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Publication numberUS3239889 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 15, 1966
Filing dateJun 15, 1960
Priority dateJun 15, 1960
Publication numberUS 3239889 A, US 3239889A, US-A-3239889, US3239889 A, US3239889A
InventorsDan Caughlin
Original AssigneeTexonia Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cotton pre-compressor
US 3239889 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 15, 1966 D. CAUGHLIN COTTON FEE-COMPRESSOR 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 15, 1960 Dan Cough/1h INVENTOR.

BY 3W4.

Attorneys and arch 15, 1965 w. CZAUGHLIN 3,239,389

COTTON FEE-COMPRESSOR Filed June 15, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 92 00/7 Caugh/m INVENTOR.

March l5, 1% n. QAUGHLKN 3,239,89

COTTON PRE-GOMPRESSOR Filed June 15, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 1 N VE N TOR March 15, 1966 D. CAUGHLIN 3,239,889

COTTON PRE-COMPRESSOR Filed June 15, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Dan Caugh/m 1N VE N TOR.

Madge BY M4,

COTTON FEE-COMPRESSOR Filed June 15, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fig/0 3/0 Dan Cough/I77 INVENTOR.

WW W

Unitecl States Patent 3,239,889 COTTON PRE-(IOMPRESSQR Dan Caughlin, Calexico, Califi, assiguor t0 Texonia Industries, Inc., Calexico, Calif. Filed June 15, B60, Ser. No. 36,220 7 Claims. (Cl. 19156.4)

This invention comprises a novel and useful cotton precompressor and more particularly relates to a method and a means to effect a compacting or precompressing of a cotton bat as the latter is continuously discharged from a lint condenser and prior to collecting or packaging of the cotton bat as in a conventional cotton baling press, in a roll or for other purposes.

When the cotton lint fibers have been initially separated from their conveying airstream in various conventional types of lint condensers, they are formed into a continuous lap, web or bat which is a continuous sheet of the cotton fibers and which moves continuously from the lint condenser, down a lint slide and usually to either a conventional baling press assembly where the bat is packed into bales of more or less uniform size and weight; or is wound into a roll adapted for subsequent use in or treatment by various textile machines. Such a sheet of cotton fibers is referred to hereinafter as a bat, and in its normal condition is of relatively low density and in a fluffy uncompacted condition, the bat usually ranging from one to ten inches in thickness.

Owing to its relatively large bulk in its uncompacted and normal state as the bat emerges from the lint condenser, the accumulation of the necessary lint of a continuous bat or sheet of the uncompacted cotton fibers for bedding or packaging either to form bales in a press or to be formed into rolls or for other purposes is a relatively awkward or cumbersome process. Moreover, owing to the volume of the uncompacted bat which is required to form a package of a given weight it is difficult to accurately estimate when the desired weight or quantity of cotton has been accumulated in such a package.

Still further, conventional packages of the uncompacted cotton bats whether formed into bales or into rolls occupy a maximum volume or bulk and are therefore relatively uneconomical to handle, store or transport.

It is therefore the primary purpose of this invention to provide a method and a means which will overcome the foregoing difficulties and effect a reduction in the volume of such a package, whether in the form of a bale, a roll, or other arrangement, which will have a greatly reduced volume and therefore will be relatively easier to handle and relatively easier to transport or store.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a process and a means by which there is efifected a precompressing or precompacting of the cotton bat as the latter is continuously discharged from the lint condenser in order to enable the obtaining of a package or bedding of the lap whether in a press for the forming of bales or the formation of rolls upon a rotating arbor or for other purposes to thereby greatly reduce the volume for a package of a given weight of the cotton.

A further important object of the invention is to provide a means and a method for effecting a more accurate determination of and a control of the weight of the cotton bat to be packaged or bedded into a bale, package or the like.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a method and a means which by effecting a substantial reduction in the volume of the cotton bat in advance of its introduction into a baling press will greatly reduce the workload imposed upon the baling press for the obtaining of a bale of cotton of a given weight.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a process and a means which will enable the obtaining of a bale or package of cotton from a continuous bat as received from a lint condenser which shall be of a relatively much greater density and a more compact volume than is customarily obtainable.

An additional object of the invention is to provide an apparatus and a method whereby there may be obtained with precision the continuous formation of a cotton bat from a lint condenser having a predetermined thickness.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus and a method in accordance with the preceding objects by which there is obtained with a nicety of precision adjustment an interdependent control of the speeds of operation of a lint condenser and of a bat compressor whereby to effect the obtaining of a continuous bat of cotton of a predetermined thickness.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus in accordance with the immediately preceding objects which can be readily applied with equal facility to forms of lint cleaners as well as to lint condensers for realizing the afore-stated objects.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a means and a method in accordance with the foregoing objects which will require substantially no modification of or alteration of the conventional gin plant construction in the application of the principles of this invention thereto.

A still further and very important object of the invention is to provide an apparatus and method in compliance with the above stated objects which is equally applicable to the opening and cleaning of bales and the forming of laps and rolls for direct use in textile mills or rebaling; as well as in the ginning of seed cotton fresh from the field.

A still further important object of the invention is to provide a method and a means whereby there is obtained an automatic control of a conventional lint cotton sampling device which shall be coordinated with the quantity of cotton in a continuously moving lint bat'whereby the automatic sampler shall be actuated automatically in response to the passage of a predetermined weight or quantity of the cotton of the lint bat passing a given station.

