US 3744360 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Currie et al. July 10, 1973  METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR 3,397,603 8/1968 Griswold 83/42 DISPENSING CELLULAR WEB MATERIAL 3,411,391 11/1968 Drubner 7. 83/650 X 3,199,394 8/1965 Castelli 83/650 X  Inventors: Grover C. Currie; Brendan L. Doll,
both of Patterson, FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Assigneez Cell du p y, on, 559,397 6/1958 Canada 83/650 Primary Examiner-Willie G. Abercrombie  Filed: Feb. 22, 1971 AttorneyParrott, Bell, Seltzer, Park 81. Gibson  Appl. No.: 117,366
 ABSTRACT  U S Cl 83/23 83/42 83/56 A method of and apparatus for dispensing web mate- 6 rial, especially cellular padding such as is used in pack-  lm Cl B65h /04 aging furniture and the like, wherein the material is di-  Fieid 42 56 68 rected downwardly in suspended condition from a 83/1O4 221 10 4 source past an elongate stationary knife. Upon a predetermined length of the material falling past the knife, an anvil roller is traversed automatically along the knife,  S S with the web material interposed therebetween, so that UN ATENT the anvil roller presses the material against the knife, g t 8 336 causing the same to sever a predetermined length from un er.... L 3,138,985 6/1964 Mills 83/510 X the web matena 3,293,967 12/1966 Sharpe 83/241 6 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 10 11' R IO' 53' 31 I I 5'\ 7' 5?. 27 e0 27 I o o v 2 43 6:4 4 x/ 26 s'r 87 I05 H5 14;, ll?) 94 ,14 l l 71' 71 Patented July 10, 1973 5 Sheets-Sheet l Patented July 10, 1973 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented July 10, 1973 3,744,360
5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Patented July 10, 1973 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 TIMING Dance w w WW .1 J TiiliWiii m METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING CELLULAR WEB MATERIAL In the packaging of furniture and the like for shipment, sheets of cellular padding made from paper or the like are usually used to protect the furniture within a crate or box from damage during handling and in transit. For many years, it has been customary for furniture factories to order various precut lengths of such padding from a padding manufacturer, and to store a supply of such precut lengths for use as they are needed. Such a procedure requires frequent review of the factories inventory, substantial paper work in ordering the various sizes of sheets required, and requires considerable space to store such sheets. Also, consqderable expertise is required of the workmen of the padding manufacturer in order to precut the various lengths of padding requested of them.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved method and apparatus for automatically cutting predetermined lengths of cellular web material wherein an attendant need only place a roll of the material on the apparatus, adjust a control means in accordance with the length of web material to be obtained, and then start the apparatus to obtain as many lengths of the material as may be desired.
A more specific object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for dispensing pads of cellular web material, wherein a supply roll is rotated to unwind a predetermined length therefrom as the unwinding length is directed downwardly by gravity and in a suspended condition past a stationary, substantially horizontal cutting blade or knife. The roll is then stopped, whereupon an anvil roller is automatically traversed, under pressure, along the cutting edge of the knife, from one side edge to the other side edge of the web while pressing the web against the knife to sever the predetermined length therefrom.
Some of the objects and advantages of the invention having been stated, others will appear as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the improved apparatus for carrying out the method of this invention, and wherein two independently operable dispensing units are embodied in a single machine;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view looking upwardly at the lower side of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary inverted plan view of traversing means for anvil rollers which effect the cutting of respective webs into lengths, and being taken substantially along line 33 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged elevational view looking at the left-hand side of FIG. 2, and showing rolls of the cellular web material mounted on the respective dispensing units;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 5-5 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the anvil roller carriage, showing the anvil roller engaging the cutting edge of the cutting blade;
.FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 77 in FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuit for controlling the operation of one of the dispensing units.
Referring more specifically to the drawings, the apparatus comprises two web measuring, cutting and dispensing units, broadly designated at l0, 10, mounted on a common frame broadly designated at 11. Frame 11 includes pairs of end legs l2, l2; 13, 13 interconnected by respective longitudinally extending frame members 14, 14', with transverse frame members 15, 16 interconnecting upper portions of legs 12, 12' and 13, 13', respectively. Frame 11 also includes longitudinally extending side frame members 20, 20' and an intermediate frame member 21 spaced between frame members 20, 20'. Frame members 20, 20' support respective replaceable, substantially horizontally disposed, stationary cutting blades or knives 22, 22 whose cutting edges extend substantially horizontally and face inwardly toward intermediate frame member 21.
