US 3442163 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 6, 1969 B, D, CHALF|N ET AL 3,442,163
BUTTON ASSEMBLING MACHINE Sheet 1 FileDec. K F
ATTORNEYS May 6, 1969 B, D, ||ALF|N ET AL 3,442,163
' BUTTON AssEMBLING MACHINE Filed Dec. a, 196s sheet 2 of 1o INVENTORS Bernard C f/'f 5ft/)ard JT Pegg/(uson HTTORNEYS May 6, 19569 B, D CHALHN ET AL 3,442,163
BUTTON ASSEMBLING MACHINE v Filed Dec. 8,` 1966 HTTORNE YS May 6, 1969 B. D. cHALFlN lEr AL n 3,442,163
BUTTON ASSEMBLING MACHINE Filed nec. a. 196e sheet 4 of 1o INVENTORS Bernard Cha/fh? /78 Ig5/charca JT Peens on ,70 l MKM H7' TOPNEYS May 6, 1969 l B, D, HALr-lN ET AL 3,442,163
` BUTTON ASSEMBLING MACHINE 5 Filed Dec. s, 196e @eet of lo 264 Z/z Z/4 QZ E k 1 r\ D S INVENTORS /44 B .Ch /f' 44 7@ 55am/f@ Pegg@ 4TTORNEY5 May'6,19s9 B,D,HA, F.N Em 3,442,163
BUTTON ASSEMBLING MACHINE Fileduec.. a, 196e Sheet 6 of 10 k WM@ 340 INVENTORS n r Tonya-v5 IZ al@ May 6, 1969 Filed Deo. B, 1966 B. D. CHALFIN ET AL- BUTTON AS SEMBLING MACHINE sheet 7 of 1o Jg'chard J.' Perez-sof? F 7' TORN E YS B. D. cHALFlN ET AL 3,442,163-
BUTTON AssEMBLING MACHINE l May s, 196s Filed D90. 8,` 1966 I INVENToRs Brnara/D Cba/:H77
11g/chafa J Peerson May 6; 1969 B. aHALr-#IN ET A L 43,442,163
-uTToN AssEMLING mamma Filed neo. a. 196e sheet` 9 af 1o Moves/eve ee (e anzug nda/anc e Fahr/c.
Y/ Chard J.' Peerson MKM H T TOPNEYS May 6,1969
Filed necla, 196s a. D. lcl-mLr-'IN ET AIT BUTTQN ASSEMBLING vMAI-IINE gegnarg// INVENTORS Cd/fm l har J.' Fcrson i la( y ATTORNEYS United States Patent O Int. Cl. D04d 7/04 U.S. Cl. 79-5 26 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Our invention relates to the art of assembling coveredbuttons, each of which comprises a back inserted into a shell and adapted to draw a cover of fabric or the like over the shell face during the assembly operation and to clamp the cover material between the shell wall and the back.
More particularly, we provide an automatic covered button assembling apparatus in which we successively step an element having a bore slightly larger than the button diameter and formed with a fabric blank retaining recess at the top of the bore wall to a first station at which a cover blank is cut and placed in the recess, then to a second station at which la shell is inserted open end up into the bore to draw the fabric over the shell face and fiictionally to retain the blank and shell in the bore. The element is then stepped to a third station at which a back is automatically inserted into the shell and then crimped to complete the button which is then ejected. We preferably provide a plurality of elements carried by one movable member with respective elements registering with the various stations to permit the assembly operations to be performed concomitantly. Our machine is readily adapted to handle buttons of -a wide range of thicknesses, profiles and diameters. It is easily converted to semi-automatic operation, such as may be required when it is necessary or desirable for the operator to handle the cover material.
Background of the invention There are known in the prior art buttons comprising a hollow shell, a fabric blank and a back which is inserted in the shell to draw a fabric over the shell face and to clamp the fabric between the wall of the shell and the back to complete the button assembly. Round shells with various profiles, such as Hat, half-ball, fullball, conical and fez-shaped, are used. These buttons employ a number of different kinds of backs. For example, the back may be -a tufted back; it may be a loop type; it may have a shank attached thereto; it may be flat; or it may carry a tack or nail-like securing elem'ent.
Various attempts have been made in the prior art to automate the operation of assembling buttons of the type described above. Owing to the variety of shells and backs as well as size range and varieties of coverings, such as single or multi-ply, fabric, plastic, laminated and the like, which are used, these attempts have not been successful in completely automating the operation. The assembling machines of the prior art require that one or more of the three button parts be handled by the machine operator. Not only does this slow the operation but it requires a semiskilled operator which increases the cost of producing the buttons. Even in those machines which are semiautomatic in that a back and a shell are successively fed to the assembling operation, two cycles of the machine are necessary to complete an assembly operation since the apparatus must rst pick up a shell on one cycle and then assemble it with the back on the next operation. Even this machine requires that the fabric blanks be individually handled by the operator.
We have invented a button assembling machine which overcomes the defects of machines of the prior art. Our machine is completely automatic in that none of the individual parts of the button need be handled by the operator. It greatly expedites the assembling operation, thus permitting remarkably higher production than achieved by the prior art. Our improved button assembling machine does not require a skilled operator. It can handle buttons using a number of different backs and shells without modification of the machine. Our machine is adapted to assemble a wide range of sizes of buttons. It is easily converted to semi-automatic operation where it is desirable or necessary that the operator handle the covering material.
Description of the invention One object of our invention is to provide apparatus for assembling covered buttons in a completely automatic fashion.
