Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3669443 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 13, 1972
Filing dateApr 1, 1970
Priority dateApr 1, 1970
Publication numberUS 3669443 A, US 3669443A, US-A-3669443, US3669443 A, US3669443A
InventorsDouglas G Noiles
Original AssigneeIvanhoe Research Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and system for automatically forming parts for garments, and the like
US 3669443 A
Abstract
A method and system for automatically forming parts for garments and the like is described wherein limp workpieces such as garment sections which are precut, are fed to an alignment station to register a desired predetermined crease line of the workpieces in precision alignment with a fold line defined by the nip of a pair of merging endless conveyors. The aligned workpieces are then deposited on the conveyors with the predetermined crease line aligned with the fold line, and the conveyors begin moving so that they can draw the workpiece between them and simultaneously fold it along the desired crease line. The conveyors transport the folded workpieces, such as pocket sections, downwardly past a pressurized region and back to an elevated workpiece delivery plane where the conveyors diverge. An attachment station in operative alignment with the delivery plane receives the folded workpieces and fastens the sides to each other along a predetermined attachment line, for example to form a sewn pocket assembly.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Noiles [151 3,669,443 14 1 June 13, 1972 METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR AUTOMATICALLY FORMING PARTS FOR GARMENTS, AND THE LIKE 3,113,772 12/1963 Malott et a1. ..270/69 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-L. R. Oremland Attorney-Robertson, Bryan, Parmelee & Johnson [57] ABSTRACT A method and system for automatically forming parts for garments and the like is described wherein limp workpieces such as garment sections which are precut, are fed to an alignment station to register a desired predetermined crease line of the workpieces in precision alignment with a fold line defined by the nip of a pair of merging endless conveyors. The aligned workpieces are then deposited on the conveyors with the predetermined crease line aligned with the fold line, and the conveyors begin moving so that they can draw the workpiece between them and simultaneously fold it along the desired crease line. The conveyors transport the folded workpieces. such as pocket sections, downwardly past a pressurized region and back to an elevated workpiece delivery plane where the conveyors diverge. An attachment sta on in operative alignment with the delivery plane receives the folded workpieces and fastens the sides to each other along a predetermined attachment line, for example to form a sewn pocket assembly.

12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEflJun 13 1912 SHEET 2 BF 3 INVENTOR. DOUGLAS G NO/LES BY fc dmi WM METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR AUTOMATICALLY FORMING PARTS FOR GARMENTS, AND THE LIKE DESCRIPTION This invention relates to a method and system for automatically forming parts for garments and the like. More specifically this invention relates to automatically folding and fastening limp workpieces, such as garment sections, for example to fold and sew to form the workpieces into pockets for garments.

In a method and system in accordance with the invention limp workpieces are folded along a desired crease line followed by fastening of the folded sides to each other along a predetermined accurately locatable attachment line. Workpieces such as precut garment sections of generally planar shape are automatically fed to an alignment station. The alignment station orients a desired crease line of each of the fed workpieces with the fold line formed by a pair of merging moving endless conveyors. The aligned workpieces are then deposited on the conveyors with the desired crease line in precision registration with the fold line of the merging conveyors. The conveyors are intermittently moved to draw the workpieces between them and transport the workpieces in an initially downwardly direction and then past a pressurized region back to an elevated workpiece delivery plane where the conveyors diverge. An attachment station in operative alignment with the delivery plane receives the folded workpieces, such as garment sections, and fastens the sides to each other along a predetermined attachment line to form a garment subassembly, such as a pocket or the like.

The method and system of this invention are illustratively employed in the formation of pockets for garments. A planar garment section shaped to be formed into a pocket is folded by the conveyors along a crease line which bisects the pocket garment section. After the conveyors have returned the folded pocket sections to the delivery plane, the aligned edges formed by folded section sides are attached by stitching or other fastening means.

The employment of the moving merging conveyors provides an accurate control over the location of the workpiece fold while simultaneously precisely preserving the position of the workpiece with respect to the attachment station. High speeds of operation are possible in the formation of the folded and fastened workpiece article with the advantage of reproducible high quality for each completed article.

These advantages and others may be understood from the following description of an illustrative embodiment of the invention employed in connection with the formation of folded and fastened workpieces for example to form pockets for garments as shown in the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan schematic view of part of a system for forming accurately folded and fastened workpieces in accordance with the invention with several individual workpieces shown at various intermediate steps of manufacture;

FIG. 2 is a side view in elevation of the system of FIG. I with the addition of an air pressure impulse producing apparatus employed at the folding merging line of endless conveyors;

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the system of FIG. 1 and additionally includes a perspective view of a workpiece transferring device.

