US 3717335 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. G. FALTIN Feb. 20, 1973 CROSS-WEB FOLDER FOR SHEET MATERIAL 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec- 23. 1970 INVENTOR. HANS G. FALTIN Feb, 20, 1973 H. G. FALTIN CROSS-WEB FOLDER FOR SHEET MATERIAL 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 1970 w 9.2. mm
INVENTOR. HANS G. FALTIN Feb. 20, 1973 H. GJFALTIN CROSS-WEB FOLDER FOP. SHEET MATERIAL 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec 23. 19 0 INVENTOR. HANS G. FALTIN BY J,
AT TVORNE Y 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 H. G. FALTlN CROSS-WEB FOLDER FOR SHEET MATERIAL x bk Feb. 20, 1973 Filed Dec. 23. 1970 INVENTOR. HANS G. FALTIN BY j 1/, i %//1"/7/\/ yx/ ATTORNEY Feb. 20, 1973 H. 3. FALTIN 3,717,335
CROSS-WEB FOL-DER FOR SHEET MATERIAL Filed Dec. 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 m u m a) a) C) n 01 a) CD 00 O 1 g Q o m g a c c) no (3 on r P- 0) on a) a) a) no N (D LL 0) m w Q qm 3) N INVENTOR HANS G.FALUN ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,717,335 CROSS-WEB FQLDER FGR SHEET MATERIAL Hans G. Faltin, York, Pan, assignor to Advance Enterprises, Inc., York, Pa. Filed Dec. 23, 1970, Ser. No. 101,041 Int. Cl. E65 45/00 US. Cl. 270-79 28 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cross-web folder for folding strips of sheet material such as a web of paper, either single or laminated, particularly of the type having rows of perforations extending transversely across the web at evenly spaced intervals upon which the web is to be folded into what is known as a fan-folded arrangement. The folder preferably is provided with cooperating creasing elements which successively crease the web alternately in reverse directions with respect to the plane of the web to a limited extent, the creases being coincident with perforations if the Web contains the same. Folding and guiding means are provided to effect the folding of the web along said creases into a zigzag or fan-folded configuration and including means to receive the fan-folded arrangement and hold the folded, creased edges thereof against retraction into the folder while a conveyor progressively moves the compact product of fan-folded and connected sections of said web away from the folder for suitable packaging or other operations.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In modern business practices, there is a steadily increasing demand for webs of paper and the like which are fan-folded into a zigzag configuration along transversely extending lines evenly spaced longitudinally of the web. Fan-folded webs of this type are used in many fields of activity and particularly in print-out arrangements in production departments, accounting and tabulating functions, inventory operations, billing departments and many other similar operations. The Web may be either of a single thickness or may be of a manifold nature, including carbon-backed webs or separate webs of carbon paper interleaved between adjacent webs and fastened together appropriately or otherwise.
Sheet products of this type primarily are of a disposable nature in that they are retained for a limited period of time and then destroyed. Especially in view of the huge volumes frequently consumed by industrial, commercial, and other business establishments, it is essential that the production cost be maintained at a minimum. Incident to minimizing such costs, the speed of production is a vital factor. Machines most commonly used to transform rolls of such paper products into fan-folded, compact stacks thereof are of the type which feed the Web downwardly from a roll, for example, to folding mechanism which includes creasing means that impose a crease in the web along the line of perforations when provided in such web.
Many forms of presses or collating machines exist which employ creasing rollers which are arranged in cooperating pairs, one roller having at least a single trans verse rib thereon and the mating roller, having a transverse slot adapted to be engaged by the rib on the other roller, whereby a web passing between the same will be creased so as to tend to extend in one direction from the plane of the web after moving past the creasing means. Such creases are in a single direction only with respect to the plane of the web, whereby it can be seen that inasmuch as the web must be folded successively in opposite directions along the lines of perforations, for exam- 3,717,335 Patented Feb. 20, 1973 ple, the placement of such creases to extend in a single direction is satisfactory relative to forming the fold at one side of a stack but the creases in the web at the op posite side of said stack extend in the wrong direction to be conducive to ready folding along the lines of perforations at that side of the stack.
A further difficulty existing in the present machines is that the folded, compact product is formed substantially in a vertical stack and ultimately descends to a conveyor which removes the compacted mass as it is formed for transmitting the same to packaging or other operations. Because of the nature of these types of machines, the speed of production is unsatisfactory to meet the increasing demands of minimizing costs, but because of the aforementioned drawbacks in the machines, it has heretofore not been possible to increase the speed to any appreciable extent, commensurate with producing satisfactory, undamaged products, due to the basic nature of the operating principles of such machines.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION For purposes of overcoming the shortcomings and difficulties of the existing art of the type to which the invention pertains, it is the principal object of the present invention to provide a cross-web folder for handling either single thickness or multi-ply webs of sheet material, such as paper, and in which means are included to provide transverse creases in the web, at evenly spaced locations longitudinally of the Web, the creases respectively and sequentially extending in opposite directions with respect to the plane of the web as it moves through the machine, whereby such arrangement of creases greatly facilitates the folding of the sections of web between successive creases into a fan-folded or zigzag arrangement.
It is another object of the invention to provide means in such folder which receive the web in such pre-creased condition and feeds the same to folding and guiding means of an oscillating nature which directs the creased web successively in opposite directions, coincident with the directions of the creases in the web, to effect compact folding of the web into vertically disposed sections tightly adjacent each other. When handling webs which are transversely perforated, the creases are disposed precisely in coincidence with the rows of perforations and mechanism is provided in the folder to insure this result.
