US 3083961 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 2, 1963 c. ARBTER 3,033,961
PICKUP DEVICE FOR USE IN FEEDING MECHANISM AND THE LIKE n 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 20, 1961 CbnnadRBTEl? 8 y gi/7M April 2, 1963 c. ARBTER 3,083,961
PICKUP DEVICE FOR USE IN FEEDING MECHANISM AND THE LIKE Filed June 20, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 /35' f5 fa /7 /NVE/vrok Connaa' RBTER 19) Fatented Apr. 2, i963 3,d3,961 PICKU? DEVICE FR USE IN FEEBING MECHANESM AND THE UKE Conrad ArbtenSaal (Saaie), Upper Franconia, Germany,
assifnor to G. M. Pfaff AAE., iaisersiantcrn, Pfaizr,
Germany, a corporation of Germany Filed inne 20, 1961, Ser. No. 1i8,392 Ciaims priority, 'application Germany .inne 23, 196i) 13 Ciaims. (Ci. 27h-33) The present invention relates to pickup devices, especially though not limitatively to material pickup devices for usein feeding mechanism for advancing a work piece or the like element from a first to a second position kor station, in the course of a fabrication or processing operation. `More particularly, the invention is concerned with devices of this Vand similar type for picking up and temporarily holding pieces of relatively thin and flat material, such as paper, cloth, fabric or the like. As an example, the material to be fed may be in the form of fabric cuts orsheets to befed to `a sewing machine with the units of material being picked up and advanced either singly or irregularly, or being supplied from a stack from which the units are removed and fed to a receiving station in regular succession or sequence.
lIn known arrangements of this type such asused in connection with industrial sewing machines or the like, the fabric cuts or the like units to be fed are picked up by Vmeans of suction heads or pickup devices. Devices of this ltype have the disadvantage, as a result of the porosity of the materialfthat special air-impervious spacers or separating sheets must be inteprosed between the adjacent sheets of the stack in order to remove only one unit at a time, that is, the uppermost unit of the stack, by the suction of the pickup device. The separators must in turn be removed at the receiving or processing station either manually or automatically. This has resulted both in an increase `of the complexity of the design and construction of the pickup devices and feeding mechanism, as well as in reduced operating efliciency and economy of the sewing or the like processing operations.
According to another arrangement known in the art for picking up or feeding fabric cuts or sheets, gripping ngers or the like elements are utilized having their ends fitted with minute bur-like barbs or hooked-shaped projections adapted to interlock with the fibers of the fabric such as to cause the same to cling to said fingers during a conveying or feeding operation. Release of the units at the receiving station iseiected'by forcibly removing 'the Vmaterial from the pickup elements or fingers, whereby to involve the danger of causing damage to the material especially where the latter consists of relatively thin and delicate fabric or the like material.
An important object of the present invention is the provision of improved material pickup means, especially suitable for use in connection with relatively thin and porous such as fibrous material, to be fed to sewing or the like machines, by which the aforementioned and related difiiculties and shortcomings inherent in the prior art pickup devices are minimized or substantially eliminated.
Another objectof the invention is the provision of a device of the general type referred to which is especially suited for temporarily picking up and holding pieces or elements of relatively thin and porous material, in particular sheets or cuts of cloth or fabric.
A more specific object of the invention is the provision of a pickup and feeding device of the general type referred to being especially suited for use inconnection with relatively thin and delicate materials, such as cloth or fabric, substantially without involving the danger of damage to the material during the pickup by or release from Said device.
Yet another object of the invention is the provision of an improved pickup device of the general type referred to, being especially suitable for use in connection with fabric or the like fibrous materials, which is both'simple in design andconstruction as Well as efficient and reliable in operation, and which may be used in connection with existing material or work feeding mechanism or devices.
The invention, both as to its ancillary objects and novel aspects, will be better understood from the following description of a preferred practical embodiment, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings forming part of this specication and in which:
HG. l is an elevational view of a pickup deviceconstructed in accordance with the principles of the invention, the position illustrated corresponding tothe operative or pickup position of the device;
FIG. 2 is a sectional View taken on line lI-II of FIG. l and shown with the stationary control elements provided at a receiving station being included in the drawing;
FIG. 3 is a fractional elevational view similar to FIG. l including the stationary control elements, the position illustrated corresponding to the inoperative position of the device afterdischarge of the material; and
FIG. 4 is a top view of the device inclusive of the stationary control elements thereof.
