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Publication numberUS3552737 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 5, 1971
Filing dateFeb 19, 1969
Priority dateFeb 19, 1969
Publication numberUS 3552737 A, US 3552737A, US-A-3552737, US3552737 A, US3552737A
InventorsIltis Rumult
Original AssigneeMc Graw Edison Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Two switch control system for measuring minimum size articles moving in closely following succession
US 3552737 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent 1 1 3,552,737

[72] Invent r Rllmlll! 3,363,897 1/1968 Northern et al. 270/84 Cincinnati, Ohio 3,485,492 12/1969 lltis 270/84 [2]] p 800640 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell [22] Filed Feb. 19, 1969 A ssismnt ExammerPaul V. Williams [451 Paemed Attorney-Richard c Ru pin [73] Assignee McGraw-Edison Company p Elgin, Ill. I M

acorporamm ofnelaware ABSTRACT: A circuit for locating fractional lengths of articles moving on a belt in synchronization with high and low I 54] Two SWITCH CONTROL SYSTEM FOR rate pulses having a 2: 1 ratio. First, second and third counters MEASURING MINIMUM SIZE ARTICLES MOVING having equal count capacities are prov ded. A low pulse rate is IN CLOSELY FOLLOWING SUCCESSION applied to the first counter so that it accumulates a count representative of the full length of an article. A very high 18 Claims, 2 Drawing Figs. repetitive frequency pulse train is then applied to all three U.S. counters until the count capacity'of the first counter is t thereby leaving an unfilled count capacity on the second and [5 u counters represenative of the length of an article as [50] Field of Search 270/69, 80, measured by the low pulse rate By then applying the high ram 81, 85; 324/68C pulse to the second counter, the midlength of the article may be located. By applying the low pulse rate to the third counter [56] References cued while the high pulse rate is applied to the second counter and UNITED STATES PATENTS then applying the high pulse rate to the third counter, the 3,242,342 3/1966 Gabar 250/223 quarter-length of the article may be located.

PATENTEUJAN SIS?! 3552,73?

SHEET 1 BF 2 TWO SWITCH CONTROL SYSTEM FOR MEASURING MINIMUM SIZE ARTICLES MOVING IN CLOSELY FOLLOWING SUCCESSION This invention relates to apparatus and a method for locating predetermined positions along the length of an article. More; particularly, the invention is directed to control apparatus for actuating a device for folding moving articles at a time related to the position and length of the article.

One type of folding device intended for use with the invention is a laundry folding machine for folding flat cloth articles traveling on a continuous conveyor belt. Such folding machines are well known and typically have at least one endless conveyor belt which carries an article past one or more measuring and folding stations. A folding means is located at each folding station and is usually of an air blast or mechanical blade type. The article is measured as it moves past the first measuring station and is then folded at the foldingstation. The measuring and folding operation is repeated by the machine as many times as desired at additional measuring and folding stations for each fold.

There have been various types of control arrangements suggested by the prior art for use in measuring and folding a moving article in a laundry folding machine. These have included mechanical apparatus such as multispeed motor driven timers, moving measuring stations, and two-speed motor driven conveyor belts. More recently, control circuits employing electromechanical relays and vacuum tube analogue electronic timing methods or solid state digital timing methods have been used. An example of a digital control circuit is disclosed in copending Application Ser. No. 667,877, filed Aug. 14, 1967, now Pat. No. 3,485,492, and assigned to the assignee of the instant invention. Such control circuits include at least one sensor for each fold to be'made which senses the presence of the article moving on the conveyor belt. In general, the length of the article is measured by determining the time it takes to move past a first sensor at one time measuring rate-or by determining the number of pulses per unit of length. The time measuring rate or pulse repetition rate is then increased when the article reaches a second sensor until the total time or total number of pulses of the measuring .cycle is completed. The two measuring rates are so related that when the cycle is completed, the position at which a fold is to be made in the article will be opposite the folding means ofthe folding machine. Completing of the measuring cycle causes the control circuit to actuate the folding means to fold the moving article. If a second fold is desired, a third sensor is provided and the foregoing measuring or counting and folding steps are substantially repeated at a third sensor and second folding station.

In the control circuit disclosed in the aforementioned copending Application Ser. No. 667,877, first, second and third-article sensors positioned along the path of travel of a moving article are provided. A full length measuring counter, a first fold counter and a second fold counter respectively corresponding to the first, second and third sensors are also pro vided. When the leading edge of an article reaches the first sensor, a repetitive pulse is applied-to the first and third counters. At the same time, the second counter must remain free to receive a repetitive pulse for use in making the first fold. The first, second and third counters thus become occupied at the time the article is initially present at the first sensor and the third counter remains occupied until it produces a signal actuating the second fold of the article and simultaneously clears itself. A problem in this type of control, which is typical in electronic folder controls, is that the circuitry for the last fold isimmediately tied up upon the initial presence of an article at the first sensor. This decreases the number of articles the control can simultaneously handle or, stated in an alternative way, increases the minimum article length which the control can measure. Stated generally, the solution to the problem lies in minimizing the utilization of the logic circuitry associatedwith each'measuring operationof each article while the remainder of the control is performing a different operation with respect to the article.

lt is a principal object of this invention to provide an improved apparatus for measuring and locating predetermined positions along the length of a moving article. A further object of the invention is to provide a control circuit for measuring a moving articleand indicating the presence of a plurality of predetermined positions along the length of the article in which the logic circuitryqusedin the. measurement of one position isshared in the m easurement of another position. 1

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved control circuit for measuring a moving article and indicating the presence of a plurality of predetermined positions along the length of the article in which the time of utilization of logic circuitry used to measure and indicate one position -is'- minimized by utilizing logic circuitry used to measure and indicate another position to perform par'tof the measuring function for the one position simultaneously with the measuring of the other position.

A further object of the invention is to provide a control circuit for measuring a moving article and indicating the' presence of a plurality of predetermined positions along the length of the article and utilizing only two sensors for sensing the presence of the article. I .1

Another object of the invention is to provide a laundry ar cle folder control for measuring a movinglaundry articleand actuating the making of a plurality of folds therein and having a plurality of measuring locations spaced apart along the path of travel of the article and circuitry corresponding to each measuring location in which the circuitry at the last measuring location along the path-of the article is' utilized for measuring an article at the first measuring location along the path only when the article leaves the first measuring location.

Another object of the invention is to provide a laundry folder control for measuring a moving laundry article and-actuating a plurality of folds therein and having a plurality of measuring locations spaced apart alongthe path of travel of the article in which one of the measuring locations is posi-. tioned at the initial position of the leading edge of-the foldedarticle.

