US 3554354 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
i United States Patent Orland B. Reid Kenilworth, N.J.;
Joseph W; A. Off, Dallas, Tex. 746,660
July 22, 1968 Jan 12, 1971 The Singer Company New York, N.Y.
a corporation of New Jersey Inventors Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee DEVICE FOR TURNING FABRIC PANELS 2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
u.s. c|..'. 198/33 1m. Cl 865g 47/24 Field of Search l98/33R4, 40; 270/58 [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,047,288 7/1962 Ramm 198/33(.4)X
Primary Examiner-Richard E. Aegerter Assistant ExaminerD0uglas D. Watts Attorneys-Marshall J. Breen, Chester A. Williams, Jr. and
Robert E Smith ABSTRACT: A device for turning fabric panels to present a predetermined surface thereof upwardly is disclosed with a conveyor for transferring successive fabric panels to an operating station. Associated therewith is mechanism automatically responsive to the presence of a fabric panel with the wrong side up for operating the device for turning the fabric panels.
"mcmtmi'ii'" -55 SHEEI10F2 INVENTORS Orland B. Reid y Joseph TTORNE Y l DEVICE FOR TURNING FABRIC PANELS BACKGROUND OF THEINVENTION Many automatic machines exist which are capable of operating in seriatim on fabric panels in various stages of manufacture of garments and other textile articles. It is known dom arrangement with: respect to the surface which is uppermost. Such nonuniform arrangement of fabric panels in a' stack frequently stems fromthe way they. are originally cut, i.e., a bolt of material is spread on a table in many superposed folds and by cutting perpendicularly through the'folded assembly many panels .are'cut simultaneously but with a portion of the panels being wrong-side-up. To rearrange the fabric panels manually in the stack would be prohibitively costly and would defeat the purpose of automatic mechanisms for operating untended upon fabric panels in seriatim.
Techniques are known in regard to items other than fabric workpieces for turning wrong-side-up hems so that all are delivered right-side-up. The US. Pat. No. 2,929,490 of Mar. 22, 1960 to .M. W. Steward discloses a mail handling apparatus which turns letters to deliver each with the stamp in preselected orientation. The U.S. Pat No- 3,298,498 of. Jan. 17, 1967 relates to'a fabricinverter on which the decision as to which pieces are to be inverted is programmed into the controls. This patented construction cannot accept'random-arrangements of fabric pieces on the conveyor, that is; the fabric pieces must be delivered to the inverter in the predetermined sequence which is programmed into the controls, such asxalternately faceup and facedown;
' YSUMNIARYOF THE INVENTION It isan object of this, invention to provide adevice for tuming randorrtly oriented fabric panels into an oriented arrangement with a predetermined surface upwardly as the fabric panels are being transportedto an o'peratingstation. v This invention comprehends the provision of automatic controls for sensing which surface of successive fabric panels is uppermost on a conveyor, and mechanism responsive I to such automatic controls for selectively rendering the fabricturning device operative only when required.
It isalso an object of this invention to, provide the aforesaid fabric-turning device in atom which is compact and may be utilized conveniently in 3 association with: preexistingequipment for performing manufacturing operations on successively presented fabric panels.
DESCRIPTIONOF THE DRAWINGS With the above and additional objects and advantages in view as will hereinafter appear, this invention comprises the devices, combinations, and arrangements of partshereinafter described'and illustrated in the accompanyingdrawings of a preferred embodiment in which:
FIG. 1 represents a top planview of a fabric panel conveyor FIG. 7 is a schematic electrical and pneumatic diagram illustrating a control-arrangement for the fabric-turning device of this invention.
Referring to FIG. I of the drawings, a work fabric conveyor means is illustrated including a plurality of spaced conveyor belts 11 each directed about driver pulleys-l2 on a drive shaft '13 and each sustained on idler pulleys 14 on an idler shaft I5.