The opposing longitudinal edges of intermediate frame member 21 serve as rigid trackways 23, 23' for an anvil roller mounting means or carriage to be later described. Since the remaining parts of the two dispensing units 10, 10' are similar, but are of opposite hand, only unit 10 will be described in detail and like parts associated with unit 10 will bear the same reference characters with the prime notation added, where applicable, to avoid repetitive description. The apparatus is provided with feeding means for rotating a supply roll R of cellular padding web material to unwind and feed a predetermined length thereof from supply roll R while directing the unwinding length of web W downwardly in a suspended condition past cutting blade 22.
As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 4, the web feeding means comprises outer and inner series of longitudinally spaced endless feed belts 26, 27. The upper runs of the outer series of feed belts 26 extend downwardly and forwardly at an incline of about 10 to 20 degrees with the lower forward portions thereof converging with substantially vertically disposed rear runs of the inner endless belts 27 Thus, the upper runs of the outer feed belts 26 and the rear outer runs of the inner feed belts 27 collectively cradle the lower portion of the roll R of web material thereupon. The rear or outer portions of outer feed belts 26 are mounted on a common idler roll 30, and the upper portions of the inner endless belts 27 are mounted on a common idler roll 31. Idler rolls 30, 31 extend longitudinally of the apparatus and are rotatably mounted on respective stationary shafts 32, 33 whose opposed ends are adjustably secured to upright end frame members or plates 34, 35 suitably secured to transverse frame members 15, 16.
In order to adjustably secure shafts 32, 33 to end frame members 34, 35, each end frame member 34, 35 is provided with adjustment slots 36, 37 loosely penetrated by screws 40, 41 (FIG. 4) for securing the corresponding ends of shafts 32, 33 against the inner surfaces of end frame members 34, 35. Adjustment slot 36 extends substantially horizontally, and adjustment slot 37 extends substantially vertically so that the corresponding rolls 30, 31 may be adjusted toward and away i from pulleys 43 on which the inner and lower portions of the respective belts 27, 27 are mounted so as to insure that such belts are properly tensioned.
As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, pulleys 43 are mounted on a common shaft 44 whose opposing end portions are journaled in end frame members 34, 35. A chain-and-sprocket connection 46 (FIGS. 1 and 2) serves to connect pulley shaft 44 to the output shaft of an electromagnetic web feed clutch CL-l of a type which also serves as a brake whenever the clutch is inactive; i.e., not energized. The input shaft 48 of clutch CL-l is journaled in end frame member 34 and hasa sprocket wheel 51 on its outer end.
As shown in FIG. 4, both sprocket wheels 51, 51' of the two dispensing units 10, are driven continuously during operation of the apparatus, as by means of a gear-reduction electric motor 52 carried by frame 11 and connected by sprocket-and-cahin connections 53, 53', to the respective sprocket wheels 51, 51. It is apparent that, whenever clutches CL-l, CL-l' (FIG. 1) are energized in a manner to be later described, the respective sets of feed belts 26, 27 and 26', 27 are driven so as to rotate the respective rolls R, R of cellular padding web material so that the web W will pass over the upper portions of the inner series of belts 27, 27' and fall downwardly past the proximal cutting edges of cutting blades or knives 22, 22' as in FIG. 5.
Referring agains to the dispensing unit 10, to aid in directing the web downwardly as it passes from supply roll R over the inner feed belts 27, a series of relatively narrow press rolls 55 is provided, there being one of the press rolls S5 aligned with each of the inner feed belts 27 (FIGS. 1, 4 and 5). These press rolls 55 simply rest against the web W and hold the same against and in frictional engagement with the inner feed belts 27 adjacent idler roll 31.
