US 3086577 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A ril 23, 1963 D. c. GIMPLE 3,086,577
GARMENT BAG MAKING EQUIPMENT Filed March 9, 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 I I q. T
N INVENTOR. 5 David C. Gimp/e ATTORNEYS April 23, 1963 D. c- IMPLE 3,086,577
GARMENT BAG MAKING EQUIPMENT Filed March 9, 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 "In "HI! :E: go Z INVENTOR. David C. Gimp/e BY I ATTORNEYS April 23, 1963 o. c. GIMPLE 3,086,577
GARMENT BAG MAKING EQUIPMENT 7 Filed March 9, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. Da vid C. Gimp/e ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,086,577 G ARME NT BAG MAKING EQUIPMENT David C. Gunple, 1039 Kalmia St., Boulder, Colo. Fried Mar. 9, 1960, Ser. No. 13,942 9 (Ilaims. (Cl. 156-495) This invention relates to bag making process and equipment, and more particularly to equipment for making very lightweight plastic garment bags and to the method of producing preformed bags in long strips which may be Wound into rolls and from which the bags may be individually removed on predetermined separate lines as needed.
In recent years very thin, lightweight plastic sheeting has been used to make garment bags for use by tailors, garment manufacturers and more particularly by dry cleaning establishments to cover a few garments hanging on clothes hangers. Such protective bags are replacing paper garment bags due in part to their cheapness, ease of use and reduced storage requirements. In one method, rolls of plastic tubing are supplied to a user who has a machine arranged with heating strips and a knife for initially sealing the tubing across its lateral extent forming the top of the bag, and then cutting the formed bag from the roll. Such a system, however, is an intermittent process, is time consuming and wastes material since generally the user does not or cannot take the time to accurately measure the length of the bag required for the particular garment or garments being covered.
According to the present invention there is provided a mechanism for presealing and partially cutting bags from a roll of plastic tubing in such a manner that the bags are held together by small lands of plastic therebetween so that a simple, quick jerk on the plastic will sever individual bags from the roll. The mechanism, also, provides means for cutting a large number of selfclosing slits in the plastic tubing providing a foraminous bag as protection against accidental suffocation by users while maintaining such a bag as a protection against soiling enclosed garments by moisture and dirt whether caused by handling or merely storage. The mechanism, furthermore, provides means for continuously slitting, cutting and sealing the plastic tubing, and further provides means for tightly rolling the cut and formed bags on a roll.
Included among the objects and advantages of the present invention is a mechanism for preforming and partially severing bags from a long strip of collapsed, plastic tubing whereby the bags are arranged in long strips which may be wound into rolls. Bags may be individually severed bags from the roll for use along predetermined sever lines. The mechanism provides means for slitting a plurality of self-sealing slits in plastic garment bags so that the bags retain their essential covering characteristics. The mechanism, furthermore, provides means for continuously forming bags from an elongated strip and rolling the preformed bags in a strip in a roll for subsequent use. The invention provides a process for forming such self-closing slits and making such bags.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention may be readily ascertained by referring to the following description and appended illustrations in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic elevational view of the mechanism of the invention illustrating the slitting section, and sealing and cutting section of the bag forming machine and the subsequent rewind mechanism for finished bags;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the mechanism for sequentially moving the sealing roll and cutting roll into and out of engagement with a back-up platen',
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a core holder of the rewind mechanism;
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of a slitting roller and back-up platen according to the invention;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view of a cutting roller according to the invention;
FIG. 6 is a partial view of a length of plastic tube material preformed into bags and held together by joining lands of plastic sheeting;
FIG. 7 is a schematic view of a gusset opener arranged in operating position with plastic tubing;
FIG. 8 is an elevational view of a sealing roller for the plastic tubing showing a means for providing electricity for the sealing element; and
FIG. 9 is a weight roller for the rewind section of the bag making machine.
