US 3773314 A
A machine for cutting and folding sheet material in a predetermined format including a first section for transversely cutting the sheet material to provide leading and trailing edges therefor, a second section for longitudinally cutting the sheet material, a third section for providing the longitudinally cut sheet material with alternately oriented creases, a fourth section for packing the creased sheet material in an accordian-like strip along the creases, and a fifth section for folding the accordian-like strip twice upon itself to form the predetermined format.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Giovannini 5] Nov. 20, 1973  MACHINE FOR CUTTING AND FOLDING 2,747,664 5/1956 Corson 83/408 SHEET MATERIAL 3,181,859 5/1965 Sayles 270/31 2,716,266 8/1955 Maclssac, Jr. et al. 83/66  Inventor: Michel Giovannini, Paris,
France Primary ExaminerRobert W. Michell  Assignee: La Cellophane, Paris, France Assistant Examiner-L. R. Oremland  Filed: Dec. 22, 1971 Attorney-Leonard W. Sherman et al.
Appl. No.: 210,859
 Foreign Application Priority Data Jan. 7, 1971 France 7100338  US. Cl. 270/63  Int. Cl B65h 45/16  Field of Search 270/6267, 73; 83/408, 416, 66, 67
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,052,464 9/1962 Funk 270/63 3,296,911 1/1967 McLane 83/408 [5 7] ABSTRACT A machine for cutting and folding sheet material in a predetermined format including a first section for transversely cutting the sheet material to provide leading and trailing edges therefor, a second section for longitudinally cutting the sheet material, a third section for providing the longitudinally cut sheet material with alternately oriented creases, a fourth section for packing the creased sheet material in an accordianlike strip along the creases, and a fifth section for folding the accordian-like strip twice upon itself to form the predetermined format.
9 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures MACHINE FOR CUTTING AND FOLDING SHEET MATERIAL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention pertains to machines for cutting and folding sheet material and, more particularly, to such machines for cutting and folding plans or large sheets of material such as maps, drawings, blue prints and the like.
2. Discussion of the Prior Art Extremely efficient and fast machines exist for printing plans, such as maps, drawings, blue prints and the like, with such machines normally receiving the sheet material, such as paper, in rolls or spools. Such existing machines are capable of production of up to 1,200 meters per hour while requiring only a single operator; however, until the present, this production capability was not utilized to its fullest extent in that no suitable machine had been available to assemble and fold the printed plans as they issue from the printing machines while operating at a speed commensurate with the speed of operation of the printing machines.
The folding and assembling of printed plans in a desired format presents a multiplicity of problems due to the large dimensions of the printed plans and the assembly format required therefor. Conventional folding and assembly means utilized at the present time require four to six operators in order to match the speed of the printing machines with the operators performing many operations manually in an antiquated mariner.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a machine for cutting and folding plans at a speed commensurate with production capabilities of the most efficient printing machines and which can be run by a single operator.
The present invention is generally characterized in a machine for cutting and folding sheet material in a predetermined format including a first section for receiving the sheet material to be cut and folded including a cutting mechanism for cutting the sheet material in a transverse direction; a second section receiving the transversely cut sheet material and including a mechanism for longitudinally cutting the edges of the sheet material; a third section for creasing the longitudinally cut sheet material such that the sheet material has transverse creases oriented in alternately opposite directions; a fourth section for folding the creased sheet material into an accordian-like strip; and a fifth section for folding the accordian-like strip twice upon itself to form the predetermined format.
Another object of the present invention is to construct a machine for cutting and folding plans in a predetermined format with minimum manual labor.
The present invention has another object in that sheet material or plans to be cut and folded into a predetermined format are creased and collected in a hopper in order to form an accordian-like strip and the accordian-like strip is folded upon itself.
Some of the advantages of the present invention over the prior art are that the machine of the present invention may be operated at a speed compatible with modern printing machines, and that only a single operator is required to run the machine.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagramatic side elevation of a cutting and folding machine according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the longitudinal cutting assembly of the machine of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a diagramatic side elevation of the folding assembly of the machine of the present invention.