To this end, all of the press rolls 55 in the corresponding series are journaled on a common shaft 56 mounted in a plurality of arms 57. Arms 57 extend downwardly and inwardly and are pivotally mounted, as at 60, in brackets 61 carried by the intermediate longitudinal frame member 21. Each bracket 61 supports a pair of the swing arms 57, 57 of the apparatus. To facilitate threading the web W through the apparatus, it is apparent that swing arms 57 may be raised and swung inwardly to move the'press rolls 55 inwardly away from the inner feed belts 27 and, after the threading of the web material has been completed, the swing arms 57 may be swung outwardly toward the inner feed belts 27 so that the press rolls 55 will again rest against the web as it passes ovr and in engagement wqth the inner feed belts 27.
To aid further in guiding the web material toward and past cutting blade 22, a series of light, readily yieldable guide fingersp64 (FIGS. 5 and 7) may be suspended from a common support rod 65 below the level of press roll 55 and inwardly of the cutting edge of blade 22. Guide fingers 64 may be in the form of small springs wound from fine wire and spaced about four inches apart along rod 65. Guide fingers 64 are positioned so as to guide the web W without moving the same outwardly to such extent teat the travel of the web will be interrupted by blade 22 and its supporting means. Rod 65 is mounted for angular adjustment about its own axis in upstanding brackets 66 carried by frame members' 15, 16.
Cutting blade 22 is removably mounted between and projects inwardly from a pair of elongate blade support bars 22a (FIGS. 6 and 7) suitably secured to the inner edge of the corresponding frame member 20. Each blade support bar 22a is provided with a plurality of longitudinal spaced locking screws 22b for engaging the upper and lower surfaces of cutting blade 22 to thereby clamp the cutting blade between support bars 22a.
To aid in stripping the web material W from the cutting blade 22 following each cutting operation, a band of resilient material 220, such as sponge rubber, is adhesively or otherwise secured to each of the blade support bars 22a, and the front surfaces of the bands of resilient material 22c are normally substantially flush with the sharp edge of the cutting blade 22. However, the bands of resilient material 220 are readily compressed by the web W as it is forced against the cutting blade, by means to be later described, so that the bands 220 will subsequently strip the web W off of the cutting blade 22.
Upon a predetermined length of the web W being unwound from roll R and falling past cutting blade 22, a control means to be later described stops rotation of supply roll R and then initiates movement of an anvil roller '70 to cause the same to traverse the length of cutting blade 22 while pressing the web W against the sharp edge of cutting blade 22 to thereby sever a predetermined length of the web from the body of the web. The anvil roller 70 is preferably made from a hardened metal so that it will not be damaged by rolling engagement thereof with the cutting edge of blade 22. On the other hand, cutting blade 22 is preferably made from a relatively softer metal commonly known as a die rule material which is readily commercially available in predetermined widths and in sharpened condition so that, upon blade 22 becoming dulled by use, it may simply be discarded and replaced by another section of cutting blade material so as to obviate the need for providing any special equipment on the machine or nearby for the purpose of sharpening the edge of cutting blade 22.
A mounting means or carriage, broadly designated at 71, is provided for supporting and traversing anvil roller 70 along the sharp edge of cutting blade 22. As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, anvil roller carriage 71 comprises a pair of vertically spaced outer and inner wall members or plates 72, 73 secured to, and maintained in predetermined spaced relationship by, a pair of posts 74. Posts 74 are longitudinally spaced with respect to the path of travel of carriage 71 and have respective guide rollers 75 rotatably mounted thereon which are adapted to ride against the trackway 23 formed by intermediate frame member 21.
Anvil roller 70 is loosely positioned between plates 72, 73 and is rotatably mounted on a stub shaft 77 whose opposed end portions are fixed in a pair of levers 80, 81 pivotally mounted, as at 82, on the respective plates 72, 73. Levers 80, 81 project from carriage 71 in a generally longitudinal direction with respect to the path of travel of carriage 71 and are interconnected by a bar 84 adapted to engage adjacent surfaces of plates 72, 73 to limit outward movement of roller 70 relative to carriage 71 when roller 70 is not in engagement with cutting blade 22.
Opposite ends of a tension spring-85 are connected to plate 72 and lever 80, thus normally urging anvil roller 70 and bar 84 toward the latter positions, and also urging roller 70 into engagement with the sharp edge of blade 22 during the traversing of anvil roller along such cutting edge. It is preferred that opposed ends of cutting blade 22 are beveled as shown in FIG. 6 to facilitate the anvil roller 70 riding onto and off of the cutting edge of cutting blade 22.