An additional important object of the invention is to provide a method and a means for obtaining an automatic control and correlation of the operation of the lint condenser and of a precompressing device and which is responsive to the rate of flow of the lint cotton fibers into a lint cleaner or lint condenser for thereby obtaining a continuously produced lint bat having a uniform predetermined and precontrolled thickness.

Still another important object of this invention is to provide a means and method which greatly increases the density and reduces the volume of a cotton bat of a given weight in preparation for its delivery into the baling chamber of various types of automatic baling presses being now developed whereby to greatly decrease the work load of such automatic baling presses.

An additional object of this invention is to devise a means and method which will effect a substantial increase in the density and a decrease in the volume of a packaged cotton bat without adversely affecting the fiber characteristics of the bat.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view generally in elevation and with parts being shown in vertical section of a typical and suitable arrangement in accordance with this invention and showing the manner in which the cotton compactor or precompressor of this invention is associated with a lint condenser and a cotton baler to effect the formation of a substantial precompression of and increase in density of the cotton bat prior to the delivery of the latter into the baling chamber;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary view of a modified construction in accordance with FIGURE 1 in which the precompressed cotton bat is packaged upon a roll rather than being collected and bedded in a bale chamber;

FIGURE 3 is an elevational view upon a somewhat enlarged scale of a preferred embodiment of the device for effecting precompression or compacting of the continuously produced and moving lint bat of the type shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical transverse sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 4-4 of FIGURE 3, with parts being broken away, and showing certain details of the internal construction of the device of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a horizontal sectional view, parts being broken away, and taken substantially upon the plane indicatcd by the section line 5-5 of FIGURE 3 of the precompressor or compactor of this invention;

FIGURE 6 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 66 of FIGURE 4 and showing further details of the compactor of this invention;

FIGURE 7 is a detail view in elevation showing a portion of the adjustable stop means limiting the extent of compacting of the lint bat in the device;

FIGURE 8 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the control mechanism by which an automatic control of the rate of operation of the lint condenser and of the precompressor of this invention is effected to secure the production of a precompressed bat of a predetermined uniform thickness;

FIGURE 9 is a diagrammatic detail view in perspective of the driving means for the lint condenser and the precompressor of this invention for obtaining the interdependent and independent variable control of the operation thereof;

FIGURE 10 is a detail view in vertical longitudinal section taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 1010 of FIGURE 4 and showing further internal details of the structure of the precompressor in accordance with this invention;

FIGURE 11 is a diagrammatic view of the fluid pressure system for regulating the pressure applied to the pressing rolls of the precompressor of the invention; and

FIGURE 12 is a diagrammatic view similar to FIG- URE 8 but of a modified control system in which the automatic control is effected by an electrical control mean rather than by fluid pressure actuated control means.

The process or method and the apparatus in accordance with this invention consists of a number of novel and improved features or components. These are the compactor or precompressing of the lint bat; the coordination of the driving means for the condenser and for the precompressor unit of the invention; the automatic weight counter operatively associated with the precompressor unit and the interconnection of the automatic weight counter with an automatic sampler to effect automatic actuation of the latter whenever a predetermined Weight of the lint bat has passed through the precompressor unit.

(I) Compactor or precompressing unit for the lint bat Referring first to the diagrammatic view of FIGURE 1 showing a preferred arrangement in accordance with this invention, the numeral 10 designates generally a lint condenser of any suitable type and to which the lint fibers are supplied by the conventional lint flue 12 in the direction of flow indicated by the arrow 14 into the lint condenser housing 16 and in which they contact the exterior surface of the cylindrical rotating lint screen cylinder 18, by means of which the conveying air is separated from the mass of cotton fibers with the air being exhausted from the interior of the lint cylinder 18 by the usual air eduction system including an eduction fan 21, see also FIGURES 8 and 12, with the separated lint fibers being deposited upon the exterior surface of the screen to form a lint bat 20 thereon, The lint bat in accordance with conventional practice is stripped from the rotating lint cylinder 18 by means of the usual compact roll 22 in conjunction with the doffing roll 24 with the bat passing through a discharge opening 26 in the casing of the condenser housing and moving continuously therefrom down the lint slide or discharge chute 28.

In customary practice, the bat 20 upon passing down the lint slide 28 is discharged into the chamber 30 of a conventional form of baling press indicated generally by the numeral 32, the usual kicker 34 which may be either a rotatable paddle wheel, a ram or any other assisting element serving to periodically discharge the continuously traveling bat into the baler chamber 30 when the automatic vertically reciprocating tramper foot 36 is in the upper portion of its stroke.

In accordance with the present invention there is disposed between the lint slide 28 and the kicker member 34 of the baler 32 the bat compactor or precompressor unit in accordance with this invention which is indicated generally by the numeral 40 and which is operatively connected with the operation of the lint condenser as set forth hereinafter.

