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Publication numberUS3553863 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 12, 1971
Filing dateJun 16, 1969
Priority dateJun 16, 1969
Publication numberUS 3553863 A, US 3553863A, US-A-3553863, US3553863 A, US3553863A
InventorsSjostrom Robert L
Original AssigneeSheetmaster Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fabric spreader
US 3553863 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 12, 1971 R; 'sJo'smQM 3,553,863


2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June :16, 1969 United States Patent O 3,553,863 FABRIC SPREADER Robert L. Sjostrom,'Boca Raton, Fla., assignor to Sheetmaster Corporation, Boca Raton, Fla., a corporation of Florida I Filed June 16, 1969, Ser. No. 833,433

Int. Cl. D06f 6'7/04 US. Cl. 38-143 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF'THE DISCLOSURE A machine for spreading textile fabrics such as sheets I SUBJECT MATTER OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a means for spreading non self-supporting textile articles such as towels and pillow cases for feeding into ironers and the like and in particular reiate to a convertible spreader useful for both sheets and small textile articles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Feeding small textile articles in a linen and laundry supply operation to an ironer is a time consuming operation which ordinarily requires employment of skilled operators who individually lay the small articles successively onto the ironer in adjacent lanes. Because of the skill required there have been several attempts to develop commercial spreading machines that substitute for such hand operations. These machines include those illustrated in Letters Patent 3,386,192. The means which have been used heretofore are not completely satisfactory for all linen and laundry supply operation requirements. For one thing, such machines are designed primarily for handling either very large articles, such as sheets, or alternately, small articles fed in multiple lanes. And while there may have been some attempts to provide means for converting these spreaders from multiple to single lane operation such attempts have not been commercially successful.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved spreading mechanism for use in conjunction with rapid and efficient feeding of small articles in multiple lanes to ironers and the like. Its also an object of the present invention to provide a spreader of the type described which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture,

compact, not likely to break down, which can be used with conventional vacuum and electrical sources, and which eliminates the need for an operator to hold a small article once the lead edge has been placed on the spreader. A further object of this invention is to provide a small article spreader which may be used in conjunction with any conventionel fiatwork ironer to assure proper feeding to the ironer in multiple or single lanes depending on the article size. A further important feature of the present invention is to provide an improved means for spreading either small piece or large piece textile articles while minimizing operator fatigue. Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved means for converting a spreader from one adapter to handle multiple lanes to a single spreader and vice versa. A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved means for substituting a single arcuate lip for a lip having a plurality of arcuate surfaces defining a plurality of lanes simultaneously with the substitution of a plurality of individually controlled pressure rolls used individually for each lane with a single roll used for a single lane machine.

In the present inventionthere is provided a small piece textile article spreading means which consists essentially of a plurality of parallel endless: belts having surfaces adapted to move textile articles in a forward direction. Elongated means are provided for air suction longitudinally of the rear and below the ends of the surfaces over which the textile articles are moved. A plurality of lips extend widthwise of the spreader with one having a lower edge formed with a plurality of arcuate segments and the other having a lower edge arcuately curved over a distance at least equal to a plurality of said arcuate segments. Means are provided for selectively positioning the lips in operative relation with the elongated means. In a preferred embodiment there is also provided two sets of roller means with one set having a length corresponding to the length of the single arcuate lip and the other roller means consisting of a plurality of roller individually supported and corresponding in length to the individual arcuate segments of the other lip.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a spreader embodying the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a detailed somewhat schematic cross sectional view looking from the right of the spreader illustrated in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The spreader generally shown in FIG. 1 is ordinarily used at the feed end of the ironer. In this arrangement forward end .1 of the spreader is rolled up to and is secured at the feed end of an ironer so that textile sheets being fed forwardly to the forward end 1 will move onto the conveyor belt of the ironer for subsequent ironing. In order to properly position the spreader illustrated in FIG. 1 at the end of an ironer the spreader is built on a frame having telescopic legs 2 and 3 for vertically adjusting the spreader so that the forward end 1 may be positioned to feed textile articles onto the belt of the ironer. Preferably these telescopic legs 2 and 3 which may be locked at any suitable height by conventional means are mounted on a base 4 consisting of a series of parallel struts and cross members 5 and 6. The struts 5 are preferably provided with wheels 7 that may be locked by conventional means to prevent inadvertent movement once the spreader is properly positioned. Suitably supported on legs 2 and 3 are a pair of supports 8 which in turn support a vacuum box 9. The vacuum box 9, also illustrated in FIG. 2, consists of an enclosed box having sidewalls 10 at either side which are interconnected by a. series of walls including forward wall 11, rear wall 12, bottom 13 and upper wall 14. The upper wall 14 extends rearwardly from the forward wall and has an arcuate portion 19 to accommodate a roll 43. A lip 20 is integral with the rear edge of wall 14. This lip 20 extends from its upper edge 21 angularly downwardly and rearwardly with the lower lip edge 22 formed with a series of scalloped segments in spaced relation to the upper edge 23 of the rear wall 12. The scallops of edge 22 of the lip 20 are defined by arcs of uniform size and dimension. Each of these arcuate or scalloped sections of the lip has a length equal to the length of a lane over which small piece textile articles travel. Each scallop extends from its outer ends 25, coincident with the side of the lane, to a maximum depth 26, coincident with the center of the particular lane with which it is associated. The maximum depth of each scalloped portion may vary but preferably the greatest length of the lip should not project below the upper edge 23 of the rear wall 12 and preferably should extend downwardly to a point at which the angle formed by a horizontal plane extending through the upper edge 23 and a plane extending from the upper edge 23 to the lowest portion of the lip 22 is approximately 45. The minimum height of the lip 20 may vary although this depends primarily upon the particular material with which the machine is to be used. A suction or vacuum source is rpovided for the vacuum box 9. This source may comprise a motor and fan arrangement which may be housed in a suitable housing supported on a cross brace 5 beneath the vacuum box.