Another object of our invention is to provide a coveredbutton assembling apparatus which does not require the operator to handle any of the parts making up the button.
A further object of our invention is to provide a covered-button assembling apparatus which will handle, without modification, buttons having backs of different types and shells having different profiles.
Still another object of our invention is to provide an automatic covered-button assembling apparatus which can readily be converted to semi-automatic operation.
A still further object of our invention is to provide a covered-button assembling apparatus which gives increased production without requiring a skilled operator.
Yet another object of our invention is to provide an automatic covered-button assembling apparatus which is adapted to handle a Wide range of button sizes and shapes.
In the accompanying drawings which form part of the instant specification and which are to be read in conjunction therewith and in which like reference numerals are used to indicate like parts in the various views:
FIGURE 1 is Ia top plan view of our covered button assembling machine with parts broken away.
FIGURE 2 is a side elevation of the button assembling machine shown in FIGURE l with a part broken away and viewed along the line 22 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a fragment-ary perspective view of our button assembling machine showing the dial drive system.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view drawn on an enlarged scale of a portion of our button assembling machine showing the fabric feed and fabric punch arrangements thereof.
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary rear elevation of a part of the fabric feed of our button assembling machine viewed along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary side elevation of a portion of our button assembling machine, taken along the line 6 6 of FIGURE 1 and drawn on an enlarged scale with parts removed showing the Shell feed mechanism thereof.
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary sectional view of our button assembling machine taken along the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6 and drawn on an enlarged scale illustrating the initial step in feeding a shell.
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIGURE 7 with the parts in different position illustrating a further step in the shell feeding operation.
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary sectional view drawn on an enlarged scale of the shell feed mechanism of our button assembling machine, taken along the line 9-9 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary sectional view drawn on 3 an enlarged scale of our button assembling machine taken along the line -10 of FIGURE 1 illustrating the drive system for feeding a back to the assembling device of the machine.
FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary sectional view of our button assembling machine with parts removed and drawn on an enlarged scale, taken along the line 11-11 of FIGURE l, illustrating the back assembling mechanism.
FIGURE 12 is a fragmentary sectional view .drawn on an enlarged scale showing the parts in position for the terminal portion of the assembling step of our button assembling machine.
FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary sectional view simil-ar to FIGURE 10 drawn on an enlarged scale illustrating the initial position of the back assembling mechanism.
FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIGURE 13 showing the position of parts in receiving a back.
FIGURE 15 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating the position of the back assembling mechanism immediately prior to the assembling operation.
FIGURE 16 is a fragmentary sectional view of our button assembling machine similar to FIGURE 15 showing the back assembly mechanism at an intermediate point in the operation of assembling a back on a shell.
FIGURE 17 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIGURE 15 illustrating the back assembling mechanism at a point near the terminal point in its operation.
FIGURE 18 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of our button assembling machine illustrating the dial locating mechanism thereof.
FIGURE 19 is a timing diagram illustrating the sequence of operations of our button assembling machine.
FIGURE 2O is a fragmentary view with parts shown in section illustrating a modification of our machine to permit semi-automatic operation.
Referring to FIGURES 1 to 3, our button assembling machine includes a frame, indicated generally by the reference char-acter 10, which supports a main table 12. We mount an upper support plate 14 over the table 12 by any suitable means, such as by posts 16, 18, 20 and 22. A lower support plate 24 is mounted below the table 12 by hangers, two of which hangers 26 and 28 are shown in FIGURE 2. Frame 10 carries a main drive motor 30 connected to a gear reducer 32 driving an output shaft 34 having a pulley 36 thereon. A belt 38 connects pulley 36 to a flywheel 40 carrying the driving member 42 of a clutch, indicated generally by the reference character 44, having a driven member 46. We mount the driven member 46 on a main drive shaft 48 rotatably supported on the plate 14 by bearings 50 and 52.
It will readily be understood that when the driving member 42 of clutch 44 is engaged with the driven member, shaft 48 rotates. Clutch 44 includes an engaging arm 54 adapted to be moved in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 2 to engage the clutch. A link 56 pivotally connects the -arm 54 to one end of a lever 58 supported on a pivot 60 carried by a frame bracket 62. We connect the end of lever 58 remote from link 56 to a rod 64 having a foot pedal 66 which permits the rod to be moved downwardly as viewed in FIGURE 2 against the action of a spring 68. When this is done link 56 is driven upwardly to move arm 54 in a clockwise direction to engage clutch 44. It will readily be understood that we may, if desired, change from foot pedal to another type of control.
Our machine includes a dial 70 rotatably supported on the table 12 by any suitable means, such as by bushings. We provide table 12 with a center post 72 carrying a circular plate 76 which guides the dial 70. We mount a friction element 74 on plate 76 to damp the movement of the dial 70.
Dial 70 has a plurality of generally circular recessforming inserts 78 disposed at spaced locations around the dial. As will be apparent from the description given hereinafter, the operation of assembling the buttons is carried on in the elements 78. We provide the dial 70 with eight recesses by way of example in the particular embodiment of our machine shown in the drawings. We provide a notch 80 in the periphery of the dial between each pair of adjacent elements 78.
A crank 82 pivotally supported on the center post 72 carries a pin 84 which pivotally supports a pawl 86. A spring 88 connected between the pawl and a pin 90 on the crank normally urges the pawl 86 into engagement with the periphery of the dial 70. We provide the crank 82 with another opening 92 for receiving the pin 84 and with another pin 94 to which spring 88 can be connected. These additional elements permit the position of the pawl 86 to be reversed to facilitate semi-automatic operation in a manner to be described hereinafter.