Carriage 71 is mounted on an endless pliable element in the form of a sprocket chain 87, to at least one of the links of which plate 73 is suitably connected, as by a pin or pins (FIG. 7). As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3,
sprocket chain 87 is mounted on a pair of longitudinally spaced sprocket wheels 92, 93. Sprocket wheel 92 and its counterpart sprocket wheel 92' are rotatably mounted on opposite end portions of a shaft 94 (FIG.
3) mounted in brackets 95 depending from intermediate frame member 21. However, sprocket wheels 93, 93' are fixed on separate shafts 96, 96', journaled in respective bearings, 97, 97' depending from intermediate frame member 21.
Drive means is provided for driving the two sprocket chains 87, 87' independently of each other. To this end, the proximal end portions of shafts 96, 96 have respective sprocket wheels a, a fixed thereon which are engaged by respective endless sprocket chains b, b which, in turn, engage respective sprocket wheels c, c rotatably mounted on respective shafts 100, 100. Shafts 100, 100' are journaled in suitable bearings 101, 101 suitably secured to and depending from intermediate frame member 21. Sprocket wheels c, c are secured to the output portions of respective electromagnetic cutter clutches CL-2, CL-2 whose output portions are freely rotatable on the shafts 100, 100, but whose input portions are fixed on the respective shafts 100, 100. Shafts 100, 100' are driven continuously during operation of the apparatus by means of respective sprocket-and-chain connections 103, 103' connecting shafts 100, 100' to the output of a common gear-reduction unit 104 driven by an electric motor 105 suitably secured to and depending from intermediate frame member 21.
Magnetic clutches CL-2, CL-2, like clutches CL-l, CL-1', preferably are of a type known as a clutch-brake of conventional or other construction. Since electromagnetic clutches are well known, a detailed description and illustration thereof is deemed unnecessary.
While clutches CL-2, CL-2 are inactive, the respective anvil roller carriages 71, 71' occupy predetermined positions in the lower runs of the respective sprocket chains 87, 87', such as those positions in which they are illustrated in FIG. 3; Le, to one side of the path of travel of the webs W, W as they are being delivered from the respective supply rolls R, R. Upon energization of clutch CL-2, for example, by means to be later described, sprocket chain 87 moves in a clockwise direction in FIG. 2 so that carriage 71 passes partially around sprocket wheel 92 and then moves with the upper run of sprocket chain 87. Guide rollers 75 (FIGS. 6 and 7) of carriage 71 then ride against trackway 23 as anvil roller 70 rotates in pressing engagement against the cutting edge of blade 22 and the intervening web W therebetween. supporting supports which FIGS.
In order to maintain guide rollers 75 in proper engagement with trackway 23, an elongate, stationary, chain supportin bar 110 (FIG. 7) supporst the upper run of sprocket chain 87, causing the same to move in a linear path. Track bar 110 is suitably secured to brackets 111 w hich depend from and are suitably secured to intermediate frame 21, as shown in IGS. 3 and 7. A suitable deflector plate 113 may be secured to track bar 110 so as to engage and deflect web W outwardly away from sprocket chain 87 as the web W falls past cutting blade 22 and, especially, as a predetermined length is cut from the web W and falls past the sprocket chain 87. An overlying flange member 114 also may be secured to frame member 21 so as to overlie and prevent roller 75 from moving upwardly above trackway 23 in the event of whipping" of chain 87.
After carriage 71 has effected the cutting of a length from the body of the web, sprocket chain 87 continues to move in a clockwise direction in FIG. 2 until it returns to its original predetermined position, at which instant, anvil roller engages and actuates a switch means 115 to deenergize clutch CL-2 so that the brake thereof will stop rotation of sprocket wheel 0 immediately, thus stopping further movement of carriage 71 and its anvil roller 70 preparatory to a repeat cycle in the operation of the corresponding dispensing unit 10.
