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Publication numberUS3613608 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1971
Filing dateMay 23, 1969
Priority dateMay 23, 1969
Publication numberUS 3613608 A, US 3613608A, US-A-3613608, US3613608 A, US3613608A
InventorsBartley William H, Hinerfeld Norman M, Nobler David S
Original AssigneeKayser Roth Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control equipment for manufacturing equipment such as sewing equipment and the like
US 3613608 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Norman M. Hinerfeld Mamaroneck, N.Y.;

David S. Noble, Carpinteria; William H. Bartley, Orange, Calif.

[72] Inventors [21] Appl. No. 827,293

[22] Filed May 23, 1969 [45] Patented Oct. 19, 1971 [73] Assignee Kayser-Roth Corporation New York, N .Y.


THE LIKE 42 Claims, 27 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl 112/2, 318/20.102, 346/33 MC [51] Int. Cl D05b 23/00 [50] Field of Search 112/2,

121.11, 121.15, 102,219 A, 252, 262; 235/l51.1 1; 346/33 MC; 318/162, 20.102;

Primary Examiner-James R. Boler Attorney-Mahoney, Hornbaker & Schick ABSTRACT: The manufacturing equipment is preferably in the form of sewing equipment comprised of a usual sewing head with a reciprocal up and down moving needle electrically driven for sewing a plurality of stitches in an article to be sewn. A presser foot retains the article in place during sewing and downwardly against usual feed dogs which move the article forwardly and rearwardly appropriate for the various stitching operations. A needle positioner is operable with the sewing with the sewing head for positioning the needle in a selected up or down position relative to the article at the termination of any sewing operational step, the needle preferably being positioned down extending through the article between at least certain successive sewing steps so that the article may be manually repositioned by an operator between said steps. A thread cutoff component is operably arranged with the sewing head for cutting off thread used by the needle in stitching at the termination of selected sewing steps, the thread cutoff being operable when the needle is up above the article as positioned by the needle positioner. According to the invention, the needle positioner also includes a counter device automatically counting reciprocations of the needle and capable of transmitting an electrical signal equivalent to such movement count. The sewing equipment may be controlled by the usual manually operable switches such as knee control and foot control switches. The equipment likewise may include usual components such as an automatic pickup for supplying articles to the operator and an automatic stacker for removing sewn articles from the operator, and the sewing head mav make use of usual attachments such as pleater and buttonhole attachments. Further, according to the invention. an automatic controller, a power interface and preferably an automatic recorder are electrically connected with the sewing equipment, and a permanent record command switch is preferably arranged with the foot control switch. The power interface serves to electrically integrate the manually operable switches and the automatic controller with the sewing equipment, said power interface being selectively switchable between a manual mode and an automatic mode, In manual mode, the power interface connects the manually operable switches for usual control of the sewing equipment to perform a plurality RiierTifiiiifls in an overall sewing operation on the article to be sewn, while at the same time, the power interface translates each of the component operational steps into composite instruction signals for transmission to and temporary recording at the automatic controller, any selected of said composite instruction signals being permanently recorded by the automatic controller in sequence by actuation of the permanent record command switch. Each instruction signal includes both function, the component being operated, and duration, either pure time in time elements or needle reciprocations from the needle positioner andcounter. The automatic recorder is connected to the automatic controller and is selectively actionable forinserting in proper sequence into temporary and permanent recording of the automatic controller composite instruction signals equivalent to certain of the composite instruction signals resulting from actual operation of the sewing equipment so that selected of the sewing equipment operations either need not be carried out by manual control or may be replaced by the automatic recorder. Also, the automatic controller is arranged for inserting instruction signals for determined time delays between selected component operations, eithei' by permanently recording actual delays between component operations or by inserting numbers of time elements with the automatic recorder. Instructions for indeterminate time delays between component operations and training time delays intermediate selected component operations may likewise be appropriately inserted into the automatic controller. After completion of the permanent recording, when the power interface is in the automatic mode, the automatic controller may be operated to transmit back to the power interface the permanently recorded instruction signals in sequence which are translated by the power interface into commands for operating the various components to repeat the component operational steps to carry out the overall sewing operation including the now inserted determined delays, indeterminate delays and training delays. During the determined delays, a preceding operating component is stopped, the determined delay carried out in time, and a latter component started automatically. During the indeterminate delays, the preceding component operation is stopped, but the latter component operation is not started until manually actuated by a manual control. The training delays are indeterminate and may be intermediate a selected component operation interrupting such operation until manual control actuation or between component operations as an ordinary indeterminate delay, in either case, there being means on the automatic controller for selected elimination of the training delays with the effect of removal from the automatic controller permanent recording.





m VENTORS Aloe/14AM M Hm/Ee/asw, DA V/D 5. NOBLE 6:

WILLIAM h. 54271.5)

MAHONEY, HORNBAKER 8: ScH/CK A'rrozus s PATENTEDnm 1919?! 3,613,608

sum um 16 FIG. 14a.


