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Publication numberUS3252700 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 24, 1966
Filing dateDec 12, 1963
Priority dateDec 12, 1963
Publication numberUS 3252700 A, US 3252700A, US-A-3252700, US3252700 A, US3252700A
InventorsFrank B Henry
Original AssigneeAmetek Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry machine
US 3252700 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1966 F. B. HENRY 3,252,700

LAUNDRY MACHINE Filed Dec. 12, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 DETECTOR EEP INVENTOR.

FRANK B. HENRY ATTORNE YS y 1966 F. B. HENRY 3,252,700

LAUNDRY MACHINE Filed Dec. 12, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. FRAN K B. HENRY ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,252,700 LAUNDRY MACHINE Frank B. Henry, Rock island, Ill, assignor to Arnetek, Inn, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 12, 1963, Ser. No. 330,143 4 Claims. (Cl. 270-69) This invention relates in general to a folder for flat articles and more particularly it relates to a folder which is arranged to cross-fold a flat laundry article or the like.

Folders of flat laundry articles are typically illustrated in US. Patent No. 2,993,693, in which an article to be folded is progressively folded at proportional positions relative to its length. However, the resulting folded article will have a major dimension unchanged from that which entered the folder in the first instance.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a folder which will cause a flat article to be folded and cross folded relative to its two major axes so that the resulting dimension of the folded product shall always be less than the two major dimensions which entered the folder.

Moreover, it is a further object of this invention to provide a folder which is compact and arranged such that the position of delivery of the workpiece to the machine is adjacent the discharge position of the machine.

An additional object is to provide a folder wherein the workpieces will freely slide during at least a portion of their transport through the folder.

Accordingly, the invention contemplates that in any flat article folder there be a plurality of horizontally elongated endless belts disposed in spaced parallel relationship and having a table with a plurality of spaced parallel upwardly projecting ridges disposed such that the ridges project above the belts while the belts run in the depressions between the ridges of the table.

The invention further provides that the table have a plurality of spaced parallel slots that are arranged parallel to both the ridges and the belts and below which there is a pair of contrarotating rolls disposed with their hips below each of the slots. A folder means is disposed above both the table and the belts directly over each of the slots and arranged to urge flat articles into said slots and into the nip of said rolls upon receipt of a signal.

Additionally, the invention provides that there be a means for detecting the position of the flat articles on the table and furnishing said signal to the folder when the articles are in the correct position for folding.

Further, the invention provides that there be a second group of horizontally elongated and parallel endless belt means beneath and disposed in a line that is perpendicular to that of the upper first-narned endless belts with the group of belts being of a length to allow the receipt and transport of folded articles from each of the folder means.

The invention also provides folder apparatus at the end of the second group of horizontal belts and a means for measuring and causing the folding of the articles at the end of the belts.

A still further aspect of the invention is the provision of a circuit arrangement wherein the belts are stopped just before folding takes place. Also, the circuit may include means to choose two separate lanes or to use both lanes together.

The above, other objects and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following specification and accompanying drawings which are merely exemplary.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a three-dimensional partially schematic view of the invention with portions of the equipment removed for illustration purposes;

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FIG. 2 is a vertical section of the complete folder of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an end section of the machine of FIG. 2 taken along the lines 3-3 thereof;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the machine of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged section of a portion of the talzlle of the machine illustrated in the first three figures; an

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a portion of the machines control circuit.

The essential features of the construction of the invention can probably best be illustrated by describing the operation of the equipment relative to the individual pieces therein as follows:

Sheets A and B have been already folded at least once on the conventional longitudinal folder such as is illustrated in Patent 2,993,693 and are delivered to a crossfolder 10 from the conventional folding device 12.

With particular reference to FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5, the cross-folder 10 has a framework 14 that supports a first group of a plurality of horizontally elongated endless belts 16 that are disposed in spaced parallel relationship across the width of the frame 14. These belts all pass over a long idler roll 18 that is set outside of the framework 14. The other ends of the belts 16 pass around the rolls 19A and 19B and are driven counterclockwise at a constant predetermined speed by a geared head motor 11.

The motor in turn drives chains or belts 13 that give motion to the driven rolls 19A, 193 through the magnetic clutch brakes 15, 17. This allows one or both of the rolls 19A, 19B to be driven or not as is desired. A table 20 having a plurality of parallel spaced upwardly projecting ridges 22 is disposed beneath the upper run of the belts 16 so that the belts are caused to move in the depressions 24 between the ridges 22 (see FIG. 5). Thus, there is presented a table on which the relatively heavy folded sheets A and B coming from the prior folder 12 can slide relatively freely due to the reduced friction that takes place between the ridges 22 and the sheets.