There is also shown in FIGURE 1 a conventional form of automatic sampling device which is designated generally by the numeral 42 and whose specific construction is of no consequence as regards the understanding of the operation of the invention set forth and claimed herein. This automatic sampler receives through the sampler duct 44 lint cotton from the lint flue 12 whenever the control door, gate or shutter 46 is opened as will be seen by a comparison of the full and dotted line showing of FIG- URE 1, under the control of a connecting means including a link 48 which is connected to the sampler door 46 and to an actuating arm 50 extending from the interior to the exterior of the automatic sampler 42. It is sufficient to understand the operation of this conventional device to state that from time-to-time in accordance with conventional practice the arm 50 is actuated and through the linkage 48 momentarily opens the gate or door 46 thereby allowing a sample of the flow of lint through the lint duct 12 to be educted into the sampler. The series of samples thus obtained constitute in their entirety in accordance with conventional practice an accurate sampling and afford an indication as to the quality and quantity of the lint fiber which composes the lint bat 20 in order that the necessary required testing and sampling of the lint fibers of the lint bat may be effected. In accordance with the present invention, an interconnection is provided between the automatic sampler 42 and the compactor or precompressor unit 40 to effect actuation of the sampler each time a predetermined weight of lint cotton in the lint bat 20 has passed through the unit 40. Thus by virtue of this interconnection, a test sample will be obtained for each constant given weight unit of the lint bat produced by the lint condenser.

In the arrangement illustrated in FIGURE 1, it is understood that the lint bat after passing through the compactor or precompressing unit 40 is gathered or collected into a package which ultimately forms the cottonbale produced by the baler 32. Alternatively, however, as indicated in the modified construction of FIGURE 2, the lint bat after emerging from the compactor or precompressor unit 40 instead of being delivered to a baler 32 may be delivered to a winding or rolling device indicated generally by the numeral 60 by means of which the precompressed lint cotton bat is wound upon an arbor to form a roll 62 for either subsequent storage or transportation or if desired for immediate use in various textile treating equipment and operations.

It is to be understood that although the method and means illustrating the principles of this invention in FIGURE 1 are directed to a lint condenser 10, it is within the purview of this invention to apply these principles to any other equivalent form of device by means of which a lint bat 20 is continuously produced and formed and delivered from the lint fiber condensing device to a subsequent packaging destination of which the baling press 32 or the roll former 60 are merely common examples. For example, the device instead of consisting of a lint condenser may comprise a lint cleaner of various types.

It is also desired to emphasize at this point that the principles of this invention are equally applicable to the opening and reworking of previously baled lintcotton, as in the opening rooms of a textile plant as Well as to a conventional seed cotton ginning plant in which the fresh seed cotton received from the field is cleaned, ginned and baled.

It is the basic purpose and an essential feature of this invention to very considerably reduce the thickness of the cotton bat as the latter emerges in its normal state from the lint condenser 10 to obtain a cotton bat having a final reduced thickness as shown best at 64 in both FIGURES 1 and2 but having the same weight per linear foot as in the normal uncompressed condition as the bat emerges from the condensing element such as the lint condenser cylinder 18, whereby to greatly reduce the volume of the bat and'therefore the space occupied by the package, whether this package be a bale formed by the baler 32 or a roll.62 formed by the roll forming device 60. This reduction in the thickness of the bat is effected in a manner and by a means to be now described in the compactor precompressor unit 40.

Basically, the operation effected by the compactor or precompressor unit 40 is to obtain an initial but temporary extremely high compression of the bat such that when this pressure is released the bat will only partially expand to its original thickness. By way of example, the opposite surfaces of the continuously moving bat, as for example the top and bottom faces of a horizontally traveling bat are subjected to a sufiicient adjustably controlled pressure to reduce the thickness of the bat temporarily to a thickness of from .001" to .005 and preferably about .002", this portion of the temporarily, initially compressed bat being indicated by the numeral 66 throughout the various views of the drawings. When this initially compressed portion of the bat emerges from the unit 40, upon the release of the pressure imposed thereon, the resiliency of the bat will'tend to at least partially regain its original thickness, the bat then obtaining its final thickness as indicated at 64. In order to better understand this portion of the operation of the invention, it should be noted that the usual uncompacted condition of the bat 20 as the latter emerges from the condenser element 18 will vary from one to ten inches in thickness, depending upon the rate of travel of the condenser cylinder element and. the bat formed thereon. Regardless of whether the thickness is from one to ten inches, of the uncompacted bat, the latter is arbitrarily and forcibly compressed to a thickness of about .002 as previously mentioned in the device 40, thereby producing a temporary but a maximum compaction of the bat at a maximum increase in its density. After this pressure upon the bat is released, the bat will then partially regain its original thickness as by expanding in the portion 64 to a thickness of from one-fourth to one inch, this being the final compressed or compacted condition of the bat. Obviously, when the bat is reduced in thickness from ten inches as it emerges from the condenser element 18, to a thickness of not more than one inch as it reaches the 6 packaging station 32, 60 or some other station, it will readily be packaged into a much smaller volume for a given weight of the material thereby greatly reducing the load imposed upon the conventional means by which a bale is formed in a baler 32, or a roll 62 is formed by a roll former 60.

A preferred and satisfactory means for effecting this initial compaction of the bat in the unit 40 consists of a series of longitudinally spaced cooperating pairs of relatively fixed and relatively adjustable power operated compressor rolls indicated at 70 and 72 respectively. Sufiicient force is applied to these pairs of rolls to effect the desired compaction of the bat passing therebetween to thus greatly reduce the width of the bat to a minimum, in the order of about .002 while correspondingly increasing the density of the bat, it being observed that the length and, width of the bat and the weight of the same remains unchanged. Although any desired number of pairs of rolls 70 and 72 may be provided, it has been found in one typical installation that four such sets of rolls are satisfactory to obtain the desired permanent reduction in the thickness of the bat.

