US 3769924 A
A method and apparatus for sewing a line of stitching of predetermined configuration on a part or assembly of parts comprising selecting a part from a supply of parts, mounting a part on a loading tray in a predetermined position of orientation by means of end and edge gauges on the tray, moving the tray to a first position for presenting the part to a work holder at that position, clamping the part to the work holder, moving the work holder from the first position to a sewing position and traversing it at that position relative to a sewing instrumentality by means of preprogrammed tape controlled mechanism to stitch the part according to said predetermined configuration, following stitching moving the work holder to a second position beyond the sewing instrumentality, releasing the part from the work holder at the second position and returning the latter to the first position, and while the work holder is being returned to the first position withdrawing the part from the second position for stacking of successive parts. The loader is reloaded while the work holder is traversing the part at the sewing position and optionally the part is trimmed at the second position prior to being withdrawn for stacking.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Rogers et a1.
Nov. 6, 1973 1 1 PROFILESEWING APPARATUS  lnventors: William H. Rogers, 9 Wendg Street, Reading; Evald 0. Peterson,
11 Priscilla Road, Lynnfield a Center, both of Mass.
 Filed: Mar. 10, 1972  Appl. No.: 233,566
 US. Cl. ..112/l2l.29,112/l21.12  Int. Cl. D05b 33/00  Field olsearch 1l2/121.29, 121.12, l12/l2l.15, 121.11, 2, 262, 102; 223/2, 51.2
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,618,546 11/1971 Preston 112/121.29 3,474,747 10/1969- Noiles 1l2/12l.l2 3,228,364 1/1966 Kremer et al.... ll2/l2l.l1 3,385,244 5/1968 Ramsey et a1. ll2/121.12 3,413,942 12/1968' Scholl l12/l21.15 3,531,107 9/1970 Rovin et a1. ..1l2/12l.11X 3,604,701 9/1971 Hawley l12/121.29 X 3,696,765 10/1972 Bernewasser l12/l21.l2
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,447,581 6/1966 France ll2/l21.29
OTHER PUBLICATIONS Sommer, Apparatus for the Automatic Quilting of Articles of Material Especially Collars, May 11, 1943 Primary Examiner.1ames R. Boler Att0rney-G. Eugene Dacey et a1.
[ 5 7] ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for sewing a line of stitching of predetermined configuration on a part or assembly of parts comprising selecting a part from a supply of parts, mounting a part on a loading tray in a predetermined position of orientation by means of end and edge gauges on the tray, moving the tray to a first position for presenting the part to a work holder at that position, clamping the part to the work holder, moving the work holder from the first position to a sewing position and traversing it at that position relative to a sewing instrumentality by means of preprogrammed tape controlled mechanism to stitch the part according to said predetermined configuration, following stitching moving the work holder to a second position beyond the sewing instrumentality, releasing the part from the work holder at the second position and returning the latter to the first position, and while the work holder is being returned to the first position withdrawing the part from the second position for stacking of successive parts.
The loader is reloaded while the work holder is traversing the part at the sewing position and optionally the part is trimmed at the second position prior to being withdrawn for stacking.
24 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PROGRAM TAPE SHELVES s zos I207 LOADING TRAY I 7 p 5 22 la 2n 28 SEWING I94 MACH. I96
5 32 I A v 1 I x c L" ///Q Z b 204" q: 1 1 :HOLDER UNLOADER a 19B 213' 202 ,2 STACKER sew CARRIAGE RETURN TRAVER S1 NG MECHANISM FIGIZ FIG.||
PROFILE SEWING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the garment and shoe industry many components which are to be incorporated in the fabrication of an article require assembly of two or more components and stitching them to each other; for example in the garment industry in particular pocket flaps, cuffs and collars. Such stitching may be required to follow along an edge or edges at a predetermined distance therefrom or to deviate in certain areas for ornamental or constructional reasons. Heretofore, these operations were and even now are performed manually by highly trained and skilled operators who are capable of relatively high production with the aid of power driven sewing machines. The skilled operator provides for versatility; however, the end product will vary from day to day for such reasons as fatigue, temporary physical upsets and irritation, inner tensionand the like.
In order to eliminate the lack of uniformity in the end product characteristic of manual processing and to re- .duce operator fatigue. automatic profile stitchers were developed in which sewing machines and work holders were arranged to be moved relative to each other by means of templates defining the line of stitching to be made and template following means. Machines of this kind provided for uniformity but are limited in adaptability and utility because of the need to replace the work holders and templates either for partial or complete conversion to work of different kinds. Additionally considerable time is spent converting and resetting. The expense of new work holders and templates generally limits this type of machine to sewing standardized shapes having long production runs.
