US 3672249 A
A process and apparatus for automatically cutting and piling knitted fabric comprising the steps of successively drawing a long continuous tubular knitted fabric creased in both side edges and folded in a longitudinal direction, maintaining the creased edges or moving same to the center, conveying the fabric slowly upward and forward, hanging the fabric, stopping the hanging at a predetermined length, attracting the fabric at a stop position, cutting the fabric at its top, shifting the attracted fabric to a piling stand, and piling the fabric successively after releasing it from attraction.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Sasaki [451 June 27, 1972 PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATIC CUTTING AND PILING OF KNITTED FABRICS Tadajiro Sasaki, Osaka, Japan Kabushiki Kaisha Sasakiseisakusho, Osaka, Japan Filed: June 11, 1970 Appl. No.: 45,446
US. Cl ..83/80, 83/92, 83/152, 83/175, 83/210, 83/282, 83/520, 83/648 Int. Cl v ..B65h 29/32 Field of Search ..83/80, 92, 94, 100, 98, 99, 83/152, 154, 210, 282, 520, 175, 176, 42, 648
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1923 Wagner ..83/152 X Bolton Toensing ..83/94 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 544,608 2/1932 Germany ..83/520 Primary Examiner-James M. Meister Attorney-Moonray Kojima [5 7] ABSTRACT A process and apparatus for automatically cutting and piling knitted fabric comprising the steps of successively drawing a long continuous tubular knitted fabric creased in both side edges and folded in a longitudinal direction, maintaining the creased edges or moving same to the center, conveying the fabric slowly upward and forward, hanging the fabric, stopping the hanging at a predetermined length, attracting the fabric at a stop position, cutting the fabric at its top, shifting the attracted fabric to a piling stand, and piling the fabric successively after releasing it from attraction.
5 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUHEY I972 3, 672 249 SHEET 10F 7 Pi 9. l
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TADAJ'IRO SASAK I PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATIC CUTTING AND PILING OF KNITTED FABRICS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a process and apparatus to automatically cut knitted fabrics without deforming the shape to predetermined dimensions and pile the thus cut fabrics accurately, and particularly pertains to an automatic cutting and piling apparatus, wherein the positions of the two creases of one continuous tubular knitted fabric which is drawn out can be changed, and the fabric is slowly lifted upward and forward and hanged down from the upper end vertically, cut in the attracted condition and is piled on the lift until a predetermined number of pieces are piled, for the next step of cutting for clothings.
Since the knitted fabric is elastic in all the ways it requires special attention in cutting it to a predetermined length without warping it and many workers should attend to it, and for this reason the automatic cutting of knitted fabric has been considered impossible. Furthermore, in cutting the knitted fabric in preparation for sewing underwears, special cutting machines such as hand knife cutter had to be used for cutting the neck line, sleeve joint and the like parts, and to facilitate such type of cutting in the next course, the above cut fabrics should be accurately piled, and it was difficult to put the fabrics in good order by the conventional manual operation.
The object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which is capable of cutting the knitted fabric having a predetermined length to a predetermined dimensions without applying other forces except gravity, which might cause warping of the fabric, and accurately piling the cut fabrics in succession until a predetermined number of pieces are obtained, automatically and with good timing in repetition.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which is capable of hanging down of the long continuous tubular knitted fabric in the condition of natural fall by gravity without applying other forces, on a vertical plane on which a cutter is provided.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an automatic cutting and piling apparatus having a mechanism to change the positions to the creases in both side edges of the long continuous tubular knitted fabric which is drawn out, to the center in preparation for the next step of cutting for underwears.
Further object of the invention is to provide an automatic cutting and piling apparatus wherein the tubular knitted fabric continuously hanging down is inspected for any faulty or defective parts by an inspection device.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus wherein the tubular knitted fabric which is hanging by gravity without tension is attracted and fixed on the attracting plate and cut at the predetermined part quickly.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which is capable of accurately piling the fabrics cut as above.
