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Publication numberUS3323279 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 6, 1967
Filing dateFeb 24, 1964
Priority dateApr 21, 1963
Publication numberUS 3323279 A, US 3323279A, US-A-3323279, US3323279 A, US3323279A
InventorsToshihisa Matsui
Original AssigneeToshihisa Matsui
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic towel processing and supplying machine
US 3323279 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



Filed Feb. 24. 1964 INVENTOR June 6. 1967 TOSHIHISA MATSUI 3,323,279


Filed Feb. 24, 1964 BY LUMMW ll/M 4&4)


BY a

June 6, 1967 TOSHIHISA MATSUI 3,323,279


June 1967 TOSHIHISA MATSUI 3,323,279





, BY M/M United States Patent 3,323,279 AUTGMATIC TOWEL PROCESSING AND SUPPLYlNG MACHINE Tosllihisa Matsui, 3213 Gikurata-clro, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo-to, Japan Filed Feb. 24, 1964, Ser. No. 346,972

Claims priority, application Japan, Apr. 21, 1963,

38/2il,738; June 13, 1963, 38/44,:560, 38/4 3,461;

July 5, 1963, 38/35,734

Claims. (Cl. 53-423) This invention relates to a machine for automatically processing and supplying towel material in various forms and conditions as desired by users.

Various kinds of material can be used for the towels of this invention. Most desirable are those rich in impregnating property to a possible extent, such as piled cloth towel, handkerchief, thin spongy plastics or papers which can be used as towel for cleaning hands and face and can be replaced. These materials, in usual cases, are conveniently used in the form of a tape rolled on a spool with prescribed width and are sheared to adesircd length. Most embodiments of this invention are explained on the assumption that materials in such a form are utilized. However, the present invention is not to be limited to said ma terials but can use pieces of material which are sheared to a desired length beforehand, are piled up and are taken out one by one when used.

It is an object of this invention to automatically supply towels which are optionally treated in such conditions as being warmed or cooled or being wet or dry.

It is other object of this invention to prepare perfumed towels by spraying and impregnating any suitably selected perfume on the towel material which is fed in the abovementioned conditions.

It is another object of this invention to provide towel pieces after being packed in envelopes of polyethylene, or the like.

It is still other object of this invention to treat towels with printing process in the feeding system so as to provide such printed towels as a sort of advertising medium, for instance.

It is still another object of this invention to supply the said towel pieces by means of an automatic vending system.

The foregoing objects and other objects as well as details of the structure of this invention will become more apparent from the explanations taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which the same or equivalent members are designated by like reference characters, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of this invention which is provided with doors in both front and rear sides that can be opened, closed, and locked;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are respectively perspective views, showing upper and lower half parts of the entire mechanism of the machine of this invention, each being placed in a juxtaposition;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are perspective views, showing, respectively, switchboard and parts thereby of the machine of this invention;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing the relative position in arrangements of FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5;

FIG. 7 is a front view showing details of the motive mechanism, and FIG. 8 is a side view thereof;

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate relative positions of a group of cam devices which are annexed to the motive mechanism and a group of contact points which are disposed correspondingly to the said devices;

FIG. 11 is a side view showing details of the packing mechanism, and FIG. 12 is a plan view thereof.

FIGS. 13 and 14 are side views of the packing mechanism, each showing opening and closing states;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view showing another example of the packing mechanism, in conjunction with a part of a feed and take-up mechanism, and FIG. 16 is a view for explaining the packing operations thereof;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view showing another example of the feed and take-up mechanism, and FIG. 18 is a view for explaining the function thereof;

FIGS. 19, 20 and 2d are complete circuit diagrams of mutually juxtaposed devices embodying the features of this invention shown in FIG. 1 through FIG. 14; and

FIG. 22 is a block diagram showing the relative position of circuit arrangements shown in FIGS. 19, ZO-and 21.

Referring now to the drawings, the embodiment of this invention will be explained in a consecutive order.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5, the embodiment of the present invention is constructed by separate component mechanisms A through L. The main points as well as details of each mechanism will be described hereinbelow. I

A storing mechanism A for towel material rolls up lengthy towel material and enables the same to be taken out for use in a desired length.

A printing mechanism B is equipped to print letters, pictures or mark-s on the towel material taken out.

A drying mechanism C is equipped to dry the printed towel material, some length of which, corresponding to several sheets of treated towel, being kept in a drying chamber for complete desiccation.

A cutting mechanism D is equipped to cut the towel material coming out of the drying chamber to a necessary length.

A feeding and rolling mechanism E is: provided to roll up the towel pieces in a cylindrical form, after they are sent out through the cutting mechanism ID and are moistened with a hot or a cold water spray by the following water spraying mechanism, or kept in dry condition.

A water spraying mechanism F is provided to moisten the towel pieces by spraying thereon hot or cold water.