The Gerber GSM -80 tape controlled sewing table provides the opportunity to combine the versatility of the skilled operator with the uniformity of the template controlled machine without the disadvantages of either. The Gerber machine operates by driving a carriage mounting a work holderalong the desired stitch path relative to a fixed needle position. The direction of movement and rateof movement of the carriage are controlled by impulses derived from a program tape. my shape may be sewn 'without operative skill and with uniform quality, andin uniform quantity. Patterns of stitching may be changed by changing the control tapes. This machine is infinitely versatile as to stitch line patterns and is uniformly productive. However, there remains the necessityfor manually'loading and unloading the machine to provide for continuous operation, to wit, positioning and clamping the parts in a suitable work holder, carrying the work holder to the machine, mounting the work holder on the carriage for traversing relatively to the needle, removing'the previo'us work holder with the finished part from the carriage, removingthe sewed part from the work holder, positioning and clamping another part or parts in the work holder while the carriage is traversing the previous work holder, mounting the newly loaded work holder into the carriage after it has released the'previously processed work holder and parts and then repeating the succession of operations continuously. This manual handling even with the automatic sewing machine is fatiguing and a time-consuming procedure.
manipulation, limited for the most part to changing a single work holder when needed for a change-over from one kind of work to another.
SUMMARY The method of operating on parts to be sewn in succession without intervening manual manipulation comprising clamping a part or parts at a predetermined first position, while thus clamped moving the part to a sewing position and sewing a course of stitches thereon according to a predetermined pattern, following stitching moving the stitched part to a second position, releasing the part at said second position and withdrawing it from said second position to a third position for stacking, and while moving the part to the third position for stackingclamping the next part to be stitched at the first position preparatory to movement thereof to the sewing position. The method may also include as a preliminary step prepositioning the part at an assembly position prior to clamping and moving the part therefrom to the first position for clamping, and as an ancillary step trimming the stitched part at the second position. When trimming the clamping of the part is continued until the part is trimmed whereupon the part is released to permit it to be withdrawn for stacking. The instrumentalities which in combination provide for such successive operations comprises a sewing head, a carriage mounting a work holder for movement from a first position at one side of the sewing head to a second position at the other side, and intermediate said first and second positions for traversing movement relative to the sewing head according to a tape control means driving the carriage, means on the work holder operable at the first position to clamp the work thereto and at the second position to release the work therefrom, a loader for receiving parts and presentingthem to the work'holder for clamping, an unloader for removing the parts from the second position for stacking, and
The purpose of this invention is to provide for automat- I ically loading, stitching, unloading, trimming if desired, and stacking of parts with the least amount of operator means for effectingstacking. Optionally, the trimming means is provided at the second position for trimming the part and clamping means for holding the part at said position while thework holder is returning to said first'position for clamping the next part. The loader comprises a tray supported for reciprocal movement about one end in a horizontal plane above and parallel toawork supporting apron having a horizontal work supporting surface from an assembly position where an operator selects the parts and places them on the tray to a position of juxtaposition with the work holder at the first position. The work holder has on it clamp jaws and there are means for effecting reciprocable movement of the tray to present a part between the jaws on a work holder and means operable by entrance of the tray between the jaws to effect closing of the jaws on the part. The tray has locating gauge blocks for prepositioning the parts in a predetermined position of orientation to the work holder. The carriage is traversed along X andY coordinates by tape controlled mechanism and there is means operable as the tray moves away from the work holder to place the carriage in the control of the tape controlled mechanism. At the end of the sewing operation the tape controlled mechanism effects movement of the work holder to the second position, effects release of the clamp jaws on the work holder and retracts the carriage to the first position. At the second position there are clamp fingers operable to clamp the past prior to release by the jaws of the work holder to permit the work holder to be retracted without disturbing the position of the part and optionally to hold the part for trimming. For trimming there are mounted at the second position cutters and means for effecting reciprocal movement thereof perpendicular to the supporting apron for trimming the part resting thereon. An unloading device is reciprocably mounted on the apron adjacent the second position and there is means for effecting reciprocational movement thereof forwardly over the part while the part is clamped to the apron andv rearwardly following release of the part to withdraw .the part from the apron. The stacker comprises a platform at the third position onto which the part is drawn from the apron by the unloader. There is means on the platform for engagement with an edge of the part to prevent its movement in the plane of the platform, and means for withdrawing the platform from beneath the part to allow it to drop into a receptacle therebelow.
The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 diagrammatically illustrates the apparatus for carrying out the method of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view, to much larger scale, of the loading tray;
FIG. 3 is a section taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a section taken on the line 4--4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a section taken on the line 5--5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view showing the loading tray in relation to the work holder;
FIG. 7 is an elevation at one end of the work holder;
FIG. 8 is a plan view of clamping fingers for holding the work on the work support;
FIG. 9 is an elevation of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is an elevation of the unloader;
FIG. 11 is an elevation, partly in section, of the stacker; and
FIG. 12 is an elevation diagrammatically illustrating one form of trimming means.
The method of this invention is illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 1 in conjunction with a commercial sewing head and a tape programmed carriage which is arranged to move a part supported by a work holder relative to the needle of the sewing head to sew a line of stitches of predetermined configuration on the part.