The bag making machine shown in FIG. 1 includes a frame 1 arranged to support the mechanism at an operable height, and to hold the parts in relative position. The frame may be mounted on suitable foundation or portable framework, not shown. Upright members 2 are arranged to support an axle or shaft 3 on which may be mounted a roll of plastic tubing 4. Such tubing is normally extruded, gusseted, that is, with opposed sides of the wall folded in, and the tube flattened and rolled so that it looks like sheet material of double thickness. Supported on the frame is a slitting roll 10 and a backup platen 11 which is arranged to slit a plurality of holes in the tubing. The slitting rollers are shown in detail in FIG. 4, wherein a plurality of triangular-shaped knives 12 are spaced around the roller. These knives in circumferential lines are arranged to register with a plurality of grooves 13 in the back-up roller 11. The slitting roll 10 and back-up roll 11 are maintained in close proximity to each other so as to grip the plastic sheet passing therebetween. The roll of plastic 4 is partially braked so that rotation of the rolls 10 and 11 maintains the plastic web 5 under tension. Free rotation of the roll 4 may conveniently be prevented by a friction brake (not shown) acting on the axle to prevent free rotation of the axle of the roll 4. The roller 10 may be driven at a speed so that its peripheral surface is overdriven about 20% faster than the web travel to maintain the tension on the web during slitting. By thus maintaining the Web under tension, the slits are self-closing and remain closed unless the web is pulled laterally. In one form, the grooved roller 11 may be maintained essentially stationary, and subsequent rollers in the mechanism maintain the web under tension during the slitting.
A pair of posts 15 and 16, FIG. 7 are mounted on opposed sides of the frame 1 adjacent the slitting roller 10, and -a pair of gusset opening fingers v17 are mounted in the uprights 15 and 16. The gusset openers are adjustably held in the rnounts 15 and 16 by means of a setscrew 1-8 and 19, respectively. In one form the gusset opening fingers include a looped portion 20 which is arranged to ride in a gusset opening the same. In the manufacture of the plastic tubing, after the gussets are turned in, the plastic tubing is wound tightly on a roll. Since with the gussets turned in there is a thickness of four layers at the roll end, there is additional pressure on these four layer edges which tends to cause sticking of the plastic in the gussets. The gusset opening fingers riding in the gusset groove permits the gusset to open readily so that the bag will open the full size for use. -In some instances, powder may be blown into the gussets, after being opened, to prevent subsequent sticking.
A pair of upright members 22 mounted on the opposed sides of the frame and spaced from and adjacent to the uprights 15, support a concave spreader roller 23 mounted on an axle or shaft 24 for rotation. The roller 23 is slightly concave so that it keeps the web essentially, fully spread, and smoothly and evenly taut in a lateral direction for its entrance onto a hardened platen 32 as will be explained subsequently.
Mounted on the frame 1 adjacent the concave spreader roller 23 are a pair of enlarged upright end plates 30 spaced apart on opposite sides of the frame 1. A plurality of rollers are mounted on the plates as will be explained. The first such roller is a rubber, or other resilient material, covered roller 31 mounted closely adjacent a hardened roller or platen 32, both of which are journalled for rotation in the uprights 30. A sealing roller 33 has a heating element 34 mounted on the surface thereof. Mounted above the hardened platen 32 is a cutting roller 35 having a knife element 36 mounted on the periphery thereof. The operation of the sealing and cutting rollers is explained below. Another rubber cover roller 37 is mounted on the opposite side of the hardened platen 32 and is arranged to pass the web from the bag forming section to a rewind section which is mounted on a framework 40. The two rubber covered rollers hold the plastic web taut on the hardened platen. An anti-static electricity device 38 may be installed when desired. Such devices are commonly known and available on the open market.
The rewind section includes a pair of rollers 41 and 42 which are driven rollers, and the roller 42 is driven at about 1% greater speed than the roller 41. These rollers may be geared separately to a drive, or through an integral drive (not shown) with the cutting and sealing section. A pair of end plates 40 mounted on the frame 1 supports the rollers 41 and 42. A pair of upright channel members 43 mounted on each side of the plates 40 supports a rewind roller 44. The roller 44 is supported in the channels 43 and freely rests on the two drive rewind rolls 41 and 42. A weighted tension roller 45 is supported in the channels 43 and it freely rests on the rewind roll 44. The web passes over the weighted roller 45 onto the rewind roller 44, the details of which will be explained below.