Shaft 48 carries for rotation therewith, a sprocket wheel 96 which engages a pitch chain 98. Chain 98 also engages a sprocket wheel 100 carried by a shaft 102 rotatably supported on plate 24 by any suitable means such as by bearings (not shown). A tensioning sprocket wheel 104 on table 12 may pe adjusted to take up the slack in the chain 98 as required.
From the structure thus far described it will be appreciated that when clutch 44 is engaged, shaft 48 is driven to drive the sprocket wheel 96 which, through the medium of chain 98, drives wheel 100 and shaft 102. We mount a cam 106 on shaft 102 for rotation therewith. Respective followers 108 and 110 on spaced arms of a crank 112 pivotally supported on a shaft 114 on the frame are adapted to be engaged by cam 106 to index dial 70 as will hereinafter be described. A rod 116, the length of which may be adjusted, connects crank 112 to the crank 82. As shaft 102 rotates it will engage follower to impart a return stroke to pawl 86 to move it slightly past the next notch 80 in a direction opposite to that in which the dial 70 is to be driven. As the shaft continues to rotate cam 106 engages follower 108 to move the pawl in a direction to coact with the notch to advance the dial 70.
Referring now to FIGURES l, 2 and 18, we provide the dial with a positive locating mechanism for ensuring that the dial is accurately located after being stepped to permit the accomplishment of the various operations to be described below. Our positive locating mechanism, indicated generally by the reference character 118, includes a slide block having a detent 122 adapted to fit in a notch 80 of the dial. A two-way air cylinder 132, having a piston rod 134 secured to block 120, is adapted to be supplied with air under pressure through a line 124 with line 126 connected to exhaust in a manner to be described hereinafter as the disk or dial 70 approaches the end of a step of movement to urge detent 122 against the periphery of dial 70. As the dial arrives at the end of a step of movement the detent moves into a notch 80 to prevent overriding movement and positively to locate the dial in a position at which the recess forming elements 78 are precisely aligned with one of the various operating members to be described. Subsequently pressure is applied to line 126 and line 124 is connected to exhaust to move detent 122 out of the notch 80 to free the disk 70 for its next step of movement.
Referring now to FIGURES 1, 4 and 5, in the course of its movement under the action of the pawl 86 dial 70 successively moves each of the recess forming members 78 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE l past a fabric piece applying station indicated generally by the reference character 136, a shell applying station indicated generally by the reference character 138 and a back applying and ejection station indicated generally by the reference character 140. It will be seen that there are more recess forming elements in the dial 70 than there are stations at which operations are to be performed.
Each of the members 78 has a bore therein comprising a relatively large diameter upper portion 142, a smaller diameter lower portion 144 and an intermediate annular enlargement 146. The frame supports a supply roll 148 of a suitable material such as a fabric 150 or the like of a width such as will permit a piece of fabric of the size necessary to cover a button to be cut Without excessive waste. If the covering is to be made up ofa number of plies, we may easily feed two or more strips in superposed relationship through the cutter mechanism to be described. The fabric 150 from the supply roll 148 passes upwardly through aligned openings 152 and 154 in the table 12 an-d in the locator plate 76 and then through a passage 156 formed in a cloth and punch guide 158 secured over a lower die 160 bridging the disk 70 and attached to the table 12. From the passage 156 the fabric strip 150 moves through the nip between a metal roller 162 having a knurled surface and a rubber roller 164. Rollers 162 and 164 are carrier by respective shafts 166 and 168 on a bracket 170 on the frame 10.
We provi-de our machine with means for intermittently drawing fabric from the roll 148 as covers are cut therefrom in the course of the button making operation. Shaft 102 carries a crank plate 172 having a crank pin 174 which connects a rack 176 to the plate 172. A guide 178 on bracket 170 supports the rack 176 for reciprocating movement. When the rack is driven it oscillates a pinion 180 on shaft 166. We provide a one-way clutch 182 of any suitable type known to the art for connecting pinion 180 to the roll 162. The arrangement is such that the roller 162 rotates only in response to movement of rack 176 to the right as viewed in FIGURE 4 thus to draw a length of fabric from the supply. A handwheel 184 at the end of roll 162 remote from clutch 182 permits fabric to be drawn manually from the roll 148.
A guide bushing 186 mounted in the upper support plate 14 guides a rod 188 carrying a punch 190l for vertical reciprocating movement as viewed in FIGURE 4. An internally threaded sleeve 192 receives two studs pivotally connected respectively to rod 181 and to one end of an operating lever 198 by a pin 194. The connection 192 may be adjusted to change the effective length of rod 188. We mount the lever 198 for pivotal movement on a shaft 200 carried by a bracket 202 supported on a plate 14. A spring 204 connected between lever 198 and a pin 206 on the plate 14 urges a cam follower roller 208 on lever 198 into engagement with the surface of a cam 210 carried by shaft 48. We provide the cam 210 with an inner track 209 adapted to engage a pin follower 211 carried by a bracket 213 on lever 198. This pin 211 provides a positive knockout for the punch 190 in the event that the cover material jams in the die to prevent the spring 204 from withdrawing the punch.