In the embodiment of the invention shown and described herein, first, second and third digital electronic countersaa re provided. Each of these counters have an equal maximum. count capacity. High and first low rate electrical pulsestare generated and applied to one of the counters in respons'e'ito the presence of a flat cloth article moving at a constant rate. past one of two sensors positioned at first and second locations along the path of travel of the moving article. A second low electrical pulse rate is produced and applied 'to the third electronic counter while the article is moving past the second of. the sensors. The rates of the electrical pulses relative'to each other are determined by the position which is to be located or the position at which a fold is to be made along the length of the article and the time during which the pulses are applied to the counters, e.g., if a fold is to be made at the midlength and quarter-length of an article, the low pulse rates will be onehalf that of the high rate with the second low rate being applied tothe third counter for only one-fourth the time the first. low rate is applied to the first counter. If it is desired to make a second fold at the other than the quarterlength of the article, a pulse rate higher or lower than the second low pulse rate and lower than the high pulse rate is applied to the third-counter.

While the moving article is at the first of the two sensors, the 1 first low rate pulse is applied to the first counter. The second. and third counters remain free for use in connection with me'asuring of preceding articles. Upon the passing of the article from the first sensor, the first low pulse rate is disconnected from the first counter and a high frequency oscillator is con-: nected to all three counters until the count capacity of the-first counter is filled. The first counter now resets itself to zero. count. The second and third counters both have an unfilled: count capacity equal to the number of'counts accumulated on the first counter while connected to the first low pulse rate pulses. When the article moves to the second of the sensors...

the high rate pulses are applied to the second counter until the maximum count capacity of the second counter is filled. The second counter then resets itself to zero count and produces ;an output signal which actuates a time delay means. Since the high rate pulses have a rate twice that of the low rate pulses which were applied to the first counter. the midpoint of the article will be opposite the second sensor when the maximum count capacity of the second counter is filled and the output signal actuating the time delay means is produced. The time delay means provides a time delay which allows the midpoint of the article to move to a third predetermined location which also may be considered as the first fold location. When the article midpoint reaches the first fold location, the time delay means produces an output signal to actuate a first fold mechanism which folds the article at its midpoint. Because the article is folded relatively rapidly, the leading edge of the article after it is folded will be substantially at the third location.

While the article is beneath the second sensor and the high rate pulses are applied to the second counter, the second counter produces the second low pulse rate which is equal to the first low pulse rate if the article is to be folded a second time at its quarter-length. The second low pulse rate is applied to the third counter so that, in effect, the second counter and associated logic circuitry control the third counter and the measurement for the second fold until the first fold is made. Since the second pulse rate is applied to the third counter only until the midpoint of the article reaches the second sensor, the third counter will have a count capacity remaining unfilled at the time the high rate pulses are disconnected from the second counter equal to one-half the number of counts accumulated on the first counter while connected to the first low pulse rate. The output signal from the time delay means is also utilized to initiate application of the high pulse rate to the third counter so that the high rate pulse is initially applied to the third counter substantially when the leading edge of the once folded article is at the third location. Since the output signals from the second counter and time delay means control initial application of the high pulse rate to the third counter, another sensor for this purpose is not necessary. The high rate pulse is applied to the third counter until its remaining unfilled count capacity is filled at which time the midpoint of the once folded article is at the third location. The third counter then resets itself to zero count and produces an output signal which actuates a second time delay means. The second time delay means provides a time delay until the midpoint of the fold article is at a second fold location and then actuates a second folding mechanism to fold the article at the midpoint of its folded length, i.e., at its quarter-length.

Closely following articles of short length are measured and folded by providing a plurality of second counters and a plurality of third counters respectively equal to the number n that satisfies the equation where L min length of the shortest article to be folded,

D distance between the first sensor and the second folding location, and

n the number of second counters and also the number of third counters. After a first article has passed the first sensor at the first location, the first counter will reset itself to zero count to thereby prepare for a second immediately following article. The first article continues on to the second sensor at the second location where the high rate pulses are applied to the same second counter that was connected to the oscillator when the trailing edge of the first article passed the first sensor. At the same time, a low pulse rate output from the first bit of the second counter is fed into the same third counter that was charged with counts from the oscillator when the trailing edge of the first article passed the first sensor. When the count capacity of the second counter is filled. the counter emits a pulse indicating the midpoint of the article and actuating a pulse from the counter. the pulse actuates the time delay circuit allowing the midpoint of the article to position itself at the first folding location. The instant the folding of the first article is started in response to a signal from the time delay circuit, the high rate pulses are applied to the same third counter that was charged with counts from the oscillator when the trailing edge of the first article passed the first sensor. The moment the same third counter is full, a pulse is emitted and fed into a delay circuit that permits the article to position its midpoint at the second folding point. This sequence of operation is repeated with each closely following short article. A shift register means and selector means are utilized with both the second counters and the third counters to match the same second counter and the same third counter with a particular article when the article passes the first and second sensors and the third location.

The above and other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and drawings which form a part of this specification and in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a laundry folding machine illustrating the conveyor belts and folding mechanism; and

FIG. 2 is a detailed block diagram of a preferred embodiment of the invention.

With reference to FIG. 2, the connection to the control circuit 42 of a source of positive DC voltage, indicated by the symbol V is controlled by the sensors 28 and 30. The sensors 28 and 30 may be of any suitable type well known in the art such as a mechanical switch or a photocell. When a laundry article is not present at the sensor 28, no gating signal is carried to the control circuit 42 on lead 27. When a laundry article is present at the sensor 28, the sensor 28 becomes operative to connect a DC gating signal to the control circuit 42 on lead 27. When a laundry article is not present at the sensor 30, the sensor 30 connects the positive DC voltage V to the circuit 42 on lead 31. When a laundry article is present at sensor 30, it disconnects the DC voltage V from the circuit 42 and discharges any residual voltage on circuit 42 due to the previous voltage connection.

A pulse generator in the form of an incremental encoder 46 is provided for generating voltage pulses at a fixed rate per inch of article length in synchronization with the rate of travel of the laundry articles on the conveyor belts. The encoder 46 may be driven by the drive means (not shown) for the rollers shown in FIG. 1, or the encoder 46 may be driven by independent drive means synchronized with the drive rate of .the rollers. The voltage pulses may be generated at a rate per unit of travel of the laundry articles dictated primarily by the maximum length of the laundry articles to be folded and the precision with which it is desired to locate the fold. In the embodiment of the invention described herein, a pulse rate of 20 pulses per inch of article travel is utilized.

A frequency or rate divider 48 and a summing network 50 are connected between the encoder 46 and an input of AND gate 52. The divider 48 divides the pulse rate received at its input at a ratio of 2:1 so that the pulse rates respectively available from the encoder 46 and the divider 48 when gate 52 is open are 20 pulses per inch of article travel and 10 pulses per inch of article travel.

A front counter 58 has an input connected through summing network 60 to the output of AND gate 52 and an output connected through one-shot multivibrator 62 to an input of flip-flop 64. The flip-flop 64 is a conventional type of flip-flop which is turned ON and will remain ON to continuously produce an output signal when a signal is applied at an input and which is turned OFF to stop producing the output signal when a signal is applied to another input. The front counter 58 has a maximum count capacity which may be set at a value capable of handling the longest size article which it is desired to fold. The front counter 58 counts in response to voltage pulses applied to it and when its maximum count capacity is filled it will reset itself to zero count and produce an output signal.

