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Publication numberUS3806007 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1974
Filing dateJun 1, 1971
Priority dateJun 1, 1971
Publication numberUS 3806007 A, US 3806007A, US-A-3806007, US3806007 A, US3806007A
InventorsGrantham F
Original AssigneeGrantham F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Textile folder
US 3806007 A
Abstract
A folder for folding garments such as T-shirts, with means for inserting cards in the T-shirts and folding the T-shirts about the cards; means for placing a group, such as three, folded T-shirts in a package and selectively inserting cards in one or more of the T-shirts in such package in the formation thereof; means for folding boxer shorts with selective folding operations; and means for folding brief shorts.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Grantham Apr. 23, 1974 1 1 TEXTILE FOLDER [76] lnventor: Frederick W. Grantham, 152 W.

Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif. 90015 22 Filed: June 1, 1971 [21 App1.No.: 148,532

[52] US. Cl. 223/37, 270/62 [51] Int. Cl A41h 33/00 [58] Field of Search 223/1, 37, 38; 270/45,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,643,879 6/1953 Spreckelmeier 38/2 X 2,954,974 10/1960 Kellett 3,361,424 1/1968 Kamberg 3,577,665 5/1971 Kamberg 3,126,657 3/1964 Hajos 3,204,353 9/1965 Hajos 2,954,906 10/1960 Lamade 3,462,138 8/1969 Grantham 270/62 3,514,019 5/1970 Glaze et a1 223/1 3,516,582 6/1970 Stossl et a1 223/37 3,511,422 5/1970 Godel et a1. 223/37 3,396,878 8/1968 Snayberger et a1. 223/37 2,400,475 5/1946 Toug et a1 223/37 3,265,382 8/1966 Sherman 270/45 2,482,060 9/1949 Gates et al 270/45 2,764,406 9/1956 Basham et a1. 270/45 2,628,092 2/1953 Malmros et a1 270/45 Primary ExaminerGeo. V. Larkin A ttorney, Agent, or Firm Henry M. Bissell [5 7 ABSTRACT A folder for folding garments such as T-shirts, with means for inserting cards in the T-shirts and folding the T-shirts about the cards; means for placing a group, such as three, folded T-shirts in a package and selectively inserting cards in one or more of the T- shirts in such package in the formation thereof; means for folding boxer shorts with selective folding operations; and means for folding brief shorts.

20 Claims, 27 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR23 m4 r 33 1 SHEET 1 of 9 v j wenz br/ PATENTEU APR 23 SHEEI 2 [IF 9 A 330E100? SHVEEI u UF 9 PATENTEUAPR 23- 1974 & WW0

TEXTILE FOLDER CROSS REFERENCES: U. S. PAT. NOS.:

3,462,138-Aug. l9, l969-Grantham 3,339,914-Sept. 5, I967-Grantham 3,452,979-July l, l969-Grantham U. 8. application:

No. 47,l88 filed June 18, I970. Grantham.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION A broad object of the invention is to provide a novel folder for folding textile pieces.

Another and broad object is to provide a folder for folding textile pieces and including novel means for incorporating a card with the piece and folding the piece with or around the card.

Still another object is to provide a folder of the character just immediately referred to and including novel means for selectively incorporating a card with the piece being folded, or not, as desired, and further including means for programming in a predetermined manner whereby only certain of the pieces have cards incorporated therein.

Another object is to provide a magazine in which a plurality of cards are provided and novel means for singly removing the cards therefrom and inserting them in a textile piece being folded.

Still another object is to provide a card magazine of the character just immediately referred to in which the cards are placed in a vertical stack and removed from the bottom of the stack, and incorporating novel means for minimizing or eliminating the effect of the weight of the stack on the bottom card being removed, whereby the pressure exerted on the bottom card is substantially uniform throughout the depletion of the stack.

Another broad object of the invention is to provide a folder for textile pieces such for example as boxer shorts and having novel means for folding the pieces selectively at different positions, and selectively in different numbers of folds.

Another object is to provide a boxer short folder of the character just immediately referred to having .a basic folding mechanism but with means constituting only a small portion of the folder which can be selectively utilized, or replaced by another portion whereby to provide different numbers of folds in different folding operations.

Still another object is to provide a novel folder for folding textile items such as brief shorts.

Another object is to provide a folder for textile pieces which includes means for producing a french fold, and means for adjusting the french folding means for adjustably varying the width of the french fold.

Still another object is to provide a folder for folding textile pieces and including securing means such as by applying adhesive tape to the folded piece, for retaining the piece in folded condition.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partially diagrammatic in nature, of a folder embodying the features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a view from the right of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view oriented according to FIG. 2 showing the card magazine in enlarged scale, with a portion broken away;

FIG. 4 is a view from the right of FIG. 3;

FIG. 4a is a perspective view of a single card;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the card inserting arm;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a textile piece, frenchfolded and with a card therein;

FIG. 7 is a diagram of a circuit for controlling selective insertion of the cards;

FIG. 8 is a diagram of the main circuit of the folder;

FIG. 9 is a side view, partially diagrammatic in nature of another arrangement of folding means and illustrating the insertion of the card in the folded pieces;

FIG. 10 is a view taken at line 1010 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a view taken at line 1Il1 of FIG. 9;'

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the structure shown in FIG. 10, taken from above and approximately the angle of the arrow 12;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the structure shown in FIG. 11, taken from above and approximately at the angle of the arrow 13;

FIG. 14 is a series of views showing the steps in the insertion of a card in a french fold operation;

