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Publication numberUS3626656 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 14, 1971
Filing dateOct 16, 1969
Priority dateMar 27, 1969
Publication numberUS 3626656 A, US 3626656A, US-A-3626656, US3626656 A, US3626656A
InventorsLangenscheidt Ernst
Original AssigneeLangenscheidt Ernst
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for covering mattresses
US 3626656 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1971 E. LANGENSCHEIDT 3,626,655v

APPARATUS FOR COVERING MATRESSES I 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 16, 1969 INVENTOR. ERNST LANGENSCHEIDT v (4 {K rl K0 ATTORNEY 1971 E. LANGENSCHEIDT 3,625,655

APPARATUS FOR COVERING MATRESSES Filed Oct. 16, 1969 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 m 8 (9 &

A "I3 E (I (\N E I v N E.

a Q fE-E I #53 mfg co v I F E a I g i n I 3 m INVENTOR.

ERNST LANGENSCHEIDT ATTORNEY 14, 1971 E. LANGENSCHEIDT 3,625,655

APPARATUS FOR COVERING MATRESSES 5 Sheets-Sheet :5

Filed Oct. 16, 1969 INVENTOR. ERN ST LAN GENSCHEIDT BY 6 w FIG.7

ATTORNEY Dem 1971 E. LANGENSCHEIDT 3,625,655

APPARATUS FOR COVERING MAI'RESSES Filed Oct. 16, 1969 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 ATTORNEY D 1971 E. LANGENSCHEIDT 3,625,656

APPARATUS FOR COVERING MATRESSES 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 16, 1969 FIG.8

ATTORNEY United States Patent 01 fice 3,626,656 Patented Dec. 14, 1971 U.S. C]. 53-59 R 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for covering mattresses wherein one of two spaced-apart, mutually parallel generally horizontal transport grates is vertically shiftable relative to the other so that the entire mattress strucure can be compressed between the grates. The grates are composed of planar arrays of transversely spaced, mutually parallel grate bars and means is provided to vary the bar spacing of each grate to accommodate mattress structures of various widths and laterally compress the filter body. The grates co-operate with endless conveyor means for shifting the mattress between the grates in a spaced-apart condition thereof whereby the grates can then be totally closed (brought toward one another) to compact the mattress.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION My present invention relates to apparatus for the covering of mattresses and especially to a device for compressing a mattress structure to enable the compressed structure to be covered by conventional means.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the production of mattresses and especially foamedrubber or cellular synthetic-resin mattresses, it is a common practice to cover a filter of the resilient synthetic resin or elastomer with a fabric mattress cover which may be shaped to the desired configuration during the covering operation or which may be preshaped such that the body of filler can be inserted into the cover which is then closed, and fastening means provided to hold the filler in place relative to the cover. It is not unusual to find that such machines comprise a compaction device for compressing the filler material, i.e. the foamed or cellular rubber or synthetic resin material, to enable the material to be inserted into a preformed fabric cover. The latter is stitched close at a location remote or downstream from the compaction device. The instant invention is concerned primarily with a compaction device of this type and typical of such devices are those described in German Pat. 1,001,- 584 and U.S. Pat. 2,639,073.

In general, with respect to compaction and compressing devices for the filling of mattress covers and the covering of mattresses, the prior-art systems may make use of upper and lower chain grates or lattices, composed of longitudinally extending stretches of an endless-chain arrangement, such that the filler material is received between a pair of codirectionally moving chain assemblies and is drawn into the compaction zone by these assemblies. This type of apparatus for the filling and covering of mattresses provides the grates at the same or different inclinations to the horizontal so that the mattress filler is progressively compressed as it is advanced. Disadvantages have been found with such systems inasmuch as they fail to permit uniform compression of mattresses of different dimensions and uniform compaction under all circumstances arising in the filling and covering of mattresses.

