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Publication numberUS3821526 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 28, 1974
Filing dateJun 28, 1972
Priority dateJun 29, 1971
Also published asCA967667A, CA967667A1, DE2231751A1, DE2231823A1, DE2231894A1, US3825900, US3851315
Publication numberUS 3821526 A, US 3821526A, US-A-3821526, US3821526 A, US3821526A
InventorsJ Anderson
Original AssigneeMidland Ind Computing
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Textile machines
US 3821526 A
Abstract
The invention relates to the combination of a stored program digital computer and a textile producing machine having electromechanical actuators. The combination including one or more hardware buffers, each hardware buffer being associated with one or more of said actuators, the logic unit of the computer supplying information selectively to one or more hardware buffers at a particular point or points in the cycle of operation of the machine according to the operation of the machine.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Anderson 1 1 TEXTILE MACHINES John Ernest Anderson, Wednesfield. England [73] Assignee: Midland Industrial Computing Limited, Birmingham. England [22] Filed: June 28, i972 [21] Appl. No.: 267,254

[75] Inventor:

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data 235/92 CP, 92 CT, 92 (JP. 92 PE; 340/1725; 444/1; 66/25 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,427,595 2/1969 Groth. Jr. 340/1725 3,588,832 6/1971 Duncan 340/1725 3.611.311 10/1971 Andrews 340/1725 June 28, 1974 3.660.972 5/1972 Neill et a1. 235/92 PD 3,674,991 7/1972 lsvetrov et a1 235/92 PD 3.680.298 8/1972 Saunders 235/92 PD Primary Examiner-Joseph F. Ruggiero Attorney. Agent, or Firm-Darby & Darby [57] ABSTRACT This invention concerns a stored program digital computer and a textile producing machine, the computer includes a fast random access store in which is stored information relating to the material to be produced by the machine and also a controlled program. The computer also includes a logic unit which receives signals from the machine and acts upon receipt of such a signal as instructed hy the control program to supply fresh information for use by the machine. There is also provided a counter which can be set to count said signals, the counter being utilised in such a manner that when part or the whole of the infomation required to be supplied to the machine is unchanged, the computer does not supply the unchanged information for use by the machine.

83 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 1 mm. 25 H I COUNTER I 1 2| 41:11] I I2 11 IO 1 2g g l l ARITH\ B :TEX, i UNIT 24 I MACH I l @322 l E Q MEM DATA BUSS u I 2% E MACH l 2O 27 I5 I l B I/O L l f.

PATENTED i 3.821. 526

SHEET 3 OF 4 FIGS.

FIGS.

PATENTEDJUH28 1w 3.821.526

SHEEI [1F 4 AW) AM) [MN A(MN) 1 i 0 O B( H M) TEXTILE MACHINES This invention relates to the combination of a stored program digital computer and a textile producing machine. The computer supplies information to the machine to control the action of the machine and in particular determine the pattern of the material produced by the machine.

The computer includes a fast random access store in which is stored information concerning the pattern and also a control program. The computer also includes a logic unit which receives information from the machine and acts upon that information to supply fresh information to the machine as instructed by the control program.

Textile producing machines generally operate on a continuous basis and require information at specific times and at a relatively high rate of delivery. Consequently the computer must be able to supply information to the machine at a rate at least equal to the rate at which the machine demands the information. It is therefore desirable to minimise the number of cycles of computer operation which are necessary for the supply of a fresh set of information to the machine. Furthermore, it is desirable to reduce the amount of storage required to store information concerning the pattern.

The object of the present invention is to provide said combination in a simple and convenient form.

The combination in accordance with the invention comprises a stored program digital computer and a textile producing machine, the computer including a fast random access store in which is stored information relating to the material to be produced by the machine and a control program, the computer also including a logic unit which receives signals from the machine and acts upon receipt of such a signal as instructed by the control program to supply fresh information for use by the machine, and a counter which can be set to count said signals, the counter being utilised in such a manner that when part or the whole of the information required to be supplied to the machine is unchanged the computer does not supply the unchanged information for use by the machine.

According to a further feature of the invention the counter is constituted by an individually addressable portion of the fast random access store known as a word.

According to a further feature of the invention the counter is constituted by one or more stages separate from the fast random access store.

According to a further feature of the invention the counter is located intermediate the machine and the computer, the counter acting to prevent signals from the machine reaching the logic unit of the computer until a predetermined number of said signals as determined by the setting of the counter have been generated by the machine.

The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of one example of a textile producing machine and a stored program digital computer in accordance with the invention,

FIG. 2 is similar to FIG. 1 but shows the parts of the computer in greater detail.

FIG. 3 shows in greater detail the buffer arrangement associated with the knitting machine,

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 show portions of a circular knitting machine,

FIG. 7 shows in greater detail part of the combination shown in FIG. 3, and

FIG. 8 shows in diagrammatic form a system for connecting a stack of actuators to multiple hardware buffers.

With reference to FIG. 1 there is provided a textile producing machine 10 which in the particular example is a circular knitting machine but which may be any type of textile machine. The machine is provided with a plurality of electromechanically controlled actuators 11 which can be selectively energised to cause operation of the knitting machine in a particular way. The supply of electrical energy to the actuators is controlled by means of a digital computer and the arrangement is such that the material produced by the machine may be provided with a particular pattern. For example, the pattern can be achieved by variation of the stitch, the type or colour of the yarn or thread used or a combination of these variables.

A power supply including fast acting switches supplies electrical energy to the actuators. The switches are controlled by a hardware buffer 12. Conveniently the hardware buffer is in the form of an interface card which is plugged into a suitable socket inside the computer. Whilst the hardware buffer 12 controls the supply of electrical energy to the actuators II it also permits feedback of information to the computer from the knitting machine.

The digital computer includes a logic unit 13 and a fast random access memory 14 and as is conventional practice, information can be passed between the logic unit 13 and the memory 14 in either direction. The hardware buffer 12 is connected to the logic unit 13 and information relating to the pattern and control signals relating to the operation of the hardware buffer pass between the logic unit and the hardware buffer and information regarding the state of the machine, between the hardware buffer and the logic unit.

The computer is also provided with an input unit 15 by which means a program of computer instructions and information relating to the pattern can be stored in the fast random access storage of the computer. The input unit 15 is associated with the logic unit 13.

The stored program digital computer is shown in greater detail in FIG. 2 which uses the same reference numerals as FIG. 1. The memory 14 is shown to incorporate a memory unit 18, a memory address register 19 and a memory data register 20. The logic unit 13 is shown to incorporate the control unit 21, the instruction register 22, the program counter 23, the arithmetic unit 24, working registers 25, 26, the data switch 27 and the data highway 28.

The arrangement described is well known and whilst variations may be found between individual stored program digital computers such differences as there are do not in general substantially affect the general mode of operation of the computer. The operation of a stored program digital computer is well known in the computer art. Examples of such computers which broadly conform to the layout described above are the Hewlett Packard 2 l 14 and the Data General Corporation Nova 800.

It will be appreciated however that the invention is not limited in its application to any particular model or type of stored program digital computer or to any characteristic of any model or type of stored program digital computer.