A further object of the invention is to provide means to receive the creased, folded portions of the web which are formed respectively at the top and bottom of the compact, horizontally extending stack or row of vertically disposed web sections, said means being capable of insuring very rapid reception of said creased, folded portions and holding the same against retraction While the compact mass of vertically disposed sheets is moved substantially horizontally away from the discharge end of the folder.
Still another object of the invention is to provide said folding and guiding means with a relatively flat chute, having a passage extending longitudinally therethrough for purposes of guiding the web, said chute being oscillated about a transversely extending axis by drive means which, in effect, waves the exit end of the chute upwardly and downwardly for directing the successive creases into folded condition While the same are passing to said receiving means.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide rotatable cam means which are associated with the receiving means and are located between said chute and such receiving means for purposes of insuring deflection and frictional feeding of the creased portions of the web, incident to being folded, toward the receiving means which includes vertically spaced projections behind which the creases, when folded, are disposed by such rotatable cam means.
Still another object of the invention is to provide said receiving means with projections that extend toward each other from vertically spaced positions and having substantially vertically extending shoulders behind which the creased folds are retained against retraction after being snapped into such position by said aforementioned rotating cam means.
One further object of the invention is to provide efi'icient drive means for a product conveyor by which the compact stack of vertically disposed section of web, after being creased and folded into compact arrangement, are removed from the folder at a speed corresponding to the rate of production of the product, whereby the folded sections are maintained substantially vertically while being moved to packaging operations, storage, or otherwise.
In addition to the foregoing objects, it is a still further object of the invention to provide a web folder which, because of providing the foregoing objects, is capable of operating at substantially higher speeds than folders presently employed in the industry to which the present invention pertains. The folder also being of such nature as to require minimum maintenance, possessing lasting qualities to insure long life and being capable of being driven, for example, by a printing press upon which the Web is printed and/or perforated immediately prior to being fed to the folder.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional elevation of a web folder embodying the principles of the present invention as seen upon the line 1-1 of FIG. 3 and illustrating exemplary frame means, vertically foreshortened, by which the folder may be supported upon an operating surface.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary vertical sectional view of the right-hand portion of the web folder structure shown in FIG. 1 and illustrating, somewhat diagrammatically, the guiding and folding means of the machine by which the creased Web is fan-folded, said figure also showing details of the receiving means for the folded edges of the Web.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the web folder shown in FIG. 1 and additionally illustrating a receiving conveyor connected to the discharge end of the folder.
FIG. 4 is a vertical elevation of one side of the folder as seen on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3 and primarily illustrates the driving mechanism for certain elements of the folder which are disposed exteriorly of that side of the folder.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 but illustrating the drive means on the opposite side of the folder as seen on the line 5--5 of FIG. 3, interior components of the folder being illustrated in phantom so as to permit coordination thereof relative to such drive means.
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic side view of an exaggerated arrangement of oppositely extending creases formed in the web incident to the same being fan-folded into the compact, folded product in which the folded sections of the web are disposed substantially vertically upon the discharge conveyor.
FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 successively are fragmentary, largely diagrammatic views illustrating certain basic positions of the web folding and guiding means incident to the web being acted upon by the rotatable cam means which insure movement of the creased, folded portions of the web behind holding means which prevent retractive movement thereof, the web being illustrated in said view by a single line.
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary, enlarged vertical sectional view of details of the feeding means of the folder as seen on the line 10-10 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 11 is an enlarged, fragmentary vertical sectional view showing details of the creasing mechanism of the folder.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS It is the principal objective of the invention to provide a machine which will fan-fold a web into a compact mass of sections of uniform size which are connected by separable creases at a speed far in excess of what is possible by using conventional equipment. To achieve such improved speeds, the basic concept of the present invention to make all movement of the web being folded in directions which will advance the web with no impedance to the general forward movement of the web, including the final movement of the delivery mechanism upon which the compactly fan-folded mass of product is progressively removed from the machine as it is formed. The detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the mechanism to accomplish this overall objective is as follows:
As is apparent from FIG. 1 in particular, the crossweb folder 10 receives and is adapted to handle a web 12 while moving substantially in horizontal direction. The web, for example, may be received directly from a printing press wherein the web was printed. Under circumstances where the web is provided with longitudinally spaced, transversely extending rows of perforations, such presses, or other equivalent mechanism, form such rows of perforations in the web prior to the same being delivered to the web folder 10. Primarily due to such horizontal handling of the web, the web folder 10 is capable of operating at nearly twice the speed of existing crossweb folders. By way of example, the cross-web folder comprising the present invention has been operated to fullest satisfaction for continuous periods at speeds of 1000 ft. per minute and higher, whereas the highest speed of existing known machines for cross folding webs of paper is not appreciably in excess of 600 ft. per minute. The characteristics and details of the cross-web folder by which this is made possible are set forth below.
WEB CREASING MEANS One feature of the cross-web folder 10 which contributes materially to such higher speed of operation is the manner in which the Web 12 is creased and folded. Referring particularly to FIGS. 1 and 6, it will be seen that a pair of creasing rollers 14 and 16 are mounted upon transversely extending shafts 18 and 20. Each of said rollers are provided with longitudinally extending grooves 22 in the peripheries thereof, said grooves being filled with suitable compressible material, such as rubber, having a predetermined amount of yieldability. Said material should be moderately soft for reasons to be explained. Each roller also is provided with a creasing blade 24, the outer edge of which projects a limited distance beyond the periphery of the roller for purposes of engaging the web 12 and forcing it into the strip of yieldable material 26, as shown in exemplary manner in FIG. 11. Particularly by utilizing strips of material 26 of suitable compressibility, the web 12 is distinctly creased along a transverse line 28, without damaging the perforations therein.