The second principal type of apparatus for the filling and covering of mattresses of cellular or foamed synthetic resin has made use of a shell or die into which the filler material is fed without the aid of a chain grate and in which transport bands or conveyors serve to advance the filler material. The principal disadvantage of this system is that the body of filler material must be compressed both in the vertical and in the horizontal directions to permit the feeding of this body to the compaction stage. This is unduly complex and gives rise to nonuniformities in compaction.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, the principal object of the present intion to provide an improved apparatus for the compaction of mattress-filler bodies, especially those consisting of foamed or cellular rubber and synthetic resins, which will avoid the aforementioned disadvantages and enable uniform compaction of filler bodies of various lengths, widths and thicknesses.

Another object of my invention is the provision of an improved apparatus for the covering of mattresses, i.e. the enclosing of mattress-filler bodies, which provides uniform compaction of the bodies and is simple and inexpensive to operate while being suitable for filler bodies of various configuration.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION These objects and others which will become apparent hereinafter, in accordance with the present invention, are attained with an apparatus for the covering of mattresses and the compaction of mattress-filler bodies of foamed or cellular synthetic resins and rubbers, which operates on a totally different principle and provides simple and economical compaction of the filler body, is capable of compaction without any propensity to breakdown, operates rapidly and is characterized by a uniform compaction of the filler body in the vertical and horizontal directions.

This apparatus, in accordance with the instant invention, makes use of a pair of mutually parallel compaction grates which may be referred to hereinafter as chain grates, each of which comprises a plurality of grate bars or elements extending in the longitudinal direction parallel to, but transversely spaced from, the grate elements of the respective planar array, the grate elements having a length in the direction of displacement of the mattress filler body (horizontal longitudinal direction) which is at least equal to the maximum length of the mattress structures for which the device is designed.

According to an important aspect of this invention, the interbar spacing of the grate elements of each grate is adjustable, with the aid of means provided especially for this purpose, such that the entire array of grate elements or bars can be spread or contracted to correspond to the width (dimension transverse to the longitudinal dimension) of the mattress structure to be compacted therebetween and to compact the filler body in the horizontal direction transversely to its feed direction. At least one of the grates is shiftable perpendicularly to its plane relative to the other grate, thereby permitting the spreading of the grates apart (increased intergrate spacing) and the closing of the space between the grates whereby the grates receive the filler body between them in the spread condition and may contact the filler body in the contracted condition of the grates.

From the foregoing, it will be apparent that an essential feature of this invention is the adjustability of the inter-bar spacing of the grate elements, which permits the apparatus to accommodate, without difficulties, mattresses of various widths and lengths, permits an entire mattress filler body to be received between the grates prior to closure and compaction and thereafter allows this filler body to be compacted in one step over its entire length simultaneously, both in the vertical and in the horizontal direction. Furthermore, the mattress filler body which is compacted in the vertical direction (i.e. perpendicular to the broadest faces of the rectangular parallelopipedal filler body) is uniformly compressed in the horizontal direction over its entire width. The uniform compaction of the filler body both in horizontal and vertical direction is also ensured as a result of the arrangement of the grate elements uniformly over the width of the mattress. Consequently, it is an important feature of this invention that the means for adjusting the inter-bar spacing of the grate elements is so arranged and constructed that diminution or expansion of any one of these gaps will have as its result the proportionation or distribution of the change in gap spacing over the entire array.

It has been found that the improved arrangement set forth above, which is provided with endless transport means, preferably in the form of chains, each co-operating with the respective grate element and extending therealong, greatly increases the rate at which mattresses can be covered and filled by comparison with earlier systems, permits a greater degree of compaction and is characterized by an improved uniformity of the compression of the mattress, the latter being essential to the production of high-quality mattresses.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWVING The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic vertical section through an apparatus with a covering of mattress-filler bodies according to this invention;

FIG. 2 is a view in the direction of arrow II in FIG. 1, also in diagrammatic form;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2, showing the elements thereof in another operating condition;

FIG. 4 is a detail view similar to FIG. 1, illustrating a modified grate structure;

FIG. 5 is a view corresponding generally to that of FIGS. 2 and 3 but showing a particular means for ad justing the intergap spacing of the grate elements;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 1, showing another modification;

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view, also in diagrammatic form, of a grate arrangement in accordance with this invention; and

FIG. 8 is a detail view of a modification thereof.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION In the drawing I show an apparatus for the filling of mattress covers which comprises a frame or support 1 carrying a number of fluid-operated cylinders 7, the pis tons 7a of which are fixed to an upper grate represented at 3.