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are diagramatic views illustrating the operation of the fold marking drums of the machine of FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 is a'broken perspective view of the sheet material after fold marking.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the sheet material after lateral folding.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the sheet material after the first longitudinal folding operation.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the sheet material after the second longitudinal folding operation.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT While the machine of the present invention may be utilized to cut and fold various types of sheet material in various formats, the preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described with respect to the cutting and folding of plans such as maps, drawings, blue prints and the like in an A4 format with the shorter sides having a length of 21cm and being referred to as transverse sides and the longer sides having a length of 29.7cm and being referred to as the longitudinal sides.
The machine of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, includes a section A for transversely cutting leading and trailing edges of plans; a section B for laterally cutting edges of the plans; a section C for marking or creasing of alternately oriented longitudinal folds to define the shorter or transverse sides of the folded format; a section D for collecting and compressing or packing successive sections joined at the alter nate creases or fold marks to provide an accordian-like strip having, in the direction of advancement within the machine, a width corresponding to the short or transverse sides of the format and a length corresponding to the width of the plans prior to folding; and a section E for folding the accordian-like strip a first time upon itself to form a section having a length twice that of the longitudinal sides of the format and folding the once folded section upon itself to form folder corresponding to the desired format.
The machine is adapted to receive plans to be cut and folded at section A with the plans, for example, having a width of cm and an indeterminate length. While the machine of the present invention will be described as providing a format folder or packet in the international A4 format, it will be appreciated that the machine of the present invention may be modified in order to provide folders in other formats, such modifications not being described in detail herein in that they are within the oridinary skill of a man trained in the art provided with the teachings of the present invention. Similarly, the machine of the present invention may be modified such that the plans may be folded along several lengths.
Section A includes a table 12 for receiving plans to be cut and folded. The table 12 has a slot 14 therein which receives light from a bulb 16 to facilitate longitudinal alignment of the plans by the operator, who normally is positioned to the left of table 12 looking at FIG. 1. A straight edge or ruler 18 is arranged on table 12 for measurement during transverse cutting of the plans, and a microswitch 20 is positioned upstream from ruler 18 and is supported by a safety cross-bar 22 pivotally carried by a transverse horizontal rod, not shown. Microswitch20 has a feeler 24 extending therefrom and adapted to engage the plans to control the state of the microswitch in accordance with the sensing thereof. An electric motor 26 is supported for sliding movement along a rail 28 extending over a block 30, and the shaft of motor 26 carries a rotary cutting blade 32 which moves along with motor 26 to transversely cut leading edges of the plans. The electric motor 26 is adapted to be controlled by the operator by means of a pedal switch 34.
In order to control section A, the operator places plans to be cut and folded on table 12, lifts cross-bar 22 and, with the machine stopped, aligns the plans by the edges such that the cut made by blade 32 is precisely at a right angle to the edge of the plans. Once the transverse cut of the plans has been made by depression of pedal switch 34 to cause motor 26 to travel with a reciprocating cutting movement, the plans are moved by the operator over block 30 to section B.
Section B includes an endless conveyor belt 36-movable around a receiving roll 38 and a drive roll 40.'The conveyor belt 36 is inclined with the upper portion thereof sliding upon a flat support 42. A floating roll 44 is disposed above roll 38 such that the roll operates under the force of gravity to press or flatten the plans as they are received in section B. The plans are further flattened by pressing rolls 45 and by longitudinal pressure strips 46 constructed of foil, for example, and se cured at their forwardends to a fixed cross-bar 48. A gripping roll 50 is elastically biased against drive roll 40 by means of a spring 52 in order to further flatten the plans as they exit from conveyor belt 36. A thread 54 made of nylon, for example, is aligned along one side of conveyor belt 36 and may be utilized by the operator as a reference guide to facilitate alignment, if required, of the plans as they are carried by conveyor belt 36. The inclined arrangement of the conveyor belt 36 increases visibility by the operator of the alignment of the plans in section B.