I The elements shown in logic block 66 of FIG. 2 include shift registers 68 and 70, first selector means54, second selector means 84 and first fold counters 72", 74 and 76. Theshift register 68 has an input connected through diode 78 and oneshot multivibrator 62 to the front counter 58 and two output leads 80 and 82 connected to the selector 'means 84. The

selector means 84 is provided with output leads 93, 95 and 97 and is of a type well known in the art which functions to sequentially produce an output signalonone of the leads 93,

95 and 97 in response to the presence or absence of an input signal from the shift register 68 on leads 8 0 and 82. The output leads 93, 95 and 97 are respectively connected to inputs of AND gates 86, 88 and 90. The AND gates 86, 88 and 90 are of the type that is normally closed when no gating signal is present at an input. Each of the AND gates 86,88 and 90 also have a second input commonly connected to the output of AND gate 92. The output of AND gates 86, 88 and 90 are nected to the selector means 54. The selector means 54 has output leads 113, 115 and 117 and also'is of a type well known in the art which functions to sequentially produce an output signal on oneof the leads 113, 115 and 117 in response to the presence or absence of an input signal from the shift register 70 on leads 100 and 102. The output leads 113, 115 and 117 are respectively connected to inputs of AND gates 106, 108.

and 110. The AND gates 106, 108 and 110 are of the type that is closed when all requiredgating signals are not present at their inputs. A second input of each bf the AND gates 106, 108 and 110 is connected through summing network 50 to the I generator 46. The outputs of the AND gates 106, 108 and 110 are respectively connected to aninput of each of the AND gates 112, 114 and 116. The outputs of AND gates 112, 114 and 116 are respectively connected to the inputs of the first fold counters 72, 74 and 76. The AND gates 112, 114 and 116 are of the type that is closed when asignal is present at a gating input.

Each of the shift registers 68 and 70 in logic block 66 of FIG. 2 are identical in construction and operation. Each shift register 68 and 70 is connected to a synchronizer 118 which is of a type well known in the art and which shifts both of the shift registers 68 and 70 into the same state so that only one of the output leads 93, 95 and 97 and a corresponding one of the output leads 113, 115 and 117 will. carry a signal when the control circuit 42 is initially energized; For example, in the initial state chosen for the control circuit 42, the output lead 93 associated with shift register 68 will carry a signal and the output lead 113 associated with shift register 70 will carry a signal while the remainder of the output'leads 95, 97, 115 and 117 will not carry a signal. The synchronizing means 118 has an input connected to the oscillator 174, two inputs respectively connected to output leads 93 and 117 of selector means 84 and 54 and outputs connected through diodes 131 and .109 to shift registers 70 and 68. When the circuit 42 is initially energized, the very high frequency pulse rate from the oscillator 174 will be gated through synchronizer 118 to shift registers 68 and 70 until the synchronizer 118 receives simultaneous signals from the output leads 93 and117.

The shift registers 120 and 122, selector means 136 and 156 and second fold counters 124, 126 and 128 are shown in logic block 67 of FIG. 2. The shift registers 120 and 122 are respectively connected to selector means 136 and 156 and are identical in construction and operationwith each other and with shift registers 68 and 70. The shift register 120 has an input connected through diode 130 and one-shot multivibrator 62 to the front counter 58 and two output leads 132 and 134 connected to the selector means 136. The selector means 136 is provided with output leads 145, 147 and 149 and func-.

134. The output leads 145, 147 and 149 are respectively connected to inputs of AND gates 138, 140 and 142. The AND gates 138, 140 and 142 are of the type that is normally closed when no gating signal is present at an input. The AND gates 138, 140 and 142 each also havea second input commonly connected to the output of AND gate 92. The outputs of AND gates 138, 140 and 142 are each connected to the input of the second fold counters 124, 126 and 128. The outputs of second fold counters 124, 126 and 128 are respectively fed through one-shot multivibrators 146, 148 and and are commonly connected to an input of flip-flop 144. The flip-flop 144 is of the same construction and operates in the same manner as the flip-flop 64, previously described.

A synchronizer 170, identical in construction and operation with the synchronizer 118 shown in logic block 66, is illustrated in logic block 67. The function of the synchronizer 170 is to shift both of the shift registers 120 and 122 into the same state when the control circuit 42 is initially energized. When the shift registers 120 and 122 are in the same state, one of the output leads 145, 147 and 149 and a corresponding one of the output leads 165, 167 and 169 willcarry a signal when the control circuit 42 is initially energized. The example given in the description for the synchronizer 118 also holds true for the synchronizer 170, Le, in the initial state of the shift registers 120 and 122, the output lead 145 and the output lead will each carry an output signal, while the remaining output leads 147, 149, 167 and 169 will not carry an output signal. The synchronizing means 170 includes an input connected to the output lead 145 of selector means 136, an input connected to the output lead 169 of selector means 156 and an input connected to the oscillator 174. The synchronizing means 170 has an output connected through diode 151 to the shift register 120 and an output connected throughdiode 171 to the shift register 122. For a more detailed description of selector means 54, 84, 136 and 156 and synchronizers 118 and 170, reference is made to copending Application Ser. No. 667,877, filed Aug. 14, 1967, and assigned to theassignee of the instant invention. 1 f' The lead 27 associated with sensor 28 is shown in FIG. 2 connected to an input of AND gate 52. The AND gate 52 is arranged to be closed when no signal from the positive DC voltage V is present at its input and open when a laundry article passes sensor 28 and the positive DC voltage V is applied to the input of AND gate 52. The lead 27 is also connected to trailing edge signal amplifier 172 which in'turn is connected to aninput of flip-flop 64. The output of flip-flop 64 is connected to an input of AND gate 92. The AND gate 92 is of the type that is open when a signal is present at all gating inputsand closed when any input signal is lacking. The oscillator 174 provides a source of very high frequency pulses and is connected to another input of the AND gate 92. The frequency of the pulses supplied by theoscillator 174 should be high relative to the frequency of the pulses obtained from generator 46 and it has been determined that an oscillator frequency of 500 kilocycles per second is satisfactory. The. output of AND gate 92 is fed through summing network 60 to front counter 58, to

an input of AND gates 86, 88and 90 in block 66 and to an input ofAND gates 138, 140 and 142 in block 67.

The lead 31 associated with sensor 30 is connected to an input of the AND gates 112, 114 and 116 in block 66. The AND gates 112, 114 and 116 are closed when the positive DC voltage V is applied to each of their inputs and open when the DC voltage V is removed from each of their inputs, i.e., when a laundry article is present at sensor 30. As stated above, the outputs of first fold counters 72, 74 and 76 are commonly connected to an input of time delay means 56. The time delay means 56 also has an output lead 35 connected through diode 208 to the folding means 34. When an output signal from any one of the counters 72,74 and 76 is applied to the time delay means 56, the time delay means 56 provides a time delay followed by an output signal which actuates the first l'old mechanism 34 to fold the moving laundry article. The function of the time delay means 56 is to delay a folding of the laundry article until its midpoint has passed sensor 30 and moved in front of first fold mechanism 34. In this manner, the time delay means 56 also functions to position the fold of the article so that the folded edge of the article is positioned at the measuring location 32 (see FIG. 1) where measuring for the second fold is initiated.