A packing mechanism G is provided to pack each towel piece, after it is rolled up by the said feeding and rolling mechanism E, in an envelope of polyethylene film etc. and send it to the outlet opening.

A perfume spraying mechanism H is provided to spray perfume on the towel piece before it is packed in the said packing mechanism G.

A selecting mechanism I is provided to select the said towel piece in a desired state.

A motive mechanism J is provided to actuate each of the mechanisms A through L.

A. hot and cold Water producing and controlling mechanism K is provided to produce hot or cold water and to keep it at a. required temperature, said mechanism being provided with a device for transferring the hot or cold water thus produced to the said water spraying mechanism F.

A switchboard panel L is provided with an electric circuit M according to this invention.

Each of these mechanisms A through L is interrelated and controlled by the electric circuit M so as to be brought in simultaneous operations.

The details of the abovementioned component mechanisms of the present invention are described hereinbelow.

The storing mechanism A for towel material comprises a spool 30 rotatably mounted on the shaft 31, on which a long strip of towel material 25 has been rolled up so that it can be drawn out; an arm 32 with a roller 33 on its tip which presses outer circumference of the rolled towel material by a spring or by its own weight so as to control drawing-out; and a switch 34 which warns by the position of the arm 32 that the towel material in the said spool is becoming short. When the said switch 34 is actuated, this machine is stopped, and then the spool of towel material is replaced with a new one by connecting the end of the said towel material of the initial spool with the starting end of the new spool and then the switch 34 is turned on to resume supply of towel material.

The printing mechanism B possesses a fluid vessel 35 containing a certain fixed quantity of dyeing fluid 36 which is supplied to a printing block roll 38 by way of take-out roll 37. In between the said block roll 38 and a rubber roll 39, the towel material 25 is drawn out through a pair of tension rolls 40 and 41 from the towel storing mechanism, whereby printing is carried out on the towel material. The said liquid vessel 35 is provided with a connecting tube 43 leading to a container 42. A fluid level controller 44 provided with a float 42 Which is installed in the said container 42 maintains the dyeing fluid 36 in the vessel 35 at a certain constant level so that supply of the dyeing liquid to the block roll 38 can be adequate without excess or shortage. The liquid level controller 44 is provided with a switch 45 at its lower end, which actuates an electro-magnetic valve 48 on a connecting tube 47 between the container 42 and the dyeing fluid reservoir 46, thereby replenishing the dyeing fluid to the container 42. The dyeing fluid reservoir 46 is also provided with a fluid level detector 49 having a float 46 and a switch 50 provided at the lower end of the said detector which makes it possible to warn shortage of fluid within the reservoir 46 as an electric signal. A doctor blade 51 contacts on the block roll 38 by pressing force.

The towel material 25 thus printed is then sent into the drying mechanism C. The drying mechanism C has a drying chamber 56 in which pairs of tension rolls 52, 53 and 54, 55 similar to the abovementioned tension rolls 40, 41 are provided at the entrance and the exit parts, respectively. Dry air generated by a blast fan 58 at the bellow end of a separately installed air duct 57 is sent into the said drying chamber 56 from its upper part and is let out through a vent 59 at the lower end thereof. The drying room is made comparatively large so as to dry towel material corresponding to a plurality of towel pieces from several to several tens of treated pieces for a considerably long period of time for complete desiccation, in consideration that the towel material is subjected to moistening treatment at the next stage, and, at the same time, the air to be sent from the fan 58 is first purified and sterilized in an air cleaner 60 which removes dust and I moisture contained in the air through a filter and a layer of calcium silica gel or the like and is then heated in a heating chamber 61 to be completely dried. After these processes being done, clean dry air is sent out. Thus, the towel material 25 is transferred to the next cutting mechanism D after the said material having print made thereon being completely dried.

The towel material 25 drawn out of the tension rolls 54, 55 at the exit part of the drying chamber 56 is pulled into the cutting mechanism D through a sliding plate 64 which is provided with a spring and supported by a hinge 63 so as to be always held at the same level with a receiving blade 62 of the cutting mechanism D. This mechanism D has a pair of frames 67 which support rotatably a cam shaft 66 on which a pair of pressing-down earns 65, are supported. A bar 67 engaged slidably at both ends in the said frames 67, 67 is made to slide freely up and down toward the said receiving blade 62 by means of said earns 65, 65. And, by this movement of the bar 67 the towel material 25 is cut to a required length. A scissored piece 26 of the towel material is sent into the next feeding and rolling mechanism B through a pair of delivery rolls 68, 69.