The sewing head is mounted on a table at the top of a base frame substantially midway between its opposite ends so that its needle is perpendicular to a horizontally disposed work supporting surface on the table. The carriage is supported at the front side of the base frame in parallel relation thereto and mounts a single work holder such that the latter extends from the carriage over the work supporting surface. Movement of the carriage is effected along X and Y coordinates by a preprogrammed tape to cause the work holder to traverse the part relative to the needle according to a predetermined pattern which, as shown herein, is to cause the needle to make a continuous line of stitches along three sides of a collar assembly at a predetermined distance from the edge thereof. While the method is illustrated with respect to a collar assembly it is within the scope of the invention to apply the method to advantage -in stitching such other articles whether of single or multiple ply as cuffs, flaps, straps and the like along the edges or interiorly thereof.
According to the method of operation as illustrated the component parts of the collar, to wit, the face ply,
lining and back ply, are drawn by the operator from supporting shelves on which are a plurality of such components and assembled by the operator against gauge elements on a loading tray. Having assembled the component parts on the loading tray the operator presses a button PB which causes the loading tray to move the assembly to a position of juxtaposition with the work holder previously referred to, the latter in its first position being located at the right side of the sewing head as illustrated in FIG. 1. The work holder comprises jaws open at this position and as the loader moves the collar assembly into the open jaws the loader is brought up against a stop and a switch is actuated to cause the jaws to close on the assembly and the loader. The loader is now retracted from the work holder, leaving the assembly with the work holder, and returns to its initial position for receiving the next collar assembly. A switch is actuated during the early part of the retraction of the loader which initiates movement of the carriage, placing it under the control of the tape so that the carriage travels toward the sewing head to start the sewing operation at the corner a, proceeds along the end b at a predetermined distance therefrom to the point 0, from thence along the edge d to the point e and from thence along the end f to the corner g. At the termination of the sewing operation the threads are pulled off to permit cutting whereupon the carriage, still under the control of the tape, moves the work holder to the left side of the sewing head to a second position. At this second position there are gripper fingers which press the stitched assembly against the work supporting surface, firmly holding it while the work holder is caused to release the assembly, and is returned to its initial position. Optionally, a trimming operation may be performed at this position while the assembly is held by the gripper fingers. The trimming will depend upon the article being processed and in the case of a collar assembly the trimming is at the points c and e of the assembly to remove the excess material so that when the parts are turned inside out the points will be flat. Following retraction of the work holder and the trimming operation if the latter is carried out, the finished assemblies are stacked, this being accomplished by moving the assemblies along a work supporting surface to the left, as seen in FIG. 1, onto a horizontally disposed, reciprocably mounted platform forming the top of a container, supporting the assembly against movement in the plane of the surface of the platform and while so supporting it removing the platform from beneath it so that it drops into the container. In the meantime the work holder is moved back to the first position and has received the next collar assembly provided the operator has assembled the component parts on the loader and initiated movement of the loader to the first position. i 7
Referring more specifically to the apparatus by means of which the method is carried out, there is shown a base frame 10 (FIG. 3) which supports a rigid, substantially rectangular table 12. At the front side of the table 12 (FIGS. 1 and 6) there is a flat, uniformly wide smooth apron 14 providing a continuous work supporting surface along which the parts are moved from one end of the top to the other. A sewing head 16 is mounted on the table 12 rearwardly of the apron l4 midway between the ends of the table on a horizontal shaft 18 supported in suitable bearings 20--20 with its needle supporting arm extending forwardly over the apron 14. The sewing head 16 is provided with a driving sheave 22 at its rear side by means of which it is adapted to be driven and is held elevated from the apron when not in operation. A carriage 24 is mounted on the base frame on which there is mounted a work holder 26 in a position parallel to the apron for movement along X and Y coordinates relative to the surface of the apron. Movement of the carriage is provided for by tape controlled mechanism which is of conventional design. The longitudinal movement of the carriage is of such length that at the opposite extremities the work holder occupies a first position A at the right side of the sewing head and a second position B at the left side of the sewing head. Intermediate the first and second positions the carriage is moved forwardly and rearwardly distances sufficiently to traverse the part according to the pattern of the line of stitching.
The foregoing structure is conventional. According to this invention the sewing head is mounted on the table 12 rearwardly of the apron 14 midway between the ends of the top, a loader tray 28 is mounted at the right end of the table for receiving a collar assembly and transferring it to the work holder 26 situated at the first position atthe right side of the, sewing head, the work holder being of a special design for receiving the assembly, a gripper finger assembly 30 is mounted on the table at the left of the sewing head for receiving the finished assembly, optionally a trimmer 32 mounted on the table at this latter position to trim the assembly if desired, and a stacker 34 is mounted at the left end of the table for removing the stacked and trimmed assemblies for stacking.