FIG. 15 is a plan view of a novel folding blade in a french folding unit;

FIG. 16 is a side view of a folder adapted for making a single cross fold in a textile piece, and of a construction easily adaptable to making two such cross folds;

FIG. 17 is a side view of the folder of FIG. 16 but with adaptation for making two cross folds;

FIG. 18 is a side view of a conveyor means and directly related operating components of a folder similar to that of FIG. 17 but with a slight modification relative to the discharge of the folded pieces at the exit end;

FIG. 19 is a diagram of the folds made in the folder of FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a side view of the principal components utilized in forming a unit of a folded textile piece;

FIG. 21 is a large scale view of one of the components of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is a still larger scale view of the uppermost tip of thecomponent shown in FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is a partial view of a folded piece with a sticker applied thereto by the mechanism of FIGS. 20-22;

FIG. 24 is a side view of a modified form of card magazine;

FIG. 25 is a side view of a means utilizing a continuous card supply as distinguished from an individual or discrete card arrangement; and

FIG. 26 is a diagrammatic view of the continuous card supply.

The folder of the present invention is particularly adapted for folding textile pieces such as items of apapparel, rather than in a laun- 43 and card inserting means indicated generally at 44, the latter including two main components, a card magazine 46 and an inserter arm 48.

The construction illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 is utilized for first forming a french fold and then inserting the card in the folded piece in a cross fold. However the card can be inserted in the french folding operation itself as described hereinbelow. A french fold, and a folder for forming it, are well known. A piece, such as a textile piece or a laundry piece, that is french folded, includes a main central panel, and side panels or flaps folded on the main panel, and usually folded one on the other, being wide enough for the latter purpose. A french folder includes an upper folding blade, and a pair of forming blades thereunder, the forming blades forming the side panels or flaps against the main central panel and against each other. Both are described hereinbelow.

The folder includes a feedboard 50 of known kind onto which the textile piece to be folded, here indicated at 45, is placed. The feedboard includes belt means 52 running on rollers 54 driven through belt means 56 by a suitable driver such as a motor 58. The motor may be used for driving other elements of the machine also, the specific drive being as desired.

Leading from the feedboard 50 is a slide 60 which in this case leads upwardly and forwardly and over which is a conveyor belt 62 for conveying the pieces from the feedboard upwardly.

The slide 60 leads into a french folding unit 64 of the kind referred to and which includes a conveyor belt 66 running on a folding blade 68forming in effect a continuation of the slide 60. Below the folding blade 68 are forming blades 70. The feedboard 50, the conveyor 62 with the slide 60, and the french fold unit 64 may be substantially as disclosed in my prior patent identified above, US. Pat. No. 3,462,138. Such structure is shown in FIGS. -14 herein, and described hereinbelow. The folding blade 68 may be made up of a pair of laterally spaced blade elements which are adjustable toward and from each other, a feature which is generally known, but in the present instance preferably constructed according to a novel feature of the invention as disclosed hereinbelow. In FIG. 1 this means for adjusting the blade elements may include an air cylinder 72 and linkage 73 which will also be referred to hereinbelow, in connection with FIG. 15. A textile piece 45 that is french folded is shown in FIG. 19, where it is seen to include a main central panel 45', and side panels or flaps 45", 45" folded on the main panel, and one overlapping the other. After the textile piece 45 is thus french-folded, (FIG. 1) it leads forwardly off of the folding blade 68 as indicated at 45a onto an intermediate conveyor 74. Preferably a guide plate 76 is positioned for guiding the piece thus folded along the conveyor 74 and when the piece leaves the conveyor 74 it is guided into the bight 78 between a guide conveyor 80 and another guide plate 82, the french folded piece then being conveyed by the conveyor 80 into a vertical gap 84 to a position represented at 45b where it is then folded in a cross fold in an operation in which the card is inserted in that cross fold. This cross fold is performed by the inserter arm 48 under the control of a switch 155 in the circuit of FIG. 7, as referred to again hereinbelow. In this operation the piece is then moved into successive operating elements, shown to the left of the piece 45b in FIG. 1 and described indetail hereinbelow.

Attention is now directed to the card inserter means per se and in this connection attention is directed to FIGS. l-4. The card magazine 46 is mounted on the side frame of the folder proper in a suitable manner, and includes a rigid frame itself including a pair of laterally spaced vertical frame members 86 having a space 88 therebetween, for convenience in manually handling the cards as when placing them in the magazine. The cards are indicated at 90 and in the present in stance arranged in a vertical stack, each being dimensioned in outline and thickness according to the textile piece being folded. A card 90 is shown in its entirety in FIG. 4a, being of suitable shape such as a regular rectangle. The side frame members 86 define a vertical channel 92 for receiving the cards which at one side is defined by a side wall 94 (FIG. 3) leading at the bottom into a foot 96 which partially supports the cards in a manner to limit the effect of gravity on a high stack of cards. This foot 96 includes a concave curved portion 98 forming a continuation of the sidewall 94 below which is a convex curved portion 100, the foot extending downwardly below the lowermost card in the stack, this position being determined as described hereinbelow.

On the opposite side of the channel 92 is a guide or confining means 102 which may be a leaf spring, or it may be a fixed wall, the latter being appropriate when only a single size card is to be used. The element 102 at its lower end has an angularly shaped element 104 which angles downwardly and away from the foot 96 but the element 104 may be straight and not curved. The wall element 102 whether a spring member or fixed, guides the cards toward the opposite side and into engagement with the side wall 94 and when the cards reach the bottom of the stack, they are individually guided toward the wall element 102 by the curved element 100, the latter serving to support a substantial portion of the weight of the cards. This support is provided in large part by the friction of the cards against the element 100.