As will be seen from F IG. 2 the data switch 27 is connected to three buffers 12 which are connected in turn to two knitting machines and an input or input/output device 15 respectively.

An example of the buffers 12 associated with the knitting machine will be described in greater detail with reference to FIG. 3. Each buffer 12 comprises three sub buffers 30 each capable of receiving and storing 16 bits of information. Each sub buffer 30 has 16 inputs, only two of which are shown, and the corresponding inputs of each sub buffer are connected to input lines 31 of which there are 16. The input lines 31 are connected to the data highway 28 of the computer by way of the data switch 27 and it will therefore be seen that when the computer outputs information to the particular buffer 12 the same information is present at the inputs of each sub buffer 30. The sub buffers 30 are set to store the information present at their inputs by means of signals applied by way of control lines 32. Three control lines 32 are provided associated with the three sub buffers 30 respectively. At the appropriate time a signal is transmitted along one of these lines so that the associated sub buffer 30 stores the information at its input terminals. Three such computer operations are required to load the three sub buffers 30 with information.

Each sub buffer has l6 outputs and associated with the outputs respectively are drive circuits 33. Each drive circuit 33 is associated with a power stage not shown, so as to provide sufficient current to drive the associated actuator 11 of the knitting machine.

The filling of the sub buffers 30 takes place in an extremely short period of time. Since the actuators are electromagnetic in nature with high intertia and do not require accurate timing, it is arranged that the outputs to the associated actuators 11 are energised immediately without further control signals from the knitting machine. These outputs may however be gated with an analogue or digital signal from the knitting machine to give the input signal required for a particular type of actuator. This mode of operation is contrary to normal computer practice where the sub buffers when filled with fresh information would only pass that information to an associated machine on receiving a control signal at some predetermined time.

Also provided in each buffer 12 are lines 34, 35 along which information is passed from the knitting machine to the computer. A signal on line 34 causes an interrupt of normal computer operation each time the knitting machine requires actuation or non-actuation and thereby causes the computer to alter the information contained in the sub buffers 30 thus affecting the actuators when appropriate. The line 34 may include pulse shaping and delay circuits so that the interrupt of normal computer operation to change the information in the sub buffers occurs at the correct time. Such pulse shaping and delay circuits will be necessary if it is not possible to provide a sensor on the knitting machine suitably positioned to produce a signal at the appropriate time. The line 34 may also include a counter 36 to be described, the purpose of which is to prevent an interrupt of normal computer operation until a predetermined number of signals have been generated by the sensor 80 of the knitting machine. in this example the counter is set manually but it will be appreciated that this counter could be set by the computer. The effect of the counter 36 is that the knitting machine will carry out a predetermined number of stitch operations without any change occuring in the setting up of the actuators. So far as the knitted fabric is concerned the effect will generally be to stretch the pattern horizontally.

The interrupt signals are processed in the interrupt handling or Device Done" circuits of the buffer in the normal way. The normal Device Busy circuits of the buffer are utilized to ensure that the computer and knitting machine are in step. For this purpose the line 35 provides a signal at a predetermined point in the cycle of operation of the knitting machine. A suitable time might be when needle one is adjacent to feed one, the beginning of a new course, or at the end of the old course. The signal is passed to the Device Busy circuits of the buffer and sets the Device Busy bistable. It is arranged that the Device Busy bistable is only examined by the computer as instructed by the stored program of computer instructions at the time when the computer expects the signal. If the signal from the knitting machine is present when the Device Busy circuits are activated then the computer carries on providing fresh information to the sub buffers 30. If however the signal from the knitting machine is not present when the Device Busy circuits are activated then the computer stops providing fresh information to the sub buffers and only starts supplying fresh information when the next signal from the knitting machine occurs on line 35 and the knitting machine and computer are back in step. This will mean that the knitting machine will carry on knitting without change in the setting of the actuators and therefore a fault in the pattern produced by the machine will occur. However the fault should not last for more than one rotation of the knitting machine.

With reference now to FIG. 7 of the drawings the counter 36 comprises a four bit decremental counter unit 37 the outputs from the individual stages of which are connected to a NOR gate 38. The stages of the counter are interconnected in the usual manner and the line 34 from the textile producing machine is connected to the first stage of the counter unit 37 whilst the output of the NOR gate 38 is connected to the Device Done circuits of the buffer. In operation, the stages are initially set and the signals arriving from the knitting machine cause the counter unit to count down to zero. When this occurs there are no input signals to the NOR gate so that an output signal is supplied to the Device Done circuits of the buffer.

For setting the stages four switches 39 are provided and these are associated with the counter stages respectively, there being interposed between the stages and the switches, AND gates 40 respectively. The outputs of the AND gates are connected to the resetting terminals of the stages respectively and the one set of input terminals of the AND gates is connected to the switches respectively whilst the other inputs are connected to a reset line 41. The switches 39 are set in binary code and when a reset signal is applied to line 40 the individual stages of the counter unit will be reset. Conveniently line 41 is provided with a reset signal each time a signal appears at the output of the NOR gate 38 so that the counter stages are automatically reset. As shown the switches 39 are manually operable switches but as mentioned earlier these switches can be set by the computer provided a suitable instruction is inserted in the control program and appropriate information is inserted in the fast random access store.

Various forms of textile producing machine may be associated with the computer so as to be controlled thereby to produce a patterned fabric. One example only of such a machine will now be described.

This example chosen is a circular knitting machine having two sets of needles. One set of needles is mounted in vertical grooves respectively on the outside of a needle cylinder having its longitudinal axis vertical. The needle cylinder is surrounded by an annular cam box. In the example the cam box is stationary while the needle cylinder rotates to provide relative motion between the cams and the needles. Cam parts are mounted on the internal peripheral wall of the cam box to form passages which may receive butts formed on the needles or on jacks associated with the needles. At various positions around the cam box are mounted thread guides each of which feeds one thread to the needles. In the vicinity of each thread guide the cam parts are shaped to impart movement to any butt which engages the cam parts and thus the needle associated with that butt.

This example of a circular knitting machine employs latch needles. Upward movement of a needle will result in the collection of a thread in the hook of the needle. Full upward movement of a needle will result in a loop positioned on the latch of the needle being displaced over the end of the latch whereas part upward movement of a needle will not. When the needle is moved down after a full upward movement the latch will be closed and the loop will be knocked over" leaving the newly inserted thread in the closed hook of the needle and thus forming a stitch. In the case where a part upward movement of the needle occurs the loop remains on the latch and cannot therefore close the latch and be knocked over during the subsequent downward movement. This eventually results in the formation of a tuck" stitch. When the needle is retained in its downward position at a thread feed the needle will miss the thread and the thread will be laid in the knitted fabric. The extent of the upward movement is determined by the cam engaged by the butt. In the example there is only one cam for causing needles to knit at each thread feed but it will be appreciated that there may be a cam for tucking and a cam for knitting or means for altering one cam to fulfil either purpose.

Various means of selecting which butts engage the cam parts and which do not, are known. These means include various types of known electromagnetic actuators. One such actuator may be mounted at each thread feed.