The first fold logic shown in logic block 66 of FIG. 2 is shared with the second fold logic of logic block 67 so that the making of the second fold is controlled, in part, by the elements in first fold logic block 66. This sharing is accomplished by connecting the elements of logic blocks 66 and 67 together I 7 through AND gates 119, 121 and 123. As seen in FIG. 2, the

AND gates 119, 121 and 123 respectively have output leads 133, 135 and 137 connected to the inputs of second fold counters 124, 126 and 128 oflogic block 67. The first fold counters '72, 74 and 76 of logic block 66 respectively have output leads first bits of the first fold counters 72, 74 and 76 so that a pulse rate is applied to the inputs of the gates 119, 121 and 123 which is equal to one-half of the pulse rate applied to the input of first fold counters 72, 74 and 76. The construction and operation of digital counters such as counters 72, 74 and 76 is well known in the art and will not be discussed in detail here. The gates 119, 121 and 123 are of the type which are turned ON when a signal is present at all of their inputs so that when one of the inputs of gates 119, 121 and 123 receives a signal from one of the output leads 113, 115 or 117 of selector means 54 and a laundry article is present at sensor 30, a repetitive pulse rate from one of the first fold counters will be gated through one of the gates 119, 121 and 123 to a corresponding second fold counter. In this manner, there is a sharing of first and second fold logic functions and the measuring of the article for a second fold is controlled by the elements in logic block 66. For example, when an article is present at sensor 30 and lead 113 of selector means 54 is carrying a signal, a repetitive pulse of 20 pulses per inch of article travel will be applied to the first fold counter 72 and the counter 72 will produce a repetitive pulse of pulses per inch of article travel at the output of its first bit which is applied to the second fold counter 124 through AND gate 119.

As previously stated, when one of the first fold counters 72, 74 or 76 in logic block 66 produces an output signal indicating that the count capacity of the counter is filled and that the midpoint of the article at sensor 30 has been reached, the time delay means 56 provides a time delay and then produces an output signal on lead 35 which actuates a folding operation. The output lead 35 is also connected to an input of flip-flop 144 so that a signal on output lead 35 turns the flip-flop 144 ON to initiate gating ofthe high pulse per inch pulse rate to one of the second fold counters 124, 126 or 128 in logic block 67. Measuring for the second fold is thus further controlled by the first fold logic. Since initiation of the application of the high pulse rate to the second fold counters substantially coincides with the folding of the article at the first fold station which is also the third measuring location 32 (see FIG. 1), the presence of the folded edge of thefolded article at the location 32 will also substantially coincide with initiation of gating of the high pulse rate to the second fold counters. In this manner, the third measuring location 32 acts as a sensing or reference position for the measuring of the quarter-length of the laundry article. The output lead 33 of flip-flop 144 carries a low signal when the flip-flop is turned ON and the lead 33 is connected to an output of each of the AND gates 164, 166 and 168. The AND gates 164, 166 and 168 are of the type that is open when a low gating signal is present at a gating input. The AND gates 164, 166 and 168 are thus closed when the flip-flop 144 is turned OFF and a high signal is on the lead 33 and ON (open) when the low signal is on lead 33. The outputs of second fold counters 124, 126 and 128 are connected to a second fold means 39. The second fold means 39 includes the diode 176, the second fold mechanism 36 and the delay means 37. The delay means 37 serves to delay the. second folding of the article until the article moves a predetermined distance from the measuring location 32 to aposition where the midpoint of the folded article is at the second fold point opposite the second fold mechanism 36. .When an output signal is produced by any one of the second fold counters 124, I26 and 128, the second fold mechanism 36 will be actuated after the time delay to make a second fold inthe article.

OPERATION OF CONTROL CIRCUIT AND FOLDER When the control circuit 42, shown in;FIG. 2, is initially energized, each of the output leads 80, 82100, 102, 132, 134, 152 and 154 connecting the shift registers 68, 70, 120 and 122 and their respective selector means84, 104, 136 and 156 may or may not be carrying an output signal. Since each shift register and associated selector means is identical in operation, only the operation of the shift register 68-and selector means 84 will be described. As previously stated, the selector means are well known in the art and so only a general description of their operation will be given. The possible energization conditions of the output leads and 82 of shift register 88 include a simultaneous signal on both leads 80 and 82, a signal present on lead 82 but not on lead 80 and a signalpresent on lead 80 but not on lead 82. When both of the output leads 80 and 82 carry a signal, the selector means 84 produces an output signal on its lead 93 which maintains AND gate 86 in an open condition. When a signal is present on output lead 82 but not on output lead 80, the selector means 84 produces a signal on output lead 95 to maintain AND gate 88 in an open condition. When an output signal is present on lead 82 but not on lead 80, the selector means 84 produces an output signal on-its lead 97 which maintains AND gate 90 in an open condition. When a signal is present on any one of the output leads 93, and 97 of selector means 84 so that an associated AND gate 86, 88 or 90 is open, the remaining two leads of leads 93, 95 and 97 do not carry a signal so that the two associated AND gates are closed. It can thus be seen that as the shift register 68 shifts through its various conditions, the combination of output signals available on the output leads 80 and 82 connected to the shift register 68 vary to sequentially open AND gates 86, 88 and 90. 1

When the control circuit 42 is initially energized it is desired that corresponding output leads associated with shift registers 68 and 70 and shift registers 120 and 122 be in the same condition. This, of course, also requires that corresponding output leads of selector means 84, 54, 136 and 156 also be in the same condition. For example, the output leads 93 and 113 should both carry a signal to maintain AND gates 86 and 106 open, while output leads 95, 97, 115 and 117 should not carry a signal so that ANDgates 88, 90, 108 and 110 are closed. The synchronizers 118 and 170, respectively shown in blocks 66 and 68, are well known in the art and are provided in order to attain this initial condition. In general, when the output leads 93 and 113 do not carry a signal upon initial energization of the circuit 42, the synchronizing means 118 will apply the pulse frequency from oscillator 174 to the shift registers 68 and 70 until the shift registers attain their output states which result in the presence of a signal on both leads 93 and 113. When this condition is reached, the synchronizing means will cease supplying the high frequency pulses to the shift register means while the circuit 42 continues energized regardless of the subsequent presence or absence of a signal on either of output leads 93 or 113. The shift registers 68 and 70 are now in identical states in which the corresponding output leads 93 and 113 both carry a signal and their associated AND gates 86 maintain AND gate 138 and inan open condition. Also, upon energization of the control circuit 42, the front counter 58, the first fold counters 72, 74, 76 and the second fold counters '124, 126 and 128 are all initially at zero count. The generator 46 and the oscillator 174 are both operating to provide the necessary pulse frequencies to control circuit 42.