Like reference numerals denote like parts in the various views of the drawings.
With the foregoing objects in view, the invention involves generally the provision, in connection with a material pickup device of the type referred to, of a plate or support having a plurality, that is, practically at least two, spaced openings and being arranged substantially parallel to and operable towards and away from a piece or element of flat material, or stack of elements, such as fabriocuts or sheets for use in connection with sewing and the like operations, the operation of said device being either manual or automatic, to suit existing conditions and operating requirements. Mounted upon the plate or `support of the device are a plurality of pickup ele- `ments equal in number to the number of said openings,
said elements having their exposed ends coated or surfaced with an adhesive .substance and being arranged to move within said openings between a first or operative position in which the elements pass through andproject beyond said plate, for engaging andpicking up material by adhesion, and a secondV position in which the elements are 4disengaged from said openings, for discharging or `ejecting the material. There are further provided suitable actuating means also mounted upon saidplate or support to simultaneously operate said elements between said first and second operating positions, respectively.
ln operation, the support or plate being adjusted to its operative position is operated into contact or Vengagement with a Work piece or element, such as the Uppermost elementof -a stack of flat sheets, whereby to pick up the uppermost sheet and to hold the same by adhesion to the end of the projectingA pickup elements. Thepickup device with the 4work piece adhering thereto is then moved Vto a receiving-station, such as a sewing machine by means Vof suitable feeding or conveying means or mechanism,
whereupon the material is discharged or'ejectedfby operation of the pickup elements to their inoperative or retracted position, to remove the material and to feedit to a processing or operating mechanism. In this manner, it is possible to feed relatively thin andvdelicate ma terial, such las cloth or fabriecuts substantially without the danger of damage to the material or the likelihood of picking up more than a single sheet or unit of material from a stack, or without involving-other drawbacks and defects inherent in conventional pickup and feeding devices known according to the prior art.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the pickup elements are mounted upon a common base or carrier being relatively movably mounted upon said plate or support with the extreme material-engaging ends of the pickup elements extendible through the openings of said plate and being fitted with rotatable rollers around which is passed, by means of suitable guide means, an adhesive tape from a supply spool to a take-up spool also mounted upon said plate or support. In order to provide a fresh supply of adhesive to each piece or unit being fed, the tape may be advanced intermittently or step-bystep in synchronism with the pickup or feeding operation. By properly designing the feed stroke of the tape, that is, with the distance between two pickup rollers being equal to a whole number multiple plus one half of said stroke, a consecutive supply of fresh incremental portions of said tape to both rollers will be ensured, in a manner described in greater detail in and understood from the following.