The means for removing the cards from the card magazine includes a pair of friction wheels 106, preferably positioned adjacent the side wall opposite the foot 96. These friction wheels support the cards at that position and those wheels together with thefoot 96 together provide the full support for the cards. The friction wheels 106 are operated by an air cylinder 108 which when actuated, and acting through chains 110, 112 rotates sprockets 114, 116. The air cylinder 108 is actuated under the control of a switch 161 in the circuit of FIG. 7, as referred to again hereinbelow. The sprocket 114 may be for example on a shaft 118 on which the friction wheels 106 are mounted. The sprocket 116 is separately mounted and includes a chain belt 120 drivingly connected with a sprocket 123 on a feed roller 122 cooperating with another feed roller 124. Spring means are utilized for returning the air cylinder to inactive position.

On rotation of the frictionwheels 106, the lowermost card, engaging those wheels, is moved away from the stack (to the left, FIG. 3) at a predetermined rate of speed. The sprockets 116, 123, are so relatively proportioned that the peripheral speed of the rollers 122, 124 is at least as great as that of the friction wheels 106, and it may be greater. The card when removed by the friction wheels is gripped between the feed rollers 122, 124, and drawn by the latter and conveyed onto the inserter arm 48 as described below. The friction wheels or the rollers 122, 124 may be provided with overrunning clutch means to enable the card to be moved as referred to, namely, at a greater rate of speed by the rollers 122, 124 than by the friction wheels, and to permit the wheels to be turned.

The convex curved surface 100 may be so curved that the lowermost card may be positioned at a point on that surface which is close to the vertical, although preferably inclined somewhat therefrom. The card immediately above the bottom one engages a portion of that curve that is at a more inclined position and therefore held by more friction than the bottom card and it would have minimum tendency, if any, to urge the bottommost card downwardly. The friction between the several cards at the lower end of the stack with the surface 100 increases from one card to the next one above it, so that the tendency of the stack, as a long column, to push the bottommost card downwardly out of the desired position, is substantially zero.

As noted above, the card when removed from the lower end of the stack in the card magazine is moved to the inserter arm 48, which has a tray or top plate 126 (FIGS. 1, 2, 5) receiving the card. The inserter arm 48 is pivoted on a transverse pivot axis indicated at 130. The tray is maintained adjacent the horizontal although such position is not critical.

The tray 126 has a leading edge 132 relative to the movement in the inserting operation which preferably is provided with teeth 134 defining notches 136 therebetween. Mounted on the tray is a back-up flange 138 which is adjustable in fore-and-aft direction by means indicated at 140. When the card is placed on the tray by the rollers 122, 124 (FIGS. 3,4) it assumes a position in which its trailing edge engages the flange 138, or nearly so and its opposite edge is adjacent the leading edge 132 of the table top. The leading edge of the card may assume a position indicated at 900 (FIG. 5) for example in which it is rearwardly of the leading edge of the tray, or a more advanced position indicated at 90d in which it extends forwardly beyond the leading edge of the tray. The back-up flange is adjusted according to the length of the card being utilized according to ,the longitudinal dimensions of the textile piece being folded. When the inserter arm 48 is moved forwardly, it moves the card and the piece being folded forwardly (to the left, FIG. 1), into successive conveyors as described below, and the back-up flange prevents the card from being pushed rearwardly off the tray. When the leading edge of the card extends forwardly of the leading edge of the tray as at 90d, it is easily gripped by the conveyor means on opposite sides, but even if it is at a more rearward position as at 900, the teeth 134 enter in between the next conveyors and the conveyors grip the leading edge of the card through the notches 136. The card performs the function of a folding knife, in engaging the textile piece and forcing it between the conveyor belts. There are times in which a card is not inserted, and in that case, the teeth faciliate folding the textile piece, the teeth without the card then acting as a folding knife.

If desired the tray 126 may be provided with another flange 142 on the side, and laterally adjustable for limiting the extent of movement of the card onto the tray in sidewise direction, for convenience in positioning the card laterally with respect to the width of the card to be used, and its positioning laterally relative to the dimensions of the folded piece.

Attention is directed again to FIG. 1 which shows an air cylinder 144 for moving the inserter arm 48 in advancing direction, and a spring 146 for yieldingly retracting it.

Upon a card being placed on the tray, the inserter arm is moved in advancing direction and the leading edge of the card, or the leading edge of the tray, engages the french-folded piece 45b at the desired position, such as the middle, and cross folds it and pushes it into the bight 148 between a pair of conveyor belts 150, 152 and these conveyor belts grip the textile piece and the card in a manner stated above and the semiunit thus formed is conveyed along by those two conveyors. The semi-unit emerges from those two conveyors from the bight 154 and may drop through a vertical gap 156 as indicated at 45e. The folder includes means however for producing another fold therein as indicated generally at 158, which may be selectively energized. If it remains de-energized the folded piece 45e drops vertically as noted, but in the event that the additional folding means 158 is actuated, it produces a second cross fold, and forces the so-folded piece into the bight 160 between the conveyor belt 152 and another conveyor belt 162; the piece thus folded emerges from the bight 164 and into flipper means or stacking means 166 from which they are dropped into a stack. The additional cross folding means 158 and the conveyor means 162 as well as the stacking means 166 are referred to again hereinbelow and their operation described.

