US 3840961 A
A shelf-like anvil with a field-area thereof provided with perforations communicating with a pneumatically evacuatable plenum chamber. A relatively porous and areally broad sheet material is laid directly against the anvil so as to cover the pneumatically evacuatable openings, and the lower-surface of a relatively non-porous and areally smaller backing is superimposed upon the sheet material and vertically overlying the anvil multiperforate field-area whereby the backing-sheet combination is pneumatically secured together and also pneumatically clamped to the anvil. The secured backing-sheet combination remains clamped to the anvil so long as the plenum chamber subatmospheric pressure is maintained whereby the clamped backing-sheet combination is amenable to a variety of operational treatments including joining the sheet material to a relatively inflexible backing as a fold-form, which folding and joinder can be embodied into novel apparatus.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States Patent [191 Unite il Brown 1 1 Oct. 15, 1974  Inventor: Richard L. Brown, 1812 Pelton Ave., Bellevue, Nebr. 68005  Filed: Mar. 23, 1973 [211 Appl. No.: 344,133
 US. Cl 29/200 .ll, 29/243.53, 29/432,
29/460, 29/526, 269/21, 270/61 R  llnt. Cl B23p 19/00  Field of Search... 29/200 B, 200 J, 460, 200 P, 29/432, 526, 243.53; 120/260; 269/21  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 627,069 6/1899 Baker 269/21 X Primary Examiner-Charlie T. Moon Attorney, Agent, or Firm-George R. Nimmer  ABSTRACT A shelf-like anvil with a field-area thereof provided with perforations communicating with a pneumatically evacuatable plenum chamber. A relatively porous and areally broad sheet material is laid directly against the