Referring to FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5, "the loader tray 28 comprises a flat sheet metal plate 36 which is pivotally supported at one end for movement parallel to the top of the table 12 from a position substantially at right angles to the forward edge of the table to a position substantially parallel thereto. The loader tray 28 is pivotally mounted on a pin 38 fixed in an upright position to the base frame by a bracket member 40 and its pivotal movement is effected by a plate 42 containing a slot 44 within which there is mounted the upper end of a pin 46. Below the plate 42 there is a second plate 48 fixed by means of a bracket 50 to the base frame and this plate contains a slot 52 into which the lower end of the pin 46 extends. Intermediate the two plates there is a bar 54 through which the pin 46 passes and the bar is longitudinally movable to effect movement of the pin 46 in the slots 44, 52, the slots in combination operating to impart harmonic movement to the loader tray as the latter is rotated about its pivot pin 38 to enable starting and stopping pivotal movement of the tray at a relatively low speed so as not to displace the parts from the tray. Reciprocation of the bar 54 is effected by a rod 56 connected at one end to the bar and at its other end to the piston of a fluid motor 58, the latter being bolted to the base frame. The tray has mounted on it gauge members for properly positioning the parts on the tray for delivery to the work holder. For the operation hereinillustrated which comprises combining the components of a collar there is an end gauge 59 at one end and three edge gauges 61, 63 and 65 spaced longitudinally of the tray. The end gauge 59 is an elongate finger mounted on a pivot pin 62 to a block 64 mounted on the tray and adjustably secured thereto for movement longitudinally of the tray by pins 6666 extending through a slot 67 parallel to the edge of the tray. A spring 68 disposed about the pin 62 with one end engaged by a peg 70 and the other end engaged with a peg 72 biases the finger in a clockwise direction. An arm 74 is fixed to the finger 59 adjacent the proximal end thereof and contains a slot 76 for receiving a screw 78 by means of which the finger may be fixed in a predetermined position at an inclination corresponding to the angle at the end of the collar. By movement of the block 64 longitudinally of the tray the finger may be adjusted for the length of the collar. A screw 80 provided with a knurled head 82 provides for fixing the block 64 in a selected position. The edge gauge 61 is mounted on the block 64 for movement therewith longitudinally of the tray and contains a slot 84 for receiving a screw 86 to enable adjusting ittransversely of the tray. The distal end of the gauge 61 has at its underside a groove 88 providing a shoulder 90 perpendicular to the surface of the tray for engagement with the edge of the part when placed on the tray. The gauge 65 is like the gauge 61 and is mounted on a block 92 supported on the tray and movable longitudinally thereof by pins 9494 which extend through a slot 96 in the tray. A clamp member 98 and screw 100 provide for locking the block 92 in a predetermined position of longitudinal adjustment. The gauge 65 contains slot 102 for receiving a screw 104 to enable adjusting the gauge transversely of the tray. The gauge 63 is situated between the gauges 61 and 65 and its mounted on a block 106. Pins 108-108 extend from the block 106 through a slot 110 thus permitting adjustment of the block 106 longitudinally of the tray. A clamp member 112 and screw 1 14 provide for fixing the block 106 in a predetermined position. The gauge 63 contains a slot 116 for receiving a screw 118 to permit its adjustment transversely of the tray. The aforesaid gauges provide for predetermining the position of the collar assembly on the tray. After positioning it is desirable to hold the assembly so that .it will retain its disposed position as it is moved to the work holder. For this purpose there are provided holddown fingers 120, four such fingers being shown mounted symmetrically with respect to the gauges, two at either side of the gauge 63 between the latter and the end gauges 61, 65. The hold-down fingers are fixed at one end to a longitudinally extending rod 122 supported at the edge of the tray in bearing blocks 124 for rotation about its longitudinal axis and by such rotation to lower the fingers from an elevated positon above the tray into engagement with the assembly resting against the gauges. At one end of the spindle there is a crank 126. A rod 128 is pivotally connected at one end to the crank and extends therefrom transversely of the tray through a supporting bracket plate 130. An adjustable stud 132 is provided on the lug 134 and by engagement with the end of the rod 128 holds the crank in a position such that the fingers are held elevated from the tray, that is, when the tray is in its loading position. A spring 136, which is connected at one end to the crank and at its other end to the bracket plate 130, biases the crank in a direction to lower the fingers and as soon as the tray moves about its pivot toward the work holder sufficiently to clear the head of the stud 132, the spring will effect such movement of the crank in lowering the fingers into engagement with the work on the tray.
Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7 the work holder, as related above, is releasablyrfixed to the carriage 24 and comprises a flat plate 136 upon which are attached the upper and lower jaws and their operating means for holding the work to the work holder during the traversing of the work relative to the sewing head. The plate 136 is fixed to the carriage by a clamp gib 138 which overlies the rear edge and is fastened to the carriage by screw bolts 140. Attached to the plate 136 and easily removable are flat clamp plates comprising the lower jaws 137-137. A pair of longitudinally spaced arms 142-142 are mounted on the flat plate 136 for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis close tothe rear edge of the plate and these arms extend forwardly across the plate to near the forward edges of the clamp plates 137-137 and have pivotally mounted thereon flat clamp plates which constitute the upper jaws 144-144 of the work holder. The arm 142 at the left end of the plate is pivotally mounted on a spindle 146, the opposite ends of which are mounted in longitudinally spaced upstanding bearing blocks 148-148 integral wih the ends of a bar 150 bolted to the plate 136. Between the bar 150 and the plate there are a spacer 152 (FIG. 7) and an angle bracket 154, the latter having an upstanding leg 156. The jaw 144 is secured to a bar 158 having spaced bearing blocks 160-160 which pivotally support the jaw on a spindle 162 mounted at the distal end of the arm 142. A leaf spring 164 biases the jaw to a position such that its clamping surface is substantially parallel to the surface of the lower jaw. The arm 142 at the right side of the work holder is mounted similarly to that at the left side except that instead of being fixed to the plate 136 it is fixed to a plate 166 mounted on the plate 136 for movement longitudinally thereof to thus enable adjusting the distance between the clamping jaws. The plate 166 is provided with clamp bolts 168-168 which extend through a slot 170 extending longitudinally of the plate 136.
Each arm 142 is elevated and depressed relative to the plate 136 by a fluid motor 172 provided with a rod 174. The motor cylinder is pivotally connected by a pivot pin 176 to a bracket 178 bolted to the arm intermedate its ends forwardly of the pivot axis of the arm and the distal end of the rod 174 is pivotally connected by a pivot pin 180, to the upper end of a bracket 182 forming part of the upstanding leg 156 of the bracket 154. Ports 184, 186 at oposite ends of the motor cylinder provide for applying operating pressure to the cylinder to elevate and depress the arms.
There is an adjustable loader stop 187 mounted on the plate 136 with which the forward edge of the loader tray is adapted to engage as it is moved into position for delivering a part to the work holder. The loader stop, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, comprises a narrow rigid part containing a slot 189 and binding screw 1890 by means of which it may be fixed in a predetermined position of adjustment. The forward end 194 of the stop is bent down into engagement'with the top of the lower jaw 137 so that its edge 193 forms an abutment against which the edge of the tray is brought to a stop. The rear end of the part has an upturned flange 195 and a screw 197 is threaded through the leg 156 into engagement with the flange for adjusting the position of the stop. Since the entirework holder is detachably. mounted on the carriage it can be readily removed and replaced with a work holder of different kind for a different kind of operation. A scale plate 145 is fastened to the plate 166 so as to be movable therewith relative to an index mark 147 on a block 149 bolted to the plate 136.
There is a switch S1 mounted on the plate 136 in a position such that when the tray moves the assembly between the jaws and is stopped by engagement with the stop 187 it actuates the switch S1. Actuation of the switch S1 supplies fluid pressure to the fluid motors 172 to close the jaws on the work holder and fluid pressure to the fluid motor 58 to return the work tray to its initial position for receiving another assembly.
The work tray as described above is comprised of relatively thin sheet metal and is supported above the top sufficiently to move over the lowerjaw and beneath the upper jaw if the work holder is at the first position or to allow the lower jaw of the work holder to move beneath it if it is at the first position before the work holder returns from the previous operation. To support the tray atthe proper level there is provided on the table flat arcuate spacer strips 184-184 (FIG. 6) of such thickness as to support the tray just high enough to clear the lower jaws. The ends of the spacer strips 184-184 terminate short of the edges of the apron to permit the part after being released to the work holder to travel laterally without interference and so to support the tray at this gap there is an auxiliary spacer strip 201 reciprocably mounted on the table which is advanced beyond the ends of the strips 184-184 as the tray is moved toward the jaws to support it all the way and is retracted following clamping. The auxiliary strip 201 is connected to a bar 203 for reciprocation in such timed relation by a fluid motor 205.
At the retracted position of the loading tray, which for convenience is located at the end of the table, there are elevated shelves 207 supported in vertically spaced parallel relation by a post 209 above the loading tray. The shelves are flat plates inclined downwardly toward the table and are provided with upstanding ledges 211 at their lower edges for retaining stacks of blanks on each shelf so that the operator may draw from each shelf parts and assemble them on the tray preparatory to the operation. There are three such shelves employed for collar making purposes.
As the tray commences its return movement it operates a switch S2 and operation of the switch S2 places the carriage in the control of the tape, programming of which is such as to move the work holder transversely from its first position to the sewing position for movement of the work support along X and Y coordinates according to a predetermined pattern. The sewing head as previously related is mounted on the table rearwardly of the apron and comprises a commercial unit embodying a supporting head 194 pivoted to the table and a forwardly extending arm 196, at the distal end of which there is a sewing head 198 which supports the presser foot and needles 200 and 202. At the rear end of the arm is the sheave 22 by means of which the needle is driven. The arm is held elevated and when the work holder is advanced toward the sewing head a fluid motor 23 is actuated to lower the sewing head into 0perative position. The motor 23 is connected to the sewing head by a rod 25. The upper surface of the apron is interrupted at the region of the sewing head to receive a needle plate 204.