From the structure just described it will be seen that as shaft 102 rotates it reciprocates the rack 176 to oscillate pinion 180 to ca-use the clutch 182 to drive roll 162 to draw a predetermined length of fabric from the supply roll 148. As shaft 48 rotates'cam 210 drives rod 188 downwardly to cause the punch 190 and the die 160 to cut a circle of fabric 150. The stroke of the punch 190 is controlled to cause the blank of fabric to rest in the region of the enlargement 146 when the punch completes its stroke. When the operation just described ofcutting a piece of fabric and positioning it in the enlargement 146 has been accomplished, the element 78 carrying the piece is moved through two steps to the station 138`at which a shell is applied.
Referring to FIGURES 1 and 6 to 9, each of the assembled buttons produced by our machine includes a shell 212 around which the piece 214 of fabric is to be wrapped in a manner to be described to complete the assembled buttons. When the operations described above are complete the member 78 at the station 138 supports a piece of fabric 214 in the enlargement 146 of its bore. A lrotary hopper 216 of a type known in the art contains a supply of the shells 212 and is continuously driven by a motor (not shown) to deliver the shells 212 open side down to an inclined chute 218 having an escapement mechanism 220 which permits the shells to move one by one down the chute. Since the hopper 216 and its drive mechanism are known in the art they will not be described in detail.
One of the significant features of our apparatus which facilitates assembly of the buttons is delivery of the shells open side up to the operating mechanism of the machine. That is, we assemble the buttons upside down, Shells emerging from the chute 218 enter an inverting guide 222 which delivers the shells open end up to a continuously driven belt 224. An adjustable upper guide 226 controls the movement of the shells from the guide to the belt. Any suitable means, such as an electric motor 228, drives one of the rolls, such as the roll 230 of the pair of rolls 230 and 232 which support the belt 224. The belt 224 carries the shell 212 under a guide plate 234 resiliently supported on springs on the frame. Each of a plurality of screws 236 is adapted to be rotated by a sprocket wheel 238 engaged by a pitch chain 240 which also moves on an idler 242. One of the screws 236 carries a handle 244 by means of which that screw can be rotated to drive the other screws to cooperate with the springs to raise or to lower the upper plate 234 evenly to accommodate shells of different thicknesses. We provide the underside of the guide plate with a pair of spaced guide rails 246 and 248 which align the shells. We make guide 248 adjustable to accommodate shells of different widths. The belt 224 carries the shells toward the dial 70 until the leading shell engages a stop block 250.
We provide a reciprocating feed arm 252 slidably supported in a guide 254 for moving the leading shell from its position against block 250 to a location over one of the elements 78 carrying a piece 214 of fabric. Shaft 48 carries for rotation therewith a bevel gear 256 which drives a bevel gear 258 on a vertical shaft 260 supported on the plate 14 and table 12 by suitable bearings such as the bearings 262. Shaft 260 carries a cam 264 for rotation therewith. A spring 266 connected between one arm 268 of a bell crank and a pin 270 on table 12 normally urges a follower 272 into engagement with cam 264. We pivotally support the bell crank having the arm 268 on a shaft 274 on table 12. A link 276 connects the other bell crank a-rm 278 to the reciprocating arm 252. We provide the feed bar 252 with a bifurcated end 280 which receives a shell resting against block 250 and which is operated to advance the shell to a position between a pair of spring-loaded jaws or lingers 282 and 284 over an element 78.
A guide bushing 286 supports a ram 292 carrying a punch 288 for reciprocating movement toward and away from the recess in element 7 8. A length-adjusting link 290 connects the punch ram 292 to one end of a lever 294 pivotally supported by a pin 296 carried by a bracket 298 on the plate 14. A spring 300 connected between the plate 14 and the other end of lever 294 urges a cam follower 302 on the lever into engagement with a cam 304 on shaft 48. An interior track 301 on cam 304 ,cooperate with a follower pin 303 on lever 294 to provide a positive return for punch 288.
From the structure just described it will be apparent that with an element 78 carrying a fabric piece 214 po sitioned at station 138, shaft 48 rotates shaft 260 to operate arm or rod 252 to feed a shell 212 open side up from the location against block 250 to a position between the jaws 282 and 284. When the arm 252 returns the shell is retained between the jaws. When this operation has been achieved, cam 304 moves lever 294 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 6 to move the punch 288 downwardly. The punch picks the shell 212 from between the jaws and moves it down into the bore 144 of element 78. In so doing, the center portion of the fabric 214 is drawn downwardly into bore 144 and the edge of the fabric moves up around the punch 288 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 8. The diameter of bore 144 with relation to the diameter of the shells 212 7 being worked on is such that the shell is retained in the bore 144 when the punch 288 is withdrawn.
Referring now to FIGURES l and 10 to 17, when the operations described above are complete dial 70` is stepped to carry an element 78 having a shell 212 and a fabric piece 214 disposed therein to the station 140 at which a back is assembled with the fabric and shell in a manner to be described.