A microswitch 56 has a feeler 58 disposed immediately upstream of rolls 40 and 52 in order to stop the machine when the leading edge of the plans engages feeler 58, thus, providing the operator with the opportunity to correct the alignment of the plans, if required, with the aid of the reference thread 54. Accordingly, the plans, as they exit from rolls 40 and 50, are precisely positioned and flattened to facilitate longitudinal circular knife 66 and rolls 62 and 63 being slidably mounted for movement along a grooved drive shaft 70 and a fixed guide shaft 72. A carriage 7.4 mounts knife 66 and roll 62 and is coupled with "roll '63such'that the distance between circular knives 66 and 68 may be changed quickly andeasilybymovementby hand of the carriage by the operator along the 70.
After longitudinalcutting of the lateral edges at cutting assembly 60, the plans are "moved over a table 76 and to engage afeeler 78 of a micrdswitch 80 disposed above the table 76 at the end of section B immediately before entering section C. v
Section C of the machine provides alternate'creases or transverse folding marks on thelongitudinally' cut plans and includes a pair of superposed drums82 and 84 driven by suitable gearing so as to rotate in synchronization in opposite directions. The circumference of drums 82 and 84 is double the length of the smaller or transverse sides of the format with drum 84 being driven via a continuously rotating drive shaft, not shown, and an electromagnetic clutch 86 of the controlled slipping type. A cam 88 is carried concentrically on drum 82 and has a notch 90 adapted to receive a roll 92 carried by an armature 94 of a solenoid 96 such that when solenoid 96 is deenergized, roll 92 if forced against cam 88 and will'lodge in notch 90 to prevent movement of or lock drums 82 and 84. Solenoid 96 is energized by actuation of microswitch 80 when the leading edge of the plans engages feeler 78 such that armature 94 moves roll 92 upward to permit instantaneous rotation of drums 82 and 84 to clamp the leading edge of the plans between the drums. As the plans leave the drums they are deflected downward by rolls 98, and a microswitch 100 having a feeler 102 is disposed below deflection rolls 98 in order to deenergize solenoid 96 after the trailing edge of the plans passes feeler 102 such that roll 92 is forced against cam 88 and received in notch 90 to lock drums 82 and 84 in a stationary position until the following plans actuate microswitch 80.
The operation and structure of drums 82 and 84 will be better understood from FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 which are illustrative of successive steps in the transverse marking or creasing of the plans. Drums 82 and 84 include a pair of flexible elastic tongues or strips 104 and 106, respectively, which flexible strips are disposed in alignment with recesses 108 and 110 in the periphery of drums 82 and 84, respectively. The flexible strips are aligned tangentially with the periphery of the drums and each of the strips carries a rod 112 at the end thereof to form movable lips having a rest position apart from each other as shown on drum 84 in FIG. 4. The fold marking assemblies, including the flexible strips and rods, are aligned apart on drums 82 and 84 such that as each assembly engages plans P, the other assembly is at its furthest point away therefrom, and drums 82 and 84 carry elongated blade-like ribs 1 l4 and 116 aligned with the axes of the drums and disposed diametrically opposite the marking assemblies carried thereby, respectively.
As the plans P enter between drums 82 and 84 the marking assembly of drum 82 is rotated thereagainst such that flexible strips 104 bend or yield due to the pressure from drum 84 thereby bringing rods 112 to a position adjacent one another, and rib 116 forces the plans P between the rods 112, such that the insertion of the rib 116 and the plans is tightly received by rods 112 thereby creasing or marking a fold 118 in the plans. As shown in FIG. 5, the lips part as rotation of the drums continues in order to free the rib 116 and the plans, and the plans advance downwardly as deflected by rolls 98.
The fold 118 may be termed an upwardly oriented fold; and, as can be seen from FIG. 6, after rotation 180 by drums 82 and 84, a downwardly oriented fold 120 is formed in a similar manner utilizing the lips formed by the marking assembly carried by drum 84 and the rib 114. Thus, the plans as they issue from section C will have oppositely oriented fold marks 118 and 120 alternately formed therein to facilitate folding of the plans in an accordian-like manner.
