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Publication numberUS3631826 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 4, 1972
Filing dateFeb 6, 1970
Priority dateFeb 6, 1970
Also published asCA928578A, CA928578A1
Publication numberUS 3631826 A, US 3631826A, US-A-3631826, US3631826 A, US3631826A
InventorsPaul E Morgan
Original AssigneeUsm Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sheet orienting devices
US 3631826 A
Sheet material, for instance fabric, is edge-guided automatically in conjunction with work-feeding mechanism of a machine. The edge guidance means includes an edge gage in combination with an airflow device arranged to direct a stream of air substantially parallel with the material in a channel slidably confining it to urge the edge of the material progressively into contact with the edge gap. By way of illustration only, the invention is shown herein as used in a margin-coating machine, and in a hemming device.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Paul E. Morgan Melrose, Mass. [21] Appl. No. 9,185 [22] Filed Feb. 6, 1970 [45] Patented Jan. 4, 1972 [73] Assignee USM Corporation Flemington, NJ.

[54] SHEET ORIENTING DEVICES 7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.

[52] 11.8. CI 112/141, 112/153, ll2/D1G. 2 [51 Int. (1 D05b35/02, D05b 35/10 [50] Field of Search ..l 12/141-143, 147, 152, 153, 136, DIG. 2,211

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,674,023 4/1954 Foley l 12/D1G. 2 3,018,746 1/1962 Winberg 112/211 3,099,970 8/1963 1 l2/DIG. 2

3,204,590 9/1965 1 l2/DIG. 2

3,204,591 9/ 1965 1 12/DIG. 2

3,252,437 5/1966 1 l2/DIG. 2

3,347,189 10/1967 ll2/l53 FOREIGN PATENTS 506,270 10/1951 Belgium l l2/D1G. 2

Primary ExaminerH. Hampton Hunter Attorneys-Richard A. Wise, Richard B. Megley and Carl E.

Johnson margin-coating machine, and in a hemming device.

memmm 4m SHEET 1 OF 2 I 17 van far Paa! aflorgan SHEET ORIENTING DEVICES CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION Application Ser. No. 6510, filed concurrently herewith in the name of Richard W. Grey, discloses and claims a hemming device having a duct providing an inturned passageway and a noule for directing a jet of fluid directly into a turn of the passageway for deflecting work progressively and causing it to conform to the shape of the passageway.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention is concerned with machines for treating or operating upon the margins of flexible workpieces whether their marginal edges be straight and/or curvilinear. In particular the invention deals with automatically controlling the movement of flexible material, for instance fabric, as dictated by its edge contour. It will be appreciated that useage of the invention is not limited to operation on any particular type or shape of flexible material, nor to operation in conjunction with any specific tool or work-treating mechanism.

Many flexible workpieces of plastic, paper, or fabric are flimsy and of a character making their controlled movement difficult and burdensome whether attempted manually or mechanically. Accordingly it is of importance, especially in the garment or apparel industries to reduce the labor feature in production costs despite the greater variety of workpieces, shapes, and sizes involved, not to mention the varient types of fabrics customarily used and their characteristically wide differences in texture, permeability, degrees of stiffness, thickness, surface, etc. The prior art includes various well known forms of edge gages to aid an operator and/or feed mechanism in progressively moving a workpiece with respect to an operating instrumentality. A relevant pneumatic work guiding device is disclosed for instance in U.S. Letters Pat. No. 3,204,591 wherein an air jet is directed obliquely against a work-supporting surface of a hemmer and spaced from an edge guide surface for urging the work toward the latter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the foregoing it is a primary object of this invention to provide an improved mechanism for orienting flexible sheet material as determined by the contour of its edge.

Another object is to provide a quiet and effective mechanism, requiring little or no attention, for continuously steering the margin of a workpiece relatively to an operating zone of a tool.

To these ends and in accordance with a feature of the invention there is provided in a machine having an operating instrumentality and mechanism for feeding flexible sheet material to and through the operating zone of the instrumentality, the combination with an edge gage arranged ahead of the feeding mechanism of a pair of spaced guide plates slidably confining at least a portion of the material, and an airflow device arranged to direct a stream of air between the plates generally parallel thereto and toward the edge gage whereby an edge of the material is urged progressively to contact the edge gage during operation of the machine.

