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Publication numberUS3707825 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 2, 1973
Filing dateDec 23, 1970
Priority dateDec 23, 1970
Publication numberUS 3707825 A, US 3707825A, US-A-3707825, US3707825 A, US3707825A
InventorsBell C, Gilgo H, Orr S, Rogers R, Sizemore W, Swaim J
Original AssigneeHanes Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hosiery packaging machine
US 3707825 A
Abstract
A packaging machine having a frame and an endless conveyor carrying a plurality of package receiving devices. A package feeding mechanism deposits at least portions of packages in the receiving devices, and articles to be packaged are subsequently positioned within the deposited package portions by an article feeding apparatus. A package closing device then provides a closure which is positively positioned to form a finished, and sealed package.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Paten [191 Bell et al. 1

[541 HOSIERY PACKAGING MACHINE [75] Inventors: Cecil B. Bell, Pinnacle; Jessie E. Swaim, Winston-Salem; Horace Paul Gilgo, Walkertown'; Robert C. Rogers, Bethania; Walter Ray Sizemore'; Samuel M. Orr, In, both of Winston-Salem, all of NC.

[73] Assignee: Hanes Corporation, Winston-Salem,

[22] Filed:

Dec. 23, 1970 [21] App]. No.: 100,900

[52] U.S. Cl. 53/282 [51] Int. Cl. ..B65b 5/04 [58] Field of Search ..53/ll6120, 235, 53/250, 253, 266, 281, 282

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,84l,938 7/1958 Speroni ..53/282 14 1 Jan. 2, 1973 2,897,643 8/1959 Byrd ..53/28l x 3,503,182 3/1970 Phipps ..5s/2s2 3,190,055 6/1965 Povlacs ..53l282 2,930,172 5/1960 Pettee et al ..55/250 x 3,263,394 8/1966 Jensen ..53/282 X Primary Examiner-Robert L. Spruill AttarneyCharles Y. Lackey [57] ABSTRACT A packaging machine having a frame and an endless conveyor carrying a plurality of package receiving devices. A package feeding mechanism deposits at least portions of packages in the receiving devices, and articles to be packaged are subsequently positioned within the deposited package portions by an article feeding apparatus. A package closing device then provides a closure which is positively positioned to form a finished, and sealed package.

4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures HOSIERY PACKAGING MACHINE BACKGROUND, BRIEF SUMMARY AND OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION These and other objectives of the present invention will become more apparent after a consideration of the following detailed specification taken in conjunction While a considerable number of automatic textile article packaging devices have been developed, these have, for the most part, been directed toward packaging flat, folded garments which are supported or held by cardboard or plastic inserts. Such apparatus is extremely expensive, and for this reason, the packaging function in a gannent manufacturing operation is usually accomplished by a plurality of women folding the garments for insertion within an open polyethylene or plastic bag of some suitable design and subsequently sealing this bag with tape, glue or heat.

In the textile industry, the general acceptance of ladies unboarded stockings and panty hose has emphasized the need for a suitable automatic packaging machine to package hosiery and panty hose garments, as well as other relatively small articles produced in large quantities, without the problems and expense associated with hand packaging flat, folded goods. The unfolded crinkled nature of these garments permits the design and utilization of a relatively simple and inexpensive machine capable of packaging the garments within a variety of shaped containers.

A package herein shall be deemed to include any receptacle or container suitable for receiving and retaining, either wholly or partially, an article preferably constructed of fabric so that it can be positively and deformable urged into the package.

The present invention is an apparatus designed to package a wide range of textile articles such as items of wearing apparel and particularly ladies unboarded stockings and panty hose which heretofore have been manually packaged in a flat, boarded condition. The apparatus is comprised of a frame, an endless conveyor and garment receiving, devices situated on the surface of the conveyor maintaining at least a portion of a package to receive an article to be packaged. A package feeding hopper provides a continuous supply of packages within the receiving devices on the conveyor to receive the textile articles, and a garment'feeding device is located near the conveyor to provide a large supply of garments that can be sequentially deposited in the packages held by and moving with the conveyor.