The aforesaid cam parts co-operate with selected butts. Some form of selector operated by the actuator is used to determine whether the butt is in a cam engaging position in which case the cam will move the needle to effect a stitch. or whether the butt is held in a position in which it will be clear of the cams so that the needle will remain in the miss or retracted position. A selector is provided for each needle and a single actuator may operate each of the selectors in turn. However, such an arrangement may impose limitations on the speed of operation of the machine. It is therefore known to provide a stack of actuators at each thread feed. The actuators in a stack are generally mounted directly above one another and operate at a single needle position but it will be appreciated that other arrangements are possible. Each actuator controls the operation of all those needles associated with selector butts at a certain height. These needles are spaced at equal intervals round the needle cylinder so that the associated actuator has as much time as possible for its operation.

A circular knitting machine employing stacks of actuators will now be briefly described with reference to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.

With reference to these drawings there is provided a rotary needle cylinder 60 in the outer peripheral surface of which is formed a plurality of axially extending circumferentially spaced grooves. Mounted in the upper portions of the grooves are latch needles 61 respectively each having a butt 62 which co-operates with cams formed on the internal periphery of an annular cam box 63 surrounding the needle cylinder. Also accommodated within the aforesaid grooves are jacks 64. Each jack has a shoulder for engagement with the associated needle and the lower portion of the jack is capable of flexure. At the lower end of the jack is a butt 65 and in the retracted position of the jack as shown in FIG. 4 the butt 65 is held clear of cams 66 which are mounted on a lower portion 67 of the cam box. The cams 66 are provided for raising the jack 64 and hence the needle 6] and a set of such earns 66 is provided at each thread feed position around the needle cylinder. If the jack is not in the retracted position the butt 65 will engage with the cams as the needle cylinder 60 ro tates and be raised thereby lifting the needle. The cams on the cam box 63 are shaped to permit raising of the needle at the thread feed position and act when the needle has passed the thread feed position to lower the needle and the associated jack.

Associated with each jack 64 is a selector or presser 68 and this is pivotally mounted upon a part 69 carried by the needle cylinder 60. The lower end of the presser is positioned to engage with the bowed portion of the jack 64 and the upper end of the presser defines an upstanding butt 70. The butt 70 co-operates with a fixed cam 71 which is positioned in advance of the cam 66 and is arranged to urge the butts 70 outwardly away from the needle cylinder. During such outward movement the butt is brought into close proximity with a fixed magnet 72 and is attracted and retained by the magnet against the force exerted by the resilience of the lower portion of the jack. The outward movement of the butt 70 effects inward movement of the butt 65 to the retracted position. The magnet 72 extends circumferentially as shown in FIG. 5 and overlaps the cam 66 so that as long as the butt 70 is retained by the magnet the butt 65 will not be activated by the cam 66.

Each presser 68 is initially provided on the outer side of its upper portion with a plurality of spaced selector butts but all except one of these butts is broken off when the presser is assembled into the machine to provide a single selector butt 73 at a particular height. As shown each presser was initially provided with six selector butts and adjacent pressers are arranged to have the selector butts at different positions. The selector butts 73 for convenience are arranged in sequence so that every seventh presser has the selector butt at the same height.

For co-operation with the selector butts 73 of the pressers 68 there are provided six operating members in the form of fingers 74 and these extend from a stacked actuator 75. The fingers are at heights corresponding to the various selector butts 73 but they can be tilted about horizontal axes into and out of exact registration with the selector butts 73. The ends of the fingers 74 adjacent to the pressers define cam forms and the arrangement is such that when the finger is in a position to contact a selector butt 73 the presser carrying that butt will be moved inwardly towards the needle cylinder thereby moving the presser away from the magnet 72. When this occurs the resilience of the lower portion of the jack will move the butt 65 into the path of the cam 66.

With particular reference to FIGS. and 6 each finger 74 is pivotally mounted on a part of the stacked actuator 75, about a substantially horizontal axis and each finger has associated therewith an extension or armature 76. The armatures extend through annular electromagnets 77 respectively the current flow through which can be reversed when required so that the magnetic polarity of the end of the armature remote from the pivot can be reversed. Moreover, the end of the armature 76 extends between a pair of pole pieces 78 and these are polarized by a permanent magnet 79. In use therefore the position of the armatures 76 will depend upon the direction of current flow through the associated electromagnets 77 and by suitably controlling the direction of current flow needles may be selected and raised.

A dial 600 in the form of a horizontal disc with grooves extending radially from its centre is also provided. The second set of needles is mounted in these grooves and co-operates with the first set of needles to produce patterned fabric. The operation of the second set of needles is generally controlled mechanically but it will be appreciated that it is possible to select the dial needles by means of electromechanical actuators.

It will be appreciated that the invention is not limited in its application to a circular knitting machine nor to the production of a pattern in material by colour variation and may be applied to any form of textile producing machine where it is desired to produce a pattern with visual variation, variation in surface texture, variation in surface level, etc., of the material.

It has been mentioned that it is desirable to minimise the number of cycles of computer operation which are necessary for the supply of a fresh set of information to the textile producing machine. It has also been mentioned that it is desirable to reduce the amount of storage required to store information concerning the pattern. For example a pattern to be produced by a circular knitting machine with one actuator at each thread feed consists entirely of sets of two or more identical stitches which are adjacent to each other in one course. Once a part of the hardware buffer has been filled with the output appropriate to a particular actuator to take whatever action is necessary for the first stitch then that output in that part of the hardware buffer remains to cause the same action at the subsequent stitches. In order to explain the invention more clearly reference will be made to Table 1.

Table 1 shows at the desired arrangement of face stitches in a portion of a course of fabric to be knitted by the circular knitting machine previously described. In Table l the letters A, B, C and D represent single face stitches of the different colours A, B, C and D. Moreover, beneath the representation of the course are shown lines representing the actuators responsible for the colours A, B, C and D in their positions relative to TABLE! I I A A l B B i c c 1) 1) l l l .T B c D A 13' l l i 0utputsto B C D A 13 Cr 1)l U D 0 0 0 t) 0 t) O 0 0 U 0 0 0 0 [l 1 U 1 1 l l l l 1 l 1 1 l l 0 1 0 t] 0 0 0 0 0 t] 0 0 D 0 0 0 I) t) (l 0 l) 0 0 0 0 the stitches at time T The needles which formed these face stitches are moving to the right in the view shown in Table l. The course shown is only part of a course and the table shows by the numeral one (1) when an actuator is operated and by zero (0) when an actuator is not operated. The gaps in the table are left because it is desired to illustrate only the knitting of the portion of the course shown at 20. At times T and T all the actuators are operated and this is due to the particular arrangement of actuators, colours and face stitches chosen. From the table it can be seen that output to the hardware buffer must take place at times T T T3, T T T T T T T T T T T and that 32 bits of information need to be stored and delivered to the knitting machine to produce the eight face stitches.