In the bag forming section, the rubber covered rollers 31 and 37 hold the web stretched tightly on the hardened platen 32 during operation of the sealing and cutting rollers. The cutting and sealing rollers operate in a sequence with the sealing roller engaging the web first and immediately thereafter the cutting roller cutting the web along a line adjacent the bag forming seal.
The cutting roller is shown in partial detail in FIG. 5 wherein a metallic roller 35 has secured to it a series of knife blades 51 and 52 which extend a short distance outwardly from the roller surface at angles inwardly directed to the roller axis from the roller edges. The knife blades 51 and 52 extend approximately the width of the tube but leave a portion of the tube uncut along each edge. A serrated knife edge 53 between the two angle sections leaves a series of lands between bag sections of the tube. A series of notches 54 in the knife blades cause a discontinuity in the cut and leave lands which hold the preformed bag sections together in an elongated sheet. Since the knife blades extend partially around the periphery of the roller, it must be an arcuate knife blade, and it may be held on the roll by any known means. Further, the knife blade may be spring-loaded so as to provide a positive cutting action with a uniform pressure across the roller. During the actual cutting operation the roller 50 is moved in close proximity to the hardened platen 32,. so that the knife edges 51 and 52 and the serrated knife all bear against its surface cutting the plastic tubing therebetween. Under normal circumstances, the plastic for forming the bags is approximately 0.0005 of an inch thick so that the folded plastic in the middle of the bag passing over the roller is on the order of 0.00010. This is the minimum thickness which must be cut, since the gusseted edges are four thicknesses.
The sealing roller 33 includes shafts 55 arranged to be journalled for rotation in the frame, and a pair of contacts 57 mounted on the roller are insulated from the remainder of the roller, since such a roller is made of steel. Brushes 58, connected to electric leads not shown, ride on the contactor strips 57 and provide means for heating a Nichrome strip 59 which extends across the roller in a fiat triangular configuration. The Nichrome strip is mounted on a silicone rubber backing sheet covered with a glass cloth and is thus insulated from the roller. A thin nonelectrical covering, such as a polyfluoroethylene, such as Du Ponts Teflon, covers the Nichrome wire and prevents sticking of the Wire on the plastic while permitting transfer of sufiicient heat for sealing the plastic. A properly controlled current applied to the brushes 58 will provide sufiicient heating for sealing across the tube at the speed of operation.
The rubber covered rollers 31 and 37 are mounted in relative position to the hardened platen 32 so as to feed and hold the plastic tubing tightly on the roller. The sealing and cutting rollers 33 and 35, however, are normally spaced from the platen and are moved into and out of engagement with the platen for bag forming operations. As pointed out, the thickness of the two sheets in the middle of the tube is 0.00010, and on the ends where the gussets are folded under there is a thickness of about 0.00020 due to the two extra thicknesses of material. Thus it is seen that the sealing members and the cutting knives may be maintained normally 30 to 50 thousandths from the surface of the hardened platen and be readily moved into sealing or cutting position against the plastic tubing. One method of movement of the rolls in relation to the platen is shown in FIG. 2, wherein the platen 32 is arranged to rotate on shaft 29. Interconnected with the shaft 29 and conjointly rotatable therewith is a gear 60. A gear 61 mounted on shaft 62 of the cutting roller 35 meshes with the gear 60 on the platen 32. A gear 63 mounted on shaft 55 of the sealing roller 33 is, likewise, meshed with the gear 60 of the roller 32. The gears on the platen 32 and the rollers 33 and 35 are modified spur gears with less taper so that the rollers 35 and 33 may be moved inwardly and outwardly in relation to the gear and still remain meshed therewith with sufficient contact surface for conjoint rotation.
