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Publication numberUS3785474 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 15, 1974
Filing dateJan 11, 1972
Priority dateJan 11, 1972
Publication numberUS 3785474 A, US 3785474A, US-A-3785474, US3785474 A, US3785474A
InventorsNakamoto T
Original AssigneeNakamoto T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for sorting and distributing clothing
US 3785474 A
Abstract
Apparatus for sorting and distributing clothing on hangers to predetermined locations along path of travel comprises plurality of spaced apart hanger holding devices arranged for movement along path of travel. Arm on each holding device releasably holds clothes hanger thereon. Releasing mechanism is associated with each holding device for releasing clothes hanger from device at predetermined location along path of travel. Another mechanism cooperates with releasing mechanism at each of plurality of predetermined locations along path of travel of holding devices for activating releasing mechanism of particular holding device at predetermined location so that clothes hanger is released from arm of particular holding device when device arrives at predetermined location.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 Jan. 15, 1974 United States Patent [191 Nakamoto Primary Examiner-Roy D. Frazier APPARATUS FOR SORTING AND DISTRIBUTING CLOTHING Assistant Examiner-Richard L. Stroup Att0rneyArthur G. Connolly et al.

[76] Inventor: Taro Nakamoto, 945 Joge,

Joge-machi, Konu-gun, Japan Jan. 11, 1972 Appl. No.: 216,959

[57] ABSTRACT Apparatus for sorting and distributing clothing on hangers to predetermined locations along path of [22] Filed:

travel comprises plurality of spaced apart hanger holding devices arranged for movement along path of travel. Arm on each holding device releasably holds clothes hanger thereon. Releasing mechanism is associated with each holding'device for releasing clothes hanger from device at predetermined location along path of travel. Another mechanism cooperates with releasing mechanism at each of plurality of predeter- V mined locations along path of travel of holding devices 20 8 HNZB /318 14 ,9 1 ll 2&2

8 m QP 9 n S 6 n" CT "u" HA u e u" rT H" ms umh 6 m m RE "a 3% n r m w C Umm 2,946,427 7/1960 Friedman..................t... 198/38 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS for activating releasing mechanism of particular holding device at predetermined location so that clothes hanger is released from arm of particular holding device when device arrives at predetermined location.

791,276 2/l958 Great Britain..... 198/38 959,943 6/1964 198/38 1,176,057 8/1964 Germany Great Britain 3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEUJAN I 51914 3.785.474

sum 1 or a PAIENTEB JAN I 5 I974 SHEET 3 OF 3 I l APPARATUS FOR SORTING AND DISTRIBUTING CLOTHING BACKGROUND OF THEINVENTION The present invention relates to an apparatus for distributing washed clothes and other cleaned wearables,

and more particularly to an apparatus for selecting a was only possible through time-consuming manual labor. Clothing hung on clothes hangers makes the assorting job that much more difficult.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 4 Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a highly efficient and beneficial apparatus for assorting ownership of the wear-ables, distribution centers for ultimate return of the clothes to the owners, and other factors.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for distributing .cleaned clothes to a predetermined location during the transport thereof by a' conveyor.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for distributing cleaned clothing hung on hangers by releasing the hangers from holding devices mounted on a circulating conveyor when each hanger holder arrives at a predetermined location during the transport thereof by the conveyor.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a distributor for cleaned clothing which includes a mechanism for releasing clothing hangers from holding devices by the action of an electric current circuit when the holding device arrives at a predetermined location during transport thereof by a conveyor.

In accordance with the present invention an apparatus is provided for sorting and distributing clothing on hangers topredetermined locations along a continuous path of travel. The apparatus comprises a plurality of spaced apart hanger holding devices arranged for movement along the continuous path of travel. Each holding device includes an arm that releasably holds a clothes hanger thereon. A releasing mechanism is associated with each holding device for releasing the clothes hanger from the device at a predetermined location along the continuous path of travel of the device. Another mechanism cooperates with the releasing mechanism at each of a plurality of predetermined locations along the continuous path of travel of the holding devices for activating the releasing mechanism of a particular holding device at a predetermined location. When these conditions occur the clothes hanger is released from the arm of the particular holding device as the device arrives at the predetermined location.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Novel features and advantages of the present invention in addition to those mentioned above will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged front view of a holder according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged side cross-sectional view of the holder taken along line 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an electric schematic of the circuit for releasing the hold of the clothing hangers according to the present invention; and

FIGS. 6A and B are enlarged partial views of the mechanism for releasing the hold of the clothing hangers in which FIG. 6A is a plan view and FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6B-6B of FIG. 6A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring in more particularity to the drawing, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a circular rail 1 mounted to the ceiling of a clothes cleaning plant. Holders 2 are mounted on the rail 1 by pulleys 3. The holders 2 function to hold and release hangers on which cleaned clothes are hung. Each holder 2 is connected in predetermined spaced relationship to an endless chain belt (not shown), and the holders are transported in one direction along the rail 1 by a driving device (not shown).

In FIGS. 3 and 4, the holder 2 is shown in the form of a box, and on the center of the front panel surface 2A electric contact point changing switches A (A,,A and B(B,,-B are mounted. A longitudinal opening 4 is located at the under portion of the center of the holder 2. A holding arm 5 fixed on the front panel 2A of the holder 2 projects therefrom, as shown best in FIG. 4. On the upper surface of the holder 2 plus terminals E,,. (E -E and minus terminals E (E ,,E are mounted in a line transverse to the advancing direction of the holder, as shown in FIG. 4. In the inner side of the holder 2 a solenoid type electromagnet 6 is mounted. The electromagnet 6 has a plunger 7 with a head 7A that extends through the opening 4 in the front surface panel 2A of the holder.