Section D includes a hopper 122 which receives the creased plans from section C; and, as the plans fall, panels 124 defined between oppositely oriented folds will assume positions adjacent one another in accordian-like fashion with the width 1 of the panels 124 being equal to one half the circumference of drums 82 and 84 and corresponding to the smaller or lateral sides of the folded format, that is in the A4 format, 21cm. The length of the folded accordian-like sections will be equal to 110cm. for the A4 format. An endless conveyor belt 126 is disposed at the bottom of hopper 122 to receive the accordian-like strips and carry the accordian-like strips to section E.
As illustrated in FIG. 3, section E includes conveyor belt 126 which carries the accordian-like strips past a pair of superposed crushing rolls 128 and 130, the upper crushing roll 128 being forced downward towards the lower crushing roll 130 by means of a spring 132. The folds in the accordian-like strips are thus accentuated by the crushing rolls such that panels 124 are contiguous with the air having been expelled therefrom.
From crushing rolls 128 and 130 the accordian-like strip is received on a table 134 having an opening 136 in the center thereof. A folding blade 138 is disposed directly above opening 136 for vertical movement between a retracted position above the accordian-like strip to a working position folding the accordian-like strip upon itself and moving the once folded section into engagement with a pair of take-up rolls 140 and 142 which are disposed below opening 136 and positively driven in opposite directions so as to pinch the fold formed by blade 138 and supply the once folded accordian-like section to deflecting rolls 144 and 146.
A stop 148 is disposed at the end of table 134 and biased from a support by a spring 150 with the stop 148 being spaced from the blade 138 by a distance of 2L where L is the longitudinal length of the folded format. When the end of the accordian-like strip engages stop 148, the stop will be moved slightly against the force of spring 150 to actuate a switch, not shown, which energizes a suitable mechanism for moving blade 138 down through, opening 136 to fold the accordian-like strip. The once folded accordian-like strip, thus, takes the form of a section having a length equal to 2L, and the folded section is forwarded past deflecting rolls 144 and 146 to a table 152, similar to table 134, having an opening 154 therein. A stop 156 is disposed at the end of table 152 in an elastic fashion by means of a spring 158, and the stop 156 is spaced from a folding blade 160 by a distance corresponding to L, the length of the longitudinal side of the folded format. The once folded section is delivered by rolls 144 and 146 to table 152; and, once the folded end of the once folded section engages top 156, a switch, not shown, is actuated to move folding blade 160 through opening 154 by any suitable mechanism to fold the once folded section upon itself. The twice folded section is taken up by a pair of positively driven, oppositely rotating rolls 162 and 164 and supplied to deflecting rolls 166 and 168 which deliver the twice folded section to an endless conveyor belt 168. For the A4 format, the distance L is equal to 29.7cm, and it will be seen that the twice folded section as delivered to conveyor belt 168 takes the form of the completed folded format. The folded'format is finally delivered to a storage table 170 by means of a second conveyor belt 172 which is arranged immediately below conveyor belt 126 such that the lower side of conveyor belt 126 and the upper side of conveyor belt 172, moving with the same linear speed, tightly grasp the folded format to flatten the same prior to delivery to storage table 170.
The operation of the cutting and folding machine of the present invention will now be described relative to FIGS. 7, 8, 9 and 10 which represent various stages of folding of the plans. As initially placed on table 12 by the operator, the plans to be cut and folded represent a flat, single sheet of material and this sheet of material is transversely cut by rotary cutting blade 32 to define a leading edge for the plans. After the leading edge is cut, the sheet of material is moved by the operator from table 12 across block 30 to conveyor belt 36 which grasps the leading edge of the sheet of material and moves the sheet of material up the incline to engage feeler 58 of microswitch 56. The actuation of micro switch 56 stops movement of conveyor belt 36 in order to permit adjustment of the sheet of material with the aid of thread 54 and also to permit cutting of the trailing edge for the plans by rotary cutting blade 32. The distance, accordingly, between microswitch 56 and cutting blade 32 corresponds to the length required for the plans.