Adjacent the back assembling station 140 we provide a mechanism (not shown) similar to the drum 216 and chute 218 for feeding button backs 306 to a feed belt 308 which is continuously driven to feed the backs 306 in a line until the leading back engages a stop block 310. This is achieved in a manner similar to that in which the shells 212 are fed. We provide the table 12 at a location below the leading back 306 with an opening 312 over which the back rests. The backs are fed to this location open side down. A vertical shaft or pivot pin 314 on the upper support plate 14 pivotally carries an arm 316. We provide arm 316 with a guide 318 which receives a ram 320 for vertical reciprocating movement. The lower end of ram 320 receives a sleeve 322 for limited sliding movement relative thereto. A setscrew 324 in the sleeve wall engages a groove 326 adjacent the lower end of the ram to limit the downward movement of sleeve 322 under the action of a spring 328. Before the dial 70 is stepped to bring a shell 212 and a fabric piece 214 to station 140, arm 316 occupies a position at which sleeve 322 is over the leading back 306. An extension 330 on arm 316 carries a follower 332 which is urged into engagement with a cam 334 on shaft 48 by the action of a spring 336 connected between the arm 316 and the plate 14. When the dial 70 is stepped to bring a shell 212 and fabric piece to station 140, cam 334 positions arm 316 in the broken line position illustrated in FIGURE l, which position is shown also in FIGURES 10, 13 and 14.
Shaft 102 carries for rotation therewith a cam 338. A spring 340 normally urges a lever 342 carried by a shaft 344 on plate 14 in a direction to bring a follower 346 on the lever 342 into engagement with cam 338. An adjustable coupling 348 connects the other end of lever 342 to a rod 350 adapted to slide in a rguide 352 below table 12. When the sleeve 322 is positioned to receive a back, cam 338 moves lever 342 to push rod 350 upwardly to move the back 306 up into sleeve 322 past a springloaded detent 354 in the sleeve wall. When the rod 350 is retracted, the back 306 is retained in the sleeve.
After the sleeve 322 has received a back in the manner described, cam 334 moves arm 316 to a position over an element 78 carrying a shell 212 and one or more fabric pieces 214. This relative position of the parts in illustrated by full lines in FIGURE 1 and in FIGURES l1 and 15 to 17. Shaft 344 pivotally supports another lever 356 carrying a follower 358 urged into engagement with a cam 360 on shaft 102 by a spring 362 connected between the lever and the frame 10. An adjustable coupling 364 connects lever 356 to a bottom ram 366 carrying a punch 367 and slidably supported for movement in a guide 368 below table 12 below the element 78 carrying the shell and fabric piece.
A lever 370 pivotally supported on a shaft 372 on arm 316 carries a follower 374 urged into engagement with a cam 376 on the lever by a spring 378 connected between the lever and the plate 14. We connect the other end of lever 370 to an adjustable link 380 connected to the ram 320.
We synchronize the operation of the rod 366 and of the ram 320 in such a way as to achieve the operation of completing the assembly of the back 306 and the shell 212 and fabric 214 with ejection of the shell from the bore of element 78. This can best be seen by reference to FIG- URES 12 and 15 to 17. As the rod 366 moves upwardly to carry the shell and fabric out of bore 144 and above the enlargement 146, ram 320 moves downwardly until the lower edge of sleeve 322 engages a shoulder formed by bore 144 and enlargement 146. When this occurs, the ram 320 continues to move downwardly while sleeve 322 remains stationary. The ram carries the back downwardly past the detent 354 and into a shell 212. In the course of this operation the edge of the fabric piece which lis turned slightly inwardly is gathered and the fabric is drawn tightly over the outer surface of the shell. When this is achieved, a slight further downward movement of ram 320 causes sleeve 322 to bottom on the ram to press the edge of the shell over which the fabric is extended into engagement with a curved annular surface 382 inside the lower end of the sleeve 322. In the course of this movement the shell edge is crimped slightly inwardly securely to retain the back and the shell in assembled relationship. Next ram 320 retracts and, while rod 366 supports the button, a jet of air from a nozzle 384 blows oft the completed button into a guide 386 to which an additional flow of air is provided by a nozzle 388 to eject the button from the guide to a suitable receptacle not shown. A batlie 390 directs the ejected button into the guide 386.
Referring again to FIGURE 6, we provide a microswitch 392 for controlling the supply of air to the cylinder 132 which operates the dial detent block. We also arrange switch 392 to control the escapement 220 which releases a shell to permit it to be fed to the belt 224 by the guide 222. Shaft 260 carries for rotation therewith a cam 394 positioned on the shaft to operate a follower 396 for actuating switch 392 at the proper point in the machine cycle.
Referring again to FIGURE 1l, we provide another switch 398 which controls the ow of air to the finished button ejection nozzle 384. This switch may also control the back feed escapement (not shown) wh-ich, in a manner similar to the operation of escapement 220, feeds a back to belt 308. Switch 398 is operated by a second lobe 400 on cam 360 which engages a follower 402 at the proper point in the machine cycle. As can be seen by reference to FIGURE 2, our apparatus includes a line 404 leading from a source (not shown) of air under pressure which supplies air to the various nozzles and piston and cylinder assemblies of our machine through suitable valves.
In many instances it is desirable to manufacture fabric covered buttons from material which cannot conveniently be rolled and slit. It may also be desirable to make buttons from scrap material as in the case 'where a particular fabric must be matched. Under these conditions the operator of the machine is required to handle the material. We have provided means for expeditiously modifying our machine to permit this operation which we have termed semi-automatic. Referring to FIGURE 20, in order to modify the machine to permit semi-automatic operation, we mount a die plate 406 on the table 12 adjacent the front of the machine by means of a spacer 408 and countersunk bolts 410 or the like. The plate 406 is so mounted that a guide bore 412 therein is in alignment with the bore -144 of the element 78 adjacent the front of the machine. A supporting block 414 mounted on the plate 72 has a portion formed with a bore 416 in alignment with guide bore 412 and bore 144. The bore 146 slidably receives a ram 418 in which we mount a punch 420. A bracket 422 on the block carries a pin 424 which pivotally supports a lever 426. A link 428 connects one end of the lever to the ram 418. We connect a link 430 between the other end of the lever 426 and the lever 432 pivotally carried on a pin 434- in block 114. A link 436 pivotally connects lever 432 to a tting 438 which replaces the punch in this mode of operation of our apparatus.