According to the invention however the information placed in the buffer for the actuator responsible for colour A at times T T T and T is allowed to remain at times T T, T and T The information placed in the buffer for the actuator responsible for colour B at times T T T and T is allowed to remain at times T T T and T The information placed in the buffer for the actuator responsible for colour C at times T T T and T is allowed to remain at times T T T and T The information placed in the buffer for the actuator responsible for colour D at times T T T and T is allowed to remain at times T T T and T Consequently the signals from the machine at the even numbered times T T T T T T and T are ignored by use of a counter and the processing involved for the outputs at these times avoided. Furthermore, only 16 bits of information need to be stored and delivered to the knitting machine to produce the eight face stitches. In this example the counter is provided by a uniquely addressable portion of the fast random access store of the computer called a word. The following stored program of computer instructions increments, tests and resets this counter and ignores those interrupts from the textile producing machine which do not require a change in the output, thereby reducing the processing time required for the supply of information to that machine and possibly allowing multiple machines to be controlled by the computer in place of that machine.

A further feature of the invention allows the stored program digital computer to keep in step with the textile producing machine by the use of a needle position 3,821,526 9 l0 counter in conjunction with the counter and the sensor divide the number of needles in the cylinder without already described. it should be noted however that the remainder. Otherwise the computer and the machine multiple in which the stitches occur in the sets should cannot be kept in step.

Label Operation Operand Comment Cycles The following storage is provided for the program.

0 U'Il Octal 135740 Storage for output bits 00-15.

Stor e words can be pro ided to hold as many output hits as are required. It should be noted that the initial values in the output words allow an imme late interrupt at the start of operation.

NEWLB Octal 0 Temporary storage for the B register NPOS Octal 177777 The minus count of the needle position. Its initial value of minus one forces the computer into step with the textile machine as soon as possible. See the interrupt subroutine for details.

FLA G Octal 0 The output complete flag. It is not set initially because we do not need to set up any output words at the start of operation.

MNNDM"... Decimal U/M Minus the number of needles on this textile machine divided by the multiple in which the stitches in a set occur.

Cl Octal 177777 The machine 1 counter. Its initial value of minus one forces interrogation of the needle position count during the first interrupt so that the computer will he forced into step with the textile machine as soon as possible.

. -M Minus the multiple in which the stitches in a set occur BE GIN Octal 150362 The pattern END Octal 071530 The pattern EPT Defined. EPT... The end of pattern value of the pattern pointer IPT Defined BEGIN. The initial value of the pattern pointer The signals for the beginning of a rotation and a new needle position are arranged so as to occur simultaneously at the beginning of a rotation so that they share a common interrupt and interrupt subroutine for convenience.

Interrupt location.

Jump to subroutine NEWL. The interrupt location for the textile machine. The computer forces execu- 2 tion of this instruction on an interrupt from the textile machine.

The program for a particular textile machine is stored after the interrupt locations.

interrupt subroutine.

NEWL N0 operation This location holds the return address increment memory and then (1i increment and test the machine 1 counter 3 skip the next instruction if the result is zero.

Jump to NEXIT. No change in output is required, so exit from the interrupt routine as soon as (2) poss e. Store the B register in... NEWLB... save the contents 0! the H register 2 Load the B register with (bUTi.... Load an output word 2 Output the B register to sub N Output 10 hits in parallel to the sub butler N. in general no control signal 2 bufi'er. would be required by the textile machine and the output lines from the bufler would give a steady signal and only be reset by the next 16 bits placed in sub buffer N. Consequently no interrupt is required when the output is finished.

Any number of words or bits may be output to any number of sub bufiers in this way.

Increment memory and skip NPiDS Increment and test the needle position count to see whether the computer 3 if the result is zero. expects the be nning of a new rotation. Each increment represents multiple needles rat er than one needle. Jump to IEXIT The count is still negative so take a normal exit as the computer says it is not 2 the beginning of a new rotation.

The computer says it is the beginning of a new rotation.

Input into the B register N Load the input signal from the input bufler on channel N. If Bit 15 is set this signifies the beginning of a new rotation. Sliiip ii the B register is nega- Test whether the hardware says it is the beginning of a new rotation ve. Jump to HOLD- Positive, so the computer and the textile producing machine are out of step- NM Negative, so the computer and the textile producing machine are in step.

Load the B register with MNNDM... Miinus the number of needles divided by the multiple in which the stitches (2) n a set occur. Store the B register in N PtDS Reset the needle position count (2) IEXIT Increment memory and then FLAG FLAG is never minus one so this instruction never results in a skip. This 3 skip ii the result is zero. instruction sets the output complete flag to allow the next setup of the output word or words. Load the B register with"... MMULT Minus the multiple in which the stitches in a set occur 2 Store the B register in.. Cl.. Reset the machine 1 counter 2 Load the B register with. NEWLB Restore the B register 2 N EXIT Set and clear the control his- N Set and clear the appropriate bistables on channel N to allow the next inter- 2 tables. {This instruction does not alter the steady state output from sub u or Jump to the address in NEWL Exit from the interrupt subroutine 3 The computer but not the hardware says it is the beginning oi a rotation. The computer is out oi step with the textile machine so make the computer wait for the textile machine.

HOLD Cigar apt: then complement the Set the i3 register to minus one reg s or. Store the B register in N Pals Store minus one in the needle position count to force the computer t ay it is the beginning of a new rotation during the next interrupt. (It should h; notecl that the needle position count only changes when the output 0 anges. Store the B register in C1 Store minus one in the machine 1 counter to force a change of output and t us interrogation of the needle position count during the next interrupt. Jump to iEXIT+1 Exit but do not allow the new output word or words to be set up I Label Operation Operand Comment cycles Entry point at the start of operation.

START Enable all interrupts N/A s t nd clear the control bi- N Set and clear the appropriate control bistables on channel N to allow the N/A stables on channel. first interrupt.

Wait loop.

WAIT Load the B register with FLAG 2 Skip ii bit 0 of the B register Test b 0 0f LAG 2 is one. Jump t WAIT Bit O is zero so the output is not complete 2 Bit 0 is one so the output is complete.

Load the A 1' star with the POINT.. Load the next portion of the pattern to be output. 3

contents oi t e address int st r th A register in OUTl Store it or the output word V, Increment memory and then POINT... POINT points to the next portion at the pattern to be outpuL h 3 skip the next instruction ii the result is zero.

These actions may be repeated for as many output words or hits as are required.

L d the A register with PQINT... Load the pattern pointer 2 Compare the A register with EPT Compare it with its end 0! pattern value- 2 L d th A register with IPT They are equal. so load an initial value 2 Store the A register in. PDINT. Store the appropriate value for the pattern pointer. 2 Jump to WAIT 2 In Table I an alternative arrangement of thc actuators responsible for the colours A, B, C and D is shown by lines identified by the letters A, B, C and D at the positions of the actuators at time T 25 From the table it can be seen that output to the hardware buffer for the actuator responsible for colour A takes place at the odd numbered times T,, T T and T and that for the actuator responsible for colour C at the odd numbered times T T T and Tn, whereas 30 output to the hardware buffer for the actuator responsibio for colour B takes place at the even numbered times T T T and T and that for the actuator responsible for colour D at the even numbcrcd times T T T and T12.

Thus while the information placed in the buffer for actuators A and C is allowed to remain at the even numbered times and the information placed in the The portion of the program following the WAIT loop is expanded to insert the new output in the software buffer OUTl. The machine 1 counter takes the form of a program instruction for convenience.