The rollers 33 and 35 are alternately moved into con tact with the surface of the platen 32 at predetermined times to provide the desired size of bag. One means is by a cam 65 depressing a pair of lever arms 66 (only one of which is shown) which in turn depress connecting rods 67 and 68 which are connected respectively to rocker arms 69 and 70. The rocker arms move the rollers 33 and 35 respectively onto the platen. Cam surfaces 72 and 73 on the cam 65 are spaced about ninety rotation degrees apart, which corresponds approximately to the angular distance apart between the rollers 33 and 35. There is a slight difference so that the cutters are depressed so as to cut the bag ahead of the seal which has been previously made. The cam raised surface 72 impinges against a roll pin 74 which depresses one of the lever arms 66 pulling down the connecting rod 67 which in turn rotates the shaft 55 slightly. An eccentric bearing 77 mounted in the frame 78 turns forcing the roller 33 onto the platen 32. After passing raised surface 72, the parts being spring-loaded, not shown, return to original position. As the cam passes the pin 74, the raised cam surface 73 strikes the roller pin secured to the other lever arm 66 which depresses the same pulling down the connecting rod 68 and pivoting [rocker arm about a shaft 80. The shaft 80 is mounted in an eccentric bearing 81 mounted in uprights 82 which in turn moves the frame member 83 about pivot 84 downwardly carrying with it the roller 35 into contact with the platen 32.
A gear 85, only partially shown, meshes with a gear 86, only partially shown, on the shaft 29 of the platen 32, and this gear 85, also, interconnects with the gear 87 mounted on the shaft 88 of the cam 65. By changing the diameter of the gear 87, the length of bag may be changed since it changes the operation of the cam, and operation of sealing and cutting rollers onto the platen. In changing the size of the gear 87, the distance between the shaft of the gear 85 of the shaft 88 changes and the gear 85 is mounted on a rocker arm 90 which permits the position of the shaft to be changed interconnecting the parts. The
gearing arrangement interconnects the parts so that the peripheral speed of the cutting and sealing rollers is the same as the peripheral speed of the platen on which they operate. By merely changing the gears, the length of the bag may be changed, however, the distance between the seal and the cut formed by the sealing and cutting rollers is determined by the distance apart of the cam surfaces 72 and 73.
The rewind section is interconnected by conventional means, not shown, to the platen, as for example, sprockets and chains which maintain substantially exact rotation between the parts. Such means may, also, be gearing or the like. In the rewind section the rollers 41 and 42 are preferably metallic rollers rotatively interconnected with the platen 32 so that the roller 41 has essentially the same peripheral speed as the platen 32. As pointed out above, the roller 42 is overdriven about 1% greater than the roller 41 to tightly rewind the plastic on the rewind tube.
In rewinding, a paper tube 100, shown in FIG. 3, is mounted over the rewind roller 44. The paper tube is pressed against a washer -101 at one end of the roller 44 and is held in place by a nut 102 threadedly attached to the opposite end of the roller 44. This maintains the tube tight on the roller so that it rotates conjointly with it. The plastic is rolled on the paper tube, and the completely rewound roll is easily removed from the tube 44 along with its paper tube support 100 by merely removing the nut 102.
The rewind roller 44 includes a pair of bearing sets 104 mounted on each end of a shaft 105. The bearing sets are arranged to freely ride in the channels 43 during the rewind operations so that the rewind tube freely moves vertically in the channel 43 on increasing thickness of rewound material. The channels retain the rewind roller centered on the rollers 41 and 42. The contact between. the roller 44 and the rollers 41 and 42 does not change essentially during the rewind operation even with the increasing size of the plastic roll. Thus the peripheral speed of the plastic on the rewind roll is maintained substantially the same as the peripheral speed of the platen 32. This maintains tension on the plastic web throughout the operation including the rewinding. As the roll gets larger there will, of course, be a slight change in contact with rolls 41 and 42, but the change is insignificant in relation to the speed. The weighted rewind roller 45 includes partially mill ends 107 and 108 which provide a shallow relief for the gussets so as to maintain tension on the plastic web completely across its lateral extent during rewinding. The roller 45 is generally metal and includes shafts 1 having mounted thereon bearing sets 111. These bearing sets, also, ride freely in the upright channels 43 so that the roller is maintained in position resting on and rotating with the rewind roller 44. 7
As shown in FIG. 1, the plastic sheet passes over the roller 45- which is resting on the roller 44. As the plastic is rewound on the tubular member 100 on the roller 44, the roll naturally gets larger, and the bearing sets of both rollers 44 and 45 resting in the channels 43 ride freely and rise as the roll gets larger. The construction makes removal of the finished plastic rolls and reassembly for additional operations easy and fast.