With the transversely cut sheet of material properly aligned on conveyor belt 36, the sheet of material is supplied to roller assembly 60 in which the cutting knives 66 and 68 were previously adjusted by means of carriage 74 such that the sheet of material will be longitudinally cut to provide a predetermined transverse dimension for the sheet of material. Once the sheet of material is longitudinally cut, the leading edge thereof engages feeler 78 of microswitch 80 to energize solenoid 98 and withdraw roll 92 to permit instantaneous rotation of drums 82 and 84. As previously described with respect to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, drums 82 and 84 are operative to provide alternate creases or fold marks oppositely oriented. 1
As shown in FIG. 7, the creased sheet of material has oppositely oriented creases 118 and 120 which define panels 124 therebetween, the length 1 of panels 124 corresponding to the smaller or lateral sides of the folded format; that'is, 21cm for the A4 format. The creased sheet of material is then collected in a hopper 122 to form an accordian-like strip 174, as shown in FIG. 8, and the accordian-like strip is carried by conveyor belt 126 past crushing rolls 128 and 130 to table 134. As previously mentioned, the spacing between folding blade 138 and stop 148 is equalto 2L where L is the length of the longer or longitudinal sides of the format. The accordian-like strip is folded by blade 138 and passed to table 152 in the form of a once folded section 176, as illustrated in FIG. 9, where the once folded section is similarly folded by folding blade which is spaced from stop 156 by the distance L. The
twice folded section 178, as shown in FIG. 10, corresponding to the finished format is collected on conveyor belt 168 and supplied to conveyor belt 172 where it is tightly compressed by conveyor belt 126 as it is moved to storage table 170.
For providing the A4 format the length of the accordian-like strip 174 is 1 10cm with the width being 21cm. After folding at table 134, the once folded section 176 will have a lower panel 180 of 59.4cm and a tail" 182 of 50cm disposed above panel 180 as the once folded section 176 is supported on table 152. After folding by blade 160, the completed format 178 will have a pair of outside panels 184 and 186 of approximately 30cm enclosing an inside panel 188 of 30cm and a tail 190 of 20cm.
While no specific electrical or electronic control cir- 'cuitry for providing control of the machine responsive to the precisely placed microswitches is illustrated, it is clear that such control circuitry may take any conventional form and, given the functional explanation set forth above, could be designed by one of ordinary skill in the art.
Inasmuch as the present invention is subject tomany variations, modifications and changes in detail, it is intended that all matter described above or shown in the accompanying drawings be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. A machine for cutting and folding sheet material to proyide a predetermined format having lateral and longitudinal sides comprising a first section receiving the sheet material to be cut and folded including a table for supporting the sheet material and means for cutting the sheet material in a direction transverse to the direction of movement thereof to provide leading and trailing edges therefor;
a second section receiving the transversely cut sheet material from said first section and including cutting means for longitudinally cutting the edges of the sheet material in the direction of movement of the sheet material; third section receiving the longitudinally cut sheet material and including means for creasing the longitudinally cut sheet material in a direction parallel to the leading and trailing edges thereof, said creases being oriented in alternately opposite directions and adjacent creases being spaced by a distance to the length of the lateral sides of the format; fourth section including a hopper receiving the creased sheet material and folding the creased sheet material along said creases to form an accordian-like strip having a longitudinal dimension aligned with the direction of movement thereof and a first conveyor belt extending transverse to the direction of movement of said material defining the bottom of said hopper; and a fifth section receiving the accordian-like strip carried by said endless conveyor belt and including a pair of crushing rolls to flatten the accordian-like strip carried by said first conveyor belt and remove air therefrom, a first folding table having an opening therein for receiving the crushed accordian-like strip, a first stop disposed at the end of said first a folding table for positioning the crushed accordianlike strip, a first vertical folding blade responsive to contact of the crushed accordian-like strip with said first stop to force the crushed accbrdian-like strip into said opening in said first folding table, a first pair of take-up rolls disposed beneath said opening in said first folding table for receiving the crushed accordian-like strip after folding by movement of said first folding blade to define a once folded section, a second folding table receiving the once folded section, a second stop disposed at the end of said second folding table for positioning the once folded section, a second vertical folding blade responsive to contact of the once folded section with said second stop to force the once folded section into said opening in said second folding table, a second pair of take-up rolls disposed beneath said opening in said second folding table for receiving the once folded section after folding by movement of said second folding blade to define a twice folded section corresponding to the predetermined format, said first stop and said first folding blade being spaced by a distance equal to twice the length of the longitudinal sides of the format and said second stop and said second folding blade being spaced by a distance equal to the length of the longitudinal sides of the format and a second conveyor belt receiving the twice folded section from said second pair of take-up rolls, said second conveyor belt being disposed beneath said first conveyor belt such that the twice folded section is compressed between said first and second conveyor belts, and storage means receiving the twice folded sections from said first and second conveyor belts.