The program modification requires the following storage.

Label Operation Operand Comment Cycles MS1l Octal 125252 1010101010101010 The mask appropriate to the first word of the first output. M812. Octal 052525 0101010101010101 The mask appropriate to the second word of the second output. TABS Defined SUBl H The start address of the routine for the first subset of the actuators eiined SUBL. The start address 0! the routine for the second subset of the actuator IC Jump to the address in. u. TABS-L-" The initial value [or the counter PTRI De ne BEGIN The pattern pointer for the first subset of the actuators PTR2 Defined BEGIN. The pattern pointer ior the second subset of the actuate The program modification follows the WAIT loop and replaces those instructions which previously followed the WAIT loop.

Increment memory and then Cl increment the machine 1 counter 3 skip the next instruction ii the result is zero.

1.. Jump to the start oi the appropriate output routine 3 Load the current output 2 A register and memory. Clear the 1outputs ior the appropriate actuators using the mask for word 1 a nd 2 on put Store the A register in Store the remaining output temporarily 2 Load the A register w Load the next portion of the pattern to be output for these actuators 3 contents oi the address in Clear the outputs for the appropriate actuators using the reverse mask 2 Add in the output remaining from the last output 2 Restore the newly assembled output 2 PIRl points to the next portion oi the pattern to be output for these ac u- 3 skip the next instruction if the ators. result is zero.

These actions may be repeated tor as many output words or hits as are required.

Load the A register with PPR1-.... Load the pattern pointer for these actuators 2 Compare the A register with" Compare it with its end of pattern value. 2 Load the A register with. They are equal, so load an initial value (2) Store the A register in... Store the appropriate value for the pattern pointer for these actuators. 2 Jump to r 2 SUB2 Load the A register with tdUTl Load the current output A register and memory M S12... Clea; tbs gutputs for the appropriate actuators using the mask for word 1 and 2 ou pu Store the A register in 0UT1 Store the remaining output temporarily 2 Load the A register with the con- PT R2. Load the next portion of the pattern to be output for these actuators 3 tents of the address in- A register and memory M 811 Clear the outputs for the appropriate actuators using the reverse mask 2 Add to the A register UT1 Add in the output remaining from the last output 2 Store the A register in QUTl. Store it in the output word 2 Increment memory and then TI R2 PTRZ points to the next portion of the pattern to be output for these actua- 3 skip the next instruction it the tors.

result is zero.

Label Operation Operand Comment Cycles These actions may be repeated for as many output words or hits as are required.

Load the A register with PIR2 Load the pattern pointer for these actuators 2 Compare the A register with.-. EPT Compare it with its end of pattern value 2 Load the A register with. IP'T They are qual, so load an initial value... (2) Store the A register in Store the apprgfiriate value for the putt n pointer for these actuators. Load the A register with Load the inltl value of the eounter a Store the A register ln Reset the machine 1 counter 2 Jump to .2

A circular knitting machine may have one actuator lect or not select several successive needles. at each thread feed. These actuators are able to operate 10 As an alternative to the provision of a separate elecat the desired speed and such actuators are well known. trical signal memory system for each stack of actuators, in order to operate at the desired speed, the machine the hardware buffer may comprise a number of hardmay make use of the stacked actuator system in were output buffers equal to the number of actuators which several actuators are positioned at each thread i 5 in a stack and in this case each actuator of the stack is feed, successive actuators at that thread feed causing connected to one of the buffers. Such an arrangement successive needles to knit. So that if there are six actuais shown with reference to FIG. 8. tors at a thread feed, then the first actuator only knits We will assume that there are n actuators at a thread needles numbered 1, 7, l3 etc. Since the operation of feed and that they are positioned vertically above one each actuator in the stack will overlap the operation of 20 another. The needles I, n are caused to knit at difthe other actuators in the stack, some method must be ferent periods of time. Consequently, commands to the provided for storing the commands from the computer actuators l, 2, n in a stack are placed in different to the actuators to actuate or not actuate. Associated hardware buffers at different times. it is arranged that with each of the stacks of actuators is an electrical sigthe commands placed in a number of successive buffers nal memory system which can store the command sig- 25 for a stacked actuator are the same so that a number nal output by the computer so that the actuators of the of successive needles are caused to select or not select stack are caused to operate in sequence at the approby that stack of actuators. priate time by a timing signal device associated with The following program modification further illuseach actuator. The device includes a distributor to distrates this method when the spacing of the actuators in tribute signals to the individual memories at the appro- 3" terms of a number of needles is not a multiple of the priate time. Consequently if the signals are maintained number of stitches in a set. It will however be apprecifor a period the distributor will distribute each signal to ated that the spacing of the actuators may be a multiple several memories and the associated actuators will sc- 0f the number of stitches in a set.

Label Operation Uperand Comment Cycles The following storage is required for this program modification.

llJMl Definer]... H lJMPN-H l'JMlN Definedm. lJMPN+2 The first lump in this table has already been used for the first interrupt before this pointer is used.

Jump to Jumpto... Jump to... Jumpto... Jumpto Jump to... Defined Defined Defined Defined"... 0ctal.

The interrupt routine for stacked actuators.

NEWL No operation Store the B register in. NEWLIL. Jump to BBETI This initial value forces the use of the first bufler tor the first output It should be noted that in this example of an interrupt routine for stacked actuators the same software bufiers always fill the same hardware buflers BSETI Load theBregisterwith QiU'I11 Bufler setl 2 Output the B register to. N Output 16 bits in parallel to sub bufl'er N. 2

These actions may be repeated for as many output words or bits as are required.

Jungto..... CQiM 2 BSET2 Lee the B register with QiU'I21 Bufler set 2 Output the B register to t2) Output 16 bits in parallel to sub buffer (2) 4 These actions may be repeated for as many output words or hits as are required.

Jum CVlM BSE'Ia Loa the B register with mu'rsi Hufiei set a OutputtheBregisterto l Outputlsbitsin paralleltosubbufler These actions may be repeated for as many output words or hits as are required.

Jumpto CQiM BSET4 Load the Bregister with. @UT4i Buffer set4 OutputtheBregisterto Q Outputlfibitsin paralleltosubbuiierQ......

Label Operation operand Comment Cycles These actions may be repeated for as many output words or bits as are required.

Jum to C(DM BSETS Loar the B register With UT51 Buffer set 5 v.

Output the B register to R Output 16 bits in parallel to sub butler R l r r Thcse actions may be repeated for as many output words or bits as are required.

Jumdp to BSE'IG Loa the B register with.

Output h B register to S. t is Output 16 bits in parallel to sub buifer S These actions may be repeated for as many output words or hits as are required 391 Increment memory and then NPQS NPQS has an initial value of minus one 3 skip the next instruction it the result is zero.