A single folded textile piece, whether with or without a card therein (see below), is herein referred to as a unit for convenience; several such units put together are herein designated a package.

FIG. 6 shows a T-shirt 45 that is first french-folded, and then cross-folded with a card 90 therein.

Attention is next directed to FIG. 7 with reference to selectively feeding cards into the pieces to be folded, or not feeding them. The textile pieces of the character referred to above are many times put out in packages each including a plurality of pieces such, for example, as three. It is not necessary that in such a package each of the pieces be provided with a card, and it may be desired only to provide one card in such a package. In other cases it might be desired to provide two such cards, or even three. Additionally it may e desired to include the card in the topmost piece of the package, or the second one or the third one, or even in all of them, or conceivably not providing any. The present invention includes means for selectively providing cards in the folded pieces such for example as in the first one, or the second one or the thirdone or any combination thereof. The electrical circuit shown in FIG. 7 includes all of the manually operated control elements for effecting the selectivity of the insertion of the cards in the manner just stated. A ganged rotary switch 167 is provided, and is set to the desired position according to indication markings 169 which indicates the number of cards and their position, as to whether the first, the second, etc. The stepping relay 171 is controlled by the rotary switch for controlling the removal of the cards and feeding them. A counter 173 (FIG. 8) is utilized for controlling movement of a conveyor upon the desired number (e. g., three) of pieces being stacked for a package, in a known manner.

In further and more detailed explanation of the feeding of the cards selectively into the items making up each package as controlled by the circuit of FIG. 7, the following is given: the reset switch 163 is provided for manually resetting the stepping relay 171 to its starting or No. 1 position, this switch acting through a reset coil 163'; a step coil 171' operates to advance the stepping switch 171', the tray 126 on the inserter arm 48 is also known as a first knife, and is shown in this circuit; the inserter arm 48 and tray 126 are under the control of a switch 155; a switch 157 is controlled by the position of the tray 126; a switch 161 is controlled by a card on the tray; and the card feeding means 108 is included in the circuit.

The stepping switch is always in its starting or No. 1 position at the beginning of each cycle of three pieces being folded, usually automatically, but it can be so set manually through the switch 163.

Assuming as an example that it is desired that there be no cards inserted in any of the three pieces making up a package, and in this case the switch 167 is set to none position. When the tray 126 or first knife is in retracted position it holds the switch 157 in NO position, supplying a pulse through line L-l, card feed means 108 (see FIG. 3), switch 161 and the relayswitch 171, 167. When the card feeder tray advances to make a fold, it releases switch 157 and opens the NO contacts and the feeding circuit is open until the card feeding tray has returned to retracted position and is in line with card feeder rolls 122, 124 (FIG. 3').

As the card feeder tray moves forward to make a fold, the NC contacts of switch 157 close, supplying a pulse through line L-l (right, FIG. 7) to the stepping coil 171, advancing the stepping relay 171 to the No. 2 position.

The card on the feeding tray opens that line L-l and the cylinders 108 are retraced.

When there is no card on the inserter tray, the banks BC of the switch 167 are open and the line L4 to the air cylinders 108 is open and no card will be fed to the card feeder tray. Upon operation of the card feeder tray, the switch 157 is transferred to the NC-position, sending a pulse to the stepping coil 171' which steps the relay 171. Each time the card feeder tray is in a retracted position, a stepping operation is performed whether or not a card is on the card feeder tray, and when the wiper arm of the stepping relay 171 reaches position S-8, it completes a circuit through the reset coil 163' which resets the stepping relay to its No. l position.

To insert acard in each of the three pieces making up a package, the switch 167 is set to its ALL position, and if for any reason the stepping relay 171 should not be in its starting position, it is so set to that position by manually actuating the reset switch 163. If there is no card on the inserter tray, the switch 161 will be in closed position and a pulse will pass through contact N0. 6 on the C bank of the switch 167, actuating the card feeder means 108, the latter then feeding a card onto the inserter tray, moving the switch 161 to the NO position. When the card is removed from the inserter tray the switch 161 closes, but the circuit is broken by the swtich 157 which is then in its NC position and'this switch is not moved to its NO position until the feeder. tray is moved to retracted position. The stepping and resetting of the relay 171 in each movement of the feeder tray is identical with that described above in inserting cards in all of the pieces.

Next assuming that as a typical example of the operation it is desired to have a card inserted only in the middle one of three folded pieces, and in this case the switch 167 is moved to the 0-1-0 position. In this case since the switch 161 is open, there will be no card fed, but the stepping relay will be advanced by a pulse through the switch 157 which is then in its NC position, the stepping coil 171 and line L-l. When the card inserter tray is retracted, the switch 157 is moved to its NO position and a pulse is transmitted through that switch to the stepping relay 171 which is then in its second position and the pulse continues through bank C of the switch 167 which is then closed according to the setting of the switch and it continues through the swtich 161 and actuates the card feeder means108 and when the card is consequently fed onto the tray the switch 161 is opened by the card.

As the second folded piece passes through, the inserter tray will insert the card into the piece as it is folded, and the stepping relay 171 is advanced-but the circuit to the card feed means 108 is broken through the switch 161 and there is no card fed onto the feeder tray.

As the third piece is folded, there is no card on the feeder tray and the stepping relay 171 is advanced but the circuit to the card feed means is still open and there is no card fed onto the tray.

The reset switch 163 is normally actuated by the conveyor as the latter carries the stack of folded pieces out of the folder, this movement of the conveyor being referred to above.