The yieldable material 26 should be of similar consistency to the type of rubber strips used at present as sealing strips on automobile doors. The conventional type is a form of sponge rubber. Similar foam resins may also be used. The purpose of the strip 26 is to readily receive the indentation or crease formed by the creasing blade 24, Without ripping or tearing the rows of perforations in the web, if present. However, the strip 26 must be sufficiently resistant to depression that the web will not be creased along the side edges of groove 22 at the periphery of the roller 16.
The above-described arrangement for creasing the web 12 comprises a distinct improvement over the creasing facilities of current folders in that in the latter, it is not uncommon for the creasing blade not only to form a crease in a specified direction but, in so forming said crease, a pair of bends or creases are formed adjacent opposite sides of the desired crease, extending in the reverse direction due to forcing the web against the sharp shoulders of the channel means or the like into which the creasing blade extends incident to creasing the web at the perforations.
In addition to the foregoing improvement, the present invention provides an even far greater improvement by providing each of the rollers 14 and 16 with a creasing blade 24 at one location and diametrically opposite the same, for example, the groove 22 is formed in which the strip of yieldable material 26 is disposed for co-action with the creasing blade of the opposite roller. Accordingly, as can best be seen from FIG. 1, when the blade 24 of roller 14 is in engagement with the web 12, it will dispose a crease therein extending downwardly from the plane of the web 12, for example. Meanwhile, the blade 24 of roller 16 is idle. However, upon rotation of the rollers 180 in the direction of the arrows shown in FIG. 1, the blade 24 and roller 16 will be brought into engagement with the underside of the web 12 so as to form a crease in the web which extends upwardy due to the blade forcing the web into the yieldable material 26 of blade 14.
The foregoing result is illustrated in exaggerated manner in FIG. 6, wherein it will be seen that successive crease lines 28, respectively, and alternately, extend in opposite directions relative to the plane of the web 12 and thus, define between said creases sections 30 of the web 12 which are of equal length and adapted to be folded into compact relationship, by mechanism described hereinafter, in which arrangement the sections are disposed vertically. By providing rollers of suitably large diameters, one or both may have more than a single pair of blades and grooves therein.
Means for driving the shafts 18 and 20 and, correspondingly, the creasing rollers 14 and 16 are described hereinafter, together with further details of other elements of the driving mechanism.
It is conceivable that the creasing mechanism described above may be incorporated in a printing press, collator, or other device, from which the web which has been partially precreased, as described, may be fed to the mechanism described hereinafter.
FOLDING AND GUIDING MEANS After the web has been creased in the manner described hereinabove, it is fed to feeding rollers 32 and 34. The feeding roller 32 is unitary and is supported on shaft 36 which is driven by means to be described hereinafter. A plurality of rollers 34 are utilized, as can best be seen from FIG. 3. These are evenly spaced longitudinally along the feed roller 32 and are individually supported by springpressed arms 38. The arms are pivotally secured at one end upon a fixed shaft 40 to which a plurality of blocks 42 are fixedly connected for purposes of supporting shock springs 44 between projections on said blocks and the upper surfaces of the arms 38, as can best be seen from FIGS. 4 and 5.
Preferably the pressure rollers 34 have an elastic periphery 46, such as rubber inserts, for purposes of frictionally engaging the web as it moves between the feed roller 32 and the pressure rollers 34 by means of which the web is fed from the creasing rollers 14 and 16 to the feed chute 48 which comprises a highly important and essential part of the folding and guiding means of the present invention. When it is desired, however, to relieve pressure upon the web by the rollers 34, such as when the web is bein threaded through the machine and otherwise, all of the arms 38 may be elevated at the outer ends thereof so as to move the pressure rollers 34 away from the feeding roller 32. This is accomplished by rotating the eccentric shaft 50 a limited amount by means of a handle 52 which is connected to one end thereof. Movement of the handle in the opposite direction will restore the pres- 6 sure rollers 34 into operative engagement with the feeding roller 32.
The relative positions of the pressure rollers 34 and feed roller 32 are also shown advantageously in FIG. 10 wherein it is clearly shown that the shaft 49 and the blocks 42 thereon are fixed against movement of any kind, while the arm 38 may be elevated a limited amount by the eccentric shaft which extends commonly beneath the arms 38 within appropriate concave notches 54 provided therefor. In FIG. 10, the arm and handle 52 are shown in full lines in the operative, pressure-applying position, whereas in phantom, the arm and handle 52 are shown in phantom and the pressure rollers 34 likewise are shown in corresponding elevated position in phantom.
Hereinabove, the mechanism has been described by which the web 12 is creased, at the separating lines of perforations along lines 28 between the sections 30 of said web, the creases successively and respectively, extending in opposite directions relative to the plane of the web. In order to make appropriate use of such creasing to insure rapid and accurate folding of the web along said creased lines in the directions induced by the alternately oppositely directed creases, the folder 10 is provided with an oscillatable guide member comprising the aforementioned feed chute 48. In plan view, as seen from FIG. 3, the chute is substantially as wide as the feeding roller 32.
Preferably the chute 48 is of a composite nature and is formed from a pair of similar, spaced sheet metal plates 56, having rounded outer edges to define a guide slot 58 therebetween, as best seen in FIG. 2. The plates 56 are each reinforced by sheet metal channels 60 which are secured by welding or otherwise to the plates 56. The opposite ends of the channel 60 and the plates 56 are suitably connected to end blocks 62 of a rectangular nature. Appropriate pivot pintles 64 respectively project in axial direction outwardly from each end block 62 for pivotal connection to the upper ends of connecting rods 66 which, in preferred form, comprise metal links.