According to the invention, the fabric to be cut is drawn out continuously and conveyed upward and forward of the frame, hanged down to a predetermined length, past the front of the cutter and attracted by the negative pressure of the attracting plate and cut at its top and is shifted to the piling position in the attracted condition, and piled accurately in succession, all in repetition. Thus, the invention has automatized the cutting and piling operations which were performed manually heretofore for the first time, extremely efficiently and economically, also enabling to attract and cut the fabric accurately and rapidly by hanging down the fabric by gravity in a natural fall condition free of warping. Further, while the fabric hang down from the top, the fabric can be inspected, and when required the drive of the fabric can be stopped for cutting out defective parts, and the cut fabrics are piled in succession accurately on a piling stand.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a flow sheet of the automatic cutting and piling work of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the changed creases of the fabric seen from its back;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the cut fabric, piled;
FIG. 5 is a side view of the frame with the fold of the fabric in the original position;
FIG. 6 is a side view of the tenter and its supporting rollers;
FIG. 7 is a plan where the crease of the fabric is changed;
FIG. 8 is a front view of the tenter and its supporting rollers in the case the position of the crease is changed;
FIG. 9 is a side view of the tenter and supporting rollers;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the tenter;
FIG. 1 1 shows the detail of the cutter;
FIG. 12 is a front view of the attracting plate;
FIG. 13 is a side view of the driving gear for the attracting plate;
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the lower mechanism of the piling stand for the cut fabric;
FIG. 15 is a circuit diagram,
FIGS. 16 and 17 show the manner of cutting without changing the creases in the next process for reference, and
FIGS. 18 and 19 show the manner of cutting after changing the creases in the next process.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 2 the fabric is slowly conveyed upward and forward of the frame without changing the positions of the two creases, and cut in a predetermined length in preparation for the next process where the change of the creases 84 is not required, for example, as the next process to cut and sew up for making pants along the cutting line 81 in FIGS. 16 and 17.
In FIG. 2, 1 is the cutter and 2 is the attracting plate which is pivoted at the lower end on the frame 3 and its upperend is positioned close to the cutter l, and normally is in an upright position, but can be slanted forward along its shaft at an angle of 90. On the surface of the attracting plate are provided a number of suction holes which attract the fabric hanging down. 4 is the fabric to be out, which is long and continuous in a tubular form, and also, the both side edges of which are in creases. S'is the cut fabric, 6 is the lift on which the cut fabric 5 is piled, which is connected to the front of the frame 3, movably up and down, 7 is the stand to hold the folded fabric, pivoted on the frame 3 movably at an angle of 90 at the back of the frame 3. 8 and 9 are the guide rollers for drawing out the fabric, provided above the frame 14. 10 are the supporting rollers for the tenter l7, and said guide rollers and supporting rollers are assembled on the frame 14 of said stand. 1 l are the drawing rollers and are pivoted on the frame 3, 12 is the conveyor for slowly lifting the fabric 4 upward and forward and is mounted on the frame 3. The drawing rollers l l are driven by a motor and the like power and are connected to the conveyor by a transmission and the like, to be driven simultaneously. 13 is the inspection unit provided at the upper end of the frame 3, by which light is projected from behind the hanging down fabric. The fabric 4 is continuously drawn out from the stand 7 through the guide rollers 8 and 9 and the drawing rollers 11, and the width of the fabric is stretched on the way by the supporting rollers 10 of the tenter, and the fabric with its width maintained is conveyed to the forward upper end of the frame from the lower end of the conveyor. The fabric reaching to the top hangs down vertically past the inspection unit 13 to the front of the attracting plate 2 and is stopped at a predeter mined length and attracted by the attracting plate, and cut by the cutter 1 at the upper part, and the attracting plate 2 holding the fabric is turned down forward along the shaft 3 and the fabric is piled over the other. By repeated operations of drawing out, conveying, inspecting, attracting, cutting and piling, the fabric is piled on the lift 6.
Thus, the fabric which hangs down from the top of the con- 1 veyor is subject only to the gravity of the fabric delivered sucfrom the back of the fabric for any defects, and when the bottom of the fabric reaches to the predetermined position, the conveyor is stopped by means of a signal from such as a photoelectric tube, and then is attracted by the attracting plate in the position without slightest irregularity, and its position is not changed after cut at its upper part and falls down with the attracting plate and is piled accurately over the other on the lift. The fabrics thus accurately piled are shifted to the next process of cutting for sewing.