The support 1, which is illustrated only diagrammatically in FIG. 1, is shown to be positioned adjacent the downstream-end of a conveyor belt 30 adapted to deliver bodies 2 of a mattress filler to the compaction device. The mattress filler is foam rubber or a cellular synthetic resin and is in the form of rectangular blocks of length L, width W and thickness T.

The beam 1a of the apparatus is cantilevered on supports 1b which, in turn, carry pedestals 10 upon which the lower grate 4 is mounted.

As can be seen from FIG. 2, the grates 3 and 4 cornprise a plurality of H-section grate elements or bars 5 with an inter-bar spacing represented at 6. The grate elements 5 are carried by a support 5a which, in turn, cooperates with threaded spindles 8 to vary the inter-bar spacing 6 as will become apparent hereinafter.

The end elements 51) are provided with downwardly and upwardly extending flanges 5c between which the lateral edges of the filler body 2 are confined, the grates 3 and 4 being so mounted on the support 1 that their downstream ends 3a and 4a project beyond the downstream side of the support in the cantilevered structure.

The projecting ends 3a and 312 permit a mattress cover of fabric or other flexible material, e.g. as represented at C in FIG. 4, to be drawn onto the grates to receive the filler body 2 after compaction in the usual manner.

Each of the grates 3 and 4 comprises a conveyor and chain grate so that the channels in the grate elements 5 receive respective chains 9 of the conveyor assembly represented generally at 9a.

The conveyor assembly comprises a plurality of sprocket wheels 9b mounted on the common shaft for each of the conveyor assemblies 9a and rotated in the direction of arrows 9:1 to advance the filler body 2 in the direction of arrow A. The chains 9 pass over the sprocket wheels 9b and extend co-directionally with one another in the channels of the grate elements 5 whereupon they turn about the free ends of these grate elements in return stretches while being held under tension by the sprockets 9e.

The principle of operation of the present system will be apparent from FIGS. 1 through 3. In FIG. 1 the upper or vertically movable grate 3 is shown to be elevated above the fixed grate 4 by a distance D in excess of the thickness T of the compressed filler body 2. The filler body 2 may then be advanced to this position, as shown in FIG. 1, from the conveyor 30 by the lower chain 9 which may be driven at the same speed as the conveyor 30 or by conveyor 30 alone, the filler body sliding along the lower chain grate 4. Only after the filler body 2 is fully within the compaction device is the upper grate 3 lowered via the pneumatic (compressed-air) cylinders 7 to compress the filler body to a thickness t (FIG. 3). Moreover, the spacing 6 between the grate elements 5 is reduced to the narrower dimension represented in FIG. 3 at 6', thereby providing a uniform compaction of the tiller body 2 in both the vertical and horizontal directions. In the compacted state the width of the filler body is reduced to the dimension w represented in FIG. 3.

I have found it advantageous, as shown in FIG. 4, to curve the underside of the upper grate 3 slightly upwardly and the upper side of the lower grate 4 in a parallel manner, thereby permitting the chains 9 to move along the guide elements 5 without difficulty. The sprocket wheels 9b may be splined to the shafts 90 to permit the chains 9 to shift laterally upon adjustment of the inter-bar 6 as previously described. The curvature of the grates 3 and 4 as represented in FIG. 4 is such as to form a convexity 3 and a concavity 4'.

In FIGS. 58, I show various arrangements for displacing the guide elements or bars 5 of the grate to horizontal- 1y compress the filler body 2 as previously described in connection with FIG. 3.