The feeding and rolling mechanism E is provided with a delivery conveyor 74 comprising a belt 73 which is stretched over the rolls 69, 70 and 71 and is held in tensile condition by a spring 72. A towel piece 26 being delivered is kept waiting on the conveyor 7 4 while receiving sterilizing shower from a sterilizing lamp 75 disposed just above and is then delivered at a rather quick speed by the function hereinafter described. Becuse of its high speed, the towel piece 26 being delivered separates from the succeeding towel pieces and moves independently in the direction indicated by an arrow mark on the conveyor 74. In the course of its travelling on the conveyor, the towel piece 26 receives either hot spray from a hot spray nozzle 76 or cold spray from a cold spray nozzle 77 of the water spraying mechanism F, both nozzles hanging over the conveyor 74, or the towel piece passes through without being sprayed, and finally reaches the rolling portion at the end of the conveyor.

The rolling portion comprises the end of the said conveyor 74 and a rolling conveyor 81 which is composed of a guide roller 78, a driving roller 79, and a belt 80 stretched over said rollers 79 and 78, said guide roller 78 being made as adjacent to the said end of the conveyor 74 as possible. The conveyor 81 is supported so as to be rocked around the shaft of the roller 79 and provided with a support frame 84 supporting an arm 84. A separate shaft 82 is provided so as to be rotated synchronously with the roller 79, said shaft being provided with a cam 83 which is made to contact with said arm 84, whereby the conveyor 81 is made to rock around the shaft of the roller 79 by means of said cam through said arm 84. The roller 79 of the conveyor 81 is drived synchronously with the conveyor 74 in the same direction as indicated by an arrow mark and the belts of both conveyors 74, 81 facing each other are made to move in opposite direction.

Therefore, when the edge of the towel piece 26 runs into the gap between both belts 73, 80, the said piece is gradually rolled up due to opposite movements of the belts. When the towel piece is completely rolled up, it starts to race freely between both belts. After racing for a certain moment, upward movement of the roller 78 on the travelling side caused by the said cam 83, i.e., the lifting movement of the rolling conveyor 81 permits the townel piece 26 to advance and finally to drop from the end of the conveyor 74 onto the next packing mechanism G. Thus, when the conveyor 74 is stopped, the abovementioned cutting mechanism B starts to cut the subsequent towel piece, and, simultaneously, the packing mechanism G commences operation. Prior to start of the packing mechanism G, a compressed air is blasted out of a compressed air tank 87 by instantaneously opening an electromagnetic valve 86 of a perfume spraying mechanism H by means of a switch which is actuated at the time of lifting movement of the said conveyor 81, and sucks up perfume kept in a perfume tank 39 which is located on the way of a tube path 88, thereby spraying perfume on the rolled towel from a nozzle 90' at the tip of the tube path 88.

Details of the packing mechanism G are particularly illustrated in FIGS. 11 through 14. Polyethylene film which is comparatively easy to heat-sealing is preferable as the packing material 27. The packing film 27 in a form of long strip is rolled up on a reel 91 which is the same as that of the towel material storage mechanism A, said reel being mounted on a shaft 92. Similarly, a roller 94 fixed on the tip of a resilient arm 93 operable by a spring or its own weight, is made to press on the outer circumference of the rolled packing film 27 to control drawing-out of the film, and at the same time, a switch 95 is provided to detect and warn shortage of the film 27 in the said reel 91 by the position of said resilient arm 93. The film 27 drawn out of the reel 91 is led on a guide plate 96 till it reaches the position just beneath the end roll 70* of the delivery conveyor 74 and a certain length of said film is drawn out at at time by means of the delivery rolls 98, 99 which are made to rotate synchronously with a driving shaft 97.

The packing mechanism C includes the above-men tioned film supplying means the main part of which is a main body 100 arranged under the extreme end portion of the said guide plate 96. The said main body 100 is provided, on its front side, with a thermo-electrode 103 which incorporates therein a heater 101 and a thermostat 102 for adjusting temperature of the heater, and in front of the thermo-electrode, a bake preventing film 106, such as, for example, Teflon sheet, which is soft and has a good heat-resistance, periphery of said film being enclosed by a frame 105, is resiliency fitted by springs 107, 107. A tray 108 of a semi-circular shape is rotatably held by a hinge onto a shaft 109 which is supported by the lower end of the main body 100. On both ends of the shaft 109 are secured small square blocks 110, 110, and forks 111, 111, slidably fitted on these blocks are jointed with cranks 114, 114 of the said driving shaft 97 through the intermediate links 112, 112 and 113, 113. The end portion of said tray 108 is made to be able to open and close with respect to the end portion of the said main body 100 due to rotation of the said driving shaft 97. On the tip of the tray, and the upper edge of the main body are respectively fitted a cutting blade 117 which is resiliently supported by a spring 116 and a receiving blade 115 for cutting packing film 27 which is stretched out between the two blades when the both come in contact with each other. Furthermore, a resilient piece 118 made of heat resisting rubber is fixed on the side of the tray 108, the position of said piece being made to face the said bake preventing film 106 on the side of the main body 100. The said resilient piece 118 and a bake preventing film 106 hold therebetween the stretched packing film 27 when the tray 108 is closed, whereby the said film 27 is pressed against the thermo-electrode 10 3 against the forces of the springs 107, 107 so as to be heat-sealed. Moreover, arms 119 with a roller 120 on their tip are secured at the center of the lower portion of the main body 100 so that when the rotatable tray 108 is fully opened, said roller 120 protrudes into the tray through a small window 121 made at the bottom of the tray.