DAV/0 5. NOBLE & I/V/LL/AM ft BARTLEY BY MAI-{0N5}; H02N5AKER 6: ScH/cK A'rroe/vs s PATENTEUUBI 19 I97! 3,613.6 O8

' SHEET 080E 16 FIG. 14b.

5EOUEA/CER 356 luvs/W025 NORMAN M. H/A/EQFELD 0A W0 5. A/oaLE &


' sum user 16 Fra i4cj. 'Q 470 3&3

mvavm/as NORMA/V M H/A/ERFELD,

DA 100 5. NOBLE &

WILLIAM H. HARTLEY 5v MAHONEY, HOBNBAKEE 8: SCH/CK A TTOEA/EYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to control devices for manufacturing equipment such as sewing equipment and the like which has the efi'ect of automatically controlling at least the major portion of a series of sequential manufacturing component operational steps having mixed therein certain manual. steps required to be perfonned manually by an operator in carrying out an overall manufacturing-operation on an article to be manufactured, so that not only are the manufacturing, component operational steps automatically controlled, but also, the manual steps required to be performed by the operator, thereby increasing theefficiency of the overall manufacturing operation. Furthermore, themanufacturing equipment. of the present invention is arranged so that instruction signals for carrying out repeated identical overall manufacturing operations may be recorded in an automatic controller permitting the automatic controller tosubsequently automatically control the manufacturing components for carrying out the overall manufacturing operation merely by first carrying out the overall manufacturing operation under the manual control of an operator, various means being provided for inserting the instruction signals in the automatic controller creating time delays in the overall manufacturing operation for the manual step performances by the operator. As a result, the minimum of time is required for the programming of the automatic controller in order to permit the same to automatically control an entire overall manufacturing operation, giving maximum versatility and convenience in use so as to be adaptable to a wide variety of mass production manufacturing operations.

There are many manufacturing operations making use of various forms of automatic production machinery wherein a human '-'operator is required to manually control automatic machinery in performing certain steps of the overall manufacturing operation, while at the same time, between certain of the individual automatic machinery steps, such operator is required to manually perform certain manual functions or steps with or on the article being manufactured, such as realigning or repositioning the article being manufactured relative to the automatic machinery in order to carryout a subsequent automatic machinery operational step. Still further, in many such cases, it is necessary to position the automatic machinery relative to the article being manufactured in one determined position at termination of an automatic machinery operational step in order that ,the required manual operation may be properly carried out by the operator, while in other. instances the manufacturing operational step must be terminated with the manufacturing machinery in another position preparatory to the subsequent manual operation. To even further complicate the situation, one manufacturing equipment operational step might require a given number of machinery movements, the next manufacturing machinery operational stepa different number of movements, and still the next manufacturing equipment operational step still a different number of equipment movements, in each manufacturing machinery operational step the equipment being required to be manually controlled by the operator.

Even further, the times required for the manual operation by the human operator between the manufacturing equipment operational steps may be of varying length, one manual step requiring a different length of time from a preceding or a subsequent manual step as determined by the manufacturing equipment operational step preceding such operator manual step and the manufacturing equipment operational step succeeding such operator manual step. There are also many instances in the use of automatic production equipment or machinery comprised of a series of components wherein one automatic machinery operational step may require the use of one component and is immediately followed by the use of another component, the first component being required to terminate its particular operational step in a determined position, in order that the latter component can properly operate and without damaging the first component. Thus, it may be seen that the types of overall manufacturing operations discussed are not readily adaptable to overall automatic control,but

rather would appear to require a great amount of individual human operator control which could -only be accomplished by a skilled operator after a long periodof intensive training.

One industry in which the overall manufacturing operations include all of the difficulties hereinbefore discussed from the standpoint of attempting to make overall manufacturing operations capable of automatic control is the garment industry wherein vthe articles'to'be manufactured are garments basically requiring a series of sewing-or stitching operations. as well as various other operations. For instance, in considering the wide variety of sewing operations required in the assembling and manufacture of even very simple forms of gannents, it is seen that a wide variety and number of sewing steps can be involved, many requiring forward and reverse sewing and many requiring delays therebetween for manual operator repositioning of the garment for the next sewing step to be carried out. Furthermore, during manual operator repositioning of the garment between sewing steps, it is most convenient for the needle of the sewing head to be positioned projecting downwardly through the garment so that proper alignment is maintained relative to the sewing head needle between the sewing steps.