With reference to F IG. 1, a system is shown for automati cally forming folded and fastened workpieces, illustratively shown as making pockets from precut workpiece sections. A pair of endless multi-belt conveyors l2 and 14 are arranged so that they move towards one another to provide a workpiece depositing region 15 and are aligned so that they converge downwardly along a folding station or fold line 16 beneath said depositing region 15. Conveyors l2 and 14 are intermittently moved at the same speed in the direction of arrows l7 and 19, respectively, by common motor drive means 20 (shown in FIG. 2) which drives a timing belt 2] to turn a belt drive roller 22 over which the conveyor belt 14 passes.

The conveyors l2 and 14 pass over other rollers 24 and 26. respectively, which are positioned on opposite sides of the fold line 16 to allow workpieces 28', such as garment pocket sections. to be drawn down between the conveyors. Each conveyor is formed of a plurality of parallel spaced endless belts paming over guide means comprising rollers 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32 and 39. The rollers 22 and 30 are geared together by gears 23 and 25 (FIG. 1) so that they rotate in opposite directions at the same speed.

The conveyor 12 has a generally triangular path as seen in elevation including a downward vertical path 31, an upwardly inclined path 35 (forming the hypotenuse of the triangle) and the horizontal path shown by the arrow 17. The other conveyor l4 follows a more complex path including a generally triangular portion A at the left in FIG. 2 and an elongated portion B at center and right in FIG. 2. The triangular path portion A includes a horizontal path shown by the arrow 19, a downward vertical path 31' (adjacent to path 31) and an upwardly inclined path 18. The elongated path portion B includes an upwardly inclined path 35' (adjacent to path 35) and a final horizontal path 44 plus a return path 45.

A supply of workpieces, such as precut planar pocket section 28, are provided in a rotary stack 33. A garment section feeder illustrated by the arrow 37 (such as described and claimed in U. S. application Ser. No. 858,013, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,601,396 filed Sept. [5, i969, and assigned to an assignee in common with the present application) transfers the garment sections 28 from the rotary stack to a registration and alignment station 34. This registration station 34 aligns a desired crease line 36 (such as a center line) of each garment pocket section 28 with the fold line 16. This station 34 may include registration and centering apparatus as described and claimed in U. S. application Ser. No. 734,660, now US. Pat. No. 3,548,198 filed June 5, I968, assigned to an assignee in common with the present application. Briefly. the station 34 includes movable sensing means 41 for sensing the edge of the workpiece, such as a photocell unit, and the workpiece supporting surface 43 moves in the opposite direction, as indicated by the arrow 45, thus centering the workpiece 28.

After workpiece alignment at station 34 a transfer apparatus 40 (shown in FIG. 3) depoflts the aligned workpiece 28' on the conveyors l2 and 14 with the desired crease line 36 aligned in a vertical plane with fold line 16. The merging conveyors l2 and 14 then draw the deposited workpiece downwardly between them and transport the workpiece back to a conveyor diverging line 42. At the diverging line 42, conveyor l4 proceeds in a generally horizontal plane in the direction of arrow 44 while conveyor 12 returns to fold line 16. Folded workpieces such as 28" are delivered by conveyor 14 to an attaching apparatus 46 in operative relationship with delivered folded workpieces such as 28". The attaching apparatus 46 fastens the edge of folded sides of the workpiece which is then removed in the direction of arrow 48 by a conveyor 50.

Below each conveyor 12 and I4 and adjacent to the fold line 16 are a pair of suction ducts 52-54 which serve to maintain the sides of deposited aligned workpiece firmly in contact with die conveyor surfaces to prevent the workpiece 28 from shifting its position while it is being drawn down between the converging conveyors. Ducts 52-54 are provided with apertures 56 positioned under the respective individual belts of both conveyors l2 and 14, and these belts are porous. Thus, suction acting through the porous webs of the belts provides intimate contact between the overlying workpiece 28' and the belts. Ducts 52-54 are connected through a common manifold 58 to suction source (not shown).