Therefore, in the state as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, i.e., the state wherein the tray 108 is opened to such an extent as to permit dropping of the rolled towel piece 26 and the packing film 27 fully stretches inside the tray so as to be in readiness of receiving the towel piece, when the rolled towel piece 26 falls from the feeding and rollingmechanism E into this tray 10% and receives a perfume spray from the perfume spray mechanism H, the shaft 97 of the packing mechanism G receives a driving power from a driving mechanism I which will be described hereinafter, thereby the packing mechanism G commences its motion. Thus, a series of operation is carried out in the following sequence. At first, it starts from a waiting condition as shown in FIG. 11, and the tray 108 is closed as shown in FIG. 13 and heat-sealing of the packing film 27 is carried out in such a manner that the towel piece 26 is enveloped in said film, and simultaneously the film is scissored by the cutting blade 117 and receiving blade 115. After completion of packing, the tray 108 starts to open and is fully opened as shown in FIG. 14. On the way of opening of the tray 108, the roller 120, through the window 121, protrudes inside the tray 100 and thereby throwing the packed towel piece 25 into a receiving tub 122. On the other hand, even while the tray is on the way to full open state, subsequent packing film 27 is continuously drawn out by the said delivery rollers 98, 99, which operation being continued until the tray 108 returns to its initial waiting state and stops. In this way, one cycle of packing operation is completed when the delivery of the film is made fully in the tray.

The front side of the receiving tub 122 has a frame construction 123 which coincides with the opening of the front door of a cabinet for accommodating the devices 6 to be described later and is provided with a lid 124 made of a transparent material which can be made to slide up and down from which a processed towel piece is taken out, and at the upper inside portion of the said receiving tub 122, a lamp 125 is provided.

The foregoing descriptions have explained about each mechanism of the present invention through which towel material is processed. And all the said mechanisms are operated in an interrelated manner by the driving mechanism J to be explained in the following.

The driving mechanism I includes a main electric motor 127 which is installed on a base plate 126 and has main shafts 128, 129 that can be driven simultaneously in left or right direction. The said main shafts 128, 129 are supported at their both ends and intermediate portion with bearings 130, 130 and 131, 131. Both the main shafts 128, 129 are identical in structure. That .is, V-pulleys 132, 133 and electromagnetic clutches 134, 135 are fixed on both the shafts from the side of the main motor 127, the said clutches 134, 135 being so made as to receive elective power from outside by means of brushes 138, 139 through slip rings 136, 137, thereby enabling interlocking gears 140, 141 which are idly mounted on the shafts to make clutch coupling. The said coupling is also made to be able to stop immediately by a brake electromagnetic coils 142, 143 which are secured on the bearings 130, 130 at both ends. When the said clutches are coupled, the interlocking gears 140, 141 actuate, respectively, the driving shafts 148, 149 for one revolution only through the gears 144, 145 engaged respectively with the said gears 140, 141 and the reduction gear boxes 146, 147. The driving shaft 148 operates the cutting mechanism D and the packing mechanism G only; and the other driving shaft 149 operates other mechanisms B, C and E except said two mechanisms D and G, and especially it performs transport of the towel material broad sense and processed towel pieces. Each of said shafts 1 18, 149 is provided with a cam device consisting of a group of cams and a group of contacts corresponding thereto, which will be fully explained later. A V-belt 151 is stretched over the V-pulley 132 and a V- pulley for a blast fan 58 of the drying mechanism C, and a V-belt 156 is stretched over the V-pulley 133 and a V-pulley secured to a common shaft .154 which drives the hot water pump 152 and cold water pump 153 of the water spraying mechanism F, both the pulleys 150, 153 being driven constantly. Said hot water pump 152 circulates hot water through an electromagnetic valve 157, and the cold water pump 153 circulates cold water through an electromagnetic valve 158. These hot and cold waters are obtainable from the hot and cold water pro ducing and controlling mechanism K.