As observed in FIGURE 1 it will be seen that the unit 40 is mounted upon a suitable supporting structure 74 and in proper position to be interposed. conveniently between the lint slide or other means 28 by which the bat 20 emerges from the condenser 10 and the packaging station of the bat such asthe baler 32 or the roll former 60.

Referring now also particularly to FIGURES 36 it will be seenthat the compactor or precompressor unit 40 consists of a frame or cabinet structure including a pair of parallel side walls 76 carried by a suitable supporting structure 78 which in turn is mounted on the previously mentioned support member 74, with the space between the side walls being open at its top except for the transversely extending reinforcing elements 80 which project thereacross and are secured thereto. The discharge end of the lint slide 28 communicates with one end of the space between the side walls 76 to discharge the uncompacted lint bat 20 thereinto, with the bat in its finally precompressed and compacted condition as at 64 emerging from the opposite open end of the space between the side walls.

As will be more readily apparent from FIGURES 6 and 10, each of the side walls 76 is provided with a series of vertically extending slots 82 which intermediate their ends are provided with lateral enlargements as at 84. The lateral enlargement is of sufficient diameter to permit the passage of the associated rollers 70 and 72 endwise therethrough for inserting the rollers into the slots or withdrawing the same therefrom. The width of the slots may be only sufiicient to accommodate the diametrically reduced axles or trunnions 86, of the rollers 70 and 72 or may be of sufficient diameter to receive the entire diameter of the rollers therein.

In assembling the sets of rollers in the unit, the rollers are successively introduced through the enlargements 84 of the slots 82, with the roller 70 being moved downwardly in the slot whereupon the journal bearings 88 are secured thereto with these bearings 88 being then detachably secured as by fasteners 90 to mounting brackets 92 upon the exterior of the side wall 76. Thus, the lower set of rollers 70 are journaled for rotation about fixed axes at the lower ends of the slots 82 in the side walls of the unit.

After the upper rollers 72 have been placed in position, their axles or trunnions 86 have applied thereto the slide plates 94 by which the upper rollers 72 are thus journaled, with the slide plates being received between guide plates 96 secured as by bolts 98, see FIGURE 7 in particular, which in turn are mounted upon the exterior surfaces of the side walls. Each of these slide plates 94 is pivotally connected as at 100 to a fluid pressure operated cylinder and piston unit 102 whose upper end is secured as by fasteners 104 to the frame structure of the unit 40. Upon actuation of the fluid pressure cylinder and piston units 102, any desired pressure may be applied to the upper rollers for forcing the latter downwardly against the lower rollers and thus applying the requisite desired pressure to the cotton bat passing between the sets of rollers to thus effect the initial compaction or precompression of that portion 66 of the bat passing therethrough.

As will be observed from FIGURES 3 and 4 in particular, the axles or trunnions 86 of the upper and lower rollers 72 and 70 are connected together by meshing gears 106, 108 to thereby maintain a positive driving relation between the rollers of each pair.

Since the range of movement imparted to the adjustable rollers 72 towards and from the fixed rollers 70, as previously mentioned is in the order of from .001" to .005", it is readily apparent that there is no disturbance of or interference with the continuous mesh of the teeth of the gears 106 and 108.

In order to accurately adjust the clearance between these rollers, each of the slide plates 94, as shown in FIGURE. 7, cooperates with the upper end of an adjusting stop screw 110 threaded through a boss 112 carried by a side wall 76 or some other appropriate portion of the supporting frame of the unit 20. Thus, by properly adjusting the screw 110, the downward movement of the upper roller 72 with respect to the lower roller 70 can be accurately limited to provide the desired clearance therebetween ranging from .001" to .005", this clearance as previously mentioned being preferably .002".

It will be appreciated that various other means may be employed to adjustably limit the movement of the upper rollers 72 towards the lower rollers 70 and thus obtain the precisely controlled desired thickness of the compressed bat. For example, stops could be associated with the cylinder and piston units 102 for adjustably limiting the downward travel of the slides 94, and the like.

It is to be understood that any suitable means for supplying and controlling the application of fluid pressure to the fluid pressure cylinder and piston units 102 may be employed. Thus as diagrammatically indicated in FIG- URE 11, fluid pressure from any suitable source is supplied by a header or manifold 120 by means of conduits 122 to each of the cylinder and piston units 102 upon one of the side walls 76, and by further branch conduits 124 to those units on the other side wall 76 whereby to insure the application of equal presure simultaneously to all of the units thereby resulting in uniform application of pressure to the opposite ends of each one of the upper rollers of the unit.

As a convenient means for controlling and regulating the pressure applied to the adjustable upper rollers, there is provided at any suitable location an instrument gage and control panel 130, see FIGURE 1, having a pressure gage 132 indicating the pressure within the manifold or supply conduit 120 and to which the rollers are thus subjected, together with a control knob 134 by which the supply of fluid to the manifold 120 can be regulated.

In the operation and construction just described, a simultaneous and uniformly adjusted fluid pressure was applied to all of the units 102 to effect a simultaneous compacting of the bat. However, it may be desirable to obtain a progressive or graduated application of pressure to the bat which varies with each pair of rollers, so that the ultimate maximum compression of the bat may be realized in successive increments or stages as the bat moves between successive pairs of rollers.