The table 20 has three parallel spaced slots 26 that are arranged parallel to both the ridges 22 and the belts 16. Directly beneath the table 20 are a pair of contrarotating rolls 28 arranged with their nip directly beneath the slots. Directly above the slots and in line with the nip of the rolls 28 there is a folder means 30 which, in the present example, is a pipe having downwardly extending outlets and which is arranged to blast air jets upon a signal, against the sheets A and B so as to force them into the slot and cause the rolls 28 to pull them therebetween and thus cause folding.

It should be noted that FIG. 1 has the belts 16 and table 20 removed to allow the three-dimensional illustration to depict the operation on the sheets.

The folder illustrated is arranged with three folding positions so as to allow its use as either a single lane folder or a multiple lane folder. The center folder position may be used when very wide sheets are being received from the prior folder, while if two lanes of smaller articles, are being received from the prior folder, the two outward folders designated lane A and lane B would be used. During multiple lane use, a control system is required to properly position the received sheets for folding so that they will not interfere with each other during subsequent operations in the machine. Thus, it is desired that sheet B be folded on the far side of the machine and sheet A be folded on the near side of the machine as illustrated in FIG. 1. To accomplish this, there is positioned about the periphery of the desired sheet folding station, two pairs of photo cells 32 and 34 that are connected to a control 35. Cells 32 are used for detection and control purposes Whereas cells 34 are safety cells which prevent operation of the machine should the edges of the sheet project beyond that limiting position.

The material to be folded, sheet A for example, would pass under detector cells 32 at which time in the control 35 a relay is energized in an amplifier system (not shown). One form of amplifier with a built-in time delay capacitive circuit is Model PE325Z made by Standard Instrument Corporation of New York City, NY. Also see Process Instruments and Controls Handbook, published by Me- GraW-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1957, chapter 9, page 85, Timers and Program Controllers, subheading Capacitor Discharge and Charge. This system then causes a capacitive time delay relay circuit to start charging and as soon as the trailing edges of sheet A or B passes the position of the pair of detector cells 32, the capacitive circuit will discharge causing a timed electrical pulse to disengage the magnetic clutches 15, 17 that drives the belts 16 and at the same time energizes a solenoid 35 which will operate a valve in the air line leading to the folder jet device 30. For any reason, should the forward edge of sheets A or B extend beyond the desired position and block off the light beams in one or both of the safety cells 34, the capacitive circuit mentioned above would be inoperative and no folding would occur. Moreover, the control 35 is arranged so that if, should one edge of sheet A or B be skewed and block only one of the photo detector cells 32 and one or both of the safety cells 34, the machine will not cause folding of those pieces.

After the sheets A or B have been folded in lanes A, B, or the center lane, they are caused to pass downwardly through the folding rolls 28 whereupon they will fall upon a second group of horizontally elongated parallel endless belts 36. This group of endless belts is caused to operate at a predetermined speed by being passed over the rolls 38 that are disposed at either end thereof and which are driven by a power source (not shown). The belts 36 are particularly disposed in a line which is perpendicular to the line of action of the upper belts 16. The length of the belt 36 is such that it encompasses the entire length of the machine between the folding rolls 28 so that the discharged folded sheets A or B may be received from all of the folders and caused to translate to the right by the clockwise rotation of the endless belts 36. In connection with this, the far right folder has a guide piece 40 which causes the sheet to be deflected slightly towards the left so as to allow sufiicient opportunity to measure that sheet for the subsequent operation.

The sheets A and B having been cross-folded once are conveyed past a measuring switch 42 which breaks the current in a lead 42A and starts a timer-measuring system in operation. When the tail of sheets A and B clears the switch 42, the measuring system circuit (not shown) energizes and causes a timer motor to change its speed to twice that originally and then as the material travels over the right end of the endless belt 36 and goes a fixed portion of its length down the slide 44, it is positioned so that its center is directly below a pair of contrarotating rolls 46 and above an air jet folding means 48. When the measuring and timing system has correctly placed sheet A with its center so positioned, the measuring system will cause a signal to be passed to the second folder device 48 and thus urge sheet A upwardly into the nip of rolls 46 whereupon sheet A is deflected to the right by a deflector 50 onto a second endless belt system 52 where the sheets are delivered to a point of use.