The thus dispensed cut length of the web may drop onto a suitable collector means, such as a conveyor, platform, chute or the like so as to be readily accessible to an operator for transporting the cut length of web to a storage area or to an area where an article of fumiture or the like is to be packaged. As shown in FIG. 4, the collector means is in the form of a downwardly and outwardly inclined chute 116 whose upper portion is positioned so that the web W will drop against chute 116 as it is deflected outwardly by deflector plate 113. A similar deflector plate 113' and chute 116 are provided for dispensing unit 10'.
The dispensing units 10, 10' are provided with independent control means, essential components of wich may be mounted in respective control boxes 120 120 (FIGS. 1 and 2) suitably mounted on the end frame members 35, 35'. Although motors 52, 105 serve as common motive means for the web feeding and the anvil roller traversing means, respectively, of both dispensing units 10, 10', the control means control the operation of the units 10, 10 independently of each other. The control means for the units 10, 10' may be identical. Therefore, only the control means for unit 10 is shown in detail in FIG. 8, and includes an electrical circuit comprising a main electrically operable timing device 121. Timing device 121 may be of well-known conventional type which is reset electrically and which may be adjusted to determine the duration of its intervals of operation by means of a manually adjustable control element or pointer 1210. The adjustable element 121a may be positioned outside of control box 120 as in FIG. 1, so as to be readily accessible to an operator.
As will be presently described, timing device 121 controls the duration of operation of the web feeding means, including the web feeding belts 26, 27, so as to unwind a predetermined length of the web from roll R, whereupon timing device 121 automatically interrupts operation of the web feeding means and initiates operation of the respective anvil roller carriage 71 to effect the cutting of a predetermined length from the body of web W. At the will of the operator, each dispensing unit 10, 10' may be caused to cease operation at the end of each cycle in the operatqon thereof, or the cycles may be repeated automatically. The electrical circuit of FIG. 8 will first be described as it relates to manual operation in which the initiation of each cycle in the operation of the unit 10 is effected by the operator.
Assuming that the movable components of the electrical circuit occupy the positions shown in FIG. 8, that a roll R of the cellular web material is resting upon feed belts 26, 27 as in FIGS. 4, 5 and 8, and that anvil roller 70 is at rest in engagement with switch assembly 115, a master switch 123 (FIG. 8) is closed to energize electric motors 52, 105 through lead conductors 124, 125. A manually controlled cycle in the operation of dispensing unit 10 then is initiated as the operator momentarily closes a normally open manual push-button start switch 126 in series with a manually operable, normally closed, push-button stop switch 127 and with the coil 130a of a main electromagnetic relay 130, thus energizing coil 130a.
Upon energization of coil 130a, switches 130b, 1300, 130d of main relay 130 move upwardly in FIG. 8. At the same time that manual start switch 126 is closed to energize coil 130a, it also causes current to flow through switch 130C and, thus, through timing device 121 to reset the timing cycle thereof immediately before switch 1300 is raised and opened by energization of coil 130a. Although the operator then releases manual start switch 126 and permits the same to open, switch 13Gb then extablishes a holding circuit for coil 130a through manual stop switch 127 and through a switch 1310 of an electromagnetic time delay relay 131. Upon upward movement of switch 130d of main relay 130, switch 130d then causes current to flow from a rectifier 132, which receives its power from lead conductors 124, 125, to web feed clutch CL-l, thus imparting movement to feed belts 26, 27 and causing web W to be unwound from roll R and fall past cutting blade 22.
Upon switch 130c having been opened in the manner heretofore described, timing device 121 starts to run down and, at the end of an interval of predetermined duration, timing device 121 will have completed a cycle which will momentarily close a normally open timer switch 121b operatively associated with timing device 121. At the instant that timer switch 121!) is momentarily closed, the desired predetermined length of the web W will have moved past cutting blade 22, and the momentary closing of timer switch 121b stops movement of feed belts 26, 27 while also initiating operation of anvil roller carriage 71, as will now be described.