For this purpose, an individual control of the applica tion of fluid pressure from the common manifold or source of supply 120 to the two transversely aligned units 102 for each pair of presser rollers would be provided, thereby enabling an independently controlled pressure to be applied to each pair of rollers. Since the control means for this purpose could obviously take numerous alternative forms, and since the particular control mechanism necessary is not essential to an understanding of the invention disclosed and claimed herein, a more detailed disclosure thereof is deemed to be unnecessary.

Referring especially to FIGURE 6 it will be observed that secured between the two side walls 76 of the unit 40 and between adjacent lower rolls 70 in juxtaposition to the top surface thereof are a series of spacer and support plates having their opposite ends either welded or detachably but rigidly secured to the side walls 76. These plates underlie the portion 66 of the bat which is undergoing maximum compression in the unit to insure straight line travel of the bat through the device and preventing dropping or sagging of the bat during such progress. As further shown in FIGURE 6 there is provided a plurality of transversely disposed upper baffie or guide members 142 likewise having their opposite ends secured to the side wall 76, which are disposed closely adjacent to the upper portions of the upper rollers in such a manner as to prevent the possibility of the bat looping upwardly between these rollers. These upper deflector members 142, see FIGURE 5 in particular, in conjunction with FIGURE 6, are so proportioned and disposed that they will not obstruct a downward view through the top of the device to visually inspect the passage of the bat portion 66 through the device.

In order to effect a sealing action between that portion of the slots through which the axles or trunnions 86 of the lower rollers 70 extend, there are provided as shown in FIGURE 10 a pair of packing or sealing strips for each of the side walls. Thus, upper and lower strips as at 146 and 148 respectively are detachably secured to the side walls as by fastening bolts or the like 150. These strips have cooperating complementary semi-circular recesses 152 therein which are adapted when the strips are properly positioned as shown in FIGURE 10 to embrace the axles or trunnions 86 thereby sealing the slot at this location.

At the exit end of the unit 40, it will be observed that there is provided a further guide or deflector plate as at which guides or directs the finally and permanently compressed portion of the lint bat 64 as the latter emerges from the unit 40.

It will be understood that power is applied to the sets of pressing rollers by suitable mechanism, one satisfactory form of which will be described hereinafter. The rate of speed of the rollers 70 and 72 may be so coordinated as to cause the rollers to impart a very slight draft or pull to the bat as the same passes through the device if desired. In general however it is preferred to form the rate of travel, that is the surface linear speed of the rollers equal to the linear speed of travel of the uncompacted bat 20 as the latter emerges from the condenser 10.

Referring again to FIGURE 2 it will be noted that as the finally compressed bat portion 64 enters the roll former 60, a dancing and pressure roll 162 carried by a pivoted lever 164 which is provided with a weighted portion 166 presses against the roll 62 as the latter is formed thereby facilitating the compact winding and tensioning of the bat 64 as the latter is wound upon the roll 62.

In some instances it may be desired to omit the operation of the compressor unit 40 and, for some period at least, permit the uncompacted bat to pass from the lint condenser 10 to the packaging means 32 or 60.

The device of this invention readily lends itself to such variation in operation without interrupting the operation of the other elements of the assembly. This can be easily accomplished by merely lifting the set of the upper rollers and retaining them at the upper ends of their slots 82 so as to provide sufficient clearance between the rollers to enable free passage of the uncompacted bat through the device and across the lower rollers for as long as this operation is desired.

(II) Coordinated driving means for the lint condenser and the pre-compressor unit Reference is now made generally to FIGURES 1, 3 and 5 and specifically to FIGURE 9 for an understanding of the means for supplying power to effect rotation of the condenser cylinder 18 and of the presser rolls of the compactor and pre-compressor unit 10.

Suitably mounted as upon the top of the cross members 80 "is a supporting platform 170 upon which is mounted a gear housing or casing 172. Carried by the platform 1711 is a primary source of power such as an electric motor 174 provided with a pulley 176 and a driving belt 178 by means of which power is supplied to operate both the compactor unit 40 and the limit condensor cylinder 18. This driving mechanism may be of various types it being an important feature of this invention that it will enable the obtaining of a variable speed drive to the pressure rolls of the precompressor 411 while the condenser cylinder is driven from the latter; to also provide a further variable speed drive between the compressor unit and the condenser cylinder.

A convenient arrangement for this purpose consists of a lay shaft 180 having a pulley 182 thereon driven by the belt 178 from the motor. There is also provided on the lay shaft 180 a second pulley 184 thereon which by means of a belt 186 and through a variable speed ratio drive to be subsequently described imparts rotation to a pulley 188, see also FIGURES 8 and 12, whereby the lay shaft 190 is rotated. The shaft 190 in turn has a pulley 192 which through a belt 194 effects rotation of a pulley 196 and a shaft 198 secured thereto, the latter shaft comprising the power input shaft of a reducer gear assembly of conventional design which in turn is connected to one of the gears 108 of one of the lower presser rollers 70. It will be observed that the transmission of power to the presser roller is effected at one side of the device, that is the left side of the device as shown in FIGURE-4, the reduction gearing assembly being indicated in FIGURE 5 by the numeral 200. At the other side of the unit the projecting axles 86 of the lower sets of rollers are interconnected by means of sets of sprocket gears 202 together with sprocket chains 2114 to thus synchronize the rotation of all of the upper and lower pressure rollers. It will be understood that the gearing connecting between the various rollers is subject to variation as desired, it being merely essential that a synchronized or coordinated relation as to the transmission of power between the rollers and the synchronized speed of rotation of the rollers be obtained.