When a first flat laundry article is placed on conveyor belt 4, it is moved toward sensor 28 (see FIG; I). When the leading edge of the article reaches sensor 28, the positive DC voltage V is applied to the input of AND gate 52 to open it. The pulse per inch pulse rate from divider 48 then passes through AND gate 52 and summing network 60 to counter 58. The counter 58 accumulates one count for 'each pulse received from the IQ pulse per inch pulse rate during the time the article is present at sensor 28.

When the trailing edge of the article passes the sensor 28, the positive DC voltage V is removed from the AND gate 52. The AND gate 52 is thus closed and the 10 pulse per inch pulse rate is removed from counter 58. The count that has been accumulated by counter 58 is representative of the full length of the article. A second effect of the passing of the trailing edge of the article from sensor 28 is the removal of the positive DC voltage V from the flip-flop 64 to turn the flip-flop 64 ON. When the flip-flop is turned ON, it produces an output signal which is fed to an input of AND gate 92 to open AND gate 92. With AND gate 92 open, the 500 kilocycle per second frequency from oscillator 174, is fed through the AND gate 92 and summing network 60 to counter 58, to the inputs of AND gates 86, 88 and 90 in block 66 and to the inputs of AND gates 138, 140 and 142 in block 67. Since AND gates 86 and 138 are still open, the 500 kilocycle per second frequency will pass through them to counters 72 and 124. The front counter 58 accumulates one count for each pulse of the 500 kilocycle per second pulse frequency until the maximum count capacity of the front counter 58 is filled. Thefront counter 58 then simultaneously resets itself to zero count and produces an output signal which is amplified through one-shot multivibrator 62 and fed to a second input of flip-flop 64 to output signal is removed from AND gate 92 to close AND gate 92 and stop the feeding of the 500 kilocycle per second pulse from oscillator 174 to front counter 58 and counters 72 and 124. The output signal from front counter 58 is also fed through diodes 78 and 130 to shift the shift registers 68 and I into their next state. The shift register68 will now cause a signal to be carried on output lead 95 to an output of AND gate 88 to open AND gate 88. The AND gate 90 in block 66 remains closed and the AND gate 86-is now closed. In block 67, the shift register 120 is shifted into its second state by the output signal from front counter 58 so that a signal is fed to output lead 147 and the input of AND gate 140 to open AND gate 140. The AND gate 142 remains closed and the AND gate 138 is now closed. The first fold counter 72 and second fold counter 124 at this time each have an accumulated count equal to the portion of the maximum count capacity of the front counter 58 that was not filled by the 10 pulse per inch pulse rate when the article was present at the sensor 28. Thus, the number of counts respectively remaining on the'first fold counter 72 and second fold counter 124 is representative of the full length of the article measured at a 10 pulse per inch rate.

In the event that the article is longer than the distance between the sensors 28 and 30, the article will reach sensor before the trailing edge of the articlepasses sensor 28. As described in detail hereinafter, the presence of an article at sensor 30 will cause connection of the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate to one of the first fold counters, for example, counter 72. Under the condition where the article is present at both sensors 28 and 30, the front counter 58 continues to receive the [0 pulse per inch pulse rate until the trailing edge of the article leaves sensor 28. When the trailing edge of the article passes sensor 28, the 500 kilocycle per second' frequency is applied to the counter 72 simultaneously with the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate. Because of the high rate of the 500 kilocycle per second frequency, it will override the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate, although only for a very short duration. Due to this short time, no essential information is lost and counter 72 will accept the 500 kilocycle per second frequency and then continue to receive the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate until its maximum count capacity is filled. I

Upon the passing of the first article from sensor 28. the maximum count capacity of front counter 58 is filled by oscillator I74 practically instantaneously relative to the speed of movement of the article on conveyor belt 4 and to the pulse rates supplied by the generator 46 and divider 48. As a result, the front counter 58 is immediately reset upon the passing of the first article from sensor 28 and there is virtually no spacing requirement between the first article and a second closely following article. The resetting of the front counter 58 readies it for a second article.

As the second article is passing sensor 28 the positive DC voltage V is again applied to the input ofAND gate 52 to open it to the passage of the 10 pulse per inch pulse rate. The operation of the circuit for the second article is exactly the same as it was for the first article except that since AND gate 88 in block 66 and AND gate 140 in block 67 are now open, pulses from the generator 46 and the oscillator 174 will now be applied to first fold counter 74 and pulses from oscillator 174 will be applied to second fold counter 126. Upon the passing of the trailing edge of the second article from the sensor 28, the AND gate 52 will close and the flip-flop 64 will be turned ON to open AND gate 92. The 500 kilocycle per second pulse from oscillator 174 will then be connected to front counter 58, first fold counter 74 and second fold counter I26 until the front counter 58 is filled. The front counter 58 then resets itself to zero count to be ready for a third following article and produces an output signal which turns flip-flop 64 OFF and shifts shift registers 68 and 120 to their next state. The AND gate in block 66 and the AND gate 142 in block 67 now each have a signal at one of their inputs to hold them in an open condition. The portion of the count capacities now remaining unfilled on first fold counter 74 and second fold counter 126 will be representative of the full length of the second article measured at a 10 pulse per inch rate.

The operation of the control circuit 42 inmeasuring the full length of a third closely following article is again the same as for the first and second articles. Upon the passing of the trailing edge of the third article from the-sensor 28 the unfilled portions of the maximum count capacity of the first fold counter 76 and second fold counter 128 will be representative of the full length of the third article measured at a 10 pulse per inch rate.

In the control circuit 42 shown in FIG. 2, the maximum capacity or number of closely following short articles that may be handled is three articles, i.e., the lengths of three closely following short articles may be measured before the leading one of the three articles must be folded to make available fold counters for a fourth closely following short article. It will be readily apparent that more than three closely following short articles can be measured before the leading one is folded merely by providing additional first fold and second fold counters and additional outputs from the associated shift registers together with the necessary gating means.

It should be readily understood that during normal operation of the control circuit 42 the articles being folded will not always be closely following and will not necessarily all be short articles or long articles, but may be articles of mixed length spaced at various distances. For example, a first article may be passing sensor 30 in preparation for its second fold while a second long article is still moving past'sensor 28. The only limitations on the operation of the control circuit 42 are that the maximum length of an article must not be such that its midlength passes sensor 30 before its trailing edge passes sensor 28 and the closely following shortarticle limitation, previously mentioned. For purposes of best describing the operation of the control circuit 42, however, the measuring of the full lengths of the maximum number of closely following articles that the control circuit 42 will handle has been described. Clarity in the description is added by separately describing the folding operation of these articles.