From the foregoing, it will be apparent that a primary object of the present invention is to provide a packaging machine of the type described which will permit automatic packaging of textile articles and the like.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device of the type described wherein a plurality of packages and a plurality of garments are sequentially and automatically combined on a moving conveyor to form a finished, packaged item.

Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a device of the type described suitable to handle in particular a large volume of relatively small items such as ladies unboarded stockings and panty hose garments in a manner heretofore unknown in the art.

with the accompanying drawings wherein like characters of reference designate like parts throughout the several views.

FIGURE DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the packaging apparatus constituting the present invention showing one complete stage and one partial stage of a package and garment feeding station positioned adjacent a conveyor.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational, sectional and isolated view of the package feeding device wherein package portions are sequentially fed to and positioned atop the moving conveyor.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational, schematic view of the apparatus for sequentially positioning an article within at least partial packages carried by the conveyor.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational, sectional and isolated view of the feeding mechanism for sequentially and positively positioning a garment into at least a partial packaging receptacle placed thereunder.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational, sectional, enlarged and isolated view of the receptacle for receiving and subsequently inserting a garment into an appropriate package.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational, sectional and schematic view of the closure providing device and the storage unit for retaining a plurality of package closures.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational, sectional and isolated view of an additional stateion wherein the closure members are positively affixed to the partial package.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, a frame shown generally as 10 supports an endless conveyor 12 a suitable distance above a working surface 14 to permit the conveyor to move through i a substantially horizontal plane. A plurality of package receiving devices 16 are fixedly secured, preferably in pairs, at spaced intervals along conveyor 12 so that they can move in a substantially horizontal plane through various operating stages subsequently to be described. Two L-shaped side plates 18 shield and cover the open ends of the conveyor 12 as well as the upper surface edges of that conveyor to prevent the collection of foreign material in the drive mechanism of the belt.

A package feeding unit shown generally as 20 is utilized to supply the package receiving devices 16 with at least a-partial package 21 to subsequently receive an article. For purposes of discussion, only a single package feeding device and other related components are described, however, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that duplicate stations such as partially shown as 23 in FIG. I can be provided adjacent thereto for the handling of the second parallel row of package receiving devices.

The package feeding unit in preferred form includes a storage column 22 suitably designed to retain one or more packages or partial packages 21 and a pivotal linkage shown generally as 24 (FIG. 2) for controlling the placement of packages or partial packages in a predetermined relationship and order. A storage bin 26 is provided to retain a large quantity of package portions, while a trap shown generally as 28 and operated by a solenoid 30 or other suitable means is selectively actuated to fill the storage column 22 to the extent desired.

A garment feeding device 32 is schematically illustrated in FIG. 3 to demonstrate its function. The device consists of a first pair of soft, cushiony drive rollers 34 which are preferably covered with a nylon or other synthetic knitted fabric to avoid damage to the articles contiguous therewith and pulled thereby. Finished garments 39, for example, ladies hosiery or panty hose, are chuted, preferably by a vacuum system, through tubing or conduit 36 (FIG. 1) from a remote sewing or other finishing operation to a collecting column 38 wherein a plurality are collected in a substantially vertical arrangement such as shown in FIG. 4. The lowermost garment 39 in the storage column is thus introduced to the nip 40 of the upper pair of drive rollers 34 so that it is pulled from the collecting column 38 and urged positively and downwardly through a second pair of rollers 37 to a collecting funnel 42 as illustrated. Note that roller pair 37 rotate at a greater speed than pair 34.

The funnel provides a relatively large entranceway to a tubular member 44 that will, by forced air flow (see arrows), move the garment into a chamber 46 and position it for subsequent insertion within a package portion. Chamber 46 is provided with a plurality of perforations or apertures 49 and is surrounded by an encircling and closed tubular section 48. To insure proper positioning within the package, a plunger 50 is reciprocally movable within the member 46 to engage the garment 39 and urge it downwardly within package portion 21.