The dimensions of the fabric to be cut is 60 X 120 cm, and the apparatus measures 1.7 m high X 1.5 m wide and 2.0 m lon F IGS. 3 and 4 show the instance in which the crease 84 is changed to the center, since in FIGS. 18 and 19, when cutting for underwears it is desirable to cut the neck line along the cutting line 82 in the portion without the crease and also required to cut the front neck 82a in the form of larger and deeper than the back one 82b. Opening of sleeve may be cut along the cutting line 83. The stand 7 is pivoted rotatably on the vertical axis 16 provided on the frame 3 through the fitting 15 of the frame 14 which is constructed of steel angles and the like material, and by turning the stand 7 on the vertical axis 16 at an angle of 90, the fabric 4 on the stand 7 is positioned at an angle of 90 against the drawing rollers. Accordingly, when the fabric is drawn out by the drawing rollers 11, the fabric is pulled into the drawing rollers 11 with the creases being changed by the tenter 17 which is inserted into the fabric through the guide rollers 8 and 9, and then is conveyed upward by the conveyor in the similar manner as the aforementioned, lowered from the top, attracted, cut and piled, all in repetition.
The shape of the tenter 17 to be inserted into the continuous tubular knitted fabric is, in the case of drawing the fabric in parallel with the rollers 11 as shown in FIGS. and 6, a rectangular frame with the roller 18 attached to its bottom, and above the tenter 17 the fabric is softly held between the supporting rollers 10 which are provided on the frame 14, and at the point adjacent to the drawing rollers 11 the fabric is drawn out smoothly free of warping, being held between the interior roller-.18 and the drawing rollers 1 l. The advantage of inserting thetenter into the tubular fabric and holding the fabric from the outside by supporting rollers is to arrange the both side edges of the fabric by the width of the tenter and to remove wrinkles on the fabric just before pulling into the drawing rollers. When the drawing rollers 11 and the supply of the fabric are in a different direction at an angle of 90 as shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, the shape of the tenter 17 is threedimensional, crossing at an angle of 90 (FIG. 9), and on the plane in a direction at 90 from the drawing rollers 11 is an auxiliary frame in a tapered inverted triangle when it approaches the drawing rollers and in a direction crossing at an angle of 90 is an auxiliary frame 17" in a parabolic form widening toward the end, having rollers 18 at the lower part to facilitate the drawing operation and the change of the creases.
The cutter 1 consists of a fixed blade and a movable blade and its end is supported on the frame 3 by the shaft 19, and the other end is connected to the air cylinder 21 through the connecting rods 20. The movable blade of the cutter rotates, driven by the air cylinder, and cuts the fabric in cooperation with the fixed blade, and the spring 22 is adapted to check the rise of the movable blade and is provided between the lower part of the frame 3 and the tip of the cutter 1. In FIGS. 2-4 and 1 1, 23 is the cover in vicinity of the shaft 19 and 24 is the cover for the air cylinder 21.
The inspection unit 13 consists of a milk white front panel 25 and the lamp 26 at the back. The fabric hanging down in front of the panel 25 is illuminated from behind.
The attracting plate 2 is formed of punched metal or coarse fabric in a rectangular shape, having numerous suction holes 27 at the front, and a vertical see-through opening 28 at the back of which is provided a photoelectric unit 29. At the back of the attracting plate 2 a suction chamber 30 is provided, which is connected to the blower 32 through the flexible suction hose 31, and by the suction the fabric hanging in front is attracted. To attract the whole surface of the fabric evenly, the size and number of the suction holes 27 are varied to be suitable for different positions, and when the area of the fabric to be attracted is large the arrangement of the suction chamber 30 at the back can be suitably regulated. 33 is a shaft on which the attracting plate 2 is pivoted and the shaft 33 is connected to the air cylinder 35 through the arm 34. When a piston of the air cylinder 35 is operated, the arm 34 is rotated at an angle of together with the attracting plate 2. Near the starting point and ending point of the arm 34 are respectively provided the stoppers 36 and 37 and the switches 38 and 39. 40 is the cover for the driving mechanism for the attracting plate.
The fabric is cut in the attracted condition so that cutting in a straight line with-out curved ends can be accurately done, to give wasteless economical cutting.