It is believed unnecessary to describe in detail the action of the circuit in connection with the other four positions of the switch 167, in view of the foregoing description..

Theoverall circuit for operating and controlling the folder is shown in FIG. 8. This figure includes the knife 48-126 (i.e., the tray) and the switch directly controlling it. The circuit also includes the counter 173 which as stated above controls the conveyor in a normal manner, the conveyor being included in FIG. 8 as indicated generically at 173', and the conveyor controls the reset switch 163 as indicated in FIG. 8, this reset switch being also included in FIG. 7 and described above. The remainder of the circuit of FIG. 8 is utilized for controlling the folder as a whole, and it is believed not necessary to describe that operation in detail in view of the description above of FIG. 7.

While in the folder according to the foregoing description, the card was incorporated in a textile piece after the french fold was formed in the latter, the invention is also applicable to incorporating a card in the french fold itself and for this feature attention is directed to FIGS. 9 to 14. FIG. 9 shows principal conveyor means for the folder but the details of various guided by a plate 176 into a french fold unit 177. This a view also shows the inserter arm 48 in retracted position but positioned for forming a cross fold in thepiece g and inserting a card into it and inserting the piece into the french fold unit.

FIGS. 9 to 13 show the details of the french folding unit, and FIG. 14 the steps in the folding operation. In accordance with the direction of conveyance of the pieces through the folder as just described, the french folding unit is considered to have a fore portion at the left in FIGS. 10 and 11 and the right in FIGS. 12 and 13, and a posterior portion at the right in FIGS. 10 and 11.

This unit includes a lower portion 178 having a rear transverse roller 179 and a front transverse roller 180 and belt means 181 on those rollersincluding transversely spaced belt elements 181a and l8lb thereon forming a gap 182 therebetween. Disposed in this gap is the rear end of a folding blade 184 having a longitudinal slot therein terminating forwardly short of the forward end of the folding blade. At the forward end of the slot is a roller 188 below the folding blade, and a conveyor belt 190 is trained on the roller 179 and 188 with the upper run thereof substantially flush with or slightly above the upper surface of the folding blade. Below the folding blade are forming blades 192, 194 of known kind and cooperating with the folding blade in a known manner to form a french fold.

The french fold unit also includes upper rollers 196, 198 on which is trained belt means 200 made up of transversely spaced belt elements 200a, 2001) forming a gap 202 therebetween. Another roller 204 is provided adjacent the forward end of the folding blade 184, and a conveyor belt 206 is trained on the rollers 196 and 204. The conveyor belts in the lower and upper parts of the french fold unit are substantially in interengagement or closely positioned so as to engage any textile piece that is interposed therebetween, this arrangement also including substantial interengagement between the center belts 190, 206, and the latter belt continues to engage a textile piece thereunder as the latter passes along the folding blade, and it carries the textile piece out to and beyond the folding blade. The next step may be stacking or folding again as desired, the principal consideration here being that the card is folded in the textile piece in a french fold. Means 208 for applying stickers to the folded pieces may be utilized, as described below.

FIG. 14 includes a series of positions as viewed in transverse cross section in different positions along the french fold unit as indicated by the section lines 14 with postscripts a f in FIG. 10. The inserter arm 48 is advanced (to the right, FIG. 9) in synchronized relation with the piece being folded, and the card thereon moves under the guide plate 176 in the desired registration longitudinally, the textil piece and card together then being carried along by the belts 181, 200 as well as the narrow belts 206, 190, and after the piece and card pass by the belts 200, 181 they are moved along by the belts 206, 190 and after the card and piece then again move past the belt 190 they are moved along by the belt 206 itself in conjunction with the stationary folding blade. The lower belt 190 is shown in FIGS. 14a and 14b. The successive views 0 to f show various positions of the piece and card moving along through the french folding unit and the effective positions of the forming blades 192, 194 in those various positions. The piece 45h rests on the folding blade 184, on which the main central panel 45 is formed, and the side panels or flaps 45", 45" are folded or formed in by the forming blades 192, 194. The forming blades are shown in different degrees of completeness according to the location of the respective section lines 14 in FIG. 10. When the piece and card emerge from the french folding unit a complete french fold is made of the piece with the card therein, as shown clearly in FIG. 6. Usually the card is shorter than the textile piece so that the latter can be folded in transverse folds and this may be done in any suitable folding operation such as by the folding knife 158 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 15 is a plan view of a novel form of means for controlling the folding blade of a french folder. In this connection reference is made to applicants co-pending application Ser. No. 47, 188, identified above and particularly FIG. 7 thereof. As described in that application, the elements of the folding blade include auxiliary blades for controlling the width of only a certain part of the piece being folded, and in such controlling operation the blades are temporarily pivoted outwardly to expanded position and then moved inwardly. The auxiliary blades are indicated at 214 in FIG. 15 herein, pivoted at 216. A camming element 218 is disposed in notches 220 in the blades and provided with linkage 73 identified above in connection with the cylinder 72 (FIG. 1 Upon contraction of the air cylinder the linkage 73 is pulled, and the camming element works in the notches 220 and swings the blades outwardly and at the desired moment the air cylinder is released and the blades are retracted by suitable means such as spring means. Preferably a turnbuckle 222 is interposed in the linkage to adjust the length thereof and set the camming element in the desired initial position.