The mechanism K includes both hot water vessel 159 and cold water vesel 160, These vessels are arranged as follows. Water which is supplied from a water intake 161 connected with a water supply pipe line, etc. passes through a manually operated valve 162 and an electromagnetic valve 163, is purified physically and chemically in a purifying tube 164, and is then led through a conduit 165 into a cold water vessel at first, from which it is further led into the hot water vessel 159 through a conduit pipe 166. That is, both the vessels 159 and 160 are interconnected by conduit pipe 166 and are held at the same water level. The cold water vessel 160 is also provided with a water level adjuster 167 upper and lower limit portions of which are provided, respectively, with switches 16% and 169. These two switches perform opening and closing of said electromagnetic valve 163 so as to maintain constantly the cold water vessel 160 at its standard water level. Thus, water led into the cold water vessel 160 is cooled down by a cooling device 176 which comprises a radiator including a compressor 170, an injector 171, a cooling pipe 172, .a filter 173, and an electric fan 175, and which is capable of circulating a refrigerant through these component members. Inside the vessel 160, there is provided an intermediate partition. 177 which separates the vessel into upper and lower section so that the water in the lower section which has been cooled to a standard temperature may not be warmed up by water flowing into the vessel, and the upper and lower sections are interconnetced with tiny holes 178. The adjustment of temperature of the cold water in the lower section is carried out by a temperature gauge 179 which is inserted into said lower section. At one end of the temperature gauge, there is provided a switch capable of generating an electrical signal which controls the operation of said cooling device 176. A circulation and supply route of cold water is formed inside the vessel with a conduit pipe 180 which connects said cold water pump 153 and the electromagnetic valve 158.

The hot water vessel 159 possesses, at its bottom portion, a band-type heater 181 for heating water in said vessel, the temperature of said water being controlled by a temperature gauge 182 inserted into said vessel. At one end of the temperature gauge, there is provided a switch through which are electric current is conducted to the band-type heater 181, A vapor which tends to escape from the upper portion of said vessel, though little it might be, will be made to return to the cold water vesel 160 through a condensing tube 183 having radiation fins 184 outside it. In this way, both vessels 159, 160 are made completely airtight. And, as in the case of said cold water vessel, a circulation and supply route of hot water is formed in the hot water vessel 159 with a conduit tube 185 which connects said hot water pump 152 and an electromagnetic valve 157.

The cold water vessel 160 and hot water vessel 159, described above, are interconnected, and when the water level in the hot Water vessel 159 decreases, it causes the Water in the cold water vessel 160 to flow into the hot water vessel 159, but the reverse of this action is not possible, because temperature of the upper portion of the hot water in the hot Water vessel 159 is very high so that inflow of hot water into the cold water vessel 160 is difficult, and, moreover, decrease of water level in the cold water vessel 160 results in immediate induction of water from the supply source. The circulation and supply routes of hot water and cold water consisting respectively of the conduits 185 and 180 are connected with electromagnetic valves 157 and 158, respectively, from which separate electromagnetic valves 186, 187 and 188, 189 are branched out. From the middle of the electromagnetic valves 186 and 187 branches out a conduit pipe 190 which is connected with said hot water spray nozzle 76, and from the middle of the electromagnetic valves 188 and 189 comes out a conduit pipe 191 which is connected with said cold water spray nozzle 77, and furthermore, the end of the valve 187 is connected with a conduit pipe 192, through which remaining quantity of water is made to return to the hot water vessel 159, and also the end of the valve 189 is connected with a conduit pipe 193 through which remaining quantity of water is made to return to the cold water vessel 160.

All the said mechanisms A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and K are installed in a cabinet 194 shown in FIG. 1, and the openings at the front and back sides of said cabinet are capable of being opened, closed and locked. A front door 197 and a back door 198 are provided with door switches 195 and 196 (FIGS. 4, 5, 19) so as to open the said doors. At the bottom side of said cabinet 194 are provided casters 199 for making it movable, and stands 200 for fixing the cabinet at a certain place.

A selecting mechanism I to be described hereinafter is installed on the front door 197, and a switchboard mechanism L and its electrical circuit M are respectively installed on the back door 198. Next, various features on said doors will be explained. On the front surface of the front door 197 provided with the selecting mechanism I, there is disposed at its top part a plate 202 for indicating the name of the machine with an illuminating lamp 201 fixed at its rear surface, and the said lamp 201 is so ar ranged as to reflect the light on a mirror 203 at the lower part. In the middle part of the door, there are disposed push button switches 204, 205 and 206 for selecting kind of towel to be desired out of hot, cold, or dry towel, In parallel to said switches, there are disposed small windows 210, 211 and 212, having respectively indication lamps 207, 208 and 209 at their rear surfaces for indicating the kind of towel to be selected. Also, there are disposed plates 213 and 214 which describes about handling instructions, a small window 216 with descriptions such as out of use, sold out, and the like, an indicating lamp 215 provided at rear surface of said win dow 216, and a small window 218 with descriptions such as in use and on sale, etc., and an indicating lamp 217 provided at rear surface of said window 218. Moreover, there are provided a slot 219 for throwing coins when the cabinet is modified to a vending machine, and a coin returning gate 220 and a key box 221 for locking the front door. The lifting and lowering lid 124 mentioned previously, which serves as take-out opening for towels is also provided at the middle portion. The blank space 222 which occupies the bottom portion of the cabinet is a panel for advertising purpose.