The fabric is moved to the lift 6 by the rotation of the attracting plate 2, released from the attraction and piled on the lift 6. The lift 6 descends as the fabric is piled according to the thickness of the pile, so that even when the pile of the fabric is thickened the reciprocation of the attracting plate is not hampered nor is the pile disturbed by the attracting plate. The lowering mechanism for the lift 6 will be explained hereinafter.
The connecting rod 42 for turning a ratchet 43 is driven through the adjustable arm 41 which is fixed to the shaft 33 of the attracting plate 2 and at each turn of the ratchet 43 and click 44 the shaft 45 is rotated. By the rotation of the shaft 45 the rod shaft 48 is rotated through the worm 46 and bevel gear 47, and the slider 49 which engages with the rod shaft 48 moves up and down, whereby the lift 6 which is fixed to the slider 49 moves up and down. Therefore, at each turn of the attracting plate 2 on the shaft 33 by 90, the rod shaft 48 is rotated through adjustable arm 41, connecting rod 42, ratchet 43, shaft 45, worm 46 and bevel gear 47 to lower the lift 6, and the cut fabric attracted by the attracting placte is released from the suction always at a constant position, and the released fabric is piled accurately over the fabric already piled on the lift. The adjustable arm 41 is adapted to cause a fine movement of the supported spindle of the connecting rod 42 through the rotation of the screw 50 so that a rotation angle of the ratched and click is adjusted. The manual handle 51, chain 52 and gear 53 can be used manually, and are adapted to return the lift 6 from the lowermost part to the original position. 54 is the crossed supporting leg to maintain the lift 6 level. 55 is the cover for the driving mechanism of the lift 6. 56 is the main control panel of the automatic control circuit. In the automatic control circuit (FIG. 15), when the main switch 57 is turned on, the inspection lamp 26, conveyor driving motor 58, blower motor 59, photoelectric unit 29 which senses the hanging down fabric, including photoelectric relay 60, and the antistatic device 61, all of which are wired in parallel with the power source are respectively charged with current. Then the control circuit switch 62 is turned on, when the attracting plate 2 is in an erect condition as shown by broken line in FIG. 13, the arm 34 pushes and turns on the lower switch 38, and the coil 63b for returning the switch of the keep-relay MMZKP 63 is charged. As the contact point of the keep-relay is connected to b, the electromagnetic clutch 65 which transmit the revolution of the conveyor driving motor 58 is also charged, and when the drawing rollers 11 is started the conveyor 12 also are driven through the transmission mechanism including the chain and the fabric to be cut is drawn out and gradually lifted upward and forward. The fabric is conveyed to the front top of the frame 3 by the conveyor, whence it hangs down in front of the inspection unit 13, and between the fixed and movable blades of the cutter 1 and to the front of the attracting plate 2. Behind the see-through opening 28 of the attracting plate 2 is provided photoelectric unit 29 which is movable up and down along the vertical axis fixed to the frame 3, and when the lower portion of the fabric comes down to the position of projected light the photo relay switch 66 is turned on, and the main coil 64a of the keep-relay MMBKP 64 is actuated and the respective contact points 67, 68 and 69 are changed over from b to a. By the change-over of the contact point 67 the main coil 63a of the keep-relay 63 is charged with current, and by changingover the contact point 70 from b to a, the conveyor drive is braked by the brake 71 and the drive will stop instantly, and the fabric also stops. At the same time the solenoid 72 for operating the valve, which is disposed at the suction port of the blower 32 is charged with current, and the suction port is opened and negative pressure is produced at the back of the attracting plate 2 so that the hanging fabric is attracted.