The drive shaft may be rotated from a power shaft 16 as by a belt 17 to move the upper run of the conveyor belts II in the direction of the arrow in FIG. I. It will be understood that the conveyor means disclosed is representative of any conveyor means which may be associated, for instance, with machinery for operating upon fabric workpieces'as by sewing, folding, cutting or the like.
Indicated generallyby the dashed line20 in FIG. I is a loading area on the conveyor means at; which fabricworkpieces 21 may be deposited in seriatim. The fabric workpieces may be delivered to the loading area 20 from another device from a stack of such fabric workpieces. This invention comprehends thedelivery of fabric workpieces in a random faceup or facedown orientation in the loading area 20.
Indicated generally by the dashed line 22 in FIG. I is a delivery area on the conveyor, within which area any desired operation may be performed or initiated on the workpieces, as
' for instance, a sewing operation, an operation combining the workpiece 21 with another workpiece, or a delivery of the workpiece to a stack by any known stacking mechanism.
The fabric-turning device of this invention comprises a unitary assembly supported adjacent to the conveyor means between the loading and delivery areas Q0 and 22. Preferably,
the fabric-turning device is carried on a base 30 fromwhich rise bearing brackets 3lxfor a rock shaft 32 which extends transversely across the conveyor means above the upper run of the conveyor belts 1 1. Fast upon therockshaft 32 is a rock frame 33 including spaced arms 34 which span at least one of the conveyor belts I1 and are located each arm above a space between adjacent ones of the conveyor belts. The specific form of the rock frame 33 including, for instance, the number of spaced rock arms 34 and the number of conveyor belts ll which'the spaced rock'arms span will depend upon the size and shape of the fabric workpiece to be turned. The rock frame illustrated in FIG. 1 has been found to operate successpieces .having the shape of the workpiece 21 in FIG.- 1.
Raised bosses 35 on the rock frame 33 sustain a pin 36'supporting an air cylinder37 having a supply line 38. The'piston rod 39 of the air cylinder 37 is of the type adapted tobe conveyor of FIG. [with the fabric panel conveyor of invention illustrated thereon in an at rest position.
FIG. 3 represents an elevational view, of a portion of the fabric-turning device of FIG. 2 illustrating the lowered position of the fabric clamp in readiness to turn a fabric panel.
retracted by a spring (not shown) and to be extended upon application of air under pressure to 'the air cylinder 37l' The piston rod 39 is secured by a clevis40 to onearm of =a;t encrank 41 pivoted on a fulcrum pin 42 set in bosses 43 oneon each of the rock .arms 34. A fabric clamping: plate is secured to one other arm of the bellcrank, spansithe roclearms 34 and thus cooperates with the rock arms to grip work -fabric thereon.
' 'Alsofast on the rockshaft'32 is an operating-.rockmmn50 which is pivoted as at 51 to the piston rod Sloffan air cylinder 53 of which the air supply line'is indicated at S I in'FIG. lfThe air cylinder 53 is supported between bosses5'5 'on the base 30 and may preferably be of the type in which thepiston rod 521s spring biased into the extended position as shown in FlGz2 and urged into retracted position asshown in-FIGS. 3 and-4 when airunder pressure is directed'to the air cylinder.
A workpiece detector unit indicated generally at 60 is carried on a bracket 61 secured as by screwtilomthe base 30.
The detector'unit is located in advance of the rock frame 33 considered in the direction of movement of the conveyor belts ll. Thedetectorunit comprises a light source-63 arranged to direct a beam of light onto one of the conveyor belts 11 over which the fabric workpieces 21 will pass. A-photocellofis directs light is formed of or surfaced with material having light-reflecting characteristics similar to that of one face which may be designated as the right face of the fabric workpieces 21 to be operated upon and different light-reflecting characteristics from that of the opposite wrong face of the workpiece material. In his manner fabric workpieces placed on the loading area 20 right-face-up will not be detected by the photocell as such workpieces pass thereunder, whereas fabric workpieces proceeding wrong-face-up will cause the detector unit to signal a change in the light-reflecting characteristics.