At the termination of the sewing operation the carriage carries the work support far enough beyond the sewing head to pull free lengths of threads from the needle and shuttle to allow space for cutting the threads. A cutter 213 may be mounted on the head and caused to cut the threads above the needle plate or the cutter may be located below the needle plate for cutting the threads below the needle plate.
The work holder continues to be moved beyond the sewing head toward the left to the second position B and at this place it is grasped by clamp fingers 206206 (FIGS. 8, 9 and 10) which hold the assembly while the jaws on the work holder are disengaged to enable withdrawal of the work holder and return of the work holder to the first position A in readiness for the succeeding operation. The two clamp fingers 206206 are mounted at the second position on the table for rotation about horizontal axes and each comprises a triangular shaped plate 208 supported at one comer on a pin 210 with the other corner above it and the apex or nose 209 forwardly of it. A' single acting fluidmotor 210 is fixed to a bracket plate 211 rearwardly of the pin 210 with its rod 214 arranged to engage the base of the plate 208 between the pivot axis of the pin and the upper corner. A spring 216 connected at one end by a pin 218 to the upper comer and at its other end to a pin 226 to the bracket rearwardly thereof holds the plate against the rod with its apex elevated from the work support. By supplying fluid pressure to the motor cylinders the clamping fingers may be located to hold the part against the apron 14. v
Having held the part on the apron while releasing it from the work holder it may now be released from the clamp fingers and retracted from the apron for stacking. Optionally it may be desirable prior to such stacking to trim the part. If this is desirable the trimming means 32-32 is mounted on the table in a position to operate on the work resting on the apron so that the work may be trimmed while still held by the clamping fingers.
When operating on collar assemblies trimming of the points is necessary in order to insure flatness in the finished item. This is achieved by employing trimming means in the form of cutter blocks 215 (FIG. 12) mounted on the table above the apron and employing, for example, fluid motors 213 for effecting movement of the cutter blocks into cutting engagement with the work. Optionally, toggle mechanism may be used to operate'the cutter blocks.
Following trimming and release of .thecollar assembly if the assembly requires trimming the assembly" is withdrawn from the apron for stacking. Withdrawal is effected by a pair of wheels 230-230 (FIG. 10) mounted on the'forward end of a rod 232. The rod 232 the rod 232 fluid pressure is supplied to the second motor 243 to extend the rod 245 which moves the fluid motor 234, rod 232 and wheels 230-230 to drag the part onto a platform'248 supported at the left end of the table. The distal end of the rod 240 is supported by a bracket 250 to allow the bar 238 and motor 234 to travel along it without sagging. The platform 248 is supported in a horizontal position at the end of the table and at the level thereof by a framework 252 to which are fixed in vertically spaced parallel relation forwardly extending horizontal supporting beams 254254. The platform 248 is slidably mounted on the beams 254-254 for movement forwardly and rearwardly. A shelf 258 is supported on the lower sides of the beams 254254 and by retraction of the platform 248, while preventing corresponding movement of the part resting thereon, the part may be dropped onto the shelf therebelow. To prevent movement of the part with the shelf during retraction a curb plate 260 is supported perpendicularly to the platform by a piston rod 262 extending forwardly from a fluid motor 264 mounted on a bracket 265 rearwardly of the framework 252. By supplying fluid pressure to the motor cylinder 264 the curb can When held by the curb the platform 248 is moved rear-.
wardly from beneath it by a fluid motor 266 supported on the bracket 268 secured to the framework which has comprises the piston rod of a fluid motor 234 pivotally ably mounted on a rod 240. The fluid motor 234 is supported close to the upper surface of'the apron beneath a shelf 242 fixed in spaced parallel relation to the table at a distance therefrom such that the motor cylinder is beneath it. A second fluid motor 243 with a long motor cylinder is mounted on the shelf 242 and its piston rod 245 is connected to the bar 238 intermediate its upper and lower ends. The fluid motor 234 extends the rod 232 on which the wheels are mounted along the apron over the part and then by retraction with the wheels irreversably locked draws the part along the apron toward the left end of the table. The wheels 230'230 for this purpose are free to rotate on the forward movement and are locked against rotation in the opposite direction, for example, by means of a one-way clutch. Rubber tires 246-446 or other'friction producing material is used to increase the tractive effect of the wheels as they are withdrawn. Following retraction of a piston rod 270 connected to the rear end of the platform. Suitable, vertically disposed guides 272 are provided between the shelf and the platform to maintain the part in a uniformly vertical column.