FIG. 5 illustrates an electrical schematic diagram of the connections among the terminals E and E switches A and B,-and the electromagnet 6. The plus and minus terminals E, and E are connected to the correspondingly numbered switches A and B. Each contact point of the switches A and B is connected in parallel to the coil 6A of the electromagnet 6.

Returning now to FIG. 4,' this figure shows a typical embodiment of an electric circuit which supplies an electric current to the electromagnet 6 via terminals E,,-,, E and switches A B in the electric circuits. The terminals E E are connected to a power source and electric current is supplied to the electromagnet 6 when the contact points a b of the switches A-,, B are closed to thereby energize the electromagnet 6. As a supplying means of electric current, a pair of contact plates P and M are set between the rails 1. These plates function as plus and minus terminals and are connected to an outer power circuit. At the predetermined locations where the cleaned clothes are distributed, the space between the pairs of contact plates P and M at these locations is regulated so that the contact plates P and M contact any one of the terminals E, (E -E and any one of the terminals E E -E of the holders 2. Accordingly, in the illustrated embodiment numerous positions of distribution for the clothes are available along the path of travel of the holders 2. Since any pair may be selected between ten terminals FI -E and ten terminals E -E respectively, there are one lhundred combinations.

Still referring to FIG. 4, an example is described below for distributing clean clothes to position 8,, in FIG. 1 with the clothes on the holder 2 of FIG. 4. The contact points a-,, b, of the switches A-,, B including the terminals E E that are arranged to contact the pair of plates P,, M. mounted at the position S, are closed. A hanger H with clothing thereon is on the arm 5 of the holder 2 as the holders are continuously transported along the guide rails l by the drive of the motivating system for the holders. When the holder 2 arrives at the distributing and supplying position S the terminals E and E contact the plates P and M respectively, the electromagnet 6 is energized via the contact points a, and b, of the switch A-, and B, respectively, the plunger 7 is drawn into the electric coil 6A, the head 7,, of the plunger projects to the outer side from the inner side of the longitudinal opening 4 of the front panel surface 2A, and the head 7,, releases the hanger H from the holding arm 5 to the outer portion thereof. With reference to FIGS. 6A and B, the holding arm 5 at the front panel surface 2A of the holder 2 has a recess 8 on the upper portion thereof and a pair of parallel plates 11,, and 11 The space between the base plate 11,, and 11 is fitted to the plunger head 7 A hangerH resting in the recess 8 is released therefrom by the projection of the plunger head 7 which causes the hanger to slide along the inclined surface 9 to thereby release it from the holder 5. On the other hand, at each distributing and supplying position S(-S,, S, S,, a supporting lever 10 is mounted which is positioned at the same level and inclination as the arm 5 of the holder 2. The lever or bar 10 functions to continuously support the hanger H released from the holding arm 5. Switches A(A A and B(B,,-B mounted on each holder 2 brought into play by closing the predetermined pair after the decision on a particular distributing position is reached. The holders 2 with a loaded clothes hanger M thereon are conveyed along the track 1 until the holder arrives at the predetermined distributing position S. When this occurs electric current is supplied to the electromagnet 6 which operates to release the clothes hanger H from the holding arm 5 to the corresponding supporting lever 10 at the position S. When the holder 2 passes under other distributing positions, even if the contact plates P and M at the other positions contact the terminals Ep(Epg-Epg) and E (E -E the electromagnet 6 is not connected to an outer power source and the hangers remain on the arm 5.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for distributing clothing on hangers to predetermined locations along a continuous path of travel comprising a plurality of spaced apart hanger holding devices mounted for movement along the path of travel, each holding device having a series of positive terminals and a series of negative terminals with a switch connected to each terminal, an arm on each holding device for releasably holding a clothes hanger thereon, electrically operable releasing means on each holding device for releasing the' clothes hanger from the device at a predetermined location along the path of travel, conducting means connecting one side of the releasing means to the switches associated with the positive terminals and the other side of the releasing means to the switches associated with the negative terminals, and energy transmitting contact means at each predetermined location positioned to contact a predetermined pair of the positive and negative terminals wherey the releasing means is activated when the switches connected to those terminals engaged by the contact means are closed so that the clothes hanger is released from the arm.

2. An apparatus as in claim 1 wherein the releasing means associated with each holding device includes an electromagnet and a reciprocable plunger that urges the clothes hanger away from the arm when a hanger holding device arrives at a predetermined position, the energy transmitting contactmeans causing current to flow to the electromagnet to effect the discharge of the hanger away from the arm.

3. An apparatus as in claim 2 including a stationary bar at each predetermined location along the path of travel of the hanger holding devices, each bar being directly adjacent the arm at the predetermined locations and arranged to receive and hold the clothes hangers when they are released from the hanger holding de-

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Referenced by
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US3917112 *Oct 7, 1974Nov 4, 1975Walter Bernd HMethod and apparatus for coded, self-service transfer of articles
US4114538 *Feb 25, 1977Sep 19, 1978American Chain & Cable Company, Inc.Hanging goods sorter
US4303503 *Jun 30, 1978Dec 1, 1981Hotchkiss-Brandt Sogeme H.B.S.Machine for sorting articles
US4580705 *Sep 17, 1984Apr 8, 1986Gerber Garment Technology, Inc.Conveyor hanger with rotating gate gripper
US4742924 *Apr 2, 1986May 10, 1988Tarlow Kenneth AArticle-supporting web-forming unit
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US5105759 *Apr 6, 1990Apr 21, 1992Saint Gobain Vitrage InternationalProcess to change the relative positions of a plurality of aligned elements and device for using this process
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Classifications
U.S. Classification198/355, 211/122, 211/1.57
International ClassificationB65G47/48
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/487, B65G2201/0229
European ClassificationB65G47/48B2