Jump to IEX 2 Input into the B register N (2) Skip it the B register is negative (2) Jum to r. HQLD. N/A Loa the B register with. MNN.. (2) Store the B register in NPtDS. (2) IEXI'I Load the B register with the PJMPN H 3 contents of the address in Store the B register in 2 Load the B register wit 2 Increment the B registers. s. 2 Compare the B register wit r 2 Load the I; register with (2) Store the B register ln .7 i 2 Clear and then complcmcnt the 2 B register. Add to the B register FLA (i I i i i 2 Store the B register in," .7 FLA(i 2 RHQULD.... Load the B re 'ster with NEWLB i 2 Set and clear t a control N 2 bistables. Jump to the address in NEWL 3 HQLD Clear and then complement the r Minus one N/,\

B register. Store the B register in P Jump 0 RHtDLD The following instructions iollow the WAIT loop and replace those instructions which previously followed the WAIT loop.

Increment memory and then C1 I. Increment the machine 1 counter 3 skip the next instruction i! the result is zero. C1 Jum to the address in s TABS-i v Jump to the start of the appropriate output routine 3 SUBI Loa the A register with the LSTP Load the current output 3 contents of the address in A register and memory... MSll. Clea:1 the outputs for the appropriate actuators using the mask for word i 2 an ou put Store the A register at the LS'IP Store the remaining output temporarily 3 address in-- Lead the A register with the P'IR1. Load the next portion of the pattern to be output for these actuators 3 contents of the address in- A register and memory MSl2 Clear the outputs for the appropriate actuators using the reverse mask. r 2 Add to the A register the LSTPAUH Add in the output remaining from the last output a i e s 3 contents oi the address in- Stotathc A register at the ST! Restore the newly assembled output 3 a ress 1n- Increment memory and then ITRLw... PTRi points to the next portion of the pattern to be output for these 3 skip the next instruction if actuators. the result is zero.

These actions may be repeated for as many output words or bits as are required.

Load the A register with PTRi Load the pattern pointer for these actuators i i i a i 2 Compare the A register with EFT Compare it with its end of pattern value... 2 Load the A register with IP'I They are equal, so load an initial value t (2) Store the A register in PIR Store the appropriate value (or the pattern pointer for these actuators 2 Jumpto "BOIlL t t r v SUB2 Load the A register with the LS1? Load the current t v t a 3 contents oi the address in A register and memory M S12 I Clea; thet outguts for the appropriate actuators using the mask for word 1 2 an on pu Store the A register at the LSTP..... Store the remaining output temporarily 3 address in Lead the A register with the PTRZ. Load the next portion of the pattern to be output [or these actuators 3 contents of the address in A register and memory Sil Clear the outputs for the appropriate actuators using the reverse mask.. 2 Add to the A register the con- LSTP Add in the output remaining from the last output. 3

tents of the address in- Stgre the A register at the ad- STP Store the newly assembled output- 3 ress n- Increment memory and than PTR2 PTR2 points to the next portion of the pattern to be output for these actu- 3 skip the next instruction it the ators. result is zero.

These actions may be repeated for as many output words or hits as are required.

Load the A register with PTRZ Load the pattern pointer for these actuators 2 Compare the A register with EP'I. Compare it with its end of pattern value 2 Load the A register with 1PT. They are equal, so load an initial value (2) Store the A register in PI H2 Store the appropriate value for the pattern pointer for these actuators 2 Load the A register with 1C1. Load the initial value of the counter 2 Store the A register in Cl. Reset the machine 1 counter 2 Both Load the A register with LSTP Load the last store pointer. 4 2

Jump to subroutine NEXT. Update it s 4 2 Store the A register in LSTP Store its new value 4 2 Load the A register with S'IP Load the store pointcn. 2

Jumpt/osubroutina... NEXT. y g g 2 Store the A register in STP a 2 Jump to WAIT 2 NEXT No operation This locat holds the return add Increment the A register .r Select the next output butler l 2 Compare the A register with" END Test for the and of the butters. 2 Load the A register with INI'Il Start again at the first bullet. (2) Jump to the address in NEXT Return 3 It will be appreciated that the instructions to the actuators in the form of control signals will have the same form as the example shown in Table l with appropriate variations for the particular types of textile producing machine whatever form the information relating to the pattern takes and that the invention is not therefore limited in its application to the particular way as described herein in which information relating to the pattern has been stored in the stored program digital computer.

I claim:

1. The combination comprising a textile producing machine including at least one actuator means for de termining the production of the material and also means for producing signals indicating the state of the machine, a stored program digital computer including random access storage means in which is stored information relating to the control of the actuator means to determine the material to be produced by the machine and also a control program, buffer storage means for receiving information supplied by the computer, storing the information and supplying it to said actuator means, first means to count said signals from said machine and settable to select a said signal, the computer acting in response to a said selected signal as instructed by the control program to supply information to said buffer storage means for use by the machine.

2. The combination as in claim 1 wherein the computer includes a logic unit means and said first counter means is disposed intermediate the machine and the logic unit means, said first counter means receiving said signals from the machine, determining which of said signals is to be selected and passing said selected signals to said logic unit means, said logic unit means initiating the supply of information to said buffer storage means.

3. The combination as in claim 2 wherein the first counter means only passes said selected signals to said logic unit means when it has received a predetermined number of said signals from the machine as determined by the setting of the first counter means.

4. The combination as in claim 3 further comprising means to allow the logic unit means as instructed by the stored program of computer instructions to set said first counter means to said predetermined number.

5. The combination as in claim 4 wherein said first counter means includes a plurality of stages.

6. The combination as in claim 1 wherein said computer includes logic unit means which receive said signals from the machine and said first counter means includes a first portion of said control program which is executed in response to said signals received from the machine, said first portion of said control program acting to initiate the supply of information by said logic unit means to said buffer storage means.

7. The combination as in claim 6 wherein said logic unit means counts said signals received from said machine as instructed by said first portion of said control program and initiates the supply of information as instructed by said first portion of said control program upon counting a predetermined number of said signals.

8. The combination according to claim 6 wherein the first counter means includes a first word comprising an individually addressable portion of the random access store, said first word storing the current value of the first counter means.

9. The combination according to claim 7 wherein the first counter means includes a first word comprising an individually addressable portion of the random access store, said first word storing the current value of the first counter means.

10. The combination according to claim 8 in which the first counter means includes a second word of the random access store which stores the value to which said first word may be reset by the logic unit means as instructed by said first portion of the control program.

11. The combination according to claim 9 in which the first counter means includes a second word of the random access store which stores the value to which said first word may be reset by the logic unit means as instructed by said first portion of the control program.

12. The combination according to claim 10 in which the values of said first and second words including the current value of the first counter means and its reset value respectively are negative.

13. The combination according to claim 11 in which the values of said first and second words including the current value of the first counter means and its reset value respectively are negative.

14. The combination according to claim 12 wherein the said logic unit means as instructed by said first portion of said control program on receipt of each said signal first increments said first word holding the current value of the first counter means and then tests for a zero result to determine whether a supply of information to the said buffer storage means should be initiated.

15. The combination according to claim 13 wherein the said logic unit means as instructed by said first portion of said control program on receipt of each said signal first increments said first word holding the current value of the first counter means and then tests for a zero result to determine whether a supply of information to the said buffer storage means should be initiated.

l6. The combination according to claim 10 in which said first and second words each respectively store a control program instruction.

17. The combination according to claim 11 in which said first and second words each respectively store a control program instruction.