Alternatively, if desired, the second folder device 48 can be by-passed so that the once-folded sheets that come down from the folding device 30 may have their leading edge deflected upwardly by device 48 and thence through the nip rolls 46 and onto the conveyor 52 without being folded a second time.

Measuring devices of the type described for a timer and measuring system using detector switch 42 are illustrated in US. Patent No. 2,993,693, previously mentioned.

A second detector switch 54 is also positioned at a spaced longitudinal position from switch 42 and is used in connection with a measuring and timing system when two-lane operation of the folder is desired.

The present invention provides a form of folder which allows folding in two perpendicular dimensions in a compact efficient manner.

Moreover, the folder provides a folding article supporting table which is particularly eflicient due to its reduction in friction characteristics,

It should be apparent that details of construction can be varied without departing from the spirit of the invention except as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a flat article folder, a plurality of horizontally elongated relatively narrow endless belts disposed in spaced parallel relationship, a table having a plurality of spaced parallel upwardly projecting ridges, the top edges being substantially narrower than said belts and substantially the same height as the thickness of said belts, said table being disposed beneath the upper run of the belt with said belts running in the depressions between said ridges, whereby a maximum area of the article contacts said belts, and a minimum area contacts the top of said ridges thereby to reduce to a minimum the drag onsaid article as it is transported by said belts, said table having a plurality of parallel spaced slots arranged parallel to both said ridges and said belts, a pair of contrarotating rolls disposed with their nip directly below each of said slots, means disposed above said table and belts and directly above each of said slots for forcing a portion of a flat article into said slot and into the nip of said rolls, spaced pairs of means located above said table on opposite sides of each of said slots for detecting the position on said table of said flat article to be folded, one pair of said detecting means being adapted to initiate said forcing means after both the leading and trailing ends of said article pass said one pair, and said other pair of detecting means preventing the initiation of said forcing means in the event that either of said other pair of detecting means detects a portion of said article.

2. In a fiat article folder, a plurality of horizontally elongated relatively narrow endless belts disposed in spaced parallel relationship, a table having a plurality of spaced parallel upwardly projecting ridges, the top edges being substantially narrower than said belts and substantially the same height as the thickness of said belts, said table being disposed beneath the upper run of the belts with said belts running in the depressions between said ridges, whereby a maximum area of the article contacts said belts, and a minimum area contacts the top of said ridges thereby to reduce to a minimum the drag on said article as it is transported by said belts, said table having a plurality of parallel spaced slots arranged parallel to both said ridges and said belts, a pair of contrarotating rolls disposed with their nip directly below each of said slots, first folder means disposed above said table and belts and directly above each of said slot for forcing a portion of a flat article into said slots and into the nip of said rolls, spaced pairs of means located above said table on opposite side of each of said slots for detecting the position on said table of said flat article to be folded, one pair of said detecting means being adapted to initiate said forcing means after both the leading and trailing ends of said article pass said one pair, and said other pair of detecting means preventing the initiation of said forcing means in the event that either of said other pair of detecting means detects a portion of said article, and a second group of horizontally elongated endless belts beneath and disposed in a line that is perpendicular to but displaced from that of said first named endless belts, said group being of a length to allow the receipt and transport of folded articles from each of said first folder means,

a second pair of contrarotating rolls disposed with their nip directly above the end of said second group of endless belts, a second folder means disposed below both the nip of said second pair of rolls and said end of said second group of endless belts and arranged to urge an article to be folded upwardly between said last named nip, and means for measuring the length of said article to be folded as it is carried on said second group of belts and signalling said second folder means to cause folding at a predetermined position.

3. In a flat article folder having a plurality of horizontally elongated endless belts disposed in spaced parallel relationship on a table, said table having a plurality of parallel spaced lots arranged parallel to said belts, a pair of contrarotating rolls disposed with their nip directly below each of said slots, means disposed above said table and belts directly above each of said slots for forcing a portion of a flat article into said slot and into the nip of said rolls, spaced pairs of means located above said table on opposite sides of each of said slots for detecting the position on said table of said flat article to be folded, one pair of said detecting means being adapted to initiate said forcing means after both the leading and trailing ends of said article pass said one pair, and said other pair of detecting means preventing the initiation of said forcing means in the event that either of said other pair of detesting means detects a portion of said article.