THe sequence of operations-is initiated by the aforesaid push button PB which causes the tray to move into the open clamps of the work holder. Engagement of the edge of the tray with the switch S1 actuates it and thus causes the clamps to close on the part and to start the tray back to its initial position. As the tray returns it closes a control switch S2 which starts the Gerber tape reader which controls movement of the work holder. The tape controls the movement of the work holder and sewing machine operation until the work holder is returned to the loading position. Simultaneously with the movement of the work holder to the sewing position the tray returns to the reloading position so that the operator can reload it. The sewing operation is initiated and completed with thread cutting whereupon the work holder moves away from the sewingmachine and stops momentarily at the unloading position. A signal from the tape initiates the work removal sequence which comprises the clamping fingers, the unloading mechanism and the stacking mechanism. The tape sends the work holder back to the loading position following clamping of the part by means of the clamp fingers and opening of the clamps on the work holder. The work holder is returned to the loading position at high speed. The part which has been left at the unloading position is now released and the unloading means moves across the apron onto the part and then retracts towithdraw the part onto the platform for stacking. Since the work holder returns to the loading position immediately following'release of the part, the unloading and stacking operations do not add cycling time to the operation.
As thus described the loading and unloading occurs simultaneously within the time alloted for the movement of the work, profile sewing and work holder return so that a maximum efficiency of use of the machine is possible with high output.
It should be understood that the present disclosure is for the purpose of illustration only and that this invention includes all modifications and equivalents falling within the scope of the appended claims.
1. The method of handling parts for stitching along a predetermined course comprising successively and without manual manipulation clamping a part to be stitched in a predetermined first position in a predetermined position of orientation, moving the clamped part laterally from said first position to a sewing position, traversing the part at said sewing position relative to a sewing instrumentality to stitch one part along said predetermined course, moving the part following stitching laterally beyond the sewing position to a predetermined second lateral position while maintaining said predetermined oriented position, trimming the part at said second position, and releasing the stitched part at said second lateral position for stacking.
2. A method according to claim 1, comprising clamping the part at the first position at places apart from the course of stitching to be formed thereon, clamping the part following stitching at different places and releasing the first clamped places, trimming the part while held clamped at said second position, releasing the clamped part following trimming, and withdrawing the part for stacking.
3. The method of handling parts for stitching along a predetermined course comprising providing a sewing instrumentality and a work holder, moving the work holder to a first position laterally of the sewing instrumentality, depositing the parts in the work holder and employing a gauge at the place of deposit to determine the exact orientation of the parts, clamping predetermined portions of the parts to said work holder at the first position in a predetermined position of orientation, moving the work holder and the parts clamped thereto to said sewing position, sewing a course of stitching thereon according to a predetermined pattern, moving the clamped parts following stitching to a second lateral position beyond the sewing instrumentality, grasping different portions of the parts at said second position to hold them at said second position, releasing the parts from the work holder and returning the work holder to said first position, and while moving the work holder back to said first position withdrawing the parts from said second position and depositing them in a stack.
4. A method according to claim 3, comprising trimming the parts at said second position.
5. Apparatus for stitching a part according to a predetermined pattern, comprising in combination with a sewing instrumentality and a work holder movable relative to the sewing instrumentality at a sewing position, according to said predetermined pattern as determined by programming the movement of the work holder, said work holder being movable from a first lateral position to said sewing position and from thence beyond the sewing position to a second lateral position, means for effecting movement of the work holder successively from the first position to the sewing position and from the sewing position to the second position, means operable at the first position of the work holder to clamp a part to the work holder for movement therewith, means operable at the second position of the work holder to release the part from the work holder and return the latter to the first position, means at the second position for holding the part at said second position during release of the part from the work holder, a loading device reciprocably movable relative to said first position, gauge members carried by the loading device for predetermining the orientation of the part, means operable to apply holding pressure to the part during transmittal to the work holder until said means clamps onto said part, wherein the work holder comprises lower flat plates constituting lower jaws of sufficient area to receive the part and longitudinally spaced flat plates supported above the lower flat plates constituting upper jaws, and the means for effecting clamping and releasing are motors connected to the jaws.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein at the first position of the work holder the upper jaws are held separated from the lower jaws to permit entry of the part between the jaws, and there is means on the work holder operable by engagement of the loader therewith v as the part is moved between the jaws to effect operation of the motors for closing the jaws.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6, wherein there is means operative as the loader retracts from the work holder to initiate movement of the work holder from the first position to the sewing position.
8. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the loader comprises an arm movable in an arc about one end from a position at right angles to the work holder to a position substantially parallel thereto, said arm being provided with gauge elements for receiving the part and predetermining its position, means for effecting reciprocal movement of the arm from said right angular position to said paral lel position and back, said arm being arranged to move over the lower jaws and beneath the upper jaws and supporting tracks for guiding the arm between the jaws.
9. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the loader is reciprocably movable from an assembly position to said first position, said loader comprising a flat elongate tray, means supporting the tray for reciprocal movement, gauge blocks on the tray against which the parts are adapted to be assembled, holding fingers supported on the tray above its supporting surface movable into engagement with the gauged parts to hold them while the tray moves to said first position, and means for effecting movement of the fingers into holding position during such movement of the tray to said first position.