In the fully automatic operation of our machine, to assemble covered buttons the operator depresses the foot pedal 66 to engage the driven member 46 of clutch 44 with the driving member 42. When this is done all of the shafts 48, 102 and 260 are driven. It will be understood of course that the main drive motor as well as the motors of the shell and back supply systems have already been energized.
We so position the various cams and crank plate of our apparatus as to ensure that none of the plungers which operate in the recesses of elements 78 are driven while the dial 70 is being indexed. Referring to FIGURE 19, we have schematically indicated a timing diagram showing the time cycle or time sequence of various perations. Considering first the stepping or indexing of the dial 70, with the machine in neutral pawl 86 is retracted. As soon as clutch 44 is engaged, cam 106 actuates upper follower 108 to drive pawl 86 in a direction to pick up a notch to advance the dial through one step of movement. It will be appreciated that the return stroke of the pa=wl may take place even though the punches are active. The driving stroke however -must be performed during a period in which none of the operations in the elements 78 are taking place. By way of example, the indexing movement may take place over that portion of a revolution of shaft 48 from about 0 to about 170.
As shaft 102 rotates, crank plate 172 reciprocates the rack 176 first to the right as viewed in FIGURE 4 to draw a fresh piece of fabric 150 into position under the punch 190 and then returns to the left. Owing to the fact that we employ a crank plate 172 to achieve this operation, it must take place over about 180 or a half revolution of shaft 48 or of shaft 102, which latter shaft is driven in a one-to-one relationship with shaft 48. By
way of example, we may perform the fabric feeding operation from about the 0 position to about the 160 position of shaft 48.
At approximately the 45 position of the shaft, cam 394 engages follower 396 to actuate switch 392 to supply air to line -124 of cylinder 132 to move the detent block 122 into engagement with the periphery of the dial 70. When the dial reaches the end of its indexing movement, block 122 drops into a notch 80 accurately to position the dial. We may reverse the supply of air to cylinder 132 at any convenient point after the index movement of the dial is complete and before the next indexing movement is to take place. By way of example, we may cause this to occur at 330.
We cause all of the operations which are performed in the elements 78 to occur while the dial is at rest, though associated operations may begin before the dial 70 comes to rest. We of course ensure that no plunger or punch enters an element before the dial stops. We stagger the operations somewhat to avoid excessive shock as the various plungers enter the recesses. Considering first the operations of cutting a fabric blank and of inserting it into the retainer recess 146, at about 105 cam 210 drives lever 198 to move punch 190 into the die 160 to cut a fabric blank 214. Continued movement of the punch pushes the fabric piece into the recess 162 and the punch returns. These operations take about 135 of the rotation of the shaft so that if an operation is begun at 105 it will be completed at 240.
To perform the operation of inserting a shell the leading shell 212 has already been positioned in the bifurcated end 280 of the feed bar 252, as in the cycle portion from about 330 to about 45 Cam 264 on shaft 260 drives follower 272 to reciprocate feed bar 252 to move the leading shell into position between jaws 282 and 284 over an element 78 carrying a blank 214 of fabric. This feeding operation may take place at least partially during the indexing movement of the table. When the positioning operation is complete, cam 304 drives lever 294 to reciprocate plunger 288. In the course of its downward movement it pushes the shell 212 from between the jaws and moves it into bore 144. In the course of this movement a fabric blank 212 is drawn tight over the shell and the shell and blank are frictionally held in bore 144. By way of example, in FIGURE 19 we have indicated the shell inserting operation as taking place over the portion of movement of shaft 48 from about 180 to about 275.
The operation of the plunger 350 in feeding the leading back 306 to sleeve 322 may take place in the portion of the cycle from about 330 to about 45, for example. When this operation is to be performed, arm 316 has been positioned by cam 334 and spring 336 to locate the sleeve 322 over opening 312. Conveniently this movement of the arm may be achieved from about 290 to about 330. Cam 338 drives lever 342 to push the leading shell 306 up into the sleeve past the detent 354.
The arm 316 is moved to a position over an element 78 and the shell and back are assembled during the time when dial 70 is at rest. Movement of the arm may take place from about 150 to about 240. Closing is then accomplished from around 180 to 270. As the ram 320 moves downwardly under the action of cam 376, cam 360 moves -rod 366 upwardly. First, the sleeve engages the shoulder formed between retainer enlargement 46 of bore 144 and the back is moved downwardly by further movement of the ram and into the shell which with the fabric has been moved up to the upper end of bore 144. When the back has been moved into the shell, a slight further downward movement of ram 320 moves the shell periphery against the surface 382 of the sleeve to crimp the shell edge inwardly to complete the assembly. Ram 320 is retracted and plunger 366 supports the button to permit a blast of lair from nozzle 384 to blow the completed button into the discharge guide 386 over the period from about 300 to 330.