A section of plastic tubing is shown in FIG. 6, wherein finished bag elements are maintained in a sheet. A complete bag 120 is illustrated in the middle of partially shown bags 121 and 122 on each side thereof. The bag 120 includes a sealing portion 123 at one end which extend from approximately the edge of the sheet to a point in the center. The seal is arranged to leave a hole which is large enough for the hook of a hanger to pass. The angle of the sealed portions 123 is approximately the angle of the standard clothes hanger. A cut portion is provided from about a half to one inch from the seal portion 30 into the next bag 122. The cut portions do not extend completely to the edges but leave small lands 131 on each side. The notches in the knife cutters leave lands 132 in the cuts. A perforated cut, which is above the hook opening in the seal members, provides a series of small lands holding the central part of the cut together. This provides suflicient lands of material between separate bags for holding the bags in a single sheet but the bags are easily severable from the sheet. The body of the garment bag is usually either 36 or 54 inches for most uses. Special sizes may be made for any particular system by merely changing the size of the gears operating the cam which moves the sealing and cutting rollers into contact with the platen.
It is to be noted that there is no perpendicular cut in the bag forming a perpendicular bottom since the same is not necessary. The slight angle cut at the bottom of the bag is not detrimental to the use of the bag, and in fact tends to hold the bag in better position on the contained clothes and provides more complete coverage over the garments.
After the bags are preformed and rerolled they are used by mounting on a stand, usually above a clothes support. In this position the bottom of the bag may be opened, pulled over the hangered clothes with a light, sharp jerk which severs the individual bag from the roll. The bag is thus easily severed without imparting an unrolling motion to the remainder of the roll. The severed bag is then readily pulled completely over the garments with the hanger hook exposed. With the light plastic available for such purposes, a roll of about 3000 feet weighs less than thirty pounds so that the rolls may be easily lifted in position on the support. Also, a series of rolls may be mounted on a single support to provide various sizes of bags on a single support.
While the invention has been illustrated by reference to a specific device, there is obviously no intent to limit the device to the particular details so described. For example, there could be provided an electronic heating roller for forming the seal, and there are obviously other ways of moving the rolls into and out of contact with the platen. The surface hardened platen has been found to be highly satisfactory for both the sealing and heating purposes slnce it provides a good solid backing, which is not injured during such operations. However, by changing the cutting structure and the sealing configuration, a softer platen might be used. 7
1. Bag making equipment comprising means for supporting a roll of flattened and wound plastic tubing, a rotary platen arranged to support said tubing on a major port1on of an arc of its surface, a pair of spaced rollers mounted adjacent said platen and arranged to be moved toward and away from the surface of said platen, the first of said rollers including a heating element partially spirally wound in a flat V shape from the roller edges toward the center thereof and the other roller including cutter elements spirally wound in a flat V shape from the roller edges toward the center thereof including a series of spaced notches to provide lands for holding adjacent cut portions together, means for rotating said rollers and platen at essentially the same peripheral speeds, and means for alternately moving said sealing roller and said cutting roller toward the surface of said platen at predetermined intervals along said tubing so as to seal said tubing and cut a severance line through a major portion of said tubing adjacent to and spaced from the seal.
2. Equipment according to claim 1 in which the pair of spaced rollers are interconnected by gears with said platen for conjoint rotation.
3. Bag making equipment comprising means for supporting a roll of flattened and wound plastic tubing, a rotary platen arranged to support said tubing on a ma or portion of an arc of its surface, a pair of spaced rollers mounted adjacent said platen and arranged to be moved toward and away from the surface of said platen, the first of said rollers including a heating element partially spirally in a fiat V shape from the roller edges toward the center thereof and the other roller including cutter elements spirally wound in a flat V shape from the roller edges toward the center thereof including a series of notches to provide lands for holding adjacent cut portions together, means for rotating said rollers and platen at essentially the same peripheral speeds, means for feeding and holding said tubing under tension on said platen, and means for alternately moving said heat sealing roller and said cutting roller onto the surface of said platen at predetermined intervals along said tubing so as to seal said tubing and cut a severance line through a major portion of said tubing adjacent to and spaced from the seal.