At the rear surface of the front door 197 adjacent to the said slot 219 is provided a coin selecting device 223 of a known type, inside which is provided with an electromagnetic winding 225 which makes it possible to open a path for returning coins and to return other coins than specifically designated or forged ones to the said coin returning gate 220 by way of a chute 224, and to drop the coins into a cash box 227 through a chute 226 if a coin Which is used is a designated one. In this case, a switch 228 is closed to notify passage of the coin and to actuate this towel processing machine. A push-button switch 229 for test purpose is provided at the rear surface of the front door 197. In case automatic vending system is not adopted with this machine, the switch 229 can be placed outside the cabinet for proper operation of the machine and the said coin slot 219 had better be made of transparent or semitransparent material and be provided with an indicating lamp 230, at the rear surface of the cabinet, which is lighted by the said switch 228 or 229.

On the inner wall of the back door are provided an air vent, a connection to water supply pipe line, plug sockets, etc. (not shown). Also, a key box for locking the door 198 etc. are installed. The explanation on the switchboard 231 to be installed at the rear surface of this back door 198 will be made in connection with description on the electrical circuit M.

Other examples of the said packing mechanism G will be explained with reference to FIGS. 15 and 16. Also, other examples of the feeding and rolling mechanism B will be explained briefly with reference to FIGS. 17 and 18.

The function of the said packing mechanism G is to deliver the polyethylene film 27 in parallel to the moving direction of the rotatable tub 108 is performed by using link and crank mechanism. However, in the particular example of FIGS. 15 and 16 polyethylene film is made to be delivered perpendicular to the moving direction of the towel piece 26 and the movement of towel material is made to be performed by means of a cam mechanism. In order to avoid overlapping of explanation in this drawing of the other examples, equal parts are designated by the same characters and reference numerals and the detailed structures are omitted for simplification. That is, in the said example, a guide plate 96,, having a semi-circular cross section is fixed adjacent to one of the openings of a tube shaped out by the main body and a rotatable tray 108 and a receiving blade and a cutting blade 117,, are provided at the side of the said opening, so that only the heat-sealing can be made in a similar mode to that of the embodiment mentioned in the foregoing. For opening and closing operations of the rotatable tray, a

cross bar 232 is secured to the upper end portion of the said rotatable tray and is held by a tensile force toward the opening direction by spring means 233, 233. At the other side of the said openings, a roller 234 is supported by said cross bar 232. The said roller 234 is made to contact, by pressing force, with a working cam 235 which is fixed on a driving shaft 97 so as to coincide with specific operating position of the rotatable tray 108 and the said cross bar 232 is also made to be guided by guide slots 236, 236 which conform to the focus of the opening and closing operations of the rotatable tray, whereby the packing operation becomes substantially identical.

In the packing mechanism G of the above-mentioned embodiment, as the lower side of the delivery conveyor '74 of the feeding and rolling mechanism E is occupied by the delivery means of polyethylene film and others, dropping and delivery of rolled piece of towel could only be carried out by a simple delivery operation of the said conveyor 74. However, according to this example, there exists a free space beneath the conveyor 74, so that it becomes possible to effect the following variation in the said mech anism E, by utilizing the free space. In this example of feeding and rolling mechanism E, with the diameter of rolling towel being increased, the rolling conveyor 81,, automatically raises itself against its self-weight along the guide slots 237, 237 and when it touches and actuates directly the switch 85,,, a signal is generated from the switch 85,, to motivate the perfume spray mechanism and simultaneously to make downwardly slant the rolling shaft 238, 238 of the end roll 70,, of the said conveyor 74,, through a connecting rod 241 by the electromagnetic coil 240 against the tensile force of the spring 239, 239, whereby rapid dropping and delivery of the rolled towel piece 26 on the said conveyor 74 can be realized.

These separate examples are not included in the electrical circuit M to be described hereinafter.

The electric circuit M shown in FIG. 19 through FIG. 21 comprises power terminals 242, an indicating lamp 243 for verifying supply of electric power, a power switch 244, plug sockets 245 and 246, and a power transformer 247. Alternating current, after its voltage being dropped by this power transformer 247, is rectified by a rectifier 248, is then smoothed by a resistance 249 and a capacitor 250, and finally DC power is obtained. Furthermore, there are included in this circuit a terminal 251 for dictating from outside as to run or stop of the machine, indicating lamps 252 for warning shortage of towel material 25, 253 for Warning shortage of dyeing liquid, 254 for Warning shortage of water, and 255 for warning shortage of polyethylene film 27, a buzzer 256 for indicating that a processed piece of towel can be taken out, and a switch 257 for a sterilizing lamp 75. An auxiliary relay AA is actuated when towel material, water and polyethylene film become short. By the operation of the said relay AA, the power circuit is disconnected by a relay contact act-1, the relay is kept at a self-hold condition by a contact arr-2 and an indicating lamp 215 for run or stop is lighted by a contact arr-3. A relay AK is actuated by a switch 228 and has a relay contact ak-1 and a self-holding contact ark-2, said relay making it possible to operate push button switches 204, 205, 206 for selection, and also to light a starting lamp 230. The said push-button switches 204, 205 and 206 have their respective relays AW, AC and AD which have respective self-holding contacts aw-l, arc-1, ad-1. Further, there is a relay AX between the push-button switches 204 and 205, the former being for hot and the latter for cold, and an inter-locking circuit is formed among these relays by relay contacts arc-3, aw-3, rid-3 and ax-l. Furthermore, another relay AMG is made operable by other relay contacts aw-2, ac-2 and rid-2 belonging to the said relays AW, AC and AD, respectively.