A workpiece sensor 60 is located downstream from the conveyor diverging line 42 to sense the position of each folded workpiece when it emerges from between the conveyors l2 and 14. This sensing means 60 is formed by a photocell 62 located above conveyor 14 and a light source 64 mounted below conveyor 14. The sensing means 60 operates with its optical path between photocell 62 and light source 64 located in the space between adjacent belts of conveyors 14. it detects the presence of the workpieces 28" and stops the conveyor system 12 and [4 to permit the workpiece 28" to be picked up and transferred by the transfer means 74 and to permit the workpiece 28' to be deposited at spanning the nip region fold line 16 of the converging conveyors. As soon as this positioning of the registered workpiece at 15 has been done, the conveyors 12 and I4 begin moving again, and this operation is cyclically repeated with each successive workpiece.

As shown in the elevation view of FIG. 2 and respectively shown in FIG. 3, an air pressure pulse producing apparatus 66 is provided in the form of a tube 68. Tube 68 is vertically spaced from fold line 16 and aligned therewith so that a uniform longitudinal air pressure pulse may be applied to a workpiece deposited below tube 68. Pressurized air for ap paratus 66 is supplied from a source such as a compressor (not shown) and delivered in the direcu'on of arrow '70 through a tube 71 to a solenoid controlled valve 72 Shortly after an aligned workpiece 28, shown as a garment pocket section, is deposited on the conveyors l2 and 14 an air pressure pulse from tube 68 is applied to urge the central portion of the workpiece overlying the crease line 16 downwardly in advance of its two edges between the merging conveyors. The rollers 24 and 26 are rubber covered and squeeze together to exert a firm pressure at the nip fold line 16.

A folded workpiece transferring device 74 is poised over conveyor path 44 to transfer the folded section to the side attachment apparatus 46.

As illustrated in FIG. 3 the aligned workpiece transferring apparatus 40 is provided with a suction head 76 for picking up workpieces from the aligning station 34. Transfer apparatus 40 is mounted on a frame 78 which is movable back and forth in the direction of the double headed arrow 80 between the converging region 16 of the conveyors l2 and 14 and the aligning device 34. The reduced pressure for suction head 76 is obtained from an evacuating pump (not shown) operating through a hose 82.

The workpieces 28 drawn down between the conveyors l2 and 14 are tightly folded when the adjacent conveyors turn around the lower roller 84 (see FIG. 2) to pass upwardly at 35, 35' towards the delivery plane. The pressure between the conveyors is sufficiently high to assure a well defined crease line in the folded workpieces as they emerge at the conveyor diverging line 42.

In the operation of the system 10 the garment pocket sec tions 28 are removed one at a time from their position on the stack 33 and placed for alignment by registering apparatus 34. After registration each workpiece is accurately transferred for deposit on the conveyors l2 and 14 with the predetermined crease line 36 accurately aligned with fold line 16. The suction action from ducts 52-54 maintains the sides of each workpiece in adherence with conveyors l2 and 14 so that the air pressure pulse from tube 68 may urge the predetermined crease line 36 of the aligned workpiece 28' down between the continuously moving belts. Conveyors 12 and i4 then downwardly advance the folded workpiece past the high pressure region near roller 84 and back up to an elevated delivery plane 44 where the conveyors diverge. This delivery plane 44 is at substantially the same level as the folding station 16. Conveyor 14 then carries the folded workpiece past sensor 60 at which its detection is employed to actuate the transfer apparatus 74 for placing the folded workpiece 28" into the fastening station 46 for attachment of its two sides, for forming folded and attached articles, such as pockets for garments as used in men's trousers.

This fastening station 46 includes suitable fastening means, such as a sewing machine 86 and manipulation apparatus including a workpiece controlling clamp 88 and a movable and rotatable shaft 90 for moving this clamp. Such manipulating and sewing equipment is described in detail and claimed in my copending application Ser. No. 663,033 filed Aug. 24, 1967, to which reference may be made for further information. The workpiece 28" is moved by the clamp 88 in the direction of the arrow 48 while being controllably revolved as indicated by the circular arrow 92, thus attaching together the two side edges 94 of the workpiece along a predetermined desired attachment line extending along closely adjacent to the superimposed curving edges 94. The completed workpiece 28' is finally transferred away from the attachment station 46 by transfer apparatus indicated by the arrow 50, which is generally similar to the transfer apparatus 40 shown in FIG. 1.