Also, where the gannent being manufactured is of a stable material, that is, a material which is not readily stretchable or deformable, each of the sewing steps will more preferably consist of a determined number of needle reciprocal movements or stitches, absolutely requiring the complete attention of the human operator for proper accomplishment. At the same time, at the termination of particular sewing steps, not only is it necessary for the sewing head needle to be positioned down projecting downwardly through the material for a subsequent manual operator repositioning step, it is also absolutely necessary for the presser foot of the sewing head working in conjunction with the needle during stitching to retain the garment material downwardly against feed dogs progressively moving the material during stitching to be raised in order that the garment material will be free for such manual operator repositioning. When the sewing steps have been completed, that is, at the termination of the last sewing'step, it is necessary that the sewing head needle will be positioned up in order that the thread cutoff device of the equipment will be able to operate in the thread the thread being used in the sewing steps without striking the sewing head needle during such thread cutofi.

Certain prior constructions of sewing equipment have included various controls incorporated therein, all requiring manual operation by a human operator, for accomplishing the proper positioning of the sewing head needle in selected up and down positions by means of an automatic needle positioning device. ln use thereof, the human operator is required to terminate a particular sewing step and then selectively actuate the needle positioning device to position the needle in the desired up or down position before the subsequent manual repositioning or thread cutoff step can be carried out. Also, as an adjunct to sewing equipment, various supplementary devices have been provided such as pickup devices for supplying garment parts to the operators sewing station and stacker devices on which a garment may be positioned by the operator after completion of the sewing operations for automatic stacking by the stacker devices.

Although these sewing equipment improvements have added somewhat to the convenience of the human operators, each still requires individual control by that operator at an appropriate time. The operators, therefore, must make a wide variety of mental decisions during an overall garment sewing operation, said decisions being immediately followed by manual actions at proper moments in order to carry out a coordinated overall sewing operation. Thus, it can be seen that a relatively high degree of operator skill has been required obtained only through long periods of training, and even then, such operations are relatively tedious and tiring even to such skilled operators.

To even more clearly illustrate the complications involved with attempts to fully, or even partially, automate sewing operations in the garment industry, consider the example of the great number of individual automatic and manual operations required for sewing a pocket patch on a shirt front. The finished pocket formed by the pocket patch in the example has an open top and the pocket patch will, therefore, require short lengths of multiple stitching at the top comers thereof for reinforcing in addition tothe continuous line of stitching completely around the pocket patch periphery with the exception of the top edge thereof. Furthermore, the pocket patch will have straight sides, angled lower corners and a straight bottom. Finally, assume that a stack of shirt fronts is positioned at the left of theoperator and a stack of pocket patches is positioned to the right of the operator, an automatic stacker being positioned directly rearwardly of the sewing machine table for final stacking of the completed pocket assembled shirt fronts.

The requirements of the machine operator would be to first pick up a shirt front from the left side and a pocket patch from the right side, placing the pocket patch at proper location on theshirt front and positioning the temporarily assembled garment at proper location beneath the sewing head needle on the sewing machine table, the needle being at the upper righthand corner of the pocket patch ready for commencing the sewing or stitching operations. At this time, and in order to accomplish this positioning of the temporarily assembled pocket patch and shirt front beneath the sewing head needle, the needle wouldhave to be in the up position and the presser foot likewise up. The operator is now ready to commence sewing and keep in mind that all component operations must be manually actuated by the operator.

In sequence, the presser foot is lowered, the sewing head actuated to sew four stitches forward and stop, the sewing head is actuated to sew four stitches rearwardly and stop. The sewing head is actuated to sew 36 stitches forwardly to the first comer of the lower right-angle pocket corner and stop, such stop preferably requiring the needle to be positioned down extending downwardly through both the pocket patch and shirt front. The presser foot is raised and the assembled pocket patch and shirt front repositioned to align for sewing along the right-angle pocket comer.

The presser foot is lowered and the sewing head is actuated to sew seven stitches along the angled pocket corner and stop with the needle positioned down. The presser foot is raised and the assembled pocket patch and shirt front manually repositioned aligned for sewing along the straight pocket bottom. The presser foot is lowered and the sewing head is actuated to sew 27 stitches along the pocket straight bottom to the first corner of the left-angle pocket comer and stop, with the needle positioned down.

The presser foot is raised and the assembled pocket patch and shirt from manually repositioned properly aligned for sewing along the left-angled pocket corner. The presser foot is lowered and the sewing head is actuated to sew seven stitches along the left-angled pocket corner and stop with the needle positioned down. The presser foot is raised and the assembled pocket patch and shirt front is manually repositioned to align 1 for sewing along the pocket left-hand straight side.