In the system of FIGS. 5-7, for example, each of the chain grates 3 and 4 has its grate elements 5 mounted for a lateral movement upon a number of cross pieces 10. To this end, each of the guide elements 5 may be provided with a vertically extending flange 5e similar to the flange 50, but extending in the opposite direction (i.e. away from the filler body 2). These flanges 5e serve to attach the grates to cross pieces, pedestals and supports of the housing 101 which is similar to the housing 1 of FIG. 1, but differs therefrom by having sliders 107 forming part of the pedestal 1010 of the lower or movable grate 4. The pistons 107a here bear upon cross pieces 10717 which span the flanges 5e of the grate elements 5. The flanges 52 of the grate elements are slidable along the traverses 10 to vary the inter-bar spacing 6 under the control of pneumatic or hydraulic actuating sliders 12 which bear upon the grate elements 5 at each end of the array. The bars 5 are coupled for uniform displacement so that each gap 6 is reduced proportionally by a lazy tongs 11 the arms of which are pivoted at 11' and 11" to one another and to the bars 5. Parallel and simultaneous movement of all of the grate elements 5 is thus ensured.

The system of FIGS. 5-7 offers certain advantages over that of FIGS. 1-4 especially with respect to the amount of power which must be delivered by the sliders 107. Note that here the weight of the mattress filler 2 acts to restore system to the open position and that the cylinders '7 need not be energized to accomplish this opening movement. It is merely necessary to vent the cylinders.

In the system of FIG. 8 I have provided that only a single cylinder 12 is required to symmetrically draw the grate elements 5 towards one another. In this system, the guide elements are provided with a guide frame 13 which is connected to the cylinder 12 together with a rack 14 displaceable in the direction of arrow D, the rack rotating a pinion in the sense of arrow D. The pinion axis is fixed to the housing and is located at about the center of the width of the mattress filler, to ensure symmetrical displacement of all of the grate elements 5 which are interconnected by a lazy tongs 11 as previously described. A frame 13' on the opposite side of the array also engages a grate element 5 to draw the grate elements to the left (arrow B). To this end, the frame 13 is connected with a further rack 14 in mesh with the pinion 31. The racks 14 and 14' so engage the pinion 31 as tobe displaced in opposite directions when the hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder 12 is actuated.

The system described above can be automated by providing at the outer end of the chain grates 3, 4, preferably above the upper chain grate 3, an optical detector (represented at 16) and connecting it to the drive for the conveyors 9 as represented at 16. The light source may be a lamp 16a, while unit 16 can be a photoelectric cell and amplifier arrangement of any conventional type. As the filter bodies K are displaced onto the conveyors 9 and the grates 3, 4, the leading edges 2' intercept the light beam 16a whereupon the uint 16 cuts off further advance and initiates the operation of the cylinders 107 via a control 16b.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for the covering of mattress filler bodies, comprising:

a pair of mutually parallel chain grates in transversely spaced relationship including an upper chain grate and'a lower chain grate;

means for displacing one of said grates toward and away from the other of said grates for compressing a filler body between said grates and permitting a filler body to be introduced between the grates, respectively, each of said grates including a multiplicity of transversely spaced mutually parallel, generally coplanar chains extending generally longitudinally in the direction of displacement of said filler bodies between said grates, each of said chains of said upper grate having a lower run parallel to the lower runs of the other chains of the upper grate and directly engageable with said filler body, each of said chains of said lower grate having an upper run parallel to the upper runs of the other chains of the lower grate and directly engageable with said filler body; and

mechanism for shifting the upper runs of the chains of said lower grate and the lower runs of the chains of said upper grate transversely to vary the gaps between said chains of each grate.

2. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said one of said chain grates includes a support frame carrying said chains of said one of said grates, and drive means for simultaneously displacing the chains of said one of said grates, said means for displacing said one of said grates including a fluid-responsive piston-and-cylinder arrangement for displacing said support.

3. The apparatus defined in claim 2 wherein said one of said grates is said lower grate.

4. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said mechanism includes a lazy tongs interconnecting the chains of the respective grates for proportional movement transverse to the direction of displacement of the filler body.