Having thus described an automatic workpiece folding and fastening system and a method of forming an article such as a pocket for a garment in accordance with the invention, the many advantages of the invention may be appreciated. Other parts for a garment may be folded and attached as described within the scope of the following claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A method for automatically folding and fastening limp workpieces for forming pars of garments and the like wherein the workpieces are each folded along a predetermined crease line for attachment of the folded sides along a selected attachment line comprising the steps of: feeding planar workpieces to an alignment station, aligning the predetermined crease line with a folding line defined at the convergence of a pair of downwardly merging moving endless conveyors, depositing the aligned workpieces on the merging conveyors with the predetermined crease line in registration with the fold line defined by the converging conveyors to cause the conveyors to fold the deposited workpieces along the predetermined crease line, transporting the folded workpieces between the adjacent conveyors past a pressurizing region to tightly fold the workpieces along the crease line and delivering the folded workpieces between the adjacent conveyors upwardly to an elevated level where the conveyors diverge, said elevated level corresponding to the level of the folding line defined by the merging conveyors, delivering the folded workpiece to a fastening stah'on, and fastening the sides of a folded workpiece to one another along the desired attachment line.

2. The method of automatically folding and fastening limp workpieces for forming parts of garments, and the like, as claimed in claim 1 wherein the depositing of the aligned workpieces on the converging conveyors is followed by the step of maintaining the respective sides of the workpieces in adherence with the conveyors throughout their folding by the convergence of the conveyors.

3. The method of automatically folding and fastening limp workpieces for forming part of garments, and the like, as claimed in claim 2 wherein the depositing of the workpieces on the converging moving conveyors is further followed by the step of applying a pressurizing force along the predetermined crease line on the deposited workpieces to urge the predetermined crease line of the garment sections downwardly between the converging conveyors.

4. The method of automatically folding and fastening limp workpieces for forming parts of garments, and the like, as claimed in claim I wherein said folded workpiece attaching step is preceded by the step of transferring the folded workpieces away from the conveyor.

5. A system for automatically folding and fastening limp workpieces for forming parts of garments, and the like, wherein the workpieces are each folded along a predetermined crease line for attachment of the folded sides along a predetermined attachment line comprising: a pair of endless conveyors, said conveyors being arranged to move towards one another in a workpiece depositing plane for converging along a fold line, said conveyors being closely spaced after said converging fold line along a path extending generally downwardly and returning upwardly to a generally horizontal folded workpiece delivery plane, with said conveyors arranged to diverge at said delivery plane, means for aligning the predetermined crease line of each workpiece with the fold line formed by the converging conveyors, means for transferring the aligned workpieces to position their predetermined crease line along the fold line of the converging conveyors, means for continuously moving said conveyors at the same speed to fold deposited workpieces along said predetermined crease line as the conveyors converge at their fold line and to transport the folded workpieces to the delivery plane, and fastening means in operative relationship with the delivered folded workpiece to fasten their folded sides to one another along the predetermined attachment line.

6. The system for automatically folding and fmtening limp workpieces for forming parts of garments, and the like, as claimed in claim 5 and further including means located adjacent the conveyor fold line for maintaining the sides of the workpiece in contact with the conveyors as the workpiece is drawn down between the converging moving conveyors.

7. The system as claimed in claim 6 and further including means for applying a pressurizing force onto the deposited workpiece to urge the predetermined crease line of each workpiece between the converging conveyors.

8. The system as claimed in claim 7 and further including means for transferring the folded workpiece from the delivery plane to the fastening means.

9. A system for automatically folding limp workpieces, such as parts of garments and the like, wherein each of the workpieces in succession are folded along a predetermined crease line comprising:

a pair of endless conveyors, said conveyors being arranged to move towards one another to define a flat workpiece depositing region and said conveyors being arranged to converge along a fold line beneath said depositing region, registration and transfer means for orienting the work pieces and depositing the workpieces in said depositing region with a predetermined crease line in the workpieces aligned with said fold line, drive means for moving said conveyors to converge for folding the deposited workpiece along said predetermined crease line, guide means for guiding the converged conveyors adjacent to each other with the folded workpiece therebetween and guiding the adjacent conveyors to a workpiece delivery region where the conveyors diverge to deliver the folded workpiece.

10. A system for automatically folding limp workpieces, such as parts of garments and the like, as claimed in claim 9 in which said endless conveyors move downwardly adjacent one to the other for holding the folded workpiece therebetween and then travel partially around a roller and are directed upwardly adjacent one to the other for holding the folded workpiece therebetween until they diverge near said workpiece delivery region for delivering the folded workpiece.