When the leading edge of the first article reaches sensor 30, the positive DC voltage V is applied to an input of each of the AND gates 112, 114 and 116. Since the shift register 70 is still in its initial state in which a signal is fed by output lead 113 to an input AND gate 106, the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate from generator 46 will pass through AND gate 106 to AND gate 112. The AND gate 112 has been opened by the application to one of its inputs of the positive DC voltage V and therefore the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate will be gated by it to first fold counter 72. The first fold counter 72 will make one count for each pulse of the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate. As previously stated, the count capacity remaining on the first fold counter 72 is representative of the full length of the first article measured at a pulse per inch rate. Since the pulse per inch pulse rate being applied to the first fold counter 72 is twice the rate of the 10 pulse per inch pulse rate applied to the front counter 58, the full count capacity of the first fold counter 72 i will be filled and an output signal produced when the midpoint of the first article is present at the sensor 30. When the maximum count capacity of the first fold counter 72 is filled, it will also reset itself to zero count. The output signal of the first fold counter 72 is amplified by one-shot multivibrator 94 and connected to an input of shift register 70 to shift the shift register 70 into its next state in which an output signal is fed to an input of AND gate 108 through output lead 115.

During the time the first article is present at the sensor and the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate is being applied to first fold counter 72, to the counter 72 produces a 10 pulse per inch pulse rate at an output of itsvfirst bit (not shown). Since this 10 pulse per inch pulse rate is applied to an input of AND gate 119 and since the signal from lead 113 is also applied to an input of gate 119 while the first article is present at sensor 30, the 10 pulse per inch pulse rate from counter 72 is gated to second fold counter 124 until counter 72 produces an output signal indicating the midpoint of the first article. Since the 10 pulse per inch pulse rate produced by the counter 72 is equal to the 10 pulse per inch pulse rate that was applied to the front counter 58, but the pulse rate from counter 72 is applied to second fold counter 124 for only the time that one-half the first article length is present at sensor 30, the portion of the unfilled count capacity of second fold counter 124 is representative ofthe one-half length of the first article length measured at a 10 pulse per inch rate.

From the operation of the control circuit 42 as described to this point, it can be readily seen that thesecond fold counters 124, 126 and 128 and circuit components associated therewith such as shift register 120 and selector means 136 are not utilized in measuring an article at first sensor 28 until the trailing edge of the article leaves the sensor 28. Sharing of the first and second fold logics by applying a 10 pulse per inch pulse rate to the second fold counters 124, 126 and 128 from one of the first fold counters for the time the article is present at second sensor 30 rather than when the article is present at the first sensor 28 results in the second fold counters 124, 126 and 128 being occupied only when the trailing edge of the article leaves the first sensor 28 and the 500'kilocycle per second pulse is applied to the second fold counters. In this manner, the second fold counters 124, 126 and 128 remain free for a longer period of time per article so that the control 42 can handle shorter length articles and/or a greater number of articles at the same time.

As shown in FIG. 2, the output signal of the first fold counter 72 is fed to the time delay means 56 which, after providing a time delay, produces an output signal which actuates the first fold mechanism 34. The first fold mechanism 34 ,ejects an air blast at the first article to foldit and move it into engagement with the conveyor belt 6 and the roller 16, as shown in FIG. 1. The time delay is such that folding is delayed until the midpoint of the article has passed from sensor 30 and is in a position where the air blast can effectively make a fold. The time delay is also such that, upon the, completion of the fold, the leading edge of the once folded article will have moved along its path of travel to the third measuring location indicated by arrow 32 in FIG. 1

The output signal from the time delaycmeans56 also functions to turn the flip-flop 144 ON so that a low voltage signal appears on the output lead 33 to the-gate 164 to initiate gating of the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate from generator 46' to second fold counter 124. Applicationof the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate and measuring of the onc'e f olded article-is thus initiated substantially at the time the leading edge ofthe folded article reaches the third measuring location 32. Up until, the time the flip-flop 144 is tumed'ONand the article reaches location 32, the measuring for the second fold is controlled by the first fold logic. After flip-flop 144 is turned ON and the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate is gated to the second fold counter. the second fold logic controls second fold measuringflzl he 20 pulse per inch pulse rate from generator 46 is gated to the second fold counter 124 because theshift register 122 is still in its initial state in which a signal is caused to be fed on outp'ut lead 165 to an input of AND gate 158. The AND gate 158 is thus open and the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate passes through it to the input of AND gate 164. The second fold counter 124 makes one count for each pulse of a pulse rate applied to it until its maximum count capacity is filled when it resets itself to zero count and produces an output signal. Since the count capacity now remaining on the second fold counter 124 is representative of one half of the length of the first article and the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate now being appliedto it has a rate twice that of the 10 pulse per inch pulse rate that was applied to the front counter 58, the maximum count capacity of the second fold counter 124 will be filled when one fourth of the full length of the first article has passed the measuring lo' cation 32, i.e., when the midpoint of the once folded first article is directly opposite the location 32..The output signal of the second fold counter 124 is applied to delay means 37 and is fed through one-shot multivibrator 146 and connected to an input of shift register 122 and to flip-flop 144 to turn flip-flop 144 OFF. The application of the output signal of the second fold counter 124 to the shift register 122 shifts the shift register 122 to its next state in which a signal is fed by output lead 167 to an input of the AND gate 160. After a time delay by delay means 37 sufficient to allow movement of the midpoint of the folded article to a folding position adjacent the folding mechanism 36, a folding signal is applied by the delay means 37 to the second fold mechanism 36. The second fold mechanism 36 is thus actuated and caused to apply an air blast to the firstarticle to fold the article and move it into engagement with conveyor belts 6 and 8.

After the first article has passed from sensor 30 and while the first article is present at the measuring location 32, the second article moves past sensor 30 so that the high voltage V is applied to the input of AND gate 114 to open it. In the same manner as the circuit components in block 66 functioned to apply pulses to first fold counter 72 to locate the midpoint of the first article and fold the first article, the circuit components in block 66 now function to locate the midpoint of the second article and fold it. While the second article is present at the second sensor 30, a 10 pulse per inch pulse rate is gated through gate 121 to the second fold counter 126 in logic block 67 so that when the first fold counter 74 in logic block 66 produces an output signal the unfilled count capacity of the counter 126 is representative of the one-half length of the second article. The output signal of the time delay means 56 which actuates the folding operation is also fed to the shift rgister 70 to shift the shift register 70 to its third state in which a signal is fed on output lead 117 to an input of AND gate Subsequent to its first fold, the leading edge of the 'secjond article is positioned at the measuring location 32 in the same manner as the preceding first article. The output signal from the time delay means 56, which substantially coincides with the positioning of the leading edge of the second article at" measuring location 32, also turns the flip-flop 144 ON to initiate measuring control by the second fold logic and gating of the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate to'second fold counter 126. In a manner similar to the operation of the second fold counter I24 for the I'mtl article the second fold counter I26 resets itself to zero count when its unfilled count capacity is filled and produces an output signal whichturns the flip-flop 144 OFF, shifts the shift register 122 to its next stage and actuates the second fold means 39 to fold the second article. The shift register 122 is'now in its third state in which a signal is fed on output lead 169 to an input of AND gate 162 open.