5. An apparatus for the covering of mattress filler bodies, comprising:

a pair of mutually parallel chain grates in transversely spaced relationship; means, including fluid-responsive piston-and-cylinder means, for displacing one of said grates toward and away from the other of said grates for compressing a filler body between said grates and permitting a filler body to be introduced between the grates, respectively, each of said grates including a multiplicity of mutually parallel, generally coplanar grate elements extending generally longitudinally in the direction of displacement of said filler bodies between said grates;

mechanism including lazy-tongs means interconnecting the grate elements of each of said grates for joint proportional movement for shifting the grate elements of each of said grates transversely to vary the gap between said elements, each of said grate elements forming a guide for a respective endless conveyor chain advancing the compressed filler body between said grates, said conveyor chains being provided with drive means for displacing said chains; and

photoelectric means responsive to the advance of a filler body between said grates for controlling said drive means.

6. The apparatus defined in claim 5 wherein said grates are oriented generally horizontally one above another, the piston-and-cylinder means being connected to the lower grate.

7. The apparatus defined in claim 5 wherein said grates are oriented generally horizontally one above another, the piston-and-cylinder means being connected to the upper grate.

8. The apparatus defined in claim 5 wherein said grate elements of the two grates are curved correspondingly in the longitudinal direction, each of said chain grates including conveyor-chain means passing over and along each of said grate elements.

9. The apparatus defined in claim 5, further comprising at least one actuating piston-and-cylinder arrangement acting laterally upon at least one of the grate elements of at least one of said arrays.

10. The apparatus defined in claim 5 wherein said one of said grate elements is disposed on one side of said grates, said mechanism further comprising rack-and-pinion means connecting said one of said grate elements to a grate element on the other side of said grates.

11. The apparatus defined in claim 5, further comprising a support, said grates being mounted on said support but projecting therefrom in the direction of displacement of said filler bodies to accommodate a mattress cover drawn over the projecting portions of said grates.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 764,500 7/1904 Rice 53125 917,221 4/1909 White 53-125 2,749,690 6/1956 Bridges 53-125 3,229,443 1/ 1966 Fahringer 53-59 3,319,394 5/1967 Talalay 53-24 WAYNE A. MORSE, 111., Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4002008 *Dec 15, 1975Jan 11, 1977Gould Inc.Compression packaging method and apparatus
US4642975 *Feb 3, 1986Feb 17, 1987H. J. Langen & Sons LimitedCarton loading machine
US4896476 *Sep 16, 1988Jan 30, 1990Owens-Corning Fiberglas CorporationApparatus for packaging insulation material
US5022216 *Dec 6, 1989Jun 11, 1991The Procter & Gamble CompanyMethod and apparatus for making easy open flexible bag filled with compressed flexible articles
US5036978 *Jun 26, 1989Aug 6, 1991The Procter & Gamble CompanyOpening device for flexible bags filled with compressed flexible articles
US5050742 *Nov 2, 1990Sep 24, 1991The Procter & Gamble CompanyEasy opening package containing compressed flexible articles
US5054619 *Dec 15, 1989Oct 8, 1991The Procter & Gamble CompanySide opening flexible bag with longitudinally oriented carrying handle secured to side panels
US5065868 *Oct 23, 1990Nov 19, 1991Cornelissen Roger EPackage consisting of a paper bag compactly packing compressed flexible articles
US5150561 *Jun 17, 1991Sep 29, 1992The Procter & Gamble CompanyMethod for making side opening flexible bag with longitudinally oriented carrying handle secured to side panels
US5288201 *Aug 24, 1992Feb 22, 1994Electrocom Automation L.P.Vacuum beam product dispenser and singulator and method for singulating products
US5564261 *Dec 1, 1995Oct 15, 1996The Procter & Gamble CompanyMethod and apparatus for feeding resiliently compressed articles to a form/fill/seal machine
US6363890 *Mar 6, 1998Apr 2, 2002Kenneth C. BeckPackage for animal bedding pads
USRE30791 *Sep 17, 1979Nov 10, 1981Union Carbide CorporationCantilevered belted bag loading apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/512, 53/524, 53/529, 198/817
International ClassificationB68G7/05
Cooperative ClassificationB68G7/051
European ClassificationB68G7/05B