A butterfly valve 56 fills an exhaust conduit 58 which connects to a suction producting device 60 so that actuation of the valve 56 will displace a closure member 62, and together with an air blast produced in member 44 by air line 90 through the perforations of member 48, and will deposit a garment within or near the package so that the plunger 50 can urge it downwardly therein.

A package closing device shown generally as 64 including a storage column 66 and a mechanism for sequentially removing closures 68 therefrom comprises yet another work station of the present invention. The mechanism for removing these closures comprises a suction unit 70 suitably connected to a belt driven linkage 72 so that a vacuum can be selectively induced to grip a closure member 68 in an appropriate fashion from the column 66. The suction unit 70 will maintain the member until the linkage has positioned it over the larger package portion 21 at which time it will be terminated by appropriate means to position the closure member over the bottom portion of the package. A release mechanism 74 controls the sequential removal of closures 68 from the column 66 when a solenoid 76 displaces a linkage 78 normally retaining the closures within the column.

A separate station 78 located adjacent the package closing device 64 completes the package closing operation when a closure engaging element 68 is urged downwardly by the operation of an air cylinder 82 so that the closure 68 is latched to partial package 21 either by friction or other assisting elements (not shown).

The operation of the packaging machines thus involves positioning selectively and sequentially a plurality of package portions 21 within receiving devices 16 fixedly secured to a substantially horizontal moving conveyor belt 12. As the package portions are positioned within the devices mounted on the belt, they are moved through a garment feeding station 32 where a single or selective number of garments is placed therein. The packages are then moved to a closing station 64 where closures 68 are sequentially, by a suction device, positioned atop the packages. The packages then pass through a final station 78 where the closures are secured to the partial package 21 under pressure.

To facilitate the smooth operation of the feeding mechanism, it is desirable to position a photoelectric cell on or near conduit 36 so that garments can be alternately deposited into storage columns 38 and 84 communicating therewith. A solenoid 86 suitably positioned will actuate a butterfly valve 88 when triggered by the photocells sensing the presence of a garment to alternately admit garments to each of the columns 38 and 84.

It has been found desirable in the packaging process to provide a twist in the garment as it is urged toward the package or container, and an air blast creating a vortex through a nozzle 90 tangentially communicating with funnel 42 so that a swirl of air created therein causes the garment to twist or spiral in a rope-like manner and thus facilitates the entrance of that garment into the partial package 21.

Note that the piston 91 of plunger 50 has substantially the same diameter as the opening of the package 54. Superior packaging results when the lower end of the piston 91 has a recess 92 to assist in placing the garment within the package.

The hopper 26 is preferably designated for 4 to 8 hours of continuous operation without refilling. Utilizing conventional construction techniques, one packaging machine of the type described herein having 4 stations will service approximately 40 turn-sew-turn operations, the output for these 4 stations being approximately 1,000 units per hour. One girl packaging by hand through the total packaging operation can complete only about 18 dozen or 216 units per hour.

It is contemplated that a photoelectric scanner be provided on the package feeding unit 20 to insure that the package is proper positioned within the receiving unit 16. Otherwise, it is possible that the package might contact the structure of the garment feeding device 32 thus causing damage.

To provide additional storage capacity, the conveying conduit 36 can be formed in a spiral or snake-like configuration so that a surplus of garments can be accumulated when finished, for example, by the turn-sewturn operator. This spiral-like arrangement eliminates the tendency of garments to cling together when they are placed in storage bins and thus prevents a fill-up of individual garments within the loading structure.

While there has been described a preferred embodiment of a garment packaging machine, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications may be made in the various loading stations as well as in the aka conveyor and related components without departing from the spirit of the present invention. Such changes and alterations are contemplated.