In place of pickup rollers cooperating with an adhesive tape, the pickup elements may be in the form of rods or lingers the ends of which are coated with an adhesive substance, such as by the aid of suitable wiper means, in the inoperative or retracted position, to provide a fresh supply of adhesive for each pickup operation. Alternatively, the pickup elements may be in the form of tubes with the adhesive substance being supplied through said tubes in liquid or semi-liquid form. According to a preferred embodiment of the latter construction, the control of the adhesive may be effected by means of a spring-urged ball valve or the like disposed at the ends of the pickup tubes, to eject a predetermined amount of adhesive upon the balls engaging the fabric or other material, in the manner of a ball point pen or the like liquid feeding device.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, the numeral 1, FIGS. 1 and 2, represents a pair of guide rails cooperating with a conveyer frame consisting of a pair of vertical rods 2 and transverse connections 3 by way of transport rollers 4, in a manner customary in work feeding or conveyer devices of this type. mounted upon each of the rods 2 are a pair of guide members 5 which may be displaced vertically in both upward and downward directions either manually or automatically, as indicated by the double arrow in the drawing. In turn secured to the guides 5 is the pickup head or device proper comprising, in the example shown, a vertical plate 6 connected to the guides 5 and a horizontal plate or base 8 secured to said rst plate, to provide an L-shaped support for the pickup and control elements of the device. Plate 8 is provided with two pairs of spaced openings 7 being located at the corners of a rectangle in the example illustrated. Centrally mounted upon the plate 8 between the openings 7 is a guide post or rod 10 for a slidable sleeve 11 having attached to its upper end an adjustable stop 9 and having secured thereto a pair of diametrical lateral arms or extensions 12. Integral with or being attached to the arms 12 `at right angle thereto are a pair of further arms or carrier members 13 being symmetrical to the median line between the pairs of openings 7 in the plate 8, each of the carrier members 13 being formed with pairs of opposite upper extension arms 13a, intermediate extension arms 13b and lower extension arms 13C, respectively. The upper arms 13a carry the supply and takeup spools 14 and 15, respectively, of an adhesive tape 16 being passed around pickup rollers 18 mounted upon the ends of the lower extension arms 13e of each of the carrier members 13.K For this purpose, the ends of the intermediate arms 13b carry a guide roller 17, while additional guide rollers 19 for the tape 16 are provided upon the lower carrier arms 13e above the pickup rollers 18. Surrounding the lower portion of the guide post 10 is a compression spring 20 having one end arranged to engage the sleeve 11 or extension arms 12 and having its opposite end engaging the base or plate 8. The tape 16 may be of any suitable Slidably type, such as an adhesive-surfaced plastic strip known under the name of Scotch tape on the market.
Secured to the guide sleeve 11 near the upper edge thereof is a stop 21 extending laterally and in the downward direction to a predetermined distance and engaging a releasable locking element or lug 22 projecting from the end of a spring-urged guide rod 23 being at right angle to the rod 10 and slidably supported in a pair of uprights or supports 24 and 25, FIG. 4, mounted upon the base or plate 8. The guide rod 23 carries a stop 26 engaging the support or upright 25 in the operative position of the device by the action of a coil spring 27 encircling the outer end of the rod 23 which also carries `a Wedge 28, said spring being arranged with one end engaging the support 25 and with its opposite end engaging said wedge. As a consequence, with the sleeve 11 being held in the depressed position by the lug 21 and locking element 22 against the action of the spring 20, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the pickup rollers 18 of the carriers 13 project through the openings 7 of the plate 8 into material-engaging or pickup position of the device.
The take-up spools 15 of the adhesive tapes 16 are equipped with a feeding or tape advancing mechanism to ensure a fresh supply of adhesive for each material element being fed by the device, said feeding mechanism in the example illustrated consisting of a common shaft 29 for the take-up spools 15, FIG. 4, to which shaft is secured a first ratchet 30 cooperating with a second ratchet 31 being freely rotatable upon said shaft and provided with an operating arm or lever 32. A coil spring 23 encircling the shaft 28 and having one end secured to the carrier 13 and having its opposite end secured to the arm 32 tends to urge the ratchets 30 and 31 into engaging position as shown in the drawing. In order to provide a fresh supply of Vadhesive to both rollers 18 for successive pickup and feeding operations, the distance between the rollers 18 is made equal to a whole number multiple plus one half of the feed stroke of tape 16 determined by the design of the ratchets 30 and 31.
The wedge 28 at the end of the locking rod 23 is arranged to cooperate with a stationary wedge 34, while the sleeve 11 or its stop 9, respectively, are arranged to cooperate with a stationary control member in the form of a rod 35 having a semi-circular or hook-shaped end 36. The stationary control elements 34 and 35 are suitably positioned at a receiving station to automatically discharge or eject the elements, in a manner further described and understood from the following. Element 35 may have an extension 37 engaging the operating arm 32 of the tape advancing mechanism, to automatically advance the tape by a predetermined increment at the end of each pickup or feeding operation.