After the second article has moved past sensor'30 and is present at measuring location 32, a third article may move past sensor 30 to apply the high DC voltage V to the input of AND gate 116 to thereby open it. The shift register 70 is now in its third state in which a signal is fed on output lead 117 to AND gate 110 to maintain AND gate 110 open so that the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate from the generator 46 passes through AND gates 110 and 116 to the first'fold counter 76. While the 20 pulse per inch pulse rate is applied to the counter 76, the counter 76 is producing a pulseper inch pulse rate which is gated to the second fold counter 128, The measuring and folding operation for the first and second folds of the third article then proceeds in the same manner as the measuring and folding of the first and second articles. When the maximum count capacity of the first fold counter 76 is filled, it resets itself to zero count and produces an output signal which is fed through one-shot multivibrator 98 to shift register 70 to shift the shift register 70 back to its initial state in' which a signal is fed on output lead 113 to an input of AND gate 106. The second fold counter 128 functions in the same manner to return the shift register 122 back to its initial state.

It will be understood that the operation of the control circuit 42 in general, and the shift registers and counters in blocks 66 and 67 in particular, is continuous sothat an unbroken series of articles may be measured as the shift registers shift through their states to match the proper counter with the corresponding article moving through the folding machine.

The front counter 58 will repeatedly accumulate a count representative of the full length of an article and reset itself to zero count in preparation for the next following article.

While a specific embodiment of the invention has been shown herein, it will be realized that'many modification thereof are feasible without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is consequently intended in the appended claims to cover all such variations and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

lclaim:

l. A control means for measuring fractional portions of the full lengths of a succession of moving articles comprising:

drive means for moving said articles along a predetermined path;

first means responsive to the presence of a moving article at a first location along its path for measuring the full length of each of said articles and producing output information representative of the full length of each article;

second means responsive to said output information and to the presence of the same article ata second location along its path for measuring a first fractional portion of the length of the article and producing an indication after termination of the measuring of the first fractional portion; and

third means connected to the first means and responsive to said output information for measuring a second fractional portion of the length of each of said'articles, said third means being responsive to said indication of the second means to initiate measuring of the second fractional portion of the article.

2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said second means includes time delay means for providing a time delay between the termination of the measuring of said first fractional portion and the indicationproduced by said second means. I y

3. The combination according to claim 1 wherein:

said second means produces output information representative of a portion of said first fractional portion of the length of an article while said, first fractional portion is being measured at the secondlocation; and said output information representative of a portion of said first fractional portion of the lengthiof an article is applied to said third means and said third means is responsive thereto in measuring said second fractional portion of the length of the article. 4. The combination according to claim 1 wherein: said first means includes first sensormeans positioned at said first location and connected tosaid first means for indicating the presence of an article at the first location; and f said second means includes second sensor means positioned at said second location and connected to said second means for indicating the presence of an article at the second location. 5. In an apparatus for measuring fractional parts of the full lengths of a succession of moving articles and including pulsing means for providing a plurality of electrical pulse rates for each increment of length of a moving article, an oscillator for producing high frequency electric pulses, a first counter responsive to electric pulses applied thereto and having a fixed count capacity at which said first counter produces an output signal, first counter means having at. least one preset count capacity equal to the fixed count capacity of said first counter and being responsive to electric-pulses applied thereto for producing an output signal when said preset count capacity isfilled, a plurality of sensing locations spaced apart along the path of said moving articles, means for applying a lower one of said electric pulse rates to said first counter when a moving article is present at a first one of said sensing locations, whereby a portion of said fixed count capacity of the first counter proportionate to the full length of themoving. article is filled. means for applying the high frequency electric pulses from said oscillator to said first counter and said first counter means until the fixed count capacity of said first counter is filled when said article passes from the first one of said sensing locations whereby the unfilled portion of the fixed count capacity of said first counter is filled and a portion of the preset count capacity of said first counter means equal to the unfilled portion of the fixed count capacity of said first counter is filled. means for applying a higher one of said electric pulserates to said first counter means when said article is present at a second one of said plurality of sensing locations whereby the unfilled portion of the preset count capacity of said first counter means is filled and said first counter means produces an output signal indicating a first measured fractional part of the full length of the moving article, the combination comprissaid article passes from the'first one of said sensing locations whereby a portion of the preset count capacity of said second counter means equal to the unfilled portion of the fixed capacity of said first counter is filled;

said first counter means being responsive during application thereto of the higher electric pulse rate to produce a low electric pulse rate having a rateless than that of said higher electric pulse rate;

means for applying said low electricpulse rate to said second counter means whereby a portion of the preset count capacity of said second counter means equal to a fraction of the portion of the preset count capacity of the first counter means filled by said higher electric pulse rate is filled;

time delay means responsive to the output signal from said first counter means to provide a time delay and produce an output signal at the end ofthe time delay indicating the position of said first measured fractional part of the full length ofthe moving article; and

second selector means for applying the higher one of said plurality of electric pulse rates to said second counter means in response to the output signal from said time delay means whereby initiation of the filling of the unfilled portion of the preset count capacity of said second counter means substantially coincides with said position indication of the first measured fractional part of said article by said time delay means, the preset count capacity of said second counter means is filled and said second counter means produces an output signal indicating a second measured fractional part of the full length of the moving article.

6. The combination according to claim wherein:

said means for applying the low electric pulse rate to the second counter means includes gate means having an input and an output connected to said second counter means and gating the low pulse rate to the second counter means when a signal is provided to said input; and

I said means for applying a higher one of said electric pulse rates to said first counter means produces an output signal to said gate means input while said article is present at the second sensing location whereby said gate means gates said low electric pulse rate to the second counter means while said article is present at said second sensing location. 7. The combination according to claim 6 wherein: said first counter means includes a plurality of second counters each having a preset count capacity equal to the fixed count capacity of said first counter; said second counter means includes a plurality of third counters each having a preset count capacity equal to the fixed count capacity of said first counter; said means for applying a higher one of said electric pulse rates to said first counter means includes circuit means for sequentially producing a plurality of gating signals and a separate first gate circuit for each one of said second counters, each first gate circuit having an output connected to a second counter and a pair of inputs respectively connected to said higher pulse rate and to said circuit means and sequentially gating the higher pulse rate to said plurality of second counters in response to the gating signals from said circuit means; and said gate means includes a separate second gate circuit for each one of said third counters, each second gate circuit having an output connected to a third counter and an input connected to said circuit means for receiving one of said gating signals, said low electric pulse rate being gated to a third counter while the second gate circuit connected to the third counter receives a gating signal at its input whereby said low electric pulse rate is applied to said third counters for the same time period and in the same sequence as the higher pulse rate is applied to said second counters. 8. The combination according to claim 6 wherein: said first counter means comprises a plurality of bits, a first one ofsaid bits having an input receiving said higher pulse rate and an output producing said low pulse rate when said higher pulse rate is applied to said first bit; and said gate means has another input connected to the output of said first bit whereby said low pulse rate is supplied to said gate means. 9. The combination according to claim 5 wherein: said second selector means includes a gate circuit having an output connected to said second counter means, a first input and a second input connected to said higher pulse rate; and further comprising flip-flop means having an output connected to said first input and being responsive to the output signal from said time delay means to provide 16 a gating signal to said gate circuit whereby said higher pulse rate is gated to the second counter means.