We claim:

1. A textile fabric article packaging machine comprising: a frame, an endless conveyor associated with said frame; package portion receiving means carried by said conveyor; package portion feeding means proximate said conveyor depositing package portions in said receiving means; garment supply means; garment feeding means proximate said conveyor for frictionally and sequentially extracting a predetermined number of fabric garments from said garment supply means and for depositing said garments in said package portions; means closing the package portions; package portion supply means associated with said package portion feeding means; said receiving means including at least one receptacle movably positionable with respect to said package portion feeding means and said garment feeding means, and said package portion feeding means including a storage column holding one or more package portions in a random relationship each with the other, means adjacent said column controlling the movement of the randomly positioned package portions within said columns so that package portions are ejected therefrom in a predetermined and uniform relationship.

2. A machine as claimed in claim '1, said garment feeding means including a garment storage column holding one or more garments, said feeding means frictionally and sequentially extracting a predetermined number of garments from said column, and means receiving and positioning the extracted garments within the packages.

3. A machine as claimed in claim 2, further comprising package supply means associated with said package feeding means and garment supply means associated with said garment feeding means.

4. A machine as claimed in claim 1, said closing means including storage means for one or more package closures, means sequentially removing closures from said storage means and positioning the closures in an inverted relationship contiguous the packages and pressure means securing the closures to the packages.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2841938 *Jul 16, 1956Jul 8, 1958Speroni Silvio AAutomatic cup dispensing and filling machine for fluids and semi-solids
US2897643 *Mar 29, 1956Aug 4, 1959Standard Packaging CorpApparatus for applying closures to flexible containers
US2930172 *Mar 17, 1955Mar 29, 1960Procter & GambleDevice for feeding articles into cartons
US3190055 *Mar 30, 1962Jun 22, 1965Akwell CorpPackaging machine
US3263394 *Dec 26, 1962Aug 2, 1966Sanford Res CompanyApparatus for and methods of making a marking device
US3503182 *Jan 4, 1967Mar 31, 1970Sweetheart PlasticsLiquid filling machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3824763 *Jan 26, 1973Jul 23, 1974Bear Brand Hosiery CoPneumatic package loader
US3826062 *May 10, 1973Jul 30, 1974Bear Brand Hosiery CoPneumatic package loader
US4168599 *May 22, 1978Sep 25, 1979Hanes CorporationPackaging system
US4835939 *Jan 7, 1988Jun 6, 1989Sara Lee CorporationPackaging system
US5437361 *Apr 7, 1994Aug 1, 1995Kao CorporationArticle conveyor unit
US5840233 *Sep 16, 1997Nov 24, 1998Optimer, Inc.Process of making melt-spun elastomeric fibers
US6021626 *Jul 31, 1997Feb 8, 2000Goodvest CorporationForming, packaging, storing, displaying, and selling clothing articles
US6277942May 19, 1998Aug 21, 2001Optimer, Inc.Melt-spun elastomeric fibers and the preparation thereof
US6981356 *Aug 10, 2004Jan 3, 2006Leon AtkinsonCompact packaging for garments made from delicate materials
US20050005578 *Aug 10, 2004Jan 13, 2005Leon AtkinsonCompact packaging for garments made from delicate materials
EP0631932A1 *Jun 13, 1994Jan 4, 1995Ferrero S.p.A.Method and apparatus for the automatic assembly of cup-like bodies
EP0688718A1 *Jun 16, 1995Dec 27, 1995DELTA S.r.l.A method and a machine for inserting a plurality of components which are to be assembled to form a toy in a generally egg-shaped case
WO1998002355A1 *Jul 11, 1997Jan 22, 1998Goodvest CorporationMethod and apparatus for forming, packaging, and vending clothing articles
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/282
International ClassificationB65B25/20, B65B25/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B25/20
European ClassificationB65B25/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 28, 1985AS01Change of name
Owner name: CONSOLIDATED FOODS CORPORATION A MD CORP
Effective date: 19850327
Owner name: SARA LEE CORPORATION
May 28, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: SARA LEE CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:CONSOLIDATED FOODS CORPORATION A MD CORP;REEL/FRAME:004405/0867
Effective date: 19850327
Feb 17, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: CONSOLIDATED FOODS CORPORATION, CHICAGO, IL. A CO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HANES CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:003830/0995
Effective date: 19810211