4. Equipment according to claim 3 in which the means for feeding and holding said tubing under tension on said platen includes a pair of spaced, resiliently covered rollers mounted adjacent said platen.
5. Equipment according to claim 3 in which said feeding and holding means for said tubing on said platen includes a concave feed roll arranged to stretch said plastic tubing laterally immediately prior to feeding onto said platen.
6. Equipment for producing joined garment bags in an elongated strip of flattened plastic tubular material comprising a hardened metal rotary platen arranged to support said strip around a substantial portion of its peripheral surface, a pair of spaced apart rubber rollers mounted in substantial contact with said platen at spaced points therearound and arranged to hold the strip of material stretched in tension over the surface of said platen, a sealing roller carrying a relatively thin heated member extending substantially across its lateral extent and through a minor arc of its periphery mounted adjacent said platen and between said rubber rollers and arranged for periodically contacting the carried strip of plastic to form a lateral seal thereon, a cutting roller mounted adjacent said platen and between said rubber rollers and carrying a relatively thin discontinuous cutting member substantially across its lateral extent and through a minor arc of its peripheral surface and arranged for periodically cutting a discontinuous severance line across the plastic strip, and means for programming the sequences of sealing and cutting for forming unsevered bags of a predetermined length in the strip.
7. Equipment for producing joined garment bags in an elongated strip of flattened plastic tubular material comprising a concave roller arranged to support such a strip of plastic material on its surface in position to spread the plastic material laterally, a hardened metal rotary platen mounted adjacent to and spaced from said concave roller and arranged to support the strip of plastic material passing from said concave roller around a substantial portion of its peripheral surface, a pair of spaced apart rubber rollers arranged in contact with the surface of said platen at spaced positions so as to hold such a strip stretched in tension over said platen, a sealing roller carrying a relatively thin heated member extending substantially across its lateral extent and through a minor arc of its peripheral surface, said sealing roller being mounted adjacent said platen and between said rubber rollers for periodically contacting a carried strip of plastic to form a lateral seal thereon, a cutting roller mounted adjacent said platen and between said rubber rollers and carrying a relatively thin discontinuous cutting member which extends substantially across its lateral extent and arranged for periodically cutting a discontinuous severance line across the strip of plastic, and means for programming the sequence of cutting and scaling for forming unseparated bags of predetermined length in the strip.
8. Equipment for producing joined garment bags in an elongated strip of flattened plastic tubular material comprising a hardened metal rotary platen arranged to support the strip around a substantial portion of its peripheral surface, a pair of spaced apart rubber rollers in substantial contact with said platen at spaced points on its peripheral surface and arranged to hold such a strip stretched in tension over the platen surface, a sealing roller mounted adjacent said platen and between said rubber rollers, said sealing roller including a pair of inwardly spiralled V shaped heating elements arranged substantially thereacross and through a narrow arc of its peripheral surface and arranged to move in contact with the plastic material forming a seal thereacross, a cutting roller mounted adjacent said platen and between said rubber rollers, said cutting roller including a pair of inwardly spiralled V shaped cutting members arranged to be moved into and out of contact with plastic material carried on the platen for cutting a discontinuous severance line thereacross, means for alternately moving said sealing roller and said cutting roller into contact with plastic material carried on the platen whereby to initially seal the tubing with a generally lateral seal and to partially cut said tubing adjacent and downstream from the seal to form an easily severable joint between adjacent preformed bags, means for rewinding the tubing subsequent to its removal from the platen, and means for rotating the rollers and the platen at essentially the same peripheral spee 9. Equipment according to claim 8 in which the V shaped cutting members are in the form of serrated blades arranged to only partially cut the tubular material across its lateral extent.
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