As shown herein the flexible workpiece is manually presented or machine-presented transversely of the direction of feeding and proximately to the locality of the airflow device and preferably in the same general direction as the airstream which provides an air cushion for the work while passage of the air yieldingly urges an advance edge laterally forward for progressive contact with the edge gage. Air permeable fabrics normally will entrain air from the jet and he waited thereby in a manner largely dependent on the velocity of the stream, a lesser volume and velocity of the air usually being required for controlling lighter weight material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The foregoing and other features of the invention will now be described with reference to the illustrative embodiments and in connection with the accompanying drawings thereof, in which:

FIG. I is a perspective view of a margin-coating machine in inoperative condition and provided with work-orienting mechanism;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but with a portion broken away, the parts now being in operating positions;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the machine of FIGS. 1 and 2 and showing a workpiece in operating position;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail of the airflow device shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the work orienting means as applied to a hemming device in a sewing machine;

FIG. 6 is a view in side elevation of the tumdown hemmer shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative arrangement in a tumup hemmer; and

FIG. 8 is a view in side elevation of the hemmer shown in FIG. 7.

. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first to the coating machine of FIGS. I-4, and upright 10 has a generally horizontal work-supporting plate 12 secured thereon for slidably receiving flexible sheet material M having a margin to be treated or operated upon, as for instance to be coated with cement from an adhesive applicator or nozzle 14 (FIG. 3). The nozzle may be independently mounted and swingable from an out of the way position to an operating position shown dashed in FIG. 1. Of a pair of cooperating work-feeding rolls l6, 18, the lower roll 16 is mounted on the front end of a driving shaft 20 joumaled in the upright 10. The upper or driven presser roll 18 is mounted on a stub shaft 22 (FIG. 3) joumaled in a member 24 movable to carry the roll 18 from an inoperative position shown in FIG. 1 to a lower or operative position (FIGS. 2 and 3) wherein the bite of the roll is substantially on a level with the plate 12. For reasons hereinafter explained the roll 18 desirably is often provided with a very narrow circumferential band 26. For some applications, for instance when the work itself is formed with a ridge, the band 26 is unnecessary. In other applications the feed rolls, or one of them, may be considerably narrower than indicated in the drawings and thereby avoid any tendency to unduly wrinkle or ripple the margin. If preferred, in lieu of providing a band 26, one or both feed wheels may have convex work-engaging peripheries to provide point contact with the work.

For rotating the rolls l6, 18 a pinion gear 28 on the shaft 20 is arranged to mesh with a gear 30 on the shaft 22 when a reduced and forked lower end 32 of the member 24 straddles and abuts a reduced upper portion of the upright 10. A tension spring may interconnect the upright 10 and the member 24 yieldably to urge the rolls 16, 18 into work-engaging relation. An edge of the work-supporting plate 12 is disposed just ahead of the locality of point contact P of the band 26 with the material M immediately over the roll 16. Also disposed just ahead of that contact point P is an edge gage 34 preferably having a slightly convex work-engaging surface and fixedly secured to the plate 12. As shown in FIG. 3 the arrangement desirably is such that successive portions of the margin of the material M progressively engage the face of the edge gage 34, pass the cement nozzle 14 immediately thereafter to receive adhesive (or other coating), and then are gripped by the band 26 (when used) and roll 16 to be fed away from the operating zone.

For loosely constraining the material M to be fed to and through the operating zone, which material is initially presented in a direction normal to the path of feed, a thin flat cover strip 36 is secured in spaced parallel relation over at least the back portion of the plate 12 as by means of a pair of screws 38, 38. As herein shown the cover strip 36 is of transparent plastic, though an opaque material may be used. For inducing an edge of the material M progressively to contact the edge gage 34 when the material is fed by the rolls l6, 18, an airflow device generally designated 40 (FIGS. l-4) is arranged and adapted to direct a stream (or streams) of air toward the edge gage, normal to the path of feed and between the plate 12 and the cover strip 36. The airflow device shown has an inlet 42 in the plate 12, a deflector 44 being secured on the plate 12 for introducing the incoming air under the material M and in parallel relation therewith between the cover strip 36 and the plate 12. Accordingly the material M may first be laterally presented toward the edge gage 34 and over the deflector 44 only sufficiently to enable the airstream to flow by the material and thereby be advanced edgewise into the operating zone. Valving (not shown) may be associated with an inlet pipe to regulate the volume and speed of the airstream as desired. FIG. 4 shows the manner in which an air bearing is thus provided for the work, and the small undulations (shown exaggerated for emphasis) which are often formed in the work probably better enable the airstream to advance the margin yieldingly for contact with the edge gage.