One end of the feed chute assembly 48 is pivotally connected by additional short shafts 68 which are secured at one end to the inner surfaces of the frame plate 70 by appropriate bolts and the like, applied to circular flanges 72. These are best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The lower ends of the connecting rods 66, respectively, are connected to crank pins 74 carried by short shafts 76, which are mounted respectively and separately in bearings 78 that are fixed to the inner surfaces of the frame plate 70 and project toward each other. The shafts 76 project through suitable openings in the frame plate for connection to driving members described hereinafter.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that as the crank pins '14 at the opposite sides of the frame of the folder rotate unidirectionally and simultaneously, the feed chute 48 will be oscillated about the axes of its supporting shafts 68, while the outer end thereof oscillates rapidly upwardly and downwardly. Due to the fact that the web 12, which has been indented with the creases 28 therein, is rapidly fed by the rollers 32 and 34 through the guide slot 58, the emerging web actually is waved or thrown upwardly and downwardly as the chute 48 oscillates. However, such waving of the web is in precisely timed relationship to the arrival of the various creases 28 therein so as to direct the upwardly extending creases upwardly and the downwardly extending creases downwardly to effect the actual final folding of the creased portions of the web. Said creased portions are received by receiving and holding means, details of which will now be described.
RECEIVING AND HOLDING MEANS Referring particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 7-9, said receiving and holding means comprise a pair of similar comb-like plates 80 and 82. The opposite ends thereof are secured by appropriate bolts 84, respectively, to the inner surfaces of the frame plates 70 of the folder 10. The
plates 80 and 82 are substantially in vertical alignment with each other and each of them are provided with projections 86 that have retaining shoulders 88 thereon. The projections 86 also have sloping guide surfaces 90 which merge into the shoulders 88. It also will be seen that the projections 86 extend toward each other and are substantially in vertical alignment.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, wherein the actual operation of fan-folding the web is illustrated in relatively simple diagrammatic manner, it will be seen that as the feed chute 48 swings upwardly to the full extent of its movement and has commenced to move downwardly as indicated by the directional arrow in FIG. 7, the section 30 of the Web which is emerging from the chute has its outermost folded crease 28 in position to be disposed behind the shoulder 88 of upper plate 80, whereas the folded crease 28 at the lower end of said bowed section 30 has been disposed behind the shoulder 88 of the lower plates 82.
To insure the final positioning of the aforementioned upper creased fold 28 immediately behind the retaining shoulder 88 of the upper plate 80, the folding and guiding means includes a pair of rotatable cam assemblies 92 and 94, each of the cams of said assemblies including a pair of similar lobes 96 which comprise spiral cam surfaces which terminate in peaks 98.
From the directional arrows shown in FIGS. 79, it will be seen that the upper cam assembly 92 rotates counterclockwise, while the lower cam assembly 94 rotates clockwise. It also will be seen from FIG. 7 that the lower lobe 96 of cam assembly 92 is nearly in position to engage the uppermost creased fold 28, which is ready to be disposed behind the shoulder 88 of upper plate 80 and thereby insure the accurate positioning of said folded crease behind said shoulder for retention by such shoulder against retractive movement. The stiffness of the sections 30 of the web also is sufficient to permit the initially bowed configuration of the outermost web 30 shown at the left portion of the assembly in FIG. 7, to straighten and be disposed compactly against the preceding, connected and folded sections 30 of said web.
As best shown in FIG. 2, the upper and lower plates 80 and 82 are slotted from the left side, inward, as viewed in said figure, to accommodate the individual cam members of each of said assemblies 92 and 94. Referring to FIG. 3, it will be seen that the individual cam members 100 are all identical and are formed from a suitable thickness of sheet stock of non-metallic material, such as a very dense type of fiberboard impregnated with synthetic resin. Such material is capable of imparting frictional feeding movement to the web. The individual cam members are also centrally 'apertured so as to be mounted respectively upon an upper shaft 102 or a lower shaft 104. Spacers 106 are disposed upon the shafts between each of the individual cam members 100. Due to such arrangement of spaced cam members, a series of parallel strips or webs may be fed simultaneously by said machine and each strip or web will be similarly fed and folded.
The components of the assemblies are compressed firmly against each other upon the shafts in an axial direction to secure the individual cam members 100 in accurate position longitudinally. To prevent rotation of the same relative to the shafts, key means 108, shown in FIG. 2, are employed. For practical purposes, therefore, the individual cam members 100', when assembled upon the shafts, all act as a unitary assembly 92 and 94. Due to the fact that the cam members 100 are required to snap the creased folds behind the retaining shoulders 88, however, it is essential that the plates 88 and 82 be provided with slots which are identified by dotted lines 110, shown in FIG. 2, to accommodate the cam members. From the upper portion of FIG. 2 in particular, it will be seen that the peaks 98 of cam members 100 will move the creased fold past the shoulders 88 to effect firm final creasing of the sections into a compact mass.
When the peaks 98 have moved out of engagement with the creased sections, the mass will move backward toward stops 88, but such arrangement effectively forms the final creases in the product mass.