Momentary closing of timer switch 121b energizes coil 131a of time delay relay 131 while also energizing the coil 134a of a secondary electromagnetic relay 134, whereupon coils 131a, 134a cause the respective normally open switches 1311;, 134b to close and establish a holding circuit for relay coil 134a, As the latter holding circuit is established, switch 1310 is opened to break the holding circuit for the coil 130a of main relay 130, and switch 1340 of secondary relay 134 is moved to closed position. Since switch 131a is opened momentarily and breaks the holding circuit for relay coil 130a, it follows that switch- 130d also moves downwardly along with the other switches 130b, 130a of main relay 130, thus diverting the flow of current from rectifier 132 through cutter clutch CL-2, thereby initiating movement of anvil roller carriage 71.
The time delay relay is only energized momentarily by the momentary closing of timer switch l21b. However, there is a predetermined relatively short delay in the return of the switches 131b, 131a to the respective opened and closed positions shown in FIG. 8 following the momentary energization of coil 131a of time delay relay 131. This delay is sufficient to allow anvil roller 70 to move out of engagement with switch assembly 115 so that the switches 115a, 11Sb thereof will move to respective closed and opened positions. During manual control of a cycle in the operation of unit 10, switch 115 b has no useful function. However, upon the switch 115a being permitted to close by the movement of anvil roller out of engagement with switch assembly 115, it will be noted that switch a then provides a holding circuit for coil 134a of relay 134 through its switch 134b, even through switch 131!) v of delay relay 131 then becomes opened. Thus, switch 134C remains closed until a complete cycle in the movement of anvil roller carriage 71 has been effected in the manner heretofore described for severing a length of the web from the body thereof and then returning roller 70 to its original predetermined position.
Upon carriage 71 returning to its original predetermined position, roller 70 then engages and actuates switch assembly 115 to open normally closed switch 115a and close normally open switch 11Sb. In so doing, the holding circuit for the coil 1340 of secondary relay 134 is broken, permitting switches 134b, 1340 to return to their normally opened positions and thus interrupting the flow of current to cutter clutch CL-2 to complete a manually controlled cycle in the operation of the apparatus.
To cause the control means to automatically repeat a series of cycles in the operation of the apparatus, instead of the operator closing manual control start switch 126, an automatic control switch 136, which may be in the form of a toggle switch, may be closed manually and left in closed position for any desired length of time, whereupon the carriage-operated switch 11Sb of switch assembly 115 will, if then occupying closed position, function in the same manner as the manual start switch 126 to initiate a complete cycle in the operation of the web dispensing unit 10 when the toggle switch 136 is closed initially and when the switch 1 15b is closed subsequently at the end of each cycle in the operation of anvil roller carraige 71. In this regard, it should be noted that, during automatic operation, after the time delay relay coil 131a has been energized momentarily by the momentary closing of timer switch 121b, switch 1310 of time delay relay 131 does not return to closed position until after anvil roller 70 has moved out of engagement with switch assembly 115. Consequently, switch 11Sb will be opened by the time switch 1310 returns to closed position so that a complete cycle in the operation of carriage 71 will be effected before initiation of the operation of the feeding means embodied in belts 26, 27 is again effected for a repeat cycle of the entire web dispensing unit 10.
The rectifier 132 simply serves as a source of low voltage direct current for the web feed clutch CL-l and cutter clutch CL-2, with the remaining components of the electrical circuit, including the motors S2, 105, being connected to the high voltage alternating current conductors 124, 125. Accordingly, a further description of the rectifier 132 and its operation is deemed unnecessary.
It is thus seen that the apparatus includes means for rotating the roll R of cellular web material to deliver the web W therefrom while directing the unwinding length of the web W downwardly by gravity in a suspended condition past the stationary substantially horizontal blade 22, whereupon the timing device 121 stops rotation of roll R and operates thrugh relays 131, 134 to traverse the anvil roller '70, under pressure, along the surface of the web opposite from blade 22 and from one side edge to and beyond the other side edge of the web to cause the cutting gedge of blade 22 to progressively cut through the web material and sever a predetermined length therefrom. Thereupon anvil roller 70 returns to its original position of rest and operates switch assembly 115 to either stop the operation of the corresponding unit 10 or to initiate another cycle in the operation thereof through the closing of switch llSb when toggle switch 136 is closed.