18. The combination according to claim 8 in which said first word stores a control program instruction.

19. The combination according to claim 9 in which said first word stores a control program instruction.

20. The combination according to claim 13 further comprising second counter means including a second portion of said control program having an individually addressable third word of the random access store, said second counter means being responsive to said signals received from the machine, the logic unit means counting the value of said third word as instructed by said second portion of said control program, said second counter means controlling the logic unit means to determine the type of information to be supplied to said buffer storage means.

21. The combination according to claim 15 further comprising second counter means including a second portion of said control program having an individually addressable third word of the random access store, said second counter means being responsive to said signals received from the machine, the logic unit means counting the value of said third word as instructed by the second portion of said control program, said second counter means controlling the logic unit means to determine the type of information to be supplied to said buffer storage means.

22. The combination according to claim 17 further comprising second counter means including a second portion of said control program having an individually addressable third word of the random access store, said second counter means being responsive to said signals received from the machine, the logic unit means counting the value of said third word as instructed by the second portion of said control program, said second counter means controlling the logic unit means to determine the type of information to be supplied to said buffer storage means.

23. The combination according to claim 19 further comprising second counter means including a second portion of said control program having an individually addressable third word of the random access store, said second counter means being responsive to said signals received from the machine, the logic unit means counting the value of said third word as instructed by the second portion of said control program, said second counter means controlling the logic unit means to determine the type of information to be supplied to said bufier storage means.

24. The combination according to claim 20 in which the machine includes further means for producing a further signal indicating a predetermined step in the cycle of operation of the machine, the logic unit means as instructed by the control program checking the receipt of said further signal against the value of said third word and changing said value if necessary to the value expected on receipt of said further signal to keep the computer in step with the machine.

25. The combination according to claim 21 in which the machine includes further means for producing a further signal indicating a predetermined step in the cycle of operation of the machine, the logic unit means as instructed by the control program checking the receipt of said further signal against the value of said third word and changing said value if necessary to the value expected on receipt of said further signal to keep the computer in step with the machine.

26. The combination according to claim 22 in which the machine includes further means for producing a further signal indicating a predetermined step in the cycle of operation of the machine, the logic unit means as instructed by the control program checking the receipt of said further signal against the value of said third word and changing said value if necessary to the value expected on receipt of said further signal to keep the computer in step with the machine.

27. The combination according to claim 23 in which the machine includes further means for producing a further signal indicating a predetermined step in the cycle of operation of the machine, the logic unit means as instructed by the control program checking the receipt of said further signal against the value of said third word and changing said value if necessary to the value expected on receipt of said further signal to keep the computer in step with the machine.

28. The combination according to claim 24 in which said logic unit means is responsive to said signals from said machine to interrupt the normal operation of the logic unit means, and pass control of the computer to an interrupt handling subroutine means. the said further signal from said machine being present for examination during the operation of the interrupt handling subroutine means.

29. The combination according to claim 25 in which said logic unit means is responsive to said signals from said machine to interrupt the normal operation of the logic unit means, and pass control of the computer to an interrupt handling subroutine means, the said further signal from said machine being present for examination during the operation of the interrupt handling subroutine means.

30. The combination according to claim 26 in which said logic unit means is responsive to said signals from said machine to interrupt the normal operation of the logic unit means, and pass control of the computer to an interrupt handling subroutine means, the said further signal from said machine being present for examination during the operation of the interrupt handling subroutine means.

3]. The combination according to claim 27 in which said logic unit means is responsive to said signals from said machine to interrupt the normal operation of the logic unit means, and pass control of the computer to an interrupt handling subroutine means, the said further signal from said machine being present for examination during the operation of the interrupt handling subroutine means.

32. The combination according to claim 28 in which the logic unit means as instructed by the interrupt handling subroutine means only examines the presence of said further signal when said third word attains a predetermined value.

33. The combination according to claim 29 in which the logic unit means as instructed by the interrupt handling subroutine means only examines the presence of said further signal when said third word attains a predetermined value.

34. The combination according to claim 30 in which the logic unit means as instructed by the interrupt handling subroutine means only examines the presence of said further signal when said third word attains a predetermined value.

35. The combination according to claim 31 in which the logic unit means as instructed by the interrupt handling subroutine means only examines the presence of said further signal when said third word attains a predetermined value.

36. The combination comprising a textile producing machine including at least one actuator means for determining the production of the textile material and also means for producing signals indicating the state of the machine, a stored program digital computer including random access storage means in which is stored information relating to the control of the actuator means to determine the material to be produced by the machine and also a control program, said computer also including a logic unit means which receives said signals from the machine, first counter means including a first portion of said control program having an individually addressable first word of the random access store, said first counter means being responsive to said signals received from the machine, the logic unit means counting the value of said first word as instructed by the first portion of said control program, second counter means including a second portion of said control program having an individually addressable third word of the random access store, said second counter means being responsive to said signals received from the machine, the

logic unit means counting the value of said third word as instructed by the second portion of said control program, buffer storage means for receiving information from the logic unit means, storing the information and supplying it to said actuator means, said first counter means controlling the logic unit means to supply information to said buffer storage means when said first counter means has reached a predetermined value and said second counter means controlling the logic unit means to determine the type of information to be supplied to said buffer storage means.

37. The combination as in claim 36 further comprising means for resetting the values of each of said first and third words.

38. The combination as in claim 37 wherein said resetting means includes the logic unit means as instructed by a portion of the control program.

39. The combination as in claim 37 wherein said means for resetting said values of said first and third words include a respective other word in the random access store.

40. The combination according to claim 36 in which the machine includes further means for producing a further signal indicating a predetermined step in the cycle of operation of the machine, the logic unit as instructed by the control program checking the receipt of said further signal against the value of said third word and changing said value if necessary to the value expected on receipt of said further signal to keep the computer in step with the machine.

41. The combination according to claim 40 in which said logic unit means is responsive to said signals from said machine to interrupt the normal operation of the logic unit means, and pass control of the computer to an interrupt handling subroutine means, the said further signal from said machine being present for examination during the operation of the interrupt handling subroutine means.

42. The combination according to claim 41 in which the logic unit means as instructed by the interrupt handling subroutine means only examines the presence of said further signal when said third word attains a predetermined value.

43. The combination according to claim 1 in which there are a plurality of machines, with respective signal producing means, buffer storage means and counter means operating with the same computer.

44. The combination comprising a circular knitting machine including a plurality of needles, at least one actuator means for controlling the operation of the needles to produce textile material comprising groups of stitch formation, each group comprising a predetermined number, n, of identical stitch formations arranged in a course, said number, n, being divisible into the number of needles in the machine without remainder, said machine also having means for producing signals indicating the state of the machine, a stored program digital computer including random access storage means in which is stored information relating to the control of the actuator means to determine the material to be produced by the machine and also a control program, said computer also including a logic unit means which receives said signals from the machine, first counter means including a first portion of said control program having an individually addressable first word of the random access store, said first counter means being responsive to said signals received from the machine, the logic unit means counting the value of said first word as instructed by the first portion of said control program, buffer storage means for receiving information from the logic unit means, storing the information and supplying it to said actuator means, said first counter means controlling the logic unit means to supply information to said buffer storage means and also reset said value in said first word with a further value in a second word, which value relates to said number, n, only when said first word has reached a predetermined value.