10. Apparatus according to claim 9, wherein the gauge blocks are individually adjustable transversely of the tray.
11. Apparatus according to claim 9, wherein one of the gauge blocks is adjustable longitudinally of the tray.
12. Apparatus according to claim 9, wherein a spindle is supported parallel to an edge of the tray, the holding fingers are fixed thereto, spring means operates on the spindle to hold the holding fingers elevated from the tray, and there is means operable as the tray is moved toward the first position to rotate the spindle in a direction to lower the holding fingers into engagement with the part.
13. Apparatus according to claim 10, wherein the tray is pivotally mounted at one end for arcuate movement about a vertical axis, and a fiuid motor is operably connected thereto to effect reciprocation.
14. Apparatus according .to claim 5, wherein the work holder comprises lower clamp plates, spaced parallel arms, means pivotally supporting said arms on the clamp plates so as to extend in parallel relation thereto, upper clamp plates fixed to the distal ends of the arms in parallel relation to the lower clamp plates, and fluid motors pivotally connected to the arms intermediate their ends and to the upper clamp plates at their proximal ends operable to lift and lower the arms relative to the lower clamp plates.
15. Apparatus according to claim 14, wherein the work holder comprises lower clamp plates, upper clamp plates supported above the lower clamp plates, and motors for effecting movement of the upper clamp plates into and out of clamping engagement with the lower clamp plates.
16. Apparatus according to claim 14, wherein there is an adjustable stop mounted on one of the lower clamp plates for positioning the tray as it is moved into position between the clamp plates.
17. Apparatus according to claim 16, wherein there is a screw operably associated with the adjustable stop for effecting adjustment thereof.
18. Apparatus according to claim 16, wherein the upper clamp plates are pivotally supported for rocking movement about axes parallel to the lower clamp plates and are spring biased to positions parallel to the lower clamp plates.
19. Apparatus according to claim 16, wherein there is means mounting one of the upper clamp plates for movement longitudinally relative to the other clamp plates.
20. Apparatus according to claim 16, wherein there is a scale fixed to said one of the upper clamp plates for movement therewith when the latter is moved relative to the other and to a fixed index mark to enable determining the distance between the upper clamp plates.
21. Apparatus for stitching a part according to a predetermined pattern, comprising in combination with a sewing instrumentality and a work holder movable relative to the sewing instrumentality at a sewing position, according to said predetermined pattern as determined by programming the movement of the work holder, said work holder being movable from a firstlateral position to said sewing position and from thence beyond the sewing position to a second lateral position, means for effecting movement of the work holder successively from the first position to the sewing position and from the sewing position to the second position, means operable at the first position of the work holder to clamp a part to the work holder for movement therewith, means operable at the second position of the work holder to release the part from the work holder and return the latter to the first position, means at the second position for holding the part at said second position during release of the part from the work holder, wherein there are longitudinally spaced clamp fingers at said second position normally elevated with respect to the work holder such that as the work holder moves the part to said second position the part is moved beneath said clamp fingers, means operable when the work holder moves the part beneath the clamp finers to lower the clamp fingers into engagement with the part, and wherein each clamp finger is pivotally supported for movement about a horizontal axis, a spring is connected at one end to the finger above said axis and to a support rearwardly thereof which holds the finger elevated, and there is a fluid motor provided with a rod arranged to engage the finger between the pivot axis and the spring operable to pivot the arm downwardly about its pivot axis.
22. Apparatus according to claim 21, wherein there is means at said second position operable while the part is held by said clamp fingers to trim the part.
23. Apparatus according to claim 22, wherein said last means comprises cutters having right angularly disposed cutting edges and motors operably connected thereto for effecting movement of the cutters into and out of engagement with the part to effect trimming.
24. Apparatus for stitching a part according to a predetermined pattern, comprising in combination with a sewing instrumentality and a work holder movable relative to the sewing instrumentality at a sewing position, according to said predetermined pattern as determined by programming the movement of the work holder, said work holder being movable from a first lateral position to said sewing position and from thence beyond the sewing position to a second lateral position, means for effecting movement of the work holder successively from the first position to the sewing position and from the sewing position to the second position, means operable at the first position of the work holder to clamp a part to the work holder for movement therewith, means operable at the second position of the work holder to release the part from the work holder and return the latter to the first position, means at the second position for holding the part at said second position during release of the part from the work holder, an unloading means at said second position for moving the part to a third position and a stacking platform at said third position, said unloading means supported for movement at the second position to withdraw a part from the clamping fingers and for movement from a second position to the third position to deposit the part on the stacking platform, wherein there is a first motor for effecting movement of said unloading means to withdraw the part from the clamping fingers and a second motor for effecting movement of said unloading means to deposit the part on the stacking platform.