US 3568341 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 9, 1971 :5. A. Bugs 3,568,341
v FEEDER WITH DIVERGING SLOTS Filed Jan. 29, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet l BY, F I (3.4
March 9, 1971 B. A. BUSS FEEDER WITH DIVERGING SLOTS I 2 Sheets-Sheqt 2 Filed Jan. 29. 1970 Mon! 41w Bar;
ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,568,341 FEEDER WITH DIVERGING SLOTS Benjamin Alvin Buss, East Moline, Ill., assignor to Ametek, Inc., New York, N.Y. Filed Jan. 29, 1970, Ser. No. 6,710 Int. Cl. D06f 67/04 US. Cl. 38-143 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vacuum spreader box for mounting at the entrance of a laundry flatwork ironer includes an inclined feed plate comprising a plurality of overlapping plates with the lateral edges diverging outwardly. The outer lateral edge of one plate overlaps the inner lateral edge of the next plate with these overlapping edges being spaced apart to define a plurality of pairs of diverging slots.
The present invention relates to a smoothing attachment for a flatwork ironer and more particularly to the construction of a vacuum spreader box having a plurality of diverging slots through which suction is applied to straighten the flatwork before entering the ironer.
Commercial ironers generally used in industry and institutions for ironing laundry flatwork, such as sheets and similar articles, usually comprise a plurality of ironing rolls arranged to provide an ironing surface of substantial area. An entry feed roll may be positioned forwardly of the initial ironing roll to facilitate introduction of the flatwork into the ironer. In some instances, there is positioned in front of the entry feed roll, some form of smoothing attachment which enables the operators to remove any wrinkles or folds in the flatwork as it is being fed into the ironer roll. This smoothing of the flatwork can be accomplished by two operators who tug and pull the lateral edges of the flatwork as it enters the ironer. Various forms of smoothing devices have been proposed which automatically straighten the flatwork and which require only a single operator. One such form of a smoothing attachment comprises a vacuum spreader box which has a plurality of pairs of diverging slots in an inclined feed plate over which the flatwork passes. A suction is applied through these slots against the flatwork to exert lateral forces on the flatwork so that the flatwork is smooth as it passes over the feed plate. The feed plate with its diverging slots has presented certain problems in construction and maintenance.
One of the objects of the present invention is to provide an improved vacuum spreader box used as a sm othing attachment for a flatwork ironer.
Another of the objects of the present invention is to provide a simplified construction of the inclined face of a vacuum spreader box in which are formed a plurality of pairs of diverging slots.
Another of the objects of the invention is to provide a vacuum spreader box having a plurality of pairs of diverging slots in an inclined feed plate which can be readily constructed and which can be cleaned with ease.
In one aspect of the invention, a smoothing attachment for mounting at the entrance of a flatwork ironer may comprise a vacuum spreader box adapted for connection to a vacuum source and extending across the ironer transverse to the movement of flatwork entering the ironer. The box is provided with inclined feed plate means co-extensive with the box with the feed plate a means comprising a plurality of overlapping plates whose 3,568,341 Patented Mar. 9, 1971 of diverging slots. The upper and lower edges of some of the plates are attached to the box, for example, by a series of welds which terminate short of a plate outer edge. As the flatwork moves over the slotted feed plate means, the flatwork is urged laterally outwardly by suction acting through the slots.
Other objects, advantages, and features of the present invention will be apparent from the accompanying description and drawings, which are merely exemplary.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a transverse sectional view of the entrance of a flatwork ironer and showing the flatwork passing over the inclined feed plate of the vacuum spreader box of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the entry end of the ironer looking in the direction of the arrows 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an overall perspective view of the vacuum spreader box of the present invention looking from the rear thereof; and
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the lines 4-4 of FIG. 2.
Proceeding next to the drawings wherein like reference symbols indicate the same parts throughout the various views, a specific embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail.
The smoothing attachment of the present invention is indicated generally at 10 in FIG. 1 and is incorporated in a laundry flatwork ironer indicated generally at 11 in FIG. 1, including a feed apron 12 which is in the form of an endless web passing over a main feed roller 13 and which enters between forward rolls 14 and 15. A second continuous web 16 passes over the upper roll 14 so that the flatwork, indicated at 17, which is to be ironed passes between the two endless webs 12 and 16 to the ironer rolls (not shown).
Positioned forwardly of the main feed roll 13 is the smoothing or spreader attachment 10 of the invention which comprises a vacuum spreader box indicated generally at 18 in FIG. 3. The vacuum spreader box includes an inclined feed apron assembly 19 which, as may be seen in FIG. 2, is substantially rectangular in shape and extends across the Width of the ironer transverse to the movement of flatwork entering the ironer. The inclined feed assembly 19 preferably is of polished stainless steel or similar material so as to facilitate the passage of flatwork. The vacuum spreader box 18 is substantially trapezoidal in cross section as may be seen in FIG. 1 and comprises a back plate 20, a bottom plate 21, top plate 22, and end plates 23. The bottom plate 21 may be p vided with a blower suction connection fitting 24 to which may be attached a flexible conduit 25 leading to a vacuum source which may comprise a suction fan driven by an electric motor.