Any suitable variable speed transmission means may be provided between the shafts 180 and 190. A suitable construction for this purpose has been diagrammatically illustrated in both FIGURES 8 and 12 in conjunction with control means for effecting any desired variation in the speeds of these two shafts. Thus, the pulleys 184 and 188 of the two shafts are split pulleys having relatively movable complementary flanged and beveled sections. The pulley 184 has one section as at 210 which is fixedly secured to the shaft 189, while the other section thereof 212 is splined upon the shaft for relative nonrotation but axial movement thereon, being controlled by means of a shifter lever 214 which is adapted as set forth hereinafter to impart axial movement to the section 212 to move the same toward or from the section 218.

The pulley 188 on the shaft 190 has its two flanged sections each indicated by the numeral 216 splined to the shaft 190 for axial non-rotative movement thereon, a pair of springs as at 218 yieldingly urging these sections towards each other. In this conventional form of variable speed drive, it is evident that as the section 212 is moved toward or from the section 210, the beveled flanges forming the V-trough of the pulley 184 will be variably spaced thereby obtaining a variable diameter driving surface on the pulley for the belt 186. As the sections are moved towards each other, the effective diameter of the pulley is increased. This in turn will impart a greater tension to the belt 186, which in turn will force the two sections 216 of the pulley 188 away from each other against the spring 2118 thereby reducing the diameter of the pulley 188. Thus the diameter of the two pulleys will vary inversely in response to shifting of the pulley sections of the driving pulley 184. The converse condition will occur when the sections 212 and 210 are caused to move away from each other, thereby reducing the diameter of the driving pulley 184 and in turn allowing the spring 218 to increase the diameter of the driven pulley 188. Thus a variable speed drive is obtained between the motor 174 and the presser rollers of the compactor and pre-compressor unit 40.

Further continuing with reference to the showing of FIGURE 9 in conjunction with that of FIGURES 1 and 3, it will be observed that the variably driven shaft 190 has a further pulley 22f thereon which through a belt 222 imparts rotation to the pulley 224 of a further shaft 226. The shaft 226 in turn is provided with a driving pulley 228 which is connected by a belt 230 with the driven pulley 232 of the shaft 234 through a variable drive quite similar to that just described and illustrated in FIGURES 8 and 12 with reference to the variable speed drive between the shafts and 190. However, the variable speed drive between the shafts 226 and 234 is preferably manually operated and for this purpose, the shifter lever 214 of this variable speed drive is pro vided with a manual operating means of any desired character as for example an internally threaded bushing 236 fixedly secured to the lever and which is engaged upon a threaded extremity 238 of a manually operated adjustably rotated adjusting shaft 240 provided with a control knob as at 242.

The shaft 234 in its turn is provided with a driving pulley 246 which by means of a belt 248 is caused to impart rotation to a driven pulley 250 shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 1 as secured to the condenser cylinder 18 for effecting rotation of the later.

As so far described it will now be apparent that the motor 174 applies power to cause rotation of both the presser rollers of the compactor unit 40 and of the condenser cylinder 18. An automatically operated variable speed drive enables the speed of rotation of the compaictor unit presser rollers to be directly varied with respect to the driving motor 174, and this variation in turn will produce a corresponding variation in the drive of the condenser cylinder which derives its power from the compactor roller assembly. However, manual operation by the adjusting shaft 240 of the variable speed drive unit between the shafts 226 and 234 enables an independent adjustment to be obtained between the speed of rotation of the condenser with respect to the speed of rotation of the presser rollers.

The importance of these variable drives is that any desired speed of rotation of the condenser cylinder with respect to the rate of rotation of the compressor rollers can be obtained. By increasing the relative speed of rotation of the condenser cylinder, obviously a thinner bat 20 will be delivered by the latter to the presser rollers. At the same time, the adjustably fixed speeds of rotation of the lint condenser cylinder with respect to the presser rollers can likewise be varied in order to obtain the optimum speed of operation of the entire apparatus.

Power operated means is provided for automatically effecting operation of the speed varying means of the pulleys 184, 188. As shown in the diagrammatic view of FIGURE 8 and in FIGURE 9, this power operated means may conveniently comprise a fluid pressure operated cylinder and piston unit 261 which is pivotally connected as at 262 to the shifter member 214. Conveniently, the piston unit 260 may include a piston rod 264 and the piston within the cylinder 260, not shown, operates this rod in one direction while a spring, not shown, returns the rod to its original position. Fluid pressure is applied to the cylinder by means of a control valve assembly 268 and a fluid connection 270. The fluid pressure which operates the fluid pressure motor 266 is derived from any suitable source being delivered by a supply conduit 272 and a branch conduit 274 through a pressure reducer valve 276 to the valve assembly 268. Conveniently, the fluid pressure may be in the order of 30 lbs. per square inch as determined by the valve 276 and which is supplied by the valve assembly 268 to the fluid motor 260 to effect operation of the speed varying means. The valve 268 is selfcontrolled in response to an actuating mechanism which very sensitively responds to the thickness of the bat 20. A convenient control means of this character as illustrated in FIGURE 8 consists of a further branch conduit 280 having a pressure reduction valve 282 which delivers the fluid pressure at a value of about 15 lbs. per square inch to a static pressure regulator valve 284. The latter by means of conduit 286 supplies this pressure at 15 lbs. per square inch to the valve assembly 268 for controlling the operation of the latter and thus supplying or cutting off the main air supply through the branch 274 to the fluid motor 260.