We may adjust our machine to accommodate buttons of different thicknesses Iby operating handle 244 to move plate 234 up or down as required. In order to handle buttons of a different diameter a number of adjustments are performed. First, shell guide 248 and the back feed guides are adjusted. Next, the elements '78 are replaced by elements having `a bore diameter corresponding to that of the size buttons being assembled. It is necessary also to replace sleeve 322 land its associated elements with elements of appropriate sizes. The blank cutter 190 and die 160 are replaced. Punches 288, 350 and 366 are changed. Shell and back stops 250 and 310 as well as fingers 282 and 284 are replaced. With these adjustments we readily can accomplish the assembly of a wide range of sizes.
In certain instances. as where a cove1 material which cannot expeditiously be slit or rolled is used as a cover material, semi-automatic operation of our machine is desired. To change the machine over to semi-automatic operation, we move the pin 84 to hole 9-2, reverse the pawl 86 and connect spring 88 between the pawl and pin 94. It is also necessary to rotate the cam 106 ahead 180. This is easily achieved by means of a key or the like. We also remove the material punch 190 and replace it with the tting 438. When the changeover is complete the operator places the cover material in a position at-which it can be :acted upon by the punch 420 over the element 78 adjacent the front of the machine. Owing to the linkage we employ, punch 42,0 acts in substantially the same manner as did the punch 190 to punch blanks and position them in recess 146 in the bore 144. In this mode of operation all the operator need do is handle the cover material and feed it in such a way as to permit it to be acted upon by the punch 420. The machine then steps past station 138 at which the element receives a shell, then steps idly by station 136 and tg the station 140 at which the back is assembled with the s ell.
It will be seen that we have accomplished the objects of our invention. We have invented apparatus for assembling fabric covered buttons in a completely automatic manner. Our apparatus does not require.` the operator to handle any of the components individually. It is able to handle buttons using a number of different shell .and back types without modification of the machine. It greatly increases the production rate without requiring any skilled labor. It is adapted to handle a range of sizes of buttons. It may easily be converted to semi-automatic operation when required.
. It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other Ifeatures and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of our claims. It is further obvious that various changes may be made in details within the scope of our claims without departing from the spirit of our invention. It is, therefore, to be understood that our invention is not to be limited to the specific details shown and described.
Having thus described our invention, whatwe claim is:
1. Apparatus for assembling a lbutton back with a [button shell to clamp the edge of a blank of cover material between the back and the shell and to draw said cover material over the shell face including in combination, a carrier provided with a recess having a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of said shell, said carrier adapted to support said blank over said recess, means for moving said carrier from a first station to a second station, means at said first station for feeding a shell face down into said recess to carry said blank into said recess and means at said second station for moving said back into said shell to get-her the edge of said blank and to clamp said fabric between the shell and the back.
2. Apparatus as a claim 1 including a third station, said carrier moving means moving said carrier to said third station and means at said third station for feeding a blank of cover material to said carrier.
3. Apparatus as a claim 1 including a third station, said carrier moving means moving said carrier to said third station and means at said third station for cutting a blank from a strip of cover material and for feeding said blank to said carrier.
4. Apparatus as in claim 1 including a third station, said carrier moving means moving said carrier to said third station, a supply of cover material, means for cutting a blank from said cover material `and for feeding said blank to said carrier and means for advancing a strip of said cover material from said supply to said cutting and feeding means.
5. Apparatus as in claim 1 including a .third station, said carrier moving means moving said carrier to said third station, a supply of cover material, means for cutting a blank from said cover material and for feeding said blank to said carrier, means for advancing a strip of said cover material from said supply to said cutting and feeding means and a common drive for said carrier moving means and for said advancing means.
`6. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said s'hell feeding means comprises a plunger, means mounting said plunger for reciprocating movement toward and away from said carrier, means including a feed bar for moving a shell from a supply of shells to a position adjacent said plunger, and means including a common drive for synchronizing the operation of said feed lbar and said plunger.
7. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said shell feeding means comprises a plunger, means mounting said plunger for reciprocating movement toward and away from said carrier, means including a feed bar for moving a shell from a supply of shells to a position adjacent said plunger, means including a common drive for synchronizing the operation of said feed bar and said plunger, and spring loaded jaws adjacent said plunger for receiving a shell from ysaid bar.
8. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said shell feeding means comprises a supply of shells, means for delivering shells from said supply face up and means for inverting shells delivered from said supply.
9. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said back moving means comprises a plunger, means mounting said plunger for movement toward and laway from said carrier, means on said plunger for releasably -receiving a back and means responsive to movement of said plunger tow-ard said carrier for moving a back from said receiving means toward `said shell.
10. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said back moving means comprises a plunger, means mounting said plunger for movement toward and away from said carrier, .a sleeve on said plunger, a detent in said sleeve for releasably retaining a back in the sleeve and means cornprising means mounting said sleeve for limited sliding movement on said plunger for moving a back from said receiving means towar-d said shell in response to movement of said plunger toward said carrier.
11. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said back moving means comprises a plunger, an arm, means mounting said plunger on said arm for movement toward and away from said carrier, means .mounting said arm for pivotal movement, means for feeding backs to a location adjacent a carrier positioned at said second station, means for moving said arm between a first position at which said plunger is over said location and a second position at which said plunger is over said carrier, means on said plunger for releasably receiving a back, means at said location for feeding a back to said receiving means, means responsive to movement of said plunger toward said carrier for moving a back from said receiving means toward said shell and means for moving said plunger toward said carrier at said second position.
12. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said back moving means comprises a plunger, an arm, means mounting said plunger on said arm for movement toward and away fro'm said carrier, means for feeding backs to a location adjacent a carrier positioned at said second station, means mounting said arm for pivotal movement between a first position at which said plunger is over said location and a second position at which said plunger is over said carrier, means on said plunger for releasably receiving a back, a rod, means mounting said rod at said second location for reciprocating move-ment toward `and away from said plunger to feed a back to said lreceiving means, means responsive to movement of said plunger toward said carrier for moving a back from said receiving means toward said shell and means for moving said plunger toward said carrier at said second position.
13. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said carrier recess is a bore, said back moving means comprising a plunger, means for moving said plunger toward and away from said carrier, means on said plunger for releasably receiving a back, means responsive to movement of said plunger toward said carrier for moving a back from said receiving means toward said shell and means for moving a shell and blank in said bore toward said plunger as said plunger moves toward said carrier.
14. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said carrier recess is a bore, said back moving means comprising a plunger, means mounting said plunger for movement toward and away from said carrier, means on said plunger for releasably receiving a back, means responsive to movement of said plunger toward said carrier for moving a back from said receiving means toward said shell, means for moving a shell and blank in said bore toward said plunger as said plunger moves toward said carrier and means for crimping the wall of said shell after said back has moved into said shell.
15. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said carrier recess is a bore and in which said carrier comprises a cover-blank receiving recess at the top of said bore.
16. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which said carrier drive means comprises a pawl, means mounting said pawl to drive said carrier in one direction and means for mounting said pawl to drive said carrier in another direction.
17. Apparatus for assembling fabric covered buttons each having a back disposed in a shell with a cover blank clamped between the back and the shell and drawn over the shell face including in combination, a frame, a dial, means on said dial forming a plurality of circumferentially spaced recesses, each recess having a diameter slightly greater than that of a shell, means mounting said dial for rotary movement on said frame, means for moving said dial to carry each of said recesses successively to a first station and to a second station, said dial being provided with means for supporting a cover blank at the top of each of said recesses, means at said first station for inserting a shell into a recess to carry a cover blank into said recess, and means at said second station for *ihserting a back into said shell to gather the edge of the cover blank and to clamp said cover blank between said shell -and said back.
18. Apparatus as in claim 17 including a third station adjacent said dial and means at said third station for cutting and feeding a cover blank to said dial.
19. Apparatus as in claim 17 including a third station adjacent said dial, means at said third station for cutting and feeding a cover blank to said dial and a common drive means for said dial moving means and said shell feeding means and said back inserting means and said blank cutting means. ,s
20. Apparatus as in claim 17 in which said dial moving means comprises means for moving said dial in a plurality of steps and means for positively locating said dial after each step of movement thereof.
21. Apparatus as in claim 17 in which said dial moving means comprises means for moving said dial in a plurality of steps, detent means adapted selectively to be rendered inactive and to be rendered active positively to locate said dial after a step and control means for rendering said detent means inactive at the beginning of a step and for rendering said detent means active in the course of a step.
22. Apparatus as in claim 17 including means for concomitantly operating said shell inserting means and said back inserting means.
23. Apparatus as in claim 17 including means for concomitantly operating said blank cutting and feeding means and said shell inserting means and said -back inserting means.
24. Apparatus as in claim 17 in which said dial moving means comprises means for moving said dial successively past a third station and said first station and said second station, said apparatus including means at said third station for feeding a cover blank to said supporting means, said shell feeding means comprising a plunger, means mounting said plunger for generally vertical reciprocating movement with reference to a recess located at said first station, means for feeding shells from a supply to a location adjacent said first station and means including a rod for advancing a shell from said location to said first station.
25. Apparatus as in claim 17 in which said dial moving means comprises means for moving said dial successively past a third station and said first station and said second station, said apparatus including means at said third station for feeding a cover blank to said supporting means, said shell feeding means comprising a plunger, means mounting said plunger for generally vertical reciprocating movement with reference to a recess located at said first station, means for feeding shells from a supply to a location adjacent said first station,` means including a rod for advancing a shell from said location to said first station and spring loaded fingers at said first station for receiving a shell from said rod and for retaining said shell to be acted on by said plunger. p
26. Apparatus as in claim 17 in which each of said dial recesses is a bore extending through the dial, said dial moving means comprising means for `moving said dial successively past a third station and said first station and said second station, said apparatus including means at said third station for feeding a cover blank `to said supporting means, said shell feeding means comprising a first plunger, means mounting said firstplunger for generally vertical reciprocating movement with respect to a bore located at said first station, means for feeding shells from a supply to a location adjacent said first station, means including a rod for advancing a shell from said location to said first station, said back inserting means comprising means for feeding backs from a supply to a second location adjacent said second station, said frame adapted to support a back over an opening at said second location, an arm, a second plunger, means mounting said second plunger for generally vertical reciprocating movement on said arm, means mounting said arm for pivotal movement around a generally vertical axisA between a first position over said second location and a second p0- sition over a bore at said second staion, means on said second plunger for releasably receiving a back, a third plunger, means mounting said third plunger at said second location for generally vertical reciprocating movement in said opening to feed a back to said releasable retaining means in the first position of said arm, a fourth plunger and means mounting said fourth plunger for movement into said bore toward and away from said plunger to move a shell and blank in said bore toward said plunger as said plunger moves a back toward said dial to assemble said back and said shell and said blank.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 228,233 6/1880 Wade 79-5 598,711 2/ 18198 Ludington 79-5 669,997 3/ 1901 Ludington 79--5 GRANVILLE Y. CUSTER, JR., Primary Examiner.