- DESCRIPTION OF FINAL CREASING Referring to FIG. 8, it will be seen that the feed chute 48 is substantially horizontal and thus, has traversed approximately one-half of its path of movement from the uppermost position thereof, shown in exemplary manner in FIG. 7, and the lowermost exemplary position thereof shown in FIG. 9. In this figure, the bowed, outermost section of the web 30 has not completely straightened while moving in feeding direction, without impedance, so that the uppermost creased fold has been disposed fully behind the shoulder 88, while the next outermost section 30 is being formed by the lowering movement of the chute 48. The final disposition of the uppermost creased fold 28 behind the shoulder 88 will immediately be effected, however, due to the lobe 96 being substantially in position to frictionally contact the uppermost creased fold and feedingly move it into full insertion behind the upper shoulder 88. As a final insurance of such positioning, the oncoming peak 98 of the uppermost cam assembly 92 will provide the final pushing movement to dispose said uppermost creased fold as aforesaid with respect to shoulder 88. The guide surfaces 98' on the projections 86, in conjunction with the over-travel of cam peaks 98, also facilitate the final disposition of the creased folds behind the shoulders 88 with respect to both the upper and lower plates 33 and 82.
In FIG. 9, the chute Si) is illustrated in exemplary manner as having just reached the lowermost position and is commencing to move upwardly again as indicated by the directional arrow 112. As a result, it will be seen that the outwardly bowed, outermost section 30 of the web does not have its lower creased fold 28 fully disposed behind the lower shoulder 88 due to the shortening eifect produced by the bow in the outermost section 30 shown at the left of the fragmentary exemplary illustration of fan-folded assembly of sections. However, upon the adjacent lobe 96 of the lowermost cam assembly 94 being in position to engage the lowermost creased fold 28, the latter will be disposed fully behind the shoulder 88 of lower plate 82, while a new, oncoming section 30 of the web is being formed to extend upwardly as the chute moves to its uppermost position which is illustrated in exemplary manner in FIG. 7.
From the foregoing, therefore, it will be seen that the rotatable cam assemblies '92 and 94 not only effect the final feeding and positioning of the creased folds 28 of the connected web sections 30 behind the receiving means which primarily comprise the vertically disposed shoulders 88 of projections 86 which extend toward each other from plates 8% and 82, but the over-travel of the peaks 98 of the cam members effect final firm creasing of the folds which connect the sections of the web. Further, in the various views and especially FIGS. 1, 2 and 79, the fan-folded sections 39 are shown in expanded manner, primarily to illustrate the individual sections in a visual manner. In actuality, particularly due to the weakening provided by the perforations between adjacent sections 30, when they are placed in fan-folded web formation of this type, as soon as each new section 36 has been deposited across the nearest section of the horizontal stack of vertically disposed sections 30 and the connecting creased fold 28 thereof has been lodged behind the retaining shoulders 88 to prevent retractive movement thereof, such assembly of fan-folded sections 30 is very compact.
To achieve such foregoing arrangement, when operation of the cross-web folder 10 is initiated, it is necessary that an operator manually assist in positioning the first few folded sections so as to dispose them vertically in non-retractive position behind the shoulders 38. This can be done by holding a sheet of cardboard or the like in vertical position so as to be abutted by the first few sections 30 as fed from the chute 48. A carton or other light weight means also may be used to effect such abutment for initial positioning of the fan-folded section and, as a stack of the same forms in a horizontal direction of compacted vertically disposed sheets or sections 30', the formation of such stack, in compact manner, from then on is effected automatically. Means by which the corn pact assembly of fan-folded sections 30 is removed from the machine is as follows:
DISCHARGE MECHANISM Referring particularly to FIGS. 3-5, it will be seen that a rectangular frame comprising side plates 114, which are parallel to each other, are connected to frame plates '70 of the main frame of the folder by any suitable bracket means, not shown. The side plates 114 may be of any suitable length. In the opposite ends thereof, appropriate bearings are formed for purposes of receiving the opposite ends of cylindrical shafts 116 and 118. A plurality of narrow endless belts 120 extend around the shafts 116 and 118. Such assembly of belts constitutes a receiving conveyor for the compact assembly of fan-folded sections 30 of the web 12 and upon which said sections are disposed in substantially vertical position upon such horizontal conveyor.
The conveyor is driven at a relatively slow speed due to the fact that the compact arrangement of fan-folded, relatively thin, web sections builds up rather slowly, notwithstanding the fact that the web 12 may be moving through the creasing and folding portions of the folder 10 at a high rate of linear speed, such as of the order of 1000 ft. per minute. In view of this, it is found convenient to utilize roller 116 as the drive roller for the conveyor. One end of a ratchet arm 122 is fixed to one end of the drive shaft 116 for the conveyor. Said arm preferably is provided with a longitudinal slot 124 within which one end of an adjustable pintle 126 is adapted to be secured in a desired position. Any form of conventional ratchet mechanism, not shown, such as a one-way clutch may be disposed between the lower end of lever 122 and the drive shaft 116. Also, to prevent retractive movement of the conveyor when lever 122 is retracting, another reversely directed one-way clutch 123 is connected to drive shaft 116, as seen in FIG. 3.
A connecting rod or link 128 is connected at one end to the adjustable pintle 126 and the opposite end thereof has a pin 130 which connects it to one of the connecting rods 66 by which the chute 48 is oscillated. In FIGS. 4 and 5, it will be seen that the upper end of said connecting rod has a plurality of holes 132 therein. By selecting one of the holes 132 for the disposition of pin 130 therein, it will be seen that a very limited amount of longitudinal movement of the connecting rod 128 will be produced for purposes of operating arm 122 and thereby moving the discarge conveyor, comprising belts 120, at a very slow rate, stepwise, as the driving shaft 116 for said conveyor is moved by the ratchet which connects the arm 122 to the shaft 116. Further adjustment may be achieved by moving the adjustable pintle 126 relative to slot 124 and securing it in a desired, set position.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, it will be seen that the cross-web folder 10 primarily comprises a frame or body which includes a pair of parallel frame plates 70 which preferably are formed from rigid metal, such as steel or aluminum, of suitable thickness. Appropriate crossbars and rods 134 and 136- extend between said side plates to secure the same precise spaced relationship. An appropriate supporting frame comprising a plurality of legs 138 depend downwardly from the frame structure and, if desired, may be braced by cross-members 140 and also can be rendered portable by utilizing casters 142. For purposes of simplicity, the discharge frame com- 1G prising side members 114 and elongated rollers 116 and 118 are not illustrated in FIG. 1 but it will be understood that the same are connected to the righthand end of the folder 10 as shown in said figure.