Various means responsive to a change in the thickness of the bat 20 may be provided for controlling the static pressure regulator valve assembly 284. One satisfactory means for this purpose consists of a pair of conduits 230 and 292 which respectively are exposed to the air pressure within the condenser housing 16 adjacent the bat 20 being formed upon the condenser cylinder and within the air exhaust outlet adjacent the exhaust fan 21 of the condenser. Obviously, there will be a pressure differential between the inlets of the two conduits 290, 292 which depends upon the thickness of the bat 20 upon the condenser cylinder, this thickness in turn variably throttling the flow of air from the interior of the condenser cylinder, through the bat into the conduit 290. This pressure and differential is imposed by the conduits 290, 292 upon the valve assembly 284 to effect the corresponding control of the How of fluid under pressure from the branch conduit 280 to the conduit 286 and thus to the control valve assembly 268.

Although I have illustrated the location of the bat thickness sensing and detecting means as being within the condenser casing itself, it will be understood that two conduits 290, 292 may be located in other environments with the conduit 290 being placed anywhere along the line of travel of the bat through which air may be drawn to thus obtain a pressure differential which is proportionate to the thickness of the bat.

In the arrangement of FIGURE 8 there has been disclosed an automatic control means which will operate by fluid pressure to detect the thickness of the bat formed by the condenser and correspondingly vary the speed of the condenser and/or of the presser rollers of the precompressor unit so that any desired thickness of bat can be obtained and maintained during the operation of the device in an automatic manner. However, it is also possible to effect the desired automatic control of the speed of the condenser and/ or the presser rollers through other automatic control means such as those of an electrical nature. One such arrangement is shown in FIGURE 12 wherein it will be observed that the regulation of the variable speed drive from the primary motor 174 to the condenser and/or the presser rolls of the pre-compressor unit is effected by detecting the variations in the loads upon the main motor 174 and the motor 360 which powers the exhaust fan 21 of the condenser. Thus, as diagrammatically indicated in FIGURE 12, the electric power supply lines 302 and 304 for the motors 174 and 300 are electrically connected as by branch conduits 306 and 308 respectively to a voltage variation responsive device 310 of any suitable construction which in turn delivers the resultant varying voltage to a relay device 312. The latter in turn supplies a line current from conductors 314 through the conductors 316 to an electric motor 318 which through a screw drive 320 and a cooperating threaded sleeve 322 engaged therewith operates a control lever 324 suitably fulcrumed as at 326 and pivoted as at 262 as previously mentioned to the shifter member 214. By the provision of suitable control switches as at 330 and 332 in the electric circuit 306, 308, the device 310 and the relay 312 may be caused to operate in response to variations in either the load on the motor 174, the motor 300 or both.

It is also within the purview of this invention to employ any other types of sensing means which will detect the difference in the thickness of the bat being formed and accordingly adjust the relative speed of the condenser to maintain a predetermined adjustable constant thickness of the bat.

The importance of this automatic precise control of the thickness of the bat and maintaining of the same at a uniform predetermined but adjustable thickness is that it insures a constant weight per running foot or linear foot of a hat of uniform width and this affords an accurate criterion upon which the weight of the bat which is to be packaged may be determined and ascertained. In this specification and claims, it is assumed that a hat of uniform width is produced. Since the present invention is not concerned wtih the particular means by which a constant width of bat is obtained, a disclosure of such means is deemed to be unnecessary.

(III) Automatic weight counter and connection with automatic sampler As previously mentioned, since the automatic control of the drive of the condenser cylinder in coordination with the drive of the presser rolls of the pre-compression unit 40 maintains a constant and uniform thickness and therefore uniform weight per linear foot of the bat 20, the rate of rotation of the presser rolls constitutes an accurate indication of the weight of the bat passing through the device. Use is made of this condition by attaching a conventional form of rotation counter indicated generally by the numeral 340 to one of the lower rollers 70, as shown in FIGURES 4 and 5, to which is connected a flexible shaft 342. The latter in turn is connected to a relay assembly indicated generally by the numeral 344 and which may be of any suitable construction and is mounted upon the panel previously mentioned where the mechanical rotation of the counter device 340 is converted into electrical impulses which in turn are transmitted as by a cable or if desired are transmitted as mechanical impulses through the means 346 to the interior of the automatic sampler 42. The relay device 344 which constitutes a control means is of a type which can be readily adjusted so that for any given number of rotations of the rollers 70, 72, and therefore corresponding in response to the passage of any predetermined weight of the lint cotton bat through the device, to effect the operation of the sampler 42. By this means, a uniformly spaced sampling at uniform intervals of weight of the lint bat supplied to the packaging station, either the bale chamber 30 or the roll former 60 will be sampled whereby the testing of the samples obtained by the automatic sampler will be in true proportion to the composition and characteristics of the fibers forming the package produced by the apparatus. This removes the previously conventional non-uniform sampling obtained of the material going to the condenser and thence into the bat and into the bale. Moreover, by the addition of appropriate gauges to either the counter 340 or to the flexible shaft 342 connected therewith, a progressive indication as to the weight of the lint bat being packaged at either the baler 32 or the roll former 60 will be afforded at all times thereby enabling the operator to precisely control and regulate the weight of the cotton bat which is to be packaged.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A method for obtaining a bat of a predetermined density comprising the steps of continuously forming upon a rotating cylinder lint condenser a lint bat in a relatively non-compacted condition, continuously moving the non-compacted bat in an unbroken condition through a compacting station, while moving said bat through said compacting station sequentially applying to and releasing from opposite faces of said hat a pressure sufiicient to produce a temporary density of said bat in excess of said predetermined density, and detecting thickness variations in the bat on the condenser cylinder and controlling the condenser speed in conformity with said detected variations whereby to maintain substantially uniform thickness in said bat.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said thickness variations are detected by pressure variations on opposite sides of the bat.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein said thickness variations of the bat are electrically detected.