The housing within which the fan is contained is connected individually to each of a series of separate compartments by connecting air tubes or hoses 31. The compartments divide the box 9 into a series of compartments each isolated from the adjacent ones so that the air suction is individually controlled. The ends of these tubes or hoses 31 which open into the vacuum box may be individually controlle dby any suitable valve arrangement such as valves 32A to control the flow of air to any of the individual compartments into which the box 9 is divided. A suitable valve arrangement may comprise a butterfly valve pivoted by a hinge at the upper end of each of the tubes 31. The motor and fan arrangement contained within the housing 30 should be sufiicient to effect substantial suction through each compartment of the vacuum box 9 so that air will be drawn through the openings 36 between the upper edge 23 and the scalloped lower edge 22 thereby drawing any textile article inwardly towards these openings and tightly over the lower scalloped edge 22 and toward the upper edge 23.

Positioned above the vacuum box 9 is a conveyor belt means generally indicated at 40. This means consists of a series of short parallel endless belts 41 which are mounted to rotate on a forward roll 42 an da rear roll 43. Rolls 42 and 43 may be journaled at their ends on the end frame plates 44 and 45 which in turn may be suitably secured to the support 8 by welding or other suitable means. Belts 41 have an upper surface 46 which is considerably shorter than the overall width of the machine. The rear roll 43 has a surface which arcuately conforms with the arcuate portion 19 of the wall 14. The lip 20 extends substantially at a tangential angle from the roll 43 along a line preferably and approximately coinciding with the line defined by horizontal plane passing through the axis of the roll 43. These belts 41 are suitably driven by a motor (not shown) which is connected by a chain drive or belts to the drive roll 43 of the belts through a suitable connecting sprocket or pulley. Extending between the end plates 44 and 45 is a rectangular shaft 50. This shaft 50 is suitably journaled in the plates for rotation over at least a 90 angle of rotation.

Secured to this shaft 50 is the lever arm 51 that is adapted to rotate the shaft over an angle of approximately 90 or more. Radially projecting from one surface of the rectangular shaft are brackets 55 which have journaled between them elongated shaft 56 on which is carried rotatable doffer roll 57. The rotatable roll is substantially coextensive with and corresponds in length to the Width of the single lane that is adapted to be used in connection with the machine in single lane operation usage. Also. radially projecting from the rectangular shaft 50 but preferably from the other side are a series of five weighted doffer rolls 58 longitudinally aligned and adjacent one another. These rolls 58 are supported by brackets 59. The brackets 59 have depending ears or lugs 60 at opposite ends to which the rolls 58 are journaled. The brackets are also provided with a tab 6i1 extending centrally thereof and pivotally secured to one surface 62 of the square shaft 50. The rolls 58 are restricted in pivotal movement in one direction by surface 62 and in the other direction by a frame elemet 63 having a bight that spans the tab 61 with parallel legs of the frame 63 at either end of the bight being suitably secured to the surface '62 of the square shaft '50.

Keyed to the shaft supporting the square shaft 50 is a sprocket 71. A corresponding sprocket 72 is mounted on a jack shaft 73. The jack shaft 73 further has a bracket 74 secured to it with the other end of the bracket secured to a lip 75, hereafter described. A continuous sprocket chain 77 interengages and encompasses the sprocket 71 and 73 thereby causing the sprockets to rotate with rotation of the square shaft 50. The lip has a smooth upper edge and a single elongated arcuate lower edge 78 extending over a distance at least equal to the plurality of arcuate segments formed by edge 22. The lip 75 is adapted to be pivoted from the position illustrated in FIG. 2 to a position as illustrated by the dotted line 75A in which it overlies the lip 20. Movement of the lip 75 to and from the position 75A is eflfected by pivoting rotation of the bracket 74 on movement of the chain 77. In the conversion of this lip 75 to the position illustrated in dotted outline in FIG. 2 in which a spreader functions as a simple lane device, handle 51 is pivoted from a position shown in solid outline to the position shown in dotted outline. This causes rotation of the square cross section shaft 50 and a consequent pivoting of the plurality of rolls 58 from the position shown in solid outline to the position shown in dotted outline and a corresponding move of the roll 57 from the position in solid outline to the position in dotted outline. When roll 57 is in contact with the surface 46 it is forward of the position that the plurality of rolls 58 assume when in contact with the upper surface 46. This feature is important since it is preferable that a single roll should be relatively forward when feeding larger size sheets such as tablecloths. With the pivoting movement or interchange of the rolls to an operative position there is a corresponding shift of the lip 75 to the position 75A illustrated in dotted outline. Lip 20 is essentially nonoperational with such a shift since the lip 75 closely overlies it.