DRIVE MECHANISM The means by which the various shafts and other movable elements of the folder 10 are actuated are best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. It will be seen that these figures re spectively are taken on the lines 44 and '55 of FIG. 3. When facing the delivery end of the folder 111 from which the conveyor comprising belts extends, it will be seen that the drive mechanism illustrated in FIG. 4 is on the left-hand side of the machine and the drive mechanism shown in FIG. 5 is on the right-hand side of the machine. Considering the direction in which the drive means is shown along the line 55 of FIG. 3, however, understanding the operation of the drive means illustrated in FIG. 5 would be diificult unless the means driven thereby also is illustrated in the figure. Accordingly, in FIG. 5, the various elements of the cross-web folder 10 are shown in phantom. Said elements are also shown in broken lines in FIG. 4, due to the fact that the elements are behind the left-hand frame plate 70.
Referring to FIG. 4 in which the drive mechanism at the left-hand side of the folder 10 is shown, a shaft 144 is mounted within suitable bearings provided respectively in the frame plates 70, and actually comprises the principal drive shaft of the machine. Momentarily reverting to FIG. 5, it will be seen that the shaft 144 is provided with a sprocket gear 146, which is illustrated diagrammatically, and around which a sprocket chain 148 extends, which is connected, for example, to a driving sprocket gear on a printing press, not shown. Accordingly, by means of the sprocket chain 148, the operation of the folder 111 is in direct, timed relationship with the output of a printing press sothat the speed of the press and that of the folder are coincident. Also, such a press, as referred to hereinabove, is capable of providing the transverse perforations between the connected sections 30 of the web 10 under circumstances where such perforations are desired to be in the web.
From the foregoing description, it should be apparent that in the operation of the creasing rollers 114 and 116, in relationship to the folding of the sections 30 of the web 12 by means of the oscillating chute 48, cam assemblies 92 and 94, and then the reception of the creased and folded product by the receiving and holding means comprising the plates 80 and 82, it is essential that the various elements of the mechanism which produce the final result must operate in precisely timed relationship with respect to each other. In this regard, in the embodiments of the invention which have been reduced to practice and successfully operated, the timing operations referred to have been achieved satisfactorily by utiliz ng flexible endless timing belts and complementary timing pulleys, both driving and driven, have been employed.
Regarding the driving mechanism, it is to be understood that other suitable, timed-type driving and operating mechanism may be employed such as by utilizing sprocket gears and chains, the mechanical equivalent thereof, or otherwise. Accordingly, in the following descriptions, it is to be understood that all of the elements described are driven by means which comprise timed driving and driven mechanism and it is to be assumed that the same are flexible, endless belts, having transverse ribs thereon which cooperate with driving and driven pulleys having complementary notches therein but such illustrations are to be considered solely as illustrative, rather than restrictive, as long as appropriate, timed-type of driving and driven mechanism is employed.
In FIG. 4, the driving shaft 144 has a driving pulley 150 thereon around which an endless driving belt 152 extends, the same also extending around a driven pulley 154. An idler pulley 156 also is employed for tightening purposes. Driven pulley 154 is connected to shaft 20 to which an additional driven pulley 158 is connected. An endless, flexible driving belt 160 extends around pulley 158 and also around a larger diameter driven pulley 162 which is fixedly connected to the shaft 104 to which the lower cam assembly 94 is aflixed.
Shaft 36 upon which the feeding roller 32 is mounted, and to which it is affixed, has a driven pulley 164 connected thereto and around which an endless driving belt 166 extends, said belt also extending around a driven pulley 168 which is connected to a projecting end of one of the short shafts '76 that drives one of the crank pins 74 for purposes of actuating the connecting rod 66 which is connected to one end of the feed chute 48. All of the aforementioned driving means shown in FIG. 4- are disposed exteriorly of the outer surface of the lefhhand frame plate 70. The drive means disposed exteriorly of the right-hand frame plate 70 is as follows:
Referring to FIG. 5, as described hereinabove, the drive shaft 44 extends between the spaced frame plates 78 of the folder and opposite ends of said shaft respectively project beyond the outer surfaces of said frame plates. Accordingly, on the right-hand side of the folder 10, the drive shaft 144 has a driving pulley 170 connected thereto. Shaft 36 of the feeding roller 32 also has a driven pulley 172 connected thereto and an endless driving belt 174 extends around the driving pulley 170 and the driven pulley 172. A tightening idler pulley 176 also engages one course of the belt 174. Thus, it will be seen that the feeding roller 32 is directly driven by the main drive shaft 144.
The driven pulley 172 actually is a double pulley and the second portion thereof has a driven belt 178 extending therearound. Belt 178 also extends around a larger diameter driven pulley 180 which is fixed to the short shaft 76 to which the crank pin 74 is connected for driving the connecting rod 66 at the right-hand side of the folder 10. The connecting rod 66 connected thereto will actuate the right-hand end of chute 48 in unison with the drive means for the above-described left-hand side of the folder 10.