The presser foot is lowered and the sewing head is actuated to sew 36 stitches along the left-hand pocket straight side to the pocket upper left corner and stop. The sewing head is actuated in reverse to sew four stitches rearwardly and stop, then four stitches again forwardly and stop with the needle up followed by actuation of the thread cutofi and presser foot positioned up completing the sewing or operations or steps. Finally, the completely sewn pocket patch and shirt front are removed from the sewing head and positioned over the stacker with the stacker being actuated to properly stack the same rearwardly of the sewing machine table and permitting the operator to repeat the sequential steps for preparing for and sewing a next pocket patch and shirt front.

Thus, although 'the sewing of a pocket patch on a shirt front might appear at first consideration as a relatively simple sewing operation, it can readily be appreciated that such a sewing operation requires a great number of closely controlled sewing operations, interspersed with both component positioning operations and operations required to be manually performed by the operator. Furthermore, the operator is required to actuate in various manners the various automatic components, in each case, requiring a mental decision and then a manual movement of proper selected form. Furthermore, the training time for necessary skills in order to accomplish the sewing operations or steps in the proper sequence, as well as the other interspersed steps required, is obviously quite extensive, and even when properly trained, such work is quite tedious and tiring for an operator.

Thus, although small parts of overall sewing operations in the garment industry have been at least partially automatically controlled, no one prior to our, present invention has been successful in providing automatic control of virtually an entire overall sewing operation. Obviously, the wide variety and numbers of problems to be overcome if overall automatic control is to be provided are extremely complex and this is particularly true when it is considered that it is clearly impossible to eliminate the human operator from the overall sewing operations. In addition, no one prior to our present invention has been able to reduce training time and to reduce required skills of the ever-present human operator from the sewing operations, all necessary if optimum improvements are to be provided in the garment industry.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, an object of our invention to provide control devices for manufacturing equipment such as sewing equipment and the like, such equipment being of the type normally requiring manual actuation of various components by a human operator in a determined sequence and interspersed with required purely manual operations or steps by said operator in order to carry out an overall manufacturing operation, wherein substantially the entire overall manufacturing operations are automatically controlled including determined time delays between certain manufacturing componentoperational steps during which the operator must perform manual steps in order to properly complete the overall manufacturing operation. As a result, the requirement for the human operator to manually actuate the automatic-manufacturing equipment and the sundry decisions by the operator normally involved therewith are completely eliminated, the main steps remaining for the operator once the overall manufacturing operation has been commenced being to manually perform certain more minor operations required between various of the automatic component operations. In this manner, theprior tediousness and skill required for such overall manufacturing operations is greatly reduced, thereby likewise reducing operator training time necessary for training an operator to be able to carry out the overall manufacturing operations.

As an example, in the garment industry and the various overall sewing operations thereof, each of the individual sewing steps, including positioning and repeated repositioning of various components, is completely automatically controlled. Where manual repositioning of articles to be sewn is required between any of the sewing steps, a time delay period is supplied during which the operator may accomplish such repositioning and after which, the automatic components immediately resume automatic operation under the automatic control.

It is a further object of our invention to provide control devices for manufacturing equipment such as sewing equipment and the like of the foregoing general character wherein the manufacturing equipment including such control devices may be set up or programmed for carrying out the determined overall manufacturing operations merely by an operator manually actuating the manufacturing equipment in the usual manner, the various individual of the manufacturing steps being recorded in an automatic controller, after which, the automatic controller is capable of automatically controlling the various components to repeat the overall manufacturing operation, even as to controlling the time of time delays between component automatic operations to provide the operator with sufficient time for manually performing necessary manual operations or steps. in addition, the control devices are arranged with the manufacturing equipment with certain of the same being capable of actuation for directly inserting into the automatic controller program various predetermined instructions of exact form as would be received from the actual operations of the components during a particular manufacturing step. The various components may, therefore, be manually actuated to carry out certain manufacturing operational steps in one manner, yet the automatic controller may be programmed to repeat such component operational steps in a different manner, all as determined by the particular operator controlling the devices and equipment.