When any one of these selection switches 204, 205 and 206 is closed, the other switches become inoperable, and

simultaneously the relay AMG is actuated to close its relay contact amg-l, thereby actuating a clutch electromagnetic coil 135 which is on the forwarding side of the towel piece. At the same time, another relay contact rung-2 is opened and a brake electromagnetic coil 143 for the said clutch electromagnetic coil 135 is restored to its release position, thus making the driving: shaft 149 on this side start. As shown in FIG. 9, the said driving shaft 149 is provided with a pulley 258 which is directly connected with the transfer device of towel materials, and five operating cams 259 through 263, and the said pulley 258 immediately starts transfer of the towel. material 25 and a processed towel piece 26. For the sake of convenience, assume that the push'button switch 204 for a hot towel is selected: the electromagnetic valve 186 is actuated by the action of a relay contact aw4- for the hot relay AW and the switch 26%, whereby hot water is sprayed over the towel material and the electromagnetic valves 187 and 157 are restored to their original positions followed by diversion of the switches 264- and 265', whereby hot water spraying is stopped. When the switch 265 is opened, the relays AMG, AW and AX are restored to their original states, and an indicating lamp 207 for selecting a hot towel is turned off. Next, when the switch 265 is closed again and also the switch 264 is closed, the electromagnetic coil 135 is demagnetized and the brake electromagnetic coil 143 is excited simultaneously. Thus, the driving shaft 149 completes transfer of a towel piece. At this junction, before it is stopped, a switch is closed a few seconds before the driving shaft is stopped to soak hot water in the towel material, and, as soon as the rolled towel piece 26 is dropped in the rotatable tub 108, the said switch 85 causes the electromagnetic valve 86 to open so as to perform spraying of perfume instantaneously.

Next, the relay AH is actuated by the action of the switch 268 and self-holding of the relay is performed by the relay contact LIIZ1. Then, a clutch electromagnetic coil 134 on the cutting and packing side is actuated by the relay contact ah-Z, and a brake electromagnetic coil 142 for this clutch electromagnetic coil 134 is restored to its original state by another relay contact alt-3, thereby causing a driving shaft 148 on this side to start. As shown in FIG. 10, the said driving shaft 148 is also provided with a pulley 269 directly connected with the cutting mechanism D and packing mechanism G, and four operating cams 270 through 273. The pulley 269 actuates the said cutting mechanism D and packing mechanism G, the former cutting the towel material and the latter packing the processed towel piece 26 that has previously been dropped into the rotatable tub 108. Next, the said relay contacts ah-2 and alt-3 change the positions by the action of the switch 274, and the relay AH is restored to its original state through opening of the switch 275 simultaneously disconnecting the switch 277, to complete the operations of the two mechanisms D and G. And, at the same time, the relay AK is restored to its original state by the opening of the switch 277 and the start indicating lamp 230 is turned off. Then, the switch 274 is closed again, and the said clutch electromagnetic coil 134- is demagnetized and the brake electromagnetic coil 142 is excited, whereby the driving shaft 148 is stopped and kept in a waiting condition. In the same drawing, the switch 276 is intended to continue a series of operations starting from throwing a coin into the slot up to receiving the processed piece of towel at the lid 124, even when any of towel material, water, and polyethylene film become short which causes the switches 34, 169 and to open during the process of towel after throwing of a coin and thereafter it actuates the switch 276 to cause the vending machine to run or stop.

A relay AT is for test purposes, which is actuated by a testing push-button switch 229 provided on the front door 197 of the cabinet 194 and a testing push-button switch 278 provided on the back door 198 of the said cabinet. The said relay AT is for opening the front and back doors 197, 198, whereby a circuit is formed in the state of the door switches 195 and 196 being opened. When either of the said push-button switches 229, 278 is actuated, the relay operates to close the power source by the relay contact at1, and it kept at a self-holding state by the relay contact at-2, thereby causing this machine to start only once. The reference numeral 279 indicates a connector plate.