The shaft which supports the lower creasing roller 16 has a spur gear 182 keyed thereto for engagement with a driven spur gear 184, which is connected to one end of a short shaft 186. A driving pulley 188 also is fixed to said shaft in direct overlying relationship with respect to the spur gear 184. A flexible, endless driving belt 190 extends around the pulley 188 and also around a driven pulley 192 which is connected to one end of shaft 18 upon which the upper creasing roller 14 is connected. The pulley 192 is a double pulley and the other element thereof has another endless, flexible belt 194 extending therearound and also around a larger diameter driven pulley 196 which is connected to the shaft 182 upon which the upper cam assembly 92 is affixed.
ilt also will be understood that the various shafts referred to hereinabove with respect to the description of the driving means project through appropriate openings and holes formed in the frame plates '70 through which said shafts project. Suitable bearings are connected to the frame plates for purposes of supporting such shafts. The construction thus described results in providing a very compact and relatively simple type of cross-Web folder which is of sturdy and rugged construction and is capable of sustaining the high speed at which it operates eificiently with a minimum consumption of power commensurate with the improved result capable of being produced by the folder in comparison with current results of existing fan-fold type folders.
The increased speed of the folder comprising the present invention primarily is due to substantially smaller diameter of the creasing rollers and the manner of handling the web essentially in a horizontal direction until it reaches the folding and guiding means which directly deliver the creased, and at least partially folded, web to the receiving means which finalizes the folding of the webs into a compact disposition of the successive sections of the web in vertical condition for movement horizontally along a discharge conveyor. There are no appreciable lengths of the web between individual operating elements of the machine, thereby further contributing to the compactness thereof.
In addition to the simplified construction, which contributes materially to the minimum manufacturing expense, all elements of the folder are readily available for adjustment and such limited servicing as the machine requires from time to time as a result of the high speed operation thereof.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in its several preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as illustrated and described.
1. A cross-web folder comprising a pair of rollers adapted to receive a continuous elongated web of foldable material therebetween, cooperating creasing means on said rollers operable to indent transverse successive prefold creases in said web which alternately and respectively extend in opposite directions relative to the plane of said web to define sections thereof, a feed chute positioned to slidably receive said creased Web from said rollers and discharge the web from one end thereof, means to oscillate said one end of said chute in directions to dispose said sections of said web generally in zig-zag arrangement while moving away from said chute in at least partially folded condition at said creases in said web, folding and guiding means extending parallel to the creases of said web and including rigid rotatable means extending transversely across the path of said web substantially for the full width thereof and positioned to frictionally engage said creases therein and increase the folds of the Web along said creases throughout the length thereof to dispose the sections of said web in fan-folded arrangement, and stationary shoulder means fixedly positioned to receive the folded edges of said fan-folded web and hold the same against retracting movement as successive folded edges are presented to said receiving means by said folding and guiding means.
2. The folder according to claim 1 in which the axes of said rollers are in a common substantially vertical plane and receive said web therebetween and said stationary shoulder means to receive folded edges of said fan-folded web are spaced apart vertically and are operable to hold the folded sections of said web in substantially vertical position.
3. The folder according to claim 2 further including a substantially horizontal conveyor positioned to receive said fan-folded Web and including means operable to progressively move the same away from said receiving and holding means as the folded web sections are formed and at a speed adapted to maintain said sections substantialiy in compact arrangement against each other.
4. The folder according to claim 2 in which said fixedly positioned means to engage said folded creases comprise projections extending toward each other and positioned to receive the folded edges of said Web as they are snapped past said projections by movement imposed thereon by said folding and guiding means.
5. The folder according to claim 1 in which said folding and guiding means comprise rigid rotatable cam members adapted to engage said Web with a wiping frictional contact operable to move the creased folds of said web toward said receiving and holding means.
6. The folder according to claim 5 in which said receiving and holding means comprise projecting shoulders positioned adjacent said rotatable cam members, and the wiping engagement of said rotatable cam members cause said creased folded portions of said web to be snapped behind said shoulders.
7. The folder according to claim 6 in which said rotatable cam members which engage said web have rounded lobes comprising cam surfaces which slidably engage said web during the operation thereof.
8. The folder according to claim 7 in which said lobes have peaked portions which cause final snapping action when engaging said creased and folded portions of said web to complete the disposition of the same behind the shoulders of said receiving and holding means.
9. The folder according to claim 6 in which said rotatable cam members comprise a series of similar cam members fixed to and transversely spaced along rotatable shafts, and said receiving and holding means having slots aligned with and adapted to permit passage of portions of said cam members therethrough to insure positioning of said creased folds of said web in holding position by said receiving and holding means.
10. The folder according to claim 9 in which said cam members have lobes and peaked portions and said receiving and holding means have shoulders, said slots in said receiving and holding means extending therein to a depth adjacent said shoulders to insure snapping of said creased folds of said web behind said shoulders by peaked portions of said cam members.
11. A cross-web folder including in combination:
(a) means to receive an endless web of foldable sheet material and indent successive alternately reversely extending creases therein at evenly spaced intervals,
(b) means to feed said creased web along a substantially horizontal path, v
() means to wave the sections of said web between said creases respectively upwardly and downwardly while permitting longitudinal movement of said web through said means to permit said sections to be folded in the directions in which said reversely extending creases are inclined,
(d) rotatable rigid cam means positioned respectively above and below said path of said web as it moves from said waving means and extending across said web substantially parallel to said folds in said web, said cam means being positioned to wipingly engage said folds to positively increase the folded extent thereof, and
(e) stationary shoulder means spaced apart substantially vertically and positioned adjacent said cam means and adapted respectively to engage said creased folds of said web and prevent retractive movement thereof, whereby the entire movement of said Web moves continuously substantially in advancing direction free of impedance to permit high speed operation of said folder.