Again as applied to sewing equipment for carrying out an overall sewing operation, the overall sewing operation is carried out by the operator manually actuating the various components in proper sequence, for instance, sequential sewing operations or steps. If, directly after the performance of a particular component operational step, say, of actually sewing 75 stitches in an article to be sewn, it is determined that that particular sewing operation should actually include only 55 stitches, instructions for the automatic controller to carry out the stitching step of only 55 stitches may be inserted into the automatic controller program while the instructions for the 75 stitches is not recorded so that upon repeating the overall sewing operation, the automatic controller will carry out that particular sewing step of only the 55 stitches. Also, the time delays between component operations for operator manually repositioning of the article being sewn can be inserted as instructions into the automatic controller merely by permitting that length of time delay between component manual actuations, or, in the alternative, the actual time delay between component operations taken by the operator may be eliminated from the automatic controller recording and a predetermined time delay inserted into the automatic controller recording or program as a substitute for the actual delay time taken operator the operator. Obviously, therefore, although the basic concept of the control devices is that of being able therewith to completely program the control devices for automatically carrying out an overall sewing operation merely by once performing the same under component manual actuation, even increased wide versatility of the control devices permits during such programming, the alteration of various steps to give the exact final programming desired.

it is still a further object of our invention to provide control devices for manufacturing equipment such as sewing equipment and the like as hereinbefore discussed wherein indeterminate time delays may be inserted as instructions into the automatic controller programming either between manufacturing equipment component operational steps or intermediate such component operational steps depending on the desired purpose. For instance, if a manual operation between two component operational steps will vary in time length from one repeated overall manufacturing operation to the next, an indeterminate time delay instruction may be inserted into the automatic controller program having the effect of stopping a preceding component operation at the end of its operational step, but requiring some manual actuation by the operator before the subsequent programmed operational step will commence so as to leave the length of the time delay completely controlled by the operator so that the same can be varied in total length as it is necessary. At the same time, the control devices are arranged so that these indeterminate time delays, functional in the same manner, may be inserted at any point in the automatic controller program, even intermediate a particular manufacturing equipment component operational step, the indetenninate time delays in this case being capable of elimination from the automatic controller programwithout otherwise altering such program at any time during subsequent automatic control of the manufacturing equipment, thereby constituting training time delays which are permitted to remain in the program during the operator training andcan be removed from such program after the operator has become sufficiently trained.

It is an additional object of our invention to provide control devices for manufacturing equipment such as sewing equipment and the like of the foregoing general character wherein each of the manufacturing equipment component operational steps is translated by the control devices into a composite' instruction for recording in the automatic controller to program the same, such composite instructions thereafter being sequentially translated back into component operations to carry out the various component operational steps during automatic actuation of the manufacturing equipment by the automatic controller. Each composite instruction as received and recorded by the automatic controller is formed from'the combination of function and duration, the function being the particular manufacturing equipment component to be automatically actuated and the duration being either a pure time duration measured in particular time units or a given number of component movements as sensed and counted by the automatic controller with the aid of other parts of the control devices. The determined time delays are measured by the automatic controller merely in time units, since no function is involved.

As applied to sewing equipment for performing a particular overall sewing operation on an article to be sewn, examples of the composite instructions of the different duration types might be a series of sequential sewing operations to carryout a series of sequential sewing steps and a final thread cutofi operation. For the sewing steps, such steps are measured in the number of reciprocal movements of the needle performing the sewing steps, such reciprocal movements being sensed and translated to the automatic controller such that an exact count of needle reciprocations is determined and carried out. The thread cutoff operation is programmed for duration merely in time units, there being a sufficient number of time units-to make up an overall total time within which the thread cutoff device can effectively perform the thread cutoff operation.

It is also an object of our invention to provide control devices for manufacturing equipment such as sewing equipment and the like involving the above discussed programmed automatic controller and the composite instructions therefor in order to automatically control the sequential manufacturing operations wherein all of the programmed instructions having the duration thereof measured in manufacturing equipment component movements may be simultaneously altered to alter the time involved in carrying out the same, and all of the programmed instructions having the duration thereof measured in time units may be simultaneously varied in order to vary the total time permitted for a manufacturing equipment component operation or the total length of a determined time delay. As applied to sewing equipment, a variable speed control is provided for the drive motor driving the reciprocal needle in the sequential sewing operations so that by varying the speed of the drive motor, the total time for accomplishing a given number of needle reciprocations is varied, the program in the automatic controller being that solely of needle reciprocation count so as to be unaffected other than the overall duration of a particular sewing step due to the faster or slower needle reciprocations as counted by the automatic controller. At the same time, the automatic controller is provided with a selected adjustment for the time elements which make up the total time period permitted by the automatic controller for the determined time delays so that variable adjustment of the time units will proportionately adjust the total length of the time delays without otherwise affecting the programming thereof in

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Referenced by
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U.S. Classification112/2, 318/568.1, 112/470.1, 346/33.0MC
International ClassificationD05B69/22
Cooperative ClassificationD05B69/22
European ClassificationD05B69/22