What is claimed is:

1. An automatic towel processing machine, comprising, in combination; towel storing means for storing a web of towel material to be processed into lengths of towel; towel withdrawing means adjacent said towel storing means for drawing the web of towel material from said towel storing means; towel drying means adjacent said towel withdrawing means and adapted to receive the web of towel material from said towel withdrawing means, said towel drying means including towel web feed means; towel web cutting means adjacent said towel drying means and adapted to receive the towel web from said towel drying means; a conveyer means having one end adjacent said towel cutting means for conveying towel lengths cut from the towel web away from said cutting means; a water spraying means adjacent said conveyer for selectively spraying hot and cold water on the towel lengths on the conveyer means, said water spraying means including heating and cooling means for water and water control means for controlling the actuation of the spray means and controlling the spraying of hot or cold water; towel rolling means at the end of the conveyer remote from said towel web cutting means for rolling the towel lengths up into a a cylindrical roll; towel wrapping means adjacent said towel rolling means for receiving the rolled towel lengths from said towel rolling means and wrapping them in a wrapper and ejecting them from the wrapping means; drive means coupled to said towel withdrawing means, to said towel drying means, to said towel web cutting means, to said conveyer means, to said towel rolling means, and to said towel wrapping means for driving said respective means in synchronism; and drive control means coupled to said drive means and to said water control means for actuating said drive means when said water control means is actuated.

2. An automatic towel processing machine as claimed in claim 1 in which said towel storing means comprises a spool on which a long web of towel material can be stored, an arm pivoted about an axis parallel to the spool axis and having a roller on a free end thereof, said arm being resiliently biased for urging the roller toward the spool so that the roller will bear on the outer layer of the towel material on the spool, and a switch adjacent said arm and positioned to be actuated by the arm when the towel material is almost all removed from the spool to warn of the exhaustion of the towel material.

3. An automatic towel processing machine as claimed in claim l in which said towel drying means comprises a drying chamber having a towel entrance opening and a 12 towel exit opening, a pair of towel feeding rolls for feeding the towel web through said chamber, and an air inlet and air outlet for drying air.

4. An automatic towel processing machine as claimed in claim 1 in which said conveyer means comprises a first endless belt having an upper run moving in a direction away from said towel cutting means, and said towel rolling means comprises a second endless belt above the end of said first endless belt and closely adjacent thereto in a position to be engaged by the end of a length of towel conveyed along said first endless belt, said second endless belt having a run adjacent said first endless belt which moves upwardly and back along said first endless belt, said second endless belt being pivotally mounted for movement of the end closest to said first endless belt upwardly and away from said first endless belt, and means coupled to said second endless belt for pivoting it periodically, whereby lengths of towel material moving along said first endless belt are rolled up when they engage with said second endless belt, and the rolled up towels are moved away from between said endless belts when said second endless belt is pivoted.

5. An automatic towel processing machine as claimed in claim 1 in which said towel wrapping means comprises a substantially upright main body member, a tray having one edge pivoted to the lower end of said main body, said tray having a cutting edge on the free edge of said tray, a packaging material supply means supplying an endless web of packaging material to said towel wrapping means, said supply means having a material guide plate ending immediately above said main body and having a cutting edge at said end cooperating with the cutting edge on said tray when said tray is pivoted around the lower end of said main body to bring said free edge of the tray adjacent the said end of said material guide plate, cam means coupled between said tray and said drive means for pivoting said tray, and heat sealing means adjacent the upper end of said main body and an abutment means on said free edge of said tray cooperable with said heat sealing means when said cutting edges cooperate for heat sealing the packaging material.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 430,464 6/1890 Busenbenz 194-82 2,133,261 10/1938 Wolff 53l31 X 2,471,055 5/1949 Asbill 194-4 2,571,596 10/1951 Meredith 194-10 2,854,116 9/1958 Gray 19410 2,950,024 8/1960 Adler 221-l50 X 2,957,288 10/1960 Anderson 53--l18 TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Primary Examiner.


S. TOLLBERG, Assistant Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3477200 *Apr 6, 1966Nov 11, 1969Holland Rantos Co IncFlexible packaging equipment
US4392028 *Feb 6, 1981Jul 5, 1983Saxton Richard LPay telephone with sanitized tissue dispenser
US5513478 *Oct 28, 1993May 7, 1996George Schmitt & Co., Inc.Method and apparatus for the manufacture of individual rolls from a web of material
US7171761 *Aug 2, 2005Feb 6, 2007Barney Dean HuntsLarge plush towel warmer and dehumidifier
US8096062 *Jan 17, 2012Bellen Mark LTowel drying system
US9003748 *Nov 6, 2009Apr 14, 2015Glory Ltd.Coin processing unit
US20070028479 *Aug 2, 2005Feb 8, 2007Hunts Barney DLarge plush towel warmer and dehumidifier
US20100121485 *Nov 6, 2009May 13, 2010Jyun HosodaCoin processing unit
EP1508647A1 *Dec 4, 2003Feb 23, 2005Carlo GagginiDevice comprising an urinal and a wipes dispenser
U.S. Classification53/520, 53/131.1, 53/210, 53/118
International ClassificationA47K10/24, A47K10/44, A47K10/26
Cooperative ClassificationA47K10/26, A47K10/44
European ClassificationA47K10/26, A47K10/44