between certain of the staggered fingers to permit oscillation of either the shafts 133 and 134 or of the tubular shafts 141 or 142 independently.

The feed of the accordion folded sheet as it is progressively delivered from the drums 23 and 24, in conjunction with the operation of the respective sets of fingers of the tray is quite important, because of coincidental functions of the apparatus. The collateral mechanism and functions of the feed, are shown schematically in FIGS. 20 to 26 inclusive.

FIG. 20 indicates the starting position of the last described mechanism, in which the fingers 147 and 148 on the respective tubular shafts are down, and lie in a substantial plane above the bottom horizontal support plate surface 129, and the pins 138 and 140 on the inner shafts are vertical. This latter condition maintains until after the accordion folded sheet has been delivered to the tray formed by the fingers 147 and 148.

FIG. 21 adds to the disclosure of FIG. 20, in that it discloses a pair of external cams 180 and 181 (shown in FIG. 11), driven by the respective shafts 30 of the drums 23 and 24, and normally out of camming contact with rollers 196 and 197, to be described. In this figure the advancing edge B of the sheet, prior to the formation of the first accordion fold, has moved downwardly to a position in which it intercepts a beam from a light projector or lamp incident on a phototube and relay organization 171. Responsive to this relay actuation, a suitable solenoid and spring organization 199 is actuated in the proper sense to force camming rollers 196 and 197 into camming relation with the outer peripheries of the respective cams 181 and to cyclically depress and raise said rollers. This is schematically indicated in FIG. 21a. In FIG. 21 and related figures, the cams 180 and 181 control the oscillations of the respective tubular shafts to raise and lower one set of staggered fingers, in alternation to the elevation and lowering of the complemental staggered fingers. Thus a suitably guided rod is provided having at its outer and a cam-engaging roller 197 (laterally controlled by the solenoid), and at the other end being pivoted to the free end of arm 144, at 193 to control the tilting of fingers 147. Relatedly the shaft 30 of drum 24 mounts a cam 181, for controlling the oscillations of tubular shaft 142 by means of a suitably guided rod 195, mounting a cam-engaging roller 1% at one end, and pivotally mounted at its other end to the free end of arm 145, as at 191, for relatedly controlling the raising and lowering of the series of fingers 148.

It will be seen that from the initially horizontal attitude of the staggered fingers 147 and 148 of the tray in FIG. 21, in the rotation of the cams to the position indicated in FIG. 22, the left hand tubular shaft 142 has been so rotated that the fingers 148 are elevated so as to guide the advancing edge B downhill, so to speak, to cause the panel A4 to repose on same in general parallelism therewith leading edge B juxtaposed to the then vertical traydefining upstanding flange 147, while the fingers 147 remain substantially horizontal. The oncoming panel A4 is deposited on the raised tray element 148 until fold 1 is adjacent to the elevated tray corner at which juncture tray 148 is lowered in synchronism with fold 1 of the descending sheet, until, in due course, the fingers 148 are dropped into the horizontal, just as, cyclically and synchronously the roller 197 is depressed by its cam to swing the shaft 141 to elevate its fingers 147, upwardly, as indicated in FIG. 23. Thus in alternation the fingers on one side raise and lower while synchronously in alternation the fingers on the other side raise and lower. Thus each successive panel and fold of the oncoming accordion folded sheet is received by the instantaneously juxtaposed raised tray member and guided or lowered therewith toward the horizontal into ultimately compact registered relation on the tray bottom. The successive folds are successively tilted in one direction and then the other. This alternate raising and lowering of the tray bottom maintains until the final accordion fold has been accomplished, and the final panel (illustratively A6), has been moved toward the tray. At this juncture, as shown in FIG. 24, the rear terminal edge of the instant sheet A, has dropped from the creasing drums 23 and 24, with the tray bottom tilted upwardly from the left as indicated by FIG. 24. The rear edge of the instant sheet, in dropping, passes through the light beam toward the photoelectric unit, and opens the beam, energizing the phototube unit and its relay and solenoid 199 withdraws the rollers 196 and 197 from the respective cams 181 and 180, or otherwise puts the cams out of action as far .as tilting of the floor of the tray is concerned.

In this connection it will be apparent that the solenoid device or devices can actuate and deactuate clutches controlling the rotation or non rotation of the respective cams with the respective shafts, either in augmentation or in substitution of the transverse movement of the cam rollers 196 and 197. It will further be obvious that in lieu of the electrical system disclosed, a purely mechanical system can be effected and operated by auxiliary cams similar to cams 180 and 181 impinging upon operator link-

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3773314 *Dec 22, 1971Nov 20, 1973Cellophane SaMachine for cutting and folding sheet material
US4705496 *Mar 20, 1987Nov 10, 1987Otto BayArrangement including an inverter for feeding sheets of paper into an automatic zigzag folding machine
US6402132Aug 21, 2000Jun 11, 2002R. R. Donnelley & SonsMethod of folding demand-printed webs into signatures for gathering in rotary gathering/binding machines and signatures produced thereby
EP0533150A1 *Sep 17, 1992Mar 24, 1993METEOR-SIEGEN Apparatebau Paul Schmeck GmbHFolding apparatus for sheets and flat articles
U.S. Classification493/10, 493/433, 493/411
International ClassificationB65H45/12
Cooperative ClassificationB65H45/12
European ClassificationB65H45/12