The feed plate assembly or apron 19 comprises a center plate 26 which is trapezoidal shaped as shown in FIG. 2 with its lateral edges 27 and 28 (FIG. 2) diverging outwardly in the direction of movement of the flatwork as indicated by the arrow 29. The upper and lower edges 30 and 31, respectively, of center plate 26 are attached to the top and bottom walls of the vacuum spreader box by welds indicated at 32. The welds terminate short of the lateral edges 27 and 28 so that these edges can be lifted as will be described later.
A plate 33 shaped as in FIG. 2 has its inner lateral edge 34 inserted beneath the lateral edge 27 of center plate 26. A plurality of washers or spacers 38 are positioned between the overlapping edges 27 and 34 of plates 26 and 33 and may be attached in position so that a space is formed between the overlapping edges. This space defines a diverging slot through which suction is applied in a manner to be presently described. The plate 33 can be removed for cleaning purposes.
Plate 39 has its inner lateral edge 40 positioned under outer lateral edge 37 of plate 33 and can be welded in position so that outer edge 41 is free.
In a like manner, plates 33a and 39a are mounted from the other end of center plate 26. The outer lateral edges 41 and 41a of plates 39 and 39a are spaced outwardly from cover plates 42 and 42a which are secured directly to the top bottom and end Walls of the vacuum spreader box as may be seen in FIG. 3. A slot, however, is formed beneath lateral edges 41 and 41a.
Washers 38, or some other suitable spacing device, are so selected that the slots formed between the successive plates are about /8 inch wide or other suitable distance. Thus, the feed plate assembly 19 of the smoothing attachment is fabricated from a number of smaller plates which are positioned in overlapping relationship with slots being formed between the overlapping edges of successive plates. The use of a number of smaller plates to form the feed plate considerably facilitates the construction of the smoothing attachment since the difiiculties of constructing a single long rectangular feed plate and numerous machining processes involved are eliminated. Also, the plates which are not welded can be removed so as to permit cleaning.
As will be apparent from FIG. 2, the slots formed by the overlapping edges of the plates are substantially in pairs, and the angle of inclination of the slots increases away from the center of the feed plate. As the flatwork 17 moves over the feed plate assembly 19, a suction is produced on the flatwork through the slots and the sheet will be tugged laterally as indicated by the arrows 43 in FIG. 4. FIG. 4 shows only one side of the sheet with the arrows pulling toward the left, but it is to be understood that the same lateral forces, but in the opposite direction, are exerted on the other side of the sheet.
Because of the inclined positions of the slots, forces on the left hand side of the feed plate will urge the sheet toward the left marginal edge, and the right side of the sheet will be urged toward the right marginal edge. The lateral force exerted on the flatwork will be uniform because of the forces exerted through the inclined slots by the suction acting on the flatwork. Once the leading edge of the fiatwork has been introduced into the ironer rolls, the smoothing attachment comprising the divergent pairs of slots will automatically smooth the flatwork as it travels over the feed plate without any assistance from the opera tors.
In view of the resilient nature of the spaced edges of the plates, an upper edge defining a slot may be moved upwardly to facilitate removing any material which may have become stuck in the slot. Further, the suction forces exerted upon the flatwork may be varied to a certain ex- 4 tent by varying the space between overlapping edges of the plates so that slots of different widths may be formed.
It is to be understood that changes can be made in the various details in construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the spirit of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a smoothing attachment for mounting at the entrance of a flatwork ironer, the combination including a vacuum spreader box for connection to a suction source extending across the ironer transverse to the movement of flat-work entering the ironer, said box having an inclined feed plate means co-extensive with the box over which flatwork moves, said feed plate means comprising a plurality of overlapping plates with lateral edges thereof diverging outwardly in the direction of movement of the flatwork, the outer lateral edge of a plate overlapping the inner lateral edge of the next successive plate, means for attaching the upper and lower edges of the plates to the box, and means between the overlapping edges for spacing these edges apart to define a plurality of pairs of diverging slots so that as the flatwork moves over said feed plate means, the fiatwork is urged laterally outwardly by suction acting through said slots.
2. In a smoothing attachment as claimed in claim 1 wherein only portions of the upper and lower edges of the plates are attached to the box.
3. In a smoothing attachment as claimed in claim 2 and comprising a plurality of spaced welds connecting the upper and lower plate edges to the box.
4. In a smoothing attachment as claimed in claim 3 wherein the Welds terminate short of the outer lateral edge of a plate so that this edge can be raised in spaced relatiimship to the inner lateral edge of the next successive p ate.
5. In a smoothing attachment as claimed in claim 1 wherein said spacing means comprises a plurality of Washers positioned between the overlapping edges.
6. In a smoothing attachment as claimed in claim 1 wherein the plate in the center is trapezoidal-shaped with its lateral edges diverging outwardly in the direction of movement of the flatwork.
References Cited PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner G. V. LARKIN, Assistant Examiner V U.S. c1. X.R. 271 -4s