I claim:

1. A machine for spreading textile articles comprising feed means for forwardly feeding successive textile articles,

means forming an aperture extending across the length of said feed means through which air is drawn to suck said articles toward said aperture,

a pair of elongated lips, support means supporting said lips for positioning adjacent to said aperture whereby said articles may be selectively engaged by either of said lips as said articles are drawn toward said aperture, said support means including means for moving at least one of said lips to and from said position adjacent said aperture.

2. A machine as set forth in claim 1 wherein a first lip has an edge which is arcuate and a second of said lips has a plurality of arcuate segments arranged in longitudinal alignment.

3. A machine as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means for moving at least one of said lips includes means pivotally supporting said one lip, and actuator means for pivoting said one lip to and from said position adjacent said aperture.

4. A machine as set forth in claim 3 including a plurality of roll means,

means for selectively interengaging dilferent ones of said roll means with said feed means.

5. A. machine as set forth in claim 4 wherein a first roll means comprises an elongated roll and a second roll means Comprises a series of individual rolls.

6. A machine as set forth in claim 5 including means for operatively interengaging said means for selectively interengaging different ones of said roll means and said means for moving at least one of said lips for simultaneously positioning in selected positions said roll means and said lips.

7. A machine as set forth in claim 6 wherein said means for selectively interengagin-g different ones of said roll means with said feed means comprises an elongated shaft positioned adjacent and extending across said feed means,

means for rotating said shaft on its axis, means securing said difierent roll means to spaced parts of said shaft.

8. A machine as set forth in claim 7 including a plurality of lanes with said individual rolls and individual arcuate segments each ailgned with a different lane.

9. A machine as set forth in claim 8 including a lever secured to said shaft for rotation thereof, said means securing said roll means to said shaft comprising means References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,103,755 9/1963 Hajos 38-443 3,315,385 4/1967 Taylor 38-143 3,386,192 6/1968 Fornaciari 38-443 3,414,997 12/ 1968 Henry 38-143 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner G. V. LARKI'N, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 21-41; 271-45

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3664046 *May 18, 1970May 23, 1972Mc Graw Edison CoMultiple station laundry feeder and control therefor
US3772808 *Apr 19, 1972Nov 20, 1973Super Laundry Mach Co IncFlatwork feeding apparatus
US4729181 *Sep 29, 1986Mar 8, 1988Weir Henry JLaundry feeder
US5046272 *May 1, 1990Sep 10, 1991Kimberly-Clark CorporationFluid-operated stabilizing apparatus and method
US5172502 *Jun 21, 1991Dec 22, 1992Chicago Dryer CompanyFlatwork feeder having flatwork sensing and clamping stations
US6826856Aug 6, 2003Dec 7, 2004Finishtech Ltd.Laundry article spreader apparatus and method
US6883258Aug 6, 2003Apr 26, 2005Finish Tech., Ltd.Spreader apparatus and method for articles of laundry
US7127840Sep 17, 2004Oct 31, 2006Finishtech, Inc.Laundry article spreader apparatus and method
US7555857Sep 13, 2006Jul 7, 2009Mccabe Stanley GArticle of laundry spreader and stacker
US7827709Jun 4, 2007Nov 9, 2010Mccabe Stanley GLinen spreader apparatus and method
US7836617Dec 21, 2007Nov 23, 2010Mccabe Stanley GLinen spreader apparatus and method
US20050028409 *Aug 6, 2003Feb 10, 2005Finish Tech, Ltd.Spreader apparatus and method for articles of laundry
US20050028410 *Sep 17, 2004Feb 10, 2005Finishtech, Ltd.Laundry article spreader apparatus and method
US20080092415 *Sep 13, 2006Apr 24, 2008Mccabe Stanley GArticle of laundry spreader and stacker
US20080295367 *Dec 21, 2007Dec 4, 2008Mccabe Stanley GLinen spreader apparatus and method
US20080298930 *Jun 4, 2007Dec 4, 2008Mccabe Stanley GLinen spreader apparatus and method
DE2906275A1 *Feb 19, 1979Aug 28, 1980Andreas StichnothMangle fabric feed - has swing action on curved deflecting path to keep fabric straight and smooth
EP0016341A1 *Feb 18, 1980Oct 1, 1980Andreas StichnothDevice for feeding washed roll-towels into an ironing machine
U.S. Classification38/143, 271/273, 414/13
International ClassificationD06F67/04, D06F67/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F67/04
European ClassificationD06F67/04