11. A system for automatically folding limp workpieces, such as parts of garments and the like, wherein each of the workpieces in succession are folded along a predetermined crease line comprising:

a pair of endless conveyors, said conveyors being arranged to move towards one another to define a workpiece depositing region, and said conveyors being arranged to converge along a fold line beneath said depositing region, registration and transfer means for depositing the workpieces in said depositing region with a predetermined crease line in the workpieces aligned with said fold line, drive means for moving said conveyors to converge for folding the deposited workpiece along said predetermined crease line, guide means for guiding the converged conveyors adjacent to each other with the folded workpiece therebetween and guiding the adjacent conveyors to a workpiece delivery region where the conveyors diverge to deliver the folded workpiece, each of said endless conveyors including a plurality of parallel spaced endless belts, said belts being porous, a pair of suction ducts positioned beneath the respective conveyors in said workpiece depositing region, a source of suction connected to each of said ducts, and said ducts having suction apertures positioned beneath said porous belts of the respective conveyors for applying a suction action to the workpieces which are deposited in said region to maintain the sides of the deposited workgiieces firmly in contact with the conveyor surfaces as ey move owards one another.

12. A system for folding limp workpieces, such as parts of garments and the like, comprising a pair of endless conveyors, drive means for moving both of said conveyors at substantially the same speed, a first of said conveyors travelling in a generally triangular pattern as seen in side elevation, said triangular pattern including a downward path, a generally horizontal path moving toward the top of said downward path and an upwardly inclined path, the second of said conveyors travelling in a complex pattern as seen in side elevation, said complex pattern including a downward path closely adjacent to the downward path of said first conveyor, an initial, generally horizontal path moving toward the top of said downward path, said horizontal paths of said first and second conveyors converging and curving downward into said downward paths thereof and defining a workpiece folding line for folding a workpiece deposited on said conveyors in the re gion where said conveyors converge, said adjacent downward paths of said conveyors being arranged to convey a folded workpiece downwardly therebetween, said second conveyor having an upwardly inclined path adjacent to the upwardly inclined path of said first conveyor for conveying the folded workpiece upwardly therebetween, said second conveyor diverging from said first conveyor at the top of said upwardly inclined path and travelling in a second generally horizontal path for delivering the folded workpiece, and said second conveyor returning to the beginning of said initial generally horizontal path.

i i i l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3113772 *Sep 24, 1962Dec 10, 1963Mc Graw Edison CoCross-folder control
US3252700 *Dec 12, 1963May 24, 1966Ametek IncLaundry machine
US3310207 *Mar 11, 1965Mar 21, 1967Riegel Textile CorpApparatus for everting and folding pillowcases, bags or the like
US3437334 *Mar 23, 1965Apr 8, 1969Joseph L MaldonadoFlatwork folder and method
US3559983 *May 12, 1967Feb 2, 1971Sjostrom Automations IncLarge sheet folder including sheet securing means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3765348 *Jan 4, 1972Oct 16, 1973Farah Mfg Co IncZipper patch sewing and forming machine
US3794224 *Dec 11, 1972Feb 26, 1974Russell Mills IncApparatus for folding and stacking garment parts
US3871312 *Dec 26, 1973Mar 18, 1975Jetsew IncSewing machine material feed mechanism
US3934867 *Jun 3, 1974Jan 27, 1976Pitney-Bowes, Inc.Collating, folding and inserting system
US4204492 *Jul 17, 1978May 27, 1980Levi Strauss & Co.Apparatus for hemming fabric pieces
US4428315 *Jan 31, 1984Jan 31, 1984Keeton John HAutomatic sleeve making
US4483262 *Oct 17, 1983Nov 20, 1984Keeton John HAutomatic sleeve making
US4569672 *Jan 5, 1982Feb 11, 1986MabotexAutomatic cutting, folding and packing machine for sheets of flexible material which are usually paid out in rolled up webs
US4790523 *Aug 19, 1986Dec 13, 1988Galram Technology Industries Ltd.Method and a system for displacing objects
US5649305 *Dec 28, 1994Jul 15, 1997Nec CorporationMemory call origination system for automatically originating a call to a calling party
Classifications
U.S. Classification493/394, 270/37, 493/937, 112/470.1, 493/418
International ClassificationA41D27/20, A41H43/02
Cooperative ClassificationA41D27/204, Y10S493/937, A41H43/0257
European ClassificationA41H43/02H2, A41D27/20C