12. The folder according to claim 11 in which said stationary shoulder means are fixedly positioned substantially within a vertical plane adapted to engage and hold the foldable connected sections of said Web in substantially vertical position, whereby compact disposition of said sections is eifected.
13. The folder according to claim 12 further including a substantially horizontal conveyor positioned adjacent said spaced engaging means and operable to receive the vertically disposed sections of said folded web after the same have been disposed behind said spaced engaging means and as the same progressively move away from said engaging means incident to successive creased folds being disposed behind said means.
14. The folder according to claim 13 further including mean connected to said conveyor and operable to drive the same at a speed adequate to maintain the folded sections of said web in compact fan-folded substantially vertical position.
15. The folder according to claim 14 in which said drive means for said conveyor comprises a ratchet lever, and drive means operated by said means which wave the sections of said web between said creases connected to said ratched lever to operate the same.
16. The folder according to claim 12 in which said spaced engaging means comprise substantially vertical shoulders behind which said creased folded sections of said web are disposed.
17. The folder according to claim 16 in which said rotatable rigid cam means are positioned to closely precede said spaced shoulders, said rotating cam means being operable to snap the folded creased portions of said web behind said shoulders in a direction to effect discharge of the folded web from said folder.
18. The folder according to claim 17 in which said cam means comprise an assembly of similar rigid cam members spaced apart along rotatable shafts and said assembly subtending substantially the entire width of said web, said cam members being provided with spirally curved surfaces terminating in a peak to provide final pushing action of the creased folded portions of said web to insure disposition thereof behind said shoulders.
19. The folder according to claim 18 in which each of said cam means has a plurality of spiral cam surfaces terminating in peaks comprising the highest portions of said cam surfaces and respectively spaced equally circumferentially around said cam surfaces.
20. The folder according to claim 17 in which said shoulders are formed on projections respectively extending toward each other and spaced vertically apart, said projections also having sloping relief surfaces on said projections engageable by said creased folded portions of said web incident to being snapped behind said shoulders and operable to guide said creased folded portions into contact with said shoulders.
21. The folder according to claim 11 in which the means to feed said creased web comprises a feed roller in a series of axially aligned pressure rollers peripherally coacting with said feed roller to eifect friction feed gripping of the web to move the same through the folder and direct the web into the means to wave the web between the creases thereof.
22. The folder according to claim 21 further including spring pressed means operable upon the pressure rollers, said pressure rollers being supported by arms pivotally supported at one end and the folder additionally including means operable simultaneously to engage said arms and move said pressure rollers at least a limited distance away from the periphery of the feed roller when desired.
23. A cross web folder adapted to receive a continuous elongated web of foldable material comprising a series of connected sections which has been at least partially creased alternately in opposite directions relative to the plane of the web between adjoining sections thereof, said folder comprising in combination, feed means adapted to engage said web and move it longitudinally at a substantial predetermined speed, means adapted to guide and oscillatably move successive sections of said web alternately in opposite directions relative to an axis extending transversely to the path of movement of said web, a pair of rigid rotatable cam means extending across substantially the full width of said web adjacent opposite surfaces thereof and respectively operable to frictionally engage said sections of said web while moving in said opposite directions to advance said sections into fan-folded configuration upon said creases in said web and eifect at least partial final creasing of said sections into compact fanfolded configuration, and receiving and holding shoulder means mounted stationarily above and below the path of movement of said configuration of said web and adapted to receive the at least partially creased edges between adjacent sections of said web as the same are advanced thereto by said rotatable cam means to hold said folded sections and finalize the creases between said sections by compacting the oncoming sections against the previously folded sections.
24. The folder according to claim 23 in which said web is fed in a generally horizontal direction by said feed means and said feed means and rotatable cam means being operable to deflect said sections of said web alternately upwardly and downwardly to dispose said sections into substantially vertical position, and said receiving means being adapted to retain said folded sections in said substantially vertical position.
25. The folder according to claim 24 further including conveyor means adapted to receive said folded sections in substantially vertical arrangement and move the same in a substantially horizontal direction away from said receiving and holding means at a speed adapted to maintain a compact bulk of folded sections adjacent said receiving and holding means to permit said rotatable cam means to press the oncoming sections into final folded condition as the same are received by said receiving and holding means.
26. The folder according to claim 25 in which said rotatable cam means comprise an assembly of similar cams having peaked portions and said receiving and holding means comprising vertically spaced shoulders positioned adjacent the rotary paths of said peaked portions of said cams and adapted to be engaged by the finally folded edges of adjacent sections of said Web as moved behind said shoulders by said peaked portions of said cams.
27. The folder according to claim 26 in which said peaked portions of said cams are of sufiicient height in a radial direction to push said finally folded edges which connect adjacent sections of said web slightly beyond said shoulders to effect firm final folding and creasing of said edges, followed by limited relaxing of the pressure on said compact mass of folded sections when said peaked 16 1 1 portions of said cam move from engagement with said sections of said web.
28. The folder according to claim 23 in which said rotatable cam means each comprise an assembly of similar plate-like cam members spaced in an axial direction from each other upon a rotatable shaft, said cams being similar in shape and aligned in an axial direction to function simultaneously, said assembly being substantially as long as the Width of said folder, whereby a plurality of striplike webs of material may be fed by said folder and similarly handled in parallel manner by said cam members.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,547,430 12/1970 Assony 270 79 2,359,417 10/1944 Hand 270 73 3,579,248 5/1971 McGrath,Jr 270-611 3,406,959 10/1968 Ross 270 73 3,006,634 10/1961 Lawrence et a1 270-73 FOREIGN PATENTS 6411421 4/1965 Netherlands 270-79 ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner L. R. OREMLAND, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 27161 F