Referring next to FIG. 16, this figure includes principally the conveyors and omits other details. A lead-in conveyor 224 is provided on which the piece to be folded is placed. The conveyor 224 may be the initial conveyor in the folder, or may represent a conveyor of a folder anterior to the present, such as the french fold unit 40 of FIG. 1 herein. After leaving that conveyor, the piece moves onto an intermediate conveyor 226 and after leaving the latter, it moves onto a curved guide shield 228 and upon its engaging a switch 230, a folding knife 232 is actuated, these elements and their operation as such being known. Upon actuation of the folding knife the piece is creased and moved up into the bight 234 formed by a pair of conveyors 236, 238. The lower conveyor has individual runs 236a, 236b while the upper conveyor has individual runs 238a, 238b. The piece that has thus been cross folded is then carried first between the adjacent runs 236a, 238a and then the other runs 236b, 238b, respectively in .close juxtaposition for carrying the folded piece along where it emerges at 240 and into a set of flippers or control plates 242 from which the folded pieces are dropped into a stack on suitable conveyor means.

The folder of FIG. 17 includes most of the components of FIG. 16 but is adapted to two cross folds. It includes the conveyor 224 as in FIG. 16, performing the same function, and the same two conveyors 236, 238 and the folding knife 232. The lower conveyor 236 is the same as in FIG. 16 except that the run 236b thereof may follow a slightly different course by being additionally tightened. The run 236b follows around the same rollers 246, 248 as in the previous case. However, the conveyor 238 is shorter, following around the same roller 250 as in the previous case, but then returning from the latter roller directly over the roller 246. The means for forming the second cross fold in the folder of FIG. 17 includes a third conveyor 252 trained on one roller 254 also utilized in the folder of FIG. '16 and another roller 256 which does not occur in the folder of FIG. 16. Another folding knife 258 is provided and as the piece that wasonce-folded emerges from the conveyors 236, 238, the folding knife 258 is actuated and it moves the piece in a second fold between the runs 236b and 25211. The piece then is carried off the lower end of the conveyor 252 and into the flippers 242 where they are controllably dropped in a stack on the conveyor means 244. Thus the folder of FIG. 16 which is a single fold folder can be converted to a double-fold folder of FIG. 17 by the simple expedient of utilizing a shorter conveyor belt 238 and providing the additional conveyor 252 with the roller 256 as well as the folding knife 258, while utilizing all of the other components of the single fold folder.

The arrangement exemplified in FIGS. 16, 17 may also be utilized in conjunction with a french fold operation where it is desired to also cross fold the pieces, either in a single cross fold or a double cross fold. A folder of the latter type is represented in FIG. 18 which includes a feedboard 260, an elevating conveyor 262 and a french fold unit 264, these three components corresponding to equivalent components 50, 60, 62, 64 of FIG. 1, herein. After the piece is french-folded it rides onto an intermediate conveyor 266 and onto a guide or apron 268 and cross folded by a first folding knife 270. The piece thus cross folded is moved into additional conveyor means 272 and as it emerges therefrom it moves onto a guide plate 274 and upon actuating a control switch 276, a second folding knife 278 is actuated, producing a second cross fold and the piece thus folded is carried out as described in connection with FIGS. 16 and 17. If only a single cross fold is desired, the second knife 278 is disabled and the piece without the second fold rides down the plate 274 and onto an exit conveyor. In the present instance the piece having the double cross fold may be carried out with the unfolded edges leading, while if there is only a single cross fold the piece in riding down the plate 274 moves out with the folded edge leading. These movements are indicated in the representations of FIG. 19.

FIG. 20 shows certain elements at the exit'end of a folder including a conveyor-element 280 which may be for example a french fold unit and a pressure roller 282 engaging the piece on the unit 280. Posterior to the unit 282 is a carry-off apron in the form a conveyor 284 and another pressure roller 286. A gap 288 is disposed be tween the unit 282 and the carry-off apron.

A sticker feed unit 290 is provided including a blade 292 havingv a relatively sharp upper edge 294. The blade 292 is mounted on an arm 296 in association with a sticker supply package or roll 298. This package includes a backing element or strip 300 (FIG. 22) and a plurality of stickers 302 adhesively secured thereto, extending transversely of the strip and spaced longitudinally therealong. The sticker supply strip 300 with the stickers thereon is advanced along one side of the blade 292 (see FIGS..21, 22) and return-bent over the relatively sharp edge 294 and down on the opposite side. As it is thus turned over the sharp edge, the stickers 302 do not follow this return direction but peel off the backing strip 300 and one edge 302a extends upwardly beyond the knife and into the path of the folded piece moving fromthe unit 280 to the carry-off apron 284.

The sticker adheres to the package and peels off of the backing strip 300.

The sticker supply strip is advanced under the control ofa switch 303 which in turn controls an advancing mechanism indicated generally at 304 and including an air cylinder 306 and appropriate mechanism for advancing the sticker supply strip an increment equivalent to center lines of successive stickers 302. FIG. 23 shows a folded piece 308 which in this case is a french folded piece with a strip 302 applied thereto across the outermost edge of the piece in the fold, forming a package of the piece. The piece may include a card inserted therein, or be without a card, the sticker applying means being applicable in a similar manner in all cases.

FIG. 24 shows an alternative form of card magazine 46 which in all major respects is identical with the previously described construction, but which includes a projection 320 on the wall 102. This projection defines the transverse dimension of the cavity of the magazine and lower cards above that projection, here identified as a, are held by that projection at the corresponding edge so as to minimize the weight of the cards thereabove on the stack of cards below that projection. The cards 90a as indicated are in inclined position with their lower edge resting on the lower portion of the stack above the foot 96. The foot 96 supports the major portion of the weight of the stack while at the opposite side of the magazine the weight of the lower portion of the stack is supported by the feed wheels 106.

As the cards are fed out from the lower portion of the magazine, the stack portion in that region diminishes and the upper cards 90a feed downwardly and one by one pass over the projection 320 and fall into horizontal position at the lower portion of the stack. The result is that the gravity effect of the lower portion of the stack is rather small and easily accommodated by the foot 96 and the feed wheels 106. The projection 320' serves as a continuing control element for maintaining the stack therebelow at a predetermined volume. The portion of the stack thereabove is supported at the one side on that projection and on the other side directly above the foot 96, the latter being operative for supporting a substantial portion of the weight of the column of cards. I

Cards may be introduced at the top of the magazine above the cards 90a continuously and indiscriminately and regardless of the speed or other manner of introducing the cards, they are controlled by the projection 320 and released to drop down into the ower portion of the stack regardless of the weight or other characteristics of the cards above that projection.

Attention is now directed to the feature of the invention for feeding cards or continuous card material which become independent cards, as distinguished from the operation of feeding individual, pre-cut cards in the folding operation. In this connection attention is directed to FIGS. 25 and 26. In FIG. 25 a feedboard 322 is provided of the same character as those described above including a belt 324 trained on a roller 326, the-belt and roller travelling in the direction indicated. The upper belt run 324 provides a feedboard for reception of a textile piece 45 to be folded. Upwardly along the feedboard is a control switch 328 having a trigger finger 330 in the path of the piece 45 to be folded. The cards, or card elements, to be incorporated in the folded pieces, in the present embodiment are incorporated in a strip 332 which may be for convenience provided in a roll 334. The strip 332 is preperforated as indicated at 336 for separating the corresponding portions of the strip to form cards.

In FIG. 25 the strip 332 is brought around feed rollers 338, 340 and then up over the feedboard roller 326 between that roller and an idler roller 342. The strip 332 extends up over the feedboard 322 in an extension 3320 and approaches or may even extend beyond the control switch 328. As a practical matter, the weight of the paper or cardboard over the control switch,and the characteristics of the switch itself, are such that the paper itself will not actuate that switch, but when a piece to be folded is placed thereover, the switch will be actuated as described hereinbelow.

A cover 334 may be provided over the rollers 326, 338, 340 and 342.

The cardboard aggregate or strip 332 is fed up into position as represented in FIG. wherein the extension 332a extends over and lies on the feedboard 322. The paper itself is very light, and in one position is held stationary by the rollers 338, 340 and the roller 342 is separated from the foller 326. In such a situation, the paper extension 332a lies on the feedboard without movement although the feedboard belt may continue to move. Then the operator places the piece to be folded on the feedboard and over the card extension 332a, and the weight of the latter is sufficient to actuate the control switch 328. This switch through a circuit of known kind effects movement of the idler roller 342 into operative engagement with the roller 326 and the effect is that they pull the cardboard forward along with the piece to form a folded package which includes the cardboard piece in the manner described hereinabove.

In this same operation, the perforated line 336 has been pre-positioned at point 346 so that upon the roller 342 moving into operative engagement with the roller 326, the movement of the segment 332a tears the latter from the aggregate of the roll at the perforated line 336. After the textile piece moves past the control switch 328, a suitable circuit is energized for then moving the roller 342 back from roller 326 and moving the rollers 338, 340 in direction for feeding the paper strip again in a forward direction. This movement is continued according to a certain linear increment of movement or according to a sensing means responsive to the perforated lines 336. Both these kinds of operations are known.

I claim:

l. A textile folder having an entry end and an outlet end, comprising,

means receiving a piece to be folded which is inserted in the entry end and conveying it through the folder and discharging it at the exit end,

means operative for inserting a card in juxtaposition with a piece within the folder, when the latter is on said conveying means, and moving the card and piece simultaneously,

the conveying means then being operative for conveying the piece and the related card both together through the folder, and

folding means operative in the course of conveyance of the piece and the related card through the folder, and cooperating with the conveying means, for folding the piece in conjunction with the card,

as the piece and card are moving, to form a unit containing the piece and the card.

2. A textile folder having an entry end and an outlet end, comprising,

means receiving a piece to be folded which is inserted in the entry end and conveying it through the folder and discharging it at the exit end,

the conveying means including a component having a pair of conveyor elements operative for gripping the piece therebetween,

means operative for inserting a card into a piece including means for introducing a leading edge of the card against a piece and continuing to move the card whereby the leading edge of the card functions as a knife and produces a fold in the piece and moves it between said conveyor elements, and said component then being operative for conveying the piece and card therealong,

and folding means cooperative with the conveying means for folding the piece as the latter is conveyed through the folder.

3. A folder according to claim 2 wherein the card is utilized for forming a cross fold relative to the direction of the piece and card through the folder.

4. A folder according to claim 2 wherein the card is moved into the piece in the direction of conveyance of the piece through the folder, and the piece has a folded leading edge, and a trailing edge which is madeup of individual flaps.

5. A textile folder comprising,

means for conveying textile pieces to be folded through the folder,

a magazine for holding cards,

means for removing a card individually from the magazine and introducing it into folding association with a piece as the latter is conveyed through the folder,

pre-settable means operative for introducing a card into said folding association with each piece or with only certain of the pieces, selectively, and means cooperating with the conveying means for folding each piece independently whether a card is associated therewith, and in the case where there is no card associated with a piece, folding the piece itself, and in the case where a card is associated with a piece, folding the piece around the card. 6. A textile folder according to claim 5 and including means for forming the pieces into groups each containing more than one piece, and I said pre-settable means being selectively pre-settable for introducing a card into folding association with a selected one piece in a group, independently of the order of conveying and consequent order of inclusion in a group. 7. A textile folder comprising, means for conveying a piece to be folded through the folder,

folding means operative in conjunction with the conveying means for folding the piece conveyed through the folder,

means for holding cards in horizontal face-to-face relation in a vertical stack,

card inserter means,

means for removing a card from the bottom of the stack and placing it on the card inserter means, means for actuating the card inserter means for moving the card thereon into operative folding association with a piece being conveyed through the folder, and

the folding means and the conveying means being operative in folding each piece for so folding it with a card therein.

8. A textile folder according to claim 7 wherein the card holding means includes a magazine having at one side means adjacent the bottom of the magazine and generally under the stack of cards, frictionally supporting the cards,

and the card removing means includes a roller adjacent the side of the magazine opposite the friction supporting means, which, when stationary, supports the cards at that side, and when rotating, removes a card individually from the magazine and moves it onto the card inserter means.

9. A textile folder according to claim 8 wherein the magazine has an inwardly directed projection on the side opposite and above the frictional supporting means and above the roller, which is positioned for engagement by the cards that are thereabove, whereby the latter cards assume an inclined position with their upper edges supported by the projection and their lower edges supported by the cards that are below the' projection and indirectly by the frictionalsupporting means,

the cards below the projection being generally horizontal and as those cards are progressively removed from the magazine, the cards above the projection successively drop clear of the projection onto the cards below in generally horizontal position. 10. A textile folder according to claim 8 wherein th card inserter means includes a horizontal tray and the card removing means is operative for placing the cards in horizontal position on the tray.

11. A textile folder according to claim 10 wherein the tray has stop means on the far side relative to the direction of movement of the cards onto the tray for limiting movement of the cards in that direction. 12. A textile folder according to claim 10 wherein the tray is moved forwardly in moving each card into folding association with the piece tobe folded, and

the tray has back-up means at the trailing edge relative to its forward direction of movement for limiting the relative rearward movement of the cardon the tray.

13. A textile folder comprising:

means for conveying a piece to be folded through the folder and folding it, including a component having ping relation with said component of the conveying means with the piece thereon,

the tray having teeth in its leading edge with spaces between the teeth, and when a card on the tray is shorter than the tray, the teeth extend at least partially beyond the card, whereby said component of the conveying means is operative for gripping the card, acting through the piece, in said spaces between the teeth on the tray.

14. A textile folder comprising,

means for conveying a piece to be folded,

a french folding component having a fore portion and a posterior portion relative to the direction of conveyance of the piece through the folder and including a folding bladeand forming blades thereunder, the conveying means including a first belt element over the folding blade and moving therealong, and together with the french folding component constituting a french folding means,

said first belt element, in cooperation with the folding blade, being operable for conveying the piece between itself and the folding blade, and for conveying a card in conjunction with the piece,

and means for introducing a card between the first belt element and the folding blade in association with a piece,

the french folding means being operable for french folding the piece around the card in the conveyance of the piece and card through the folder.

15 A textile folder according to claim 14 wherein the folding blade has an opening therein,

and the folder includes a second belt element under the folding blade and having a run in the opening in the folding blade and opposed to the first belt element, and operative with the latter for gripping a piece therebetween and assisting in conveying the piece through the french folding means.

16. A folder according to claim 14 wherein the french folding means includes upper and lower wide conveyor means, each of which includes a pair of transversely spaced belt elements, the transversely spaced belt elements being in.the fore portion of the french folding means, with a gap therebetween, and the first and second belt elements have fore portions in said gaps and posterior portions leading along the folding blade beyond the wide conveyor means.

17. A folder according to claim 16 wherein the forming blades are positioned adjacent the posterior portion of the folding blade,

the second belt element is disposed generally in the fore portion of the folding blade and extends to a position adjacent the forming blades, but short of the posterior end of the folding blade, and

the first belt element extends beyond the second belt element and continues to a position adjacent'the posterior end of the folding blade.

18. A method of folding textilepieces comprising,

conveying the pieces along a path,

applying cards individually to at least certain of the pieces as the pieces are moving in their progress along the path, and

folding the pieces individually as they are conveyed along the path, to form a unit of each piece, each piece to which a card is applied being folded with that card, and each piece to which a card has not been applied, being folded without a card.

19. A method according to claim 18 and including the-step of utilizing the card as a folding knife, in each case where a card is applied to a piece, by engaging the thereby forming units each including a piece, and a step of forming groups each including a plurality of units, only certain ones, but not all, of the pieces in each group including a card therein.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification223/37, 493/444, 493/375, 493/458
International ClassificationB65B25/20, B65B25/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B25/20
European ClassificationB65B25/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 17, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: GRANTHAM FOLDER CORPORATION, 2424 SAN FERNANDO ROA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:GRANTHAM, FREDERICK W.;REEL/FRAME:004641/0916
Effective date: 19861110
Owner name: GRANTHAM FOLDER CORPORATION, A CORP. OF CA.,CALIFO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GRANTHAM, FREDERICK W.;REEL/FRAME:4641/916
Owner name: GRANTHAM FOLDER CORPORATION, A CORP. OF CA., CALIF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GRANTHAM, FREDERICK W.;REEL/FRAME:004641/0916