10. In an apparatus for measuring and folding successive traveling articles and including generating means for produc- 5 ing a high and a first low electrical pulse rate respectively proportionate to the speed of travel of said article. oscillator means for producing a very high electrical pulse frequency. first, second and third counting means for counting electrical pulses and respectively producing an output signal upon the counting of a predetermined number of electrical pulses by each of said counting means, a first gating means responsive to the presence of a traveling article at a first position along its path of travel for applying said first low pulse rate to said first counting means, a second gating means for applying said very high pulse frequency to said second counting means when the traveling article passes from said first position and responsive to the presence of the same article at the second position along its path of travel for applying said high pulse rate to said second counting means whereby the second counting means counts up to said predetermined number of pulses and produces an output signal, a third gating means for applying said very high pulse frequency to said third counting means, a fourth gating means responsive to the passing of the traveling article from said first position and to the output signal from said first counting means to gate said very high pulse frequency to said first counting means and to said second and third gating means, first folding means responsive to a folding signal to fold said article and second folding means responsive to the output signal of said third counting means to fold said article a second time, the combination wherein:

said second counting means isoperative to produce a second low electrical pulse rate while said article is present at the second position and said high pulse rate is applied to the second counting means; and comprising fifth gating means for applying said second low pulse rate to said third counting means;

time delay means connected to said first folding means and responsive to the output signal from said second counting means to provide a time delay and produce a folding signal at the end of the time delay whereby said first'folding means folds said article and an' edge of said folded article is momentarily located at a third position along the path of said article; and

a sixth gating means responsive to the folding signal from the time delay means to gate said high pulse rate to the third counting means whereby said third counting means starts counting high rate pulses substantially when said edge of the folded article is at said third position and produces an output signal to the second folding means upon the counting of said predetermined number of pulses to cause the second folding operation. 1

11. A combination according to claim 10 wherein said second folding means includes time delay means responsive to 55 the output signal from the third counting means to provide a time delay and produce an output signal actuating the second folding means.

12. The combination according to claim 10 wherein:

said second counting means includes a plurality of second counters each having an input connected to said second gating means and producing said second low pulse rate when the high pulse rate is applied to said input;

said third counting means includes a plurality of third counters corresponding to said plurality of second counters and each having an input for receiving said second low pulse rate and producing an output signal for actuating the second folding means; and i said fifth gating means includes a plurality of fifth gat means corresponding to said plurality of second and third counters, each of said fifth gate means having a second input and an output respectively connected to a corresponding second and third counter for gating the second low pulse rate to the connected .third counter.

13. The combination according to claim 12 wherein said 75 second gating means includes: J

a plurality of second gate means corresponding to said plurality of fifth gate means and second counters, each of said second gate means having a first input, a second input energized when an article is present at said second position and an output connected to a corresponding second counter for gating said high pulse rate to the connected second counter when the providing of a signal to the first input and the energization of the second input of the second gate means simultaneously occur; and

first selector means having a plurality of sequentially energized outputs separately connected to the first inputs of a corresponding second gate means and fifth gate means and producing a signal to the connected first inputs when energized whereby said high and second low pulse rates are respectively simultaneously gated to each corresponding second and third counter in the sequence of energization of said selector means outputs.

14. The combination according to claim 13 further comprisa first article sensor located at said first position along the path of travel of said articles and connected to said first gating means, said first sensor producing an output signal to the first gating means when an article is present at said first position to gate the first low pulserate to said first counting means; and

a second article sensor located at saidsecond position along the path of travel of said articles and connected to the second input of each of the second gate means, said second sensor producing an output signal energizing the second inputs of each of the second gate means when an article is present at said second position.

15. The combination according to claim 14 wherein said sixth gating means includes:

a plurality of sixth gate means corresponding to said plurality of third counters. each of said sixth gate means having third and fourth inputs and an output connected to a corresponding third counter for gating said high pulse rate to the connected third counter when a signal is simultaneously provided to both said third and fourth inputs;

flip-flop means having an output connected to each of the fourth inputs of gating means and a first input connected to the time delay means, said flip-flop means being responsive to the folding signal from the time delay means to produce a continuous gating signal to all of the fourth inputs; and

second selector means having a plurality of outputs sequentially energized in the same sequence asthe energization of the outputs of said first selector means. each of said second selector means outputs being connected to a third input of a different sixth gate means and producing a gating signal to the connected third input when energized whereby said high pulse rate is gated to said plurality of third counters in the sequence of energization of said second selector means outputs.

16. The combination according to claim 15 wherein:

said second counters have a count capacity which is filled upon the counting of a predetermined number of electrical pulses and said second counters each produce an output signal when their respective count capacities are filled; and

said first selector means is connected to each of said second counters and said first selector means outputs are sequentially energized in response to the output signals from said second counters whereby said high and secondlow pulse rates are respectively simultaneously gated to corresponding second and third counters in the sequence of filling of the count capacities of the second counters.

17. The combination according to claim 16 wherein:

said third counters have a count capacity which is filled upon the counting of a predetermined number of electrical pulses and said third counters each produce an output signal when their respective count capacities are filled;

and said second selector means IS connected to each of said third counters and said second selector means outputs are sequentially energized in response to the output signals from said third counters whereby said high pulse rate is gated to the third counters in the sequence of filling of the count capacities of the third counters.

18. The combination according'to claim 17 wherein said flip-flop means has a second input connected to each of said third counters for receiving the output signals of the third counters and being responsive to a signal at said second input to terminate production of said continuous gating signal whereby the gating of the high pulse rate to a third counter is terminated.

Patent Citations
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US3363897 *Mar 9, 1965Jan 16, 1968Allis Louis CoControl for folding machines
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3706450 *Oct 20, 1970Dec 19, 1972Jensen Machinery IncFolding apparatus
US4264066 *Apr 23, 1979Apr 28, 1981Mayflower Electronic Devices, Inc.Machine for folding curtains and the like
US4481007 *Feb 21, 1984Nov 6, 1984Maschinenbau Oppenweiler Binder Gmbh & Co.High-speed paper folding machine
US4548595 *Jul 25, 1983Oct 22, 1985Opelika Manufacturing Corp.Folder
Classifications
U.S. Classification493/19, 493/36, 377/6, 368/119, 493/418
International ClassificationD06F89/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F89/00
European ClassificationD06F89/00