4. In a flat article folder having a plurality of horizontally elongated endless belts disposed in spaced parallel relationship on a table, said table having a parallel slot arranged parallel to said belts; a pair of contrarotating rolls disposed with their nip directly below said slot, folder means disposed above said table and belts directly above said slot and arranged upon signal to urge a flat article into said slot and into the nip of said rolls, a first pair of photoelectric cells on one side of said slot to detect the leading edge of said flat article, a second pair of photoelectric cells disposed on the other side of said slot at a position spaced from said first pair of cells to define therewith the periphery of a correct position for folding said article in relation to said folding means, and a control responsive to said cells to provide said signal to said folding means when said article is in a correct position for holding, said control including a capacitive time delay relay circuit that begins charging when th leading edge of said article is detected by said first pair of cells and discharges when the trailing edge passes out from under said first pair of cells when neither of said second pair of cells detect a part of said article.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 656,899 8/1900 King 270- 2,374,779 5/ 1945 Preston 27 0-81 2,523,829 9/ 1950 Hubbell 198-204 X 2,643,879 6/ 1953 Spreckelrneier 270-81 2,743,921 5/ 1956 Sp-reckelmeier 270-81 2,993,693 7/1961 Buss et a1. 270-69 3,113,772 12/1963 Mallott et a1. 270-69 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US656899 *Apr 20, 1900Aug 28, 1900Chambers Brothers CoDevice for conveying sheets of paper.
US2374779 *Mar 27, 1942May 1, 1945American Laundry CompanySequence timer and measuring control
US2523829 *Jul 20, 1946Sep 26, 1950Conveyor Specialty Company IncConveyer
US2643879 *Dec 26, 1947Jun 30, 1953American Laundry Mach CoControl system for folding machines
US2743921 *Feb 15, 1952May 1, 1956American Laundry Mach CoLane control for folding machine
US2993693 *Jan 27, 1958Jul 25, 1961American Machine & MetalsLaundry folding machines
US3113772 *Sep 24, 1962Dec 10, 1963Mc Graw Edison CoCross-folder control
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3476379 *Jan 27, 1967Nov 4, 1969Weir Henry JLaundry folding devices
US3531102 *Jul 13, 1967Sep 29, 1970Sjostrom Automations IncCombination folder having selective delivery to plural cross-folders
US3630514 *Jun 2, 1969Dec 28, 1971Xerox CorpSheet-feeding apparatus
US3669443 *Apr 1, 1970Jun 13, 1972Ivanhoe Research CorpMethod and system for automatically forming parts for garments, and the like
US3751029 *Jul 30, 1971Aug 7, 1973D Angelo JMulti-level apparatus for folding large flexible webs
US3790157 *May 7, 1971Feb 5, 1974Fmc CorpFolding machine
US3905593 *May 7, 1973Sep 16, 1975Super Laundry Mach CoFlatwork folding system
US4487598 *Jul 27, 1979Dec 11, 1984Union Carbide CorporationBag folding apparatus
US4549728 *Jun 1, 1984Oct 29, 1985Harris-Marinoni S.A.Suction/air pressure device for slowing down signature in chopper folder of folding machine
US4601695 *Apr 6, 1984Jul 22, 1986Fausto PazziMachine and method for the automatic folding of cloths
US5300007 *Aug 4, 1992Apr 5, 1994Chicago Dryer CompanyFolder construction
US5385526 *Feb 22, 1994Jan 31, 1995Fabriques De Tabac Reunies, SaApparatus and method for packaging blanks
US5435802 *Jan 12, 1994Jul 25, 1995Chicago Dryer CompanyFolder construction
US5556360 *Jan 28, 1994Sep 17, 1996Chicago Dryer CompanyHigh production folder construction
DE3320381A1 *Jun 6, 1983Dec 6, 1984Kannegiesser H Gmbh CoProcess for the transverse and longitudinal folding of laundry articles and apparatus for carrying out the process
EP0004630A1 *Mar 27, 1979Oct 17, 1979Union Carbide CorporationPlastic bag handling system
EP1148170A2 *Mar 13, 2001Oct 24, 2001Herbert Kannegiesser Gmbh + Co.Method and device for folding textiles , in particular clothes or laundry
Classifications
U.S. Classification493/15, 493/937, 493/418, 493/19
International ClassificationD06F89/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F89/00, Y10S493/937
European ClassificationD06F89/00