4. A method for the combined continuous automatic sampling and formation of a continuous bat of a predetermined uniform density which comprises; continuously forming upon a rotating lint condenser cylinder a lint bat in a relatively non-compacted condition, passing the uncompacted bat through a compacting station and thereat producing a relatively compacted bat having said predetermined density, measuring the linear travel of said bat, at predetermined intervals of said linear travel operating an automatic sampler and thereby obtaining periodic samples of the lint from which the bat is formed.

5. A compactor for lint cotton bats comprising pressure means for subjecting a relatively non-compressed lint cotton bat to pressure upon opposite faces thereof during uninterrupted travel of said bat through said means, said pressure being sufiicient to compact said bat to substantially less than a desired final thickness whereby upon release of said bat from said pressure means said bat will expand to said desired final thickness, said pressure means comprising a plurality of pairs of power operated presser rollers for receiving and compacting said bat therebetween, a rotatable lint condenser cylinder for forming said bat, means delivering said bat from said cylinder to said presser rollers, means for causing rotation of said cylinder and of said rollers and means for varying the speed of said rollers, means for varying the speed of said cylinder, means for detecting variations in the thickness of the bat formed by said cylinder, means automatically controlling said cylinder speed in response to detected variations in the bat thickness whereby to obtain the formation of a uniform bat thickness upon said cylinder.

6. The combination of claim 5 wherein said last mentioned means is responsive to pressure difference on opposite faces of said bat.

7. A compactor for lint cotton bats comprising pressure means for subjecting a relatively non-compressed lint cotton bat to pressure upon opposite faces thereof during uninterrupted travel of said bat through said means, said pressure being suflicient to compact said bat to substantially less than a desired final thickness whereby release of said bat from said pressure means said bat will expand to said desired final thickness, said pressure means comprising a plurality of pairs of power operated presser rollers for receiving and compacting said bat therebetween, a rotatable lint condenser cylinder for forming said bat, means delivering said bat from said cylinder to said presser rollers, means for causing rotation of said cylinder and of said rollers and means for varying the speed of said rollers, a lint flue through which lint cotton is delivered to the condenser, an automatic sampler for taking samples from the lint fine of the condenser, a measuring station through which said bat passes and including a measuring device, actuating means connecting said sampler to said measuring device for elfecting operation of the sampler in response to passage of a predetermined length of the lint bat past said measuring station.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 135,528 2/1873 Craven 19-39 318,730 5/1885 Harmel 19-98 446,888 2/1891 Rembert -138 X 490,271 1/1893 Crooks 19-156.4 561,221 6/1896 Gooch 19-156.4 731,764 6/1903 Fordyce 19-202 840,534 1/1907 Webb 100-139 1,436,374 11/1922 Allen 19-156 1,740,990 12/1929 MacKenzie 19-156.4 2,156,893 5/1939 Gaus et a1. 19156.1 2,320,544 6/1943 Gaus et al. 19156.1 2,407,100 9/1946 Richardson 19-240 2,479,759 8/1949 Merchant 19-272 2,621,372 12/1952 Wilkie 19-286 2,843,882 7/1958 Lewis et a1. 19-240 2,926,394 3/1960 Bletzinger et al 19-1445 3,003,195 10/1961 Varga 19-106 X 3,024,721 3/1962 Brooks 19-161 X 3,088,175 5/1963 Aoki 19-240 3,108,332 10/1963 Moss et al 19-202 DONALD W. PARKER, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3338157 *Jan 7, 1965Aug 29, 1967Electrographic CorpApparatus for assembling a printing plate
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US3575472 *Mar 28, 1969Apr 20, 1971Johnson & JohnsonApparatus for collecting woodpulp fibers as a uniform layer
US4075942 *Dec 13, 1976Feb 28, 1978Coats & Clark, Inc.Method and apparatus for feeding a bale press
US4153977 *Feb 23, 1978May 15, 1979Rieter Machine Works Ltd., SwitzerlandMethod of forming a continuous fiber layer of constant weight per unit length and apparatus for implementing the method
Classifications
U.S. Classification19/297, 19/300, 100/47, 19/240, 100/137, 19/308, 19/161.1
International ClassificationD01G27/00
Cooperative ClassificationD01G27/00
European ClassificationD01G27/00