As the work margin is pneumatically caused to contact the edge gage 34, a feeding force is exerted at the nearby contact point P (FIGS. 2 and 3) of the band 26 to progress the margin past the nozzle 14. The margin is permitted, in effect, to pivot clockwise or counterclockwise about the point P as successive marginal portions with varying edge concavity and/or convexity may dictate. If the edge of the margin is straight, the feed rolls 16, 18 exert no, or substantially no, steering torque about the edge gage but simply apply straight ahead feed force. If the edge deviates from a straight contour, the reaction force applied at the edge gage 44 to the margin is decreased or increased approximately according to the degree in change in curvature and the material pivots about point P and thus enables the coating to be applied a substantially uniform width along the margin.

It will be understood that the work-orienting mechanism essentially as described in connection with FIGS. L4 is useful in different machines. FIGS. 5 and 6 for instance, disclose a downturn hemmer generally designated 50 of a sewing machine and may be in the form of a single or multiple unit mounted on its bed. The hemmer 50 comprises a pair of parallel flat strips 52, 54 spaced to receive the flexible sheet material M laterally. The work-supporting strip 52 is fitted at its work-receiving end with an air inlet 56 and a deflector 58 for directing an airstream from the inlet under the material M, between the strips 52, 54 and generally parallel thereto. The deflector 58 is adapted to direct the airstream, and hence the material M, toward a first margin forming corner, the strip 52 preferably having a downtumed bend at 60 of about 90, and the strip 54 adjacent the band 60 being semicircularly formed to define an edge gage surface 61 and hence an outer marginal edge of a hem that will extend substantially parallel with the seam to be stitched by a needle 62 of the machine. When for straight edges or edges of constant curvature more than one hemmer 50 is used in the machine at one time, their respective surfaces 61 are aligned. An associated conventional presser foot 64 and feed dog 66 serve to feed the margin or formed hem H in increments away from the hemmer 50. It will be understood that for easier pivoting of the work, the presser foot 64 need not grip the work while it is pierced by the needle. As shown in FIG. 6 an optional auxiliary airflow device 68 has an inlet 70 disposed in the first bend of the passageway afforded by the strips 52, 54. As taught in the copending application of Gray above cited, the device 68 emits air normal to the worksupporting strip 52 and just beyond its 90 bend to deflect the material M and assists in progressing it laterally until an extremity of the margin abuts an inner end-forming stop portion 72 of the strip 54.

The disclosure of FIGS. 7 and 8 corresponds largely to that of FIGS. 5 and 6. In FIGS. 7 and 8 the airflow device 80 is adapted to provide a tumed-up hem and comprises a pair of spaced parallel flat strips 82, 84 for laterally and slidably receiving the material M to be hemmed. In this instance the air is introduced throu h an inlet 86 in the u r stri 84 to th underside of which adjacent its mouth, here i? affixed deflector 88 for directing the airstream between the strips 82, 84 and generally parallel to the material to urge it laterally against an incurved edge guide surface 90 on the first arcuate bend of the strip 82. In this case the upper strip 84 is formed with a sharp bend (approximately 90) at 92. Accordingly an optional auxiliary airflow nozzle 94 may provide deflection of the material progressively about the bend at 92 by directing a jet of air through a hole in the strip 82, this jet also being especially useful in aiding the lateral edge of the material M to advance in the hemmer and abut a terminal stop portion 96 formed on the strip 82.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In a machine for operating on a margin of a workpiece and having an operating instrumentality and mechanism for feeding the workpiece to and through the operating zone of the instrumentality to be progressively presented to the instrumentality, an orienting device for loosely constraining and causing the margin of the workpiece to be progressively presented to the instrumentality as dictated by the contour of the marginal edge of the workpiece, said device including an edge gage fixedly located immediately ahead of the feed mechanism, and an airflow device arranged to direct at least one cushioning airstream parallel and closely adjacent to at least the underside of the workpiece, normal to the path of feed, and toward the edge gage whereby the marginal edge is continuously urged into contact therewith during feeding.