FIG. 7 illustrates schematically an electronic and pneumatic diagram indicating a preferred control arrangement by which the fabric-turning device of this instruction may be operated. The operation of this device is indicated in successive stages in FIGS. 2 to 6 which in conjunction with FIG. 7 will explain the operation.
As illustrated in FIG. 7, the photocell 64 of the detector unit 60 is connected electrically to provide an input DC signal level 69 to a differentiator 70 whenever presence of a wrong-sideup workpiece is sensed by the detector unit 60. In response to the onset of the signal level 69, the differentiator provides as an output a pulse 71. In response to the pulse 71, a squarewave generator 72 delivers to an operating coil 73 of a solenoid 74, a square-wave signal 75 of predetermined duration a energizing the solenoid 74 which may be arranged to open an air valve 76 connecting a source 77 of air under pressure with the cylinder 53. Referring to FIGS. 2, 3, 4, and 5, such operation of the solenoid 74 will cause the spaced rock arms 34 to be depressed immediately as illustrated in FIG. 3, to remain depressed for a predetermined length of time as illustrated in FIG. 4, and then to be raised as illustrated in FIG. 5. Preferably the duration aof the square-wave signal 75 will be preselected depending upon the speed of travel of the belts 11 and the distance between the detector unit 60 and the rock arms 34 so that the rock arms 34 will raise only after the leading edge of the fabric workpiece has traveled onto the depressed rock an'ns 34.
The pulse 71 provided as an output of the differentiator 70 is also received by a regulatable time-delaying device 78 which delivers as an output a pulse 79 after a preselected time delay. The delay device 78 may take a variety of forms such, for example, as an acoustical delay line. In response to the delayed pulse 79 a square-wave generator 80 delivers to an operating coil 81 a square-wave signal 83 of predetermined duration benergizing the solenoid 82 which may be arranged to open an air valve 84 connecting the source 77 of air under pressure with the cylinder 37. Referring to FIGS. 4, 5. and 6, such operation of the solenoid 82 will cause the clamping plate 44 to be depressed for a predetermined time as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 and then to be raised as illustrated in FIG. 6. Preferably the duration -b of the square-wave signal 83 will be preselected depending upon the length of the fabric workpiece and the speed of travel of the belts 11 so that the clamping plate 44 will grip the leading edge of the workpiece 21 until the trailing edge is completely inverted and drawn beneath the rock arms 34 as shown in FIG. 6. When the clamping plate 44 is raised, as shown in FIG. 6, the belts 11 will carry and deliver the inverted workpiece from the raised rock arms 34 to the operating area 22.
1. Apparatus for operating upon successive fabric workpieces on a continuous conveyor means automatically to orient said fabric workpieces with a predetermined side up perrnost, comprising a support frame positionable adjacent to said continuous conveyor means, a gripper for the leading edge of fabric workpieces carried on said support frame and having an at rest open position elevated above the path of travel of workpieces on said conveyor or means, a detector device carried on said support frame in advance of said gripping means and including a light source, a photocell responsive to light from said light source reflected from workpieces on said conveyor means, and means biasing the response of said photocell to distinguish one side from another of the fabric workpieces on said conveyor means, and gripper operating means influenced by said control means for in seriatim depressing said gripper into the path of the leading edge of a fabric workpiece on said conveyor means, closing said gripper into engagement with said leading edge, elevating said closed gripper above the path of travel of workpieces on said conveyor means, and opening said gripper after said conveyor means has transported the trailing edge of said workpiece beyond the gripper.
2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which said gripper comprises an arm oscillatable about an axis disposed transversely above said conveyor means and pivoted jaw means carried upon said arm adjacent to the free extremity thereof, and in which said gripper operating means comprise a first actuator responsive to said control means for oscillating said arm to position the free extremity thereof selectively above or below the path of workpieces on said conveyor means, and a second actuator responsive to said control means for opening and closing said pivoted jaw means.