There is further shown in FIG. 1 a table 39 supporting a stack of fabric cuts or sheets 40 to be fed successively to a receiving or processing station or machine. Table 39 advantageously comprises a supporting plate 41 for the stack of sheets, said plate being mounted upon the upper ends of a plurality of guide posts 42 slidable within perforations of a further plate or support 43, plate 41 being resiliently or yieldingly supported by plate 43 by means of compression springs 44 encircling the posts 42 and engaging the underside of the plate 41, on the one hand, and engaging the upper face of the base 43, on the other hand. In this manner, the carrier 13 and pickup rollers 18 may be lowered upon the stack 4t) for picking up the uppermost material element 40 smoothly and without damage to the fabric or other material, in the manner as will become further apparent from the following description of the operation of the device shown by the drawings.
Assuming FIG. 1 to represent a supply or pickup sta tion, the device is lowered by operation of the slides 5 to material-engaging position as shown with the pickup rollers 18 engaging the uppermost fabric sheet 40 of the like element of the stack, whereby said sheet will ad- .here to or'be suspended from the rollers 18 by adhesion t0 the tape 16. The vdevice is then raised to a. predetermined position and fed toa receiving or processing station, such asa sewing machine, by the laid of the rollers 4 moving along therails 1, or by any other conveying orfeeding means. Upon arrival'at the receiving station equipped with the stationary control members 34 and 35, the device is again lowered-to -a positionto .cause the wedge 28 to cam with the'wedge 34 and, in turn, to displace the. guide rod 23 inwardly against the action ofthe spring 27, in such a manner as to yreleasethe stop `21 of the sleeve 11 from the lug or extension 22 of the rod 23. This causes the sleeve 11 and with it the carriers 13 and pickup rollers 18 to be'operated to this' inoperative or retracted position, FIG. 3, lby the action of the spring .20. As a consequence, the rollers 18 upon being retracted into the openings 7 of the plate 8 cause'the-fabric sheet or the like 40 tobe stripped off the plate 8 andto-be fed to an operating position upon the sewing machine or the like processing apparatus.
In order to restore the device to its operative or pickup position, FIG. 1, either immediately upon discharge of a work piece 40 or after return to the original or pickup station, the device is raised to its uppermost position to cause the upper edge of the sleeve 11, or the adjustable stop 9, to engage the hook-shaped end 36 of the stationary control member 35. This, in turn, causes the sleeve 11 to be lowered upon the post until the extension lug 22 of the guide 23 passes beyond the upper edge of the stop 21 of the sleeve, to thereby lock the latter in the operative position, FIG. 1, by the release and operation of the guide rod 23 in an outward direction by the action of spring 27. In this manner, the device is returned to a position ready for a new pickup and/ or feeding operation.
At the same time, the extension 37 of the stationary stop or control member 35 has been engaged by the tape advancing lever 32 in the uppermost position of the pickup device, whereby to advance the tape by a predetermined increment by the ratchets 30 and 31, in the manner described and readily understood.
In the foregoing, the invention has been described with reference to a specific illustrative device. It will be evident, however, that variations and modifications, as well as the substitution of equivalent elements for those shown and disclosed herein for illustration, may Ibe made without departing from the broader purview and spirit of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. The specification and drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative rather than in a restrictive sense.
1. A device of the character described, for use in work feeding mechanism and the like, comprising a supporting plate having a plurality of spaced openings and arranged substantially parallel to and operable towards and away from a work piece of substantially at material, plurality of pickup elements having adhesive-surfaced ends, means to relatively movably mount said elements upon said plate each for movement through one of said openings and between an operative position of passing through and projecting from said plate, for engaging and picking up said piece by adhesion, and a retracted position, lfor stripping said piece from said elements, and actuating means to simultaneously operate said elements between said operative and inoperative positions, respectively.
2. In a material pickup device as claimed in claim 1, resilient means to normally urge said elements to said inoperative position, locking means upon said plate to lock said elements, in said operative position against the action of said resilient means, and stationary release means cooperating with said locking means to lunlock said last means, to operate said elements to said inoperative position upon said device being moved to a position of engaging said release means.
3. A device of the character described, for use in work feeding mechanism and the like, comprising a supporting plate having a plurality of spaced openings and arranged substantially/,parallel.to.and operable towards and away from a Workpiece of substantially dat material, a carrier vwith means to'relatively movably mount the same upon "rcarrier, for engaging and picking up saidpiece by adhesion, and that said elements are retracted through said openings in said second operating position of said carrier, for stripping Said piece from said elements, and actuating means to operate saidr carrier betweensaid lirst and said second operating positions, respectively.