The operator may return switch 136 to open position at any desired time following the start of a cycle in the operation of dispensing unit 10, and the dispensing unit then will cease operating upon completion of the corresponding cycle thereof. It is apparent that the operator may adjust the pointer 121a for each unit 10, 10' to selectively vary the duretion of operation of the feed belts 26, 27 and 26', 27' of the two dispensing units 10, 10' independently of eah other to correspondingly vary the length of the successive web lengths dispensed by the units 10, 10'.
In the drawings and specification, there as been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, and although sepcific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.
1. Apparatus for dispensing pads of cellular web material of predetermined length from a supply roll of the web material; said apparatus comprising an elongate substantially horizontal stationary blade having a cutting edge facing horizontally thereon, means for feeding the web material downwardly from the supply roll above said blade and in freely suspended condition past said blade cutting edge, means stopping said feeding means upon a predetermined length of the web material falling past said cutting edge, an anvil roller adjacent said blade, means traversing said anvil roller along the surface of the web material opposite from and aligned with said cutting edge from one side edge to and beyond the other side edge of the web material, said traversing means comprising an endless pliable element having a run thereof movable with said pliable element, yieldable means supporting said anvil roller for rotation on one side of said carriage and urging said anvil roller toward said blade cutting edge, a trackway spaced from and extending substantially parallel with said cutting edge, guide roller means journaled on said carriage and engageable with said trackway during travel of said carriage along said run of said pliable element to insure that said anvil roller presses against said cutting edge during traversing movement of said anvil roller so as to cause said cutting edge to progressively cut through the web material and sever a predetermined length therefrom whereby the severed length will fall from the cutting edge, and means for receiving and delivering the severed length into a position for removal from the apparatus.
2. A method of dispensing predetermined length pads of a cellular web material which lacks flexural rigidity in the plane of the web comprising the steps of:
supporting a supply roll of web material while driving the supply roll in rotation to unwind a predetermined length of web material therefrom, and while directing the unwinding length of web material downwardly by gravity in a freely dependent condition from the supported roll and passing the web material adjacent and underlying stationary, substantially horizontal, blade having a cutting edge facing and extending the full width of the web material while avoiding imposition on the web of compressional forces directed in the plane of the web, then interrupting driving of the supply roll when a predetermined length has been unwound and passed beyond the blade, then moving an anvil roller horizontally along a surface of the web material opposite from the blade and from one side edge of the web material to and beyond the other side edge thereof while resiliently biasing the anvil roller horizontally against the web material and toward the blade for severing the web material and separating the predetermined length therfrom, and then freely dropping the severed length from te blade into an underlying chute for delivering the severed length into a position for removal.
3. A method according to claim 2 which further comprises restarting driving of the supply roll in response to completion of movement of the anvil roller beyond the other side edge of the web material.
4. A method according to claim 3 wherein the step of moving the anvil roller includes moving the same in an endless path and interrupting the movement of the anvil roller during driving of the supply roll in rotation.
5. Apparatus for dispensing predetermined length pads of a cellular web material which lacks flexural rigidity in the plane of the web, the apparatus comprismg:
means for supporting a supply roll of web material and for driving the roll in rotation to deliver web material therefrom,
elongate blade mounted below said roll supporting and driving means and having a cutting edge with a length at least as great as the transverse width of the web material, said blade means being mounted with said cutting edge extending and directed generally horizontally,
means for directing an unwinding length of web material advancing from the supply roll to depend freely from said roll supporting and driving means and to pass adjacent said blade means without imposition on the web material of compressional forces in the plane of the web,
means for interrupting driving of the supply roll when a predetermined length of web material has been unwound and passed beyond the blade,
anvil roller means for engaging web material and for cooperating with said cutting edge in severing web material, means for moving said anvil roller means in horizontal traversal along the surface of the web material opposite from and in alignment with said cutting edge and from one side edge of the web material to and beyond the other side edge thereof, means for resiliently biasing said anvil roller means against said web surface and said cutting edge during the traversing movement thereof, and
chute means underlying said stationary blade for receiving a freely falling severed length of web material and delivering the severed length into a position for removal from the apparatus.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 wherein said means for interrupting driving of the supply roll comprises timer means operatively connected with said roller supporting and driving means for controlling the duration of driving the roll in rotation and means operatively interconnecting said timer means with said roller moving means for actuating said roller moving means upon interruption in driving of the supply roll. i