By the change-over of the contact point 68 the electromagnetic four-way valve 73 is charged, and compressed air flows to the air-cylinder 21 for driving the cutter, to rotate the movable blade of the cutter l and cut the fabric. By the change-over of the contact point 69 the coil 74a of the timer A74 is charged and in the lag of 0.4-0.5 sec. the electromagnetic four-way valve for driving the attracting plate 2 is charged through the timer A74, and compressed air is introduced into the air-cylinder 35 and the attracting plate 2 is turned forward down through the arm 34 FIG. 13 solid line). In this condition the arm 34 turns off the switch 38 and turns on the switch 39, and the coil 64b of the keep-relay MM3KP 64 is charged, and the contact points 67, 68 and 69 respectively return to the original points b and are turned off. The main coil 63a of the keep-relay 63 is turned off, and by changing over the contact point 70 from a to b, the clutch 65 for driving the conveyor is charged, the suction port of the blower 32 is closed and the fabric is released from the attraction and falls and is piled, and the contact point 68 is changed over to return the cutter 1 to the original position, and by disconnecting the contact point 69, the four-way electromagnetic valve for driving the attracting plate is changed over to return the attracting plate along the shaft 33 to the original position. When the attracting plate returns, its arm 34 presses the switch 38 to turn on the coil 63b of the keep-relay 63, and by changing over the contact point 70, the current to the brake 71 is cut and the current flows to the clutch 65 to start the conveyor to repeat the drawing of the fabric to be cut. Thus, the fabric is automatically conveyed, stopped, attracted, cut and piled in repetition. By connecting the electromagnetic counter in parallel with the four-way electromagnetic valve for the attracting plate, the number of the attracting plates falling down is counted, whereby accurate number of the cut pieces of the fabric piled can be found. The timer 76 is used to adjust the time of the behaviours to stop the drive of the conveyor, to suck and cut the fabric after turning on the photorelay switch of the photoelectric unit 29. This timer is used in case that the length of the cutting fabric is to be longer than that of the seethrough opening 28.
When defective part of the fabric is detected by the inspection unit 13, the push switch 77 is depressed to actuate the relay MR2P 78 and change over the contact point 79 and 80 to stop the drive of the conveyor 12 and drive the cutter I manually to cut the defective portion of the fabric. The cutter 1 can be individually driven by operating the electromagnetic two-way valve 80 through the change over of the switch 79 at any time.
In Figures, symbol PL is pilot lamp, F is fuse, Sw is switch, Rec. is rectifier, and the antistatic devices 61 are provided near the fabric, drawing rollers, between the two blades of the cutter and near the attracting plate to prevent, through ionic discharge, the attraction of the fabric by static electricity.
What I claim is:
1. An apparatus comprising a stand to receive long continuous tubular knitted fabric in a folded or rolled condition, a frame and a piling stand for cut fabrics at the front of said frame, wherein said frame is equipped with a drawing mechanism to catch and draw out said fabric; a conveyor to deliver said fabric upward and forward of said frame; a device to hang down of said fabric from the upper end of said conveyor and to stop drive of said conveyor when said fabric has hung down to a predetermined length; an attracting unit and a cutter are provided on a vertical plane along which said fabric hangs down, said attracting unit being supported on a shaft of said frame and movable toward said piling stand, holding said cut fabric, and capable of releasing said fabric from attraction in the piling position, and dropping said fabric in succession onto said piling stand, all the above operations being carried out automatically and repeatedly, and wherein said stand is connected to said frame, movably within an angle of along the vertical axis, and is adapted to change the position of the creases of said fabric.
2. An automatic processing apparatus for knitted fabrics, comprising a frame at a center in a direction of drawing out long continuous tubular knitted fabric, a stand to supply said fabric at the back of said frame, a lift for piling cut fabrics, at the front, two rollers in parallel for drawing said fabric, provided on said frame, an inclined conveyor by which said fabric is moved upward and forward from below said rollers, a cutter and attracting plate provided on the vertical plane connecting the upper end of said conveyor and the lower part of said frame, said attracting plate being supported on a horizontal shaft of said frame, and movable toward said lift in front along said shaft, the said stand at the back being supported on a vertical shaft of said frame and movable in a direction at an angle of 90, for changing the position of a crease, and said lift at the front being adapted to receive said cut fabrics up to a predetermined number of pieces in a pile.
3. The apparatus defined by claim 1, wherein the lift which holds the cut fabrics descends every time the attracting plate rotates along the shaft, in a horizontal condition through the worm and other gears by the operation of the ratchet, click and shaft, and thus the fabric at the top of the pile is always maintained at a constant level.
4. The apparatus defined by claims 1, wherein a tentering mechanism comprising a tenter which is three-dimensional crossing at an angle of 90 and is inserted into a tubular fabric, and supporting rollers which are fixed to a frame of a fabric stand.
5. The apparatus defined by claim 1, wherein behind the vertical plane between the upper end of the conveyor and the cutter an illuminating device is provided, having a milk white panel at the front, constituting an inspection unit.