4. A material pickup device asclaimed in claim 3, resilient means to normally urge said carrier to said inoperativeposition, locking means to lock said carrier vin .said operative position against the action of said resilient means, and stationary release means cooperating with said locking means to unlock said last means, to operate said carrier to said inoperative upon sai-d device being moved to a position of engaging said release means.
5. In a material pickup device as claimed in claim 3, 4rotatable pickup rollers mounted at the free materialengaging ends of said pickup elements, an adhesive tape having supply and take-up spools mounted upon said plate, and means to pass that tape in succession around said rollers.
6. In a material pickup device as claimed in claim 3, rotatable pickup rollers mounted at the free materialengaging ends of said pickup elements, an adhesive tape having supply and take-up spools mounted upon said plat-e, guide means to pass said tape in succession around said rollers, and means to advance said tape intermittently by a predetermined feeding increment.
7. In a material pickup device as claimed in claim 3, rotatable pickup rollers mounted upon the free materialengaging ends of said pickup elements, an adhesive tape having supply and take-up spools mounted upon said plate, guide means to pass said tape in succession around said rollers, and means to advance said tape intermittently by a predetermined feeding stroke, the distance between said rollers being a whole number multiple plus one half of said feeding stroke.
8. In a material pickup device as claimed in claim 7, resilient means to normally urge said carrier to its inoperative position, locking means to lock said carrier in its operative position against the action of said resilient means, stationary release means cooperating with said locking means to unlock said last means, to operate said carrier to its inoperative position upon said device being moved to a position of engaging said release means, and means to synchronize said tape advancing means with the operation of said locking means by said release means.
9. A device of the character described, for use in work feeding mechanism and the like, comprising a supporting plate having a plurality of openings and arranged substantially parallel to and operable towards and away from a stack of substantially iiat material pieces, a carrier lrelatively movably mounted between a iirst and a second operating position upon said plate, a plurality of pickup elements having adhesive-surfaced ends and entendible from said carrier through said openings, resilient means between said plate and carrier to normally urge said carrier to an inoperative position with said elements retracted through said openings, locking means to lock said carrier in an operative posi-tion against the action of said resilient means with said elements passing through and projecting from said plate, for engaging and picking up the uppermost piece of said stack by adhesion, and release means upon said plate for said locking means to cause said carrier to return to its inoperative position by the action of said resilient means, to strip an adhering piece from said elements.
l0. In a material pickup device as claimed in claim 9,
stationary control means cooperating with said release means, to operate said carrier to its inoperative position upon said device being moved to a position of engagement of said control means by said release means.
1l. In a material pickup device as claimed in claim 9, rotatable pickup rollers mounted upon the free material engaging ends of said pickup elements, an adhesive tape having supply and take-up spools mounted upon said plate, and means to pass said tape in succession around said rollers.
l2. In a material pickup device as claimed in claim 9, pickup rollers mounted upon the free material engaging of said pickup elements, an adhesive tape having supply and take-up spools mounted upon said plate, guide means to pass said tape in succession around said rollers, and means to advance said tape in steps by a predetermined feeding stroke in synchronism with the operation of said release means, the distance between said rollers being a whole number multiple plus one half of said feeding stroke.
13. A device of the character described comprising a 20 support, a carrier including a plurality of pickup fingers having adhesive-surfaced ends, a plate being parallel to a stack of sheet-like elements and provided with perforations adapted to be traversed each by one of said ngers, means to relatively movably mount said plate and carrier upon said support, to operate said carrier between a irst relative position of projection of said iingers through and beyond said plate, for engaging and picking up the uppermost sheet of said stack by said fingers by adhesion upon movement of said support towards said stack, and a second relative position of retraction of said fingers through said openings, for stripping a picked-up element off said fingers, and means to operate said plate and carrier between said first and second positions, respectively.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,919,129 Sjostrom Dec. 29, 1959