2. The machine as recited in claim 1 wherein said table in said first section has a longitudinal slot therein,
said first section further includes lighting means disposed beneath said table and aligned with said slot, and
said transverse cutting means includes a rail extending transversely to the direction of movement of the sheet material, a carriage slidably mounted on said rail, a rotary blade carried by said carriage and control means for rotating said rotary blade and moving said carriage along said rail to transversely cut the sheet material to provide leading and trailing edges therefor.
3. The machine as recited in claim 2 wherein said first section further includes a safety cross-bar disposed above said table and in front of said rotary blade, a horizontal axle disposed transverse to the direction of movement of the sheet material and pivotally mounting said cross-bar, and a microswitch carried by said crossbar and including a feeler adapted to engage the sheet material supported on said table, said microswitch being adapted to stop said machine when said feeler is not engaged by the sheet material.
4. The machine as recited in claim 3 wherein said second section includes an endless-conveyor belt disposed at an angle to the horizontal for receiving the transversely cut sheet material, and said longitudinal cutting means includes two spaced circular knives disposed at the upper extremity of said belt to longitudinally cut the edges of the sheet material.
5. The machine as recited in claim 4 wherein said longitudinal cutting means includes a movable carriage mounting one of said circular knives, said carriage being movable transverse to the direction of movement of the sheet material to adjust the spacing between said circular knives.
6. The machine as recited in claim wherein said second section includes a microswitch disposed adjacent said conveyor belt and having a feeler adapted to be engaged by the leading edge of the sheet material to actuate said microswitch and stop movement of said endless conveyor belt whereby the trailing edge of the sheet material may be cut by said transverse cutting means.
7. The machine as recited in claim 1 wherein said third section includes first and second drums rotatable in opposite directions for receiving the longitudinally cut sheet material therebetween, said first and second drums each carrying a marking assembly including a pair of flexible clamping lips and each of said first and second drums including a folding rib extending from the periphery thereof and disposed diametrically opposite to said fold marking assembly, said marking assemblies being arranged such that said folding rib on said one drum is received by said clamping lips of said marking assembly of said second drum and said folding rib of said second drum is received by said clamping lips of said marking assembly of said first drum whereby said longitudinally cut sheet material is inserted within said clamping lips of said folding ribs to provide said creases oriented in alternately opposite directions and said second section includes a microswitch disposed downstream of said longitudinal cutting means to sense the leading edge of the longitudinally cut sheet material prior to entry of the longitudinally cut sheet material between said first and second drums, said microswitch controlling the rotation of said first and second drums.
8. The machine as recited in claim 7 wherein said third section includes gear means interconnecting said first and second drums, a continuously rotating drive shaft, electromagnetic slipping clutch means interconnecting said first drum and said drive shaft, a cam having a notch therein carried by and rotating with said second drum, and a locking roller for engaging said notch to prevent rotation of said first and second drums and movable away from said notch to permit rotation of said first and second drums responsive to actuation of said microswitch.
9. The machine as recited in claim 8 wherein said third section includes a second microswitch mounted downstream of said first and second drums and having a feeler movable by the creased sheet material and responsive to the trailing edge thereof to stop rotation of said first and second drums.