2. A machine as set forth in claim I wherein the feed mechanism is adapted to have point contact with successive portions of the workpiece.

3. A machine as set forth in claim 1 wherein the work-feeding mechanism comprises a pair of cooperative rolls at least one of which is fitted with a narrow circumferential band for providing a pivotal contact point with the workpiece as it is fed.

4. A machine as set forth in claim 1 wherein the feed mechanism includes a pair of cooperative wheels at least one of which is axially convex.

5. A machine as set forth in claim 1, wherein the airflow device includes a pair of generally flat spaced members for slidably receiving and constraining the workpiece and airstream in parallel relation, one of said members being formed with an air inlet and one of said members supports a deflector adjacent to said inlet for directing air therefrom beneath and along the underside of the workpiece.

6. A machine as set forth in claim 5 wherein one of said members is provided with means to flow air along at least one side of the workpiece and the deflector is mounted on the work supporting one of said members, the other of said members overlying said one member in part but not overlying the deflector. I

7. The combination with a machine having a generally flat work-supporting surface, work-feeding mechanism, and a tool for operating on a workpiece movable on said surface through the operating zone of said tool, of a guidance device for progressively positioning the straight and/or curved portions of the edge of the workpiece relative to the tool, said device including an edge gage having a rounded work-engaging face projecting above said surface ahead of the tool and automatic means continuously operative substantially in the plane of said surface yieldingly to urge the edge of the workpiece against said edge gage face without restraining the advance of the work by said mechanism.

Patent Citations
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US3018746 *Nov 24, 1959Jan 30, 1962Winberg Ragnar WCombined presser foot and feeder
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3811391 *Jun 11, 1973May 21, 1974Melco Ind IncSewing guide apparatus
US3884747 *Aug 22, 1973May 20, 1975Soto EnriqueMachine for sizing and processing drapery material
US3906877 *Oct 17, 1974Sep 23, 1975Jetsew IncReinforced hem forming device
US4127075 *Aug 25, 1977Nov 28, 1978Union Special CorporationSuction device for sewing machines
US4133279 *Feb 24, 1977Jan 9, 1979Siegfried WajcmannSewing apparatus
US4186674 *Nov 2, 1977Feb 5, 1980Stahl-Urban CompanyApparatus for guiding work through a sewing machine or the like
US4307675 *Feb 13, 1979Dec 29, 1981Haggar CompanySemi-automatic panel serger
US4362115 *Sep 15, 1980Dec 7, 1982Amf IncorporatedMethod of and apparatus for top stitching
US4455954 *Dec 14, 1982Jun 26, 1984Tultex Corp.Lateral position adjuster for edge margin of longitudinally conveyed flexible material
US4462322 *Aug 8, 1982Jul 31, 1984Opelika Manufacturing CorporationSheet production system with hem expander
US4473017 *Dec 16, 1982Sep 25, 1984Amf Inc.Apparatus for automatically hemming tubular garments on a sewing machine
US4722289 *Jun 18, 1987Feb 2, 1988Ikeda Bussan Co., Ltd.Sewing machine
US4777895 *May 7, 1987Oct 18, 1988Hirose Manufacturing Company, LimitedMethod of sewing sheet material and an apparatus therefor
US5373797 *Oct 19, 1992Dec 20, 1994Bottoms Associates, Inc.Hem former
US5441004 *Dec 16, 1994Aug 15, 1995Bottoms; Joseph A.Hem former having multipe folding plates
US6003456 *May 15, 1998Dec 21, 1999Orange County Industrial Sewing Machine Co., Inc.Hem former and sewing apparatus
US6119612 *Dec 8, 1998Sep 19, 2000Bottoms Associates, Inc.Hem former with movable support plate
US6186084Jul 22, 1999Feb 13, 2001Orange County Industrial Sewing Machine Co., Inc.Hem former and sewing apparatus
USRE29758 *Sep 21, 1977Sep 12, 1978Cluett, Peabody & Co., Inc.Reinforced hem forming device
U.S. Classification112/141, 112/153, 112/DIG.200
International ClassificationD05B35/02
Cooperative ClassificationD05D2207/04, D05B35/02, Y10S112/02
European ClassificationD05B35/02