45. The combination comprising a circular knitting machine including a plurality of needles, at least one actuator means for controlling the operation of the needles to produce a textile material comprising groups of stitch formations, each group comprising a predetermined number, n, of identical stitch formations arranged in a course, said number, n, being divisible into the number of needles of the machine without remainder, said machine also having means for producing signals indicating the state of the machine, a stored pro gram digital computer including random access storage means in which is stored information relating to the control of the actuator means to determine the material to be produced by the machine and also a control program, said computer also including a logic unit means which receives said signals from the machine, first counter means including a first portion of said control program having an individually addressable first word of the random access store, said first counter means being responsive to said signals received from the machine, the logic unit means counting the value of said first word as instructed by the first portion of said control program, buffer storage means for receiving information from the logic unit means, storing the information and supplying it to said actuator means, said first counter means controlling the logic unit means either not to supply information or to supply fresh information to a certain portion of said bufier storage means when said first word has reached a respective predetermined value, said counter means further controlling the logic unit means to reset said value in said first word with a further value in a second word which value relates to said number, n.

46. The combination according to claim 44 wherein there are a plurality of actuator means in fixed relation to each other such that each of the actuator means is adjacent one of the needles numbered 1, n 1, 2n 1, 3n 1, etc., at the same point in time.

47. The combination according to claim 45 wherein there are a plurality of actuator means in fixed relation to each other such that at least one of the actuator means is adjacent one of the needles numbered 1, n 1, 2n 1, 3n 1, etc., and at least one of the actuator means is not so adjacent at the same point in time.

48. The combination according to claim 47 in which the logic unit means receives n successive said signals and in response initiates m outputs to the buffer storage means, each output being of different information from its respective immediately preceding output, there being at least m masks in the computer each for masking out a part of a said preceding output.

49. The combination according to claim 44 in which the actuator means are disposed in stacks, there being one such stack at each thread feed of said circular knitting machine.

50. The combination according to claim 45 in which the actuator means are disposed in stacks, there being one such stack at each thread feed of said circular knitting machine.

The combination according to claim 46 in which the actuator means are disposed in stacks, there being one such stack at each thread feed of said circular knitting machine.

52. The combination according to claim 47 in which the actuator means are disposed in stacks, there being one such stack at each thread feed of said circular knitting machine.

53. The combination according to claim 48 in which the actuator means are disposed in stacks, there being one such stack at each thread feed of said circular knitting machine.

54. The combination according to claim 49 in which each of the actuator means in a stack lies vertically above and/or below the remaining actuator means in the stack.

55. The combination according to claim 50 in which each of the actuator means in a stack lies vertically above and/or below the remaining actuator means in the stack.

56. The combination according to claim 51 in which each of the actuator means in a stack lies vertically above and/or below the remaining actuator means in the stack.

57. The combination according to claim 52 in which each of the actuator means in a stack lies vertically above and/or below the remaining actuator means in the stack.

58. The combination according to claim 53 in which each of the actuator means in a stack lies vertically above and/or below the remaining actuator means in the stack.

59. The combination according to claim 54 in which there are i actuator means in each stack and the ith actuator means in a certain stack controls needles numberedj, i+j, 2i +j, etc.

60. The combination according to claim 55 in which there are i actuator means in each stack and the ith actuator means in a certain stack controls needles numbered j, i +j, 2i +j, etc.

61. The combination according to claim 56 in which there are i actuator means in each stack and the ith actuator means in a certain stack controls needles numbered j, i +j, 2i +j, etc.

62. The combination according to claim 57 in which there are i actuator means in each stack and the ith actuator means in a certain stack controls needles numbered j, i+j, 2i +j, etc.

63. The combination according to claim 58 in which there are i actuator means in each stack and the ith actuator means in a certain stack controls needles numbered j, i+j, 2i +j, etc.

64. The combination according to claim 59 in which there are a plurality of said buffer storage means.

65. The combination according to claim 60 in which there are a plurality of said buffer storage means.

66. The combination according to claim 6| in which there are a plurality of said buffer storage means.

67. The combination according to claim 62 in which there are a plurality of said buffer storage means.

68. The combination according to claim 63 in which there are a plurality of said buffer storage means.

69. The combination according to claim 64 in which all those actuator means which require data at the same point in time receive said data from the same buffer storage means.

70. The combination according to claim 65 in which all those actuator means which require data at the same point in time receive said data from the same buffer storage means.

71. The combination according to claim 66 in which all those actuator means which require data at the same point in time receive said data from the same buffer storage means.

72. The combination according to claim 67 in which all those actuator means which require data at the same point in time receive said data from the same buffer storage means.

73. The combination according to claim 68 in which all those actuator means which require data at the same point in time receive said data from the same buffer storage means.

74. The combination according to claim 69 in which the random access storage means includes software buffer storage means in which data to be supplied to the buffer storage means associated with said actuator means is stored.

75. The combination according to claim 70 in which the random access storage means includes software buffer storage means in which data to be supplied to the buffer storage means associated with said actuator means is stored.

76. The combination according to claim 71 in which the random access storage means includes software buffer storage means in which data to be supplied to the bufi'er storage means associated with said actuator .means is stored.

77. The combination according to claim 72 in which the random access storage means includes software buffer storage means in which data to be supplied to the buffer storage means associated with said actuator means is stored.

78. The combination according to claim 73 in which the random access storage means includes software buffer storage means in which data to be supplied to the buffer storage means associated with said actuator means is stored.

79. The combination according to claim 74 in which each software buffer storage means is uniquely associated with one buffer storage means associated with said actuator means.

80. The combination according to claim 75 in which each software buffer storage means is uniquely associated with one buffer storage means associated with said actuator means.

81. The combination according to claim 76 in which each software buffer storage means is uniquely associated with one buffer storage means associated with said actuator means.

82. The combination according to claim 77 in which each software buffer storage means is uniquely associated with one buffer storage means associated with said actuator means.

83. The combination according to claim 78 in which each software buffer storage means is uniquely associated with one buffer storage means associated with said actuator means.

t aa

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4007607 *Oct 9, 1975Feb 15, 1977Hayes-Albion CorporationMethod and apparatus for knitting patterned sliver high pile fabric
US4034354 *Nov 21, 1975Jul 5, 1977The Bendix CorporationProgrammable interface controller for numerical machine systems
US4328556 *Apr 16, 1979May 4, 1982Tokyo Denryoku Kabushiki KaishaControl system of plants by means of electronic computers
US5107689 *Mar 26, 1990Apr 28, 1992Sipra Patententwicklungs-U.Beteiligungsgesellschaft MbhDevice for switching on and off at least one functional unit of a knitting machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification700/130, 66/25
International ClassificationG06F19/00, D04B15/66, G06F13/00, G05B19/408, G05B19/00, D05B21/00, D04B15/78
Cooperative ClassificationG05B2219/36569, G05B2219/45196, G05B2219/34388, G05B2219/35373, D04B15/66, G05B2219/36498, G05B2219/34367, G05B19/408, G05B2219/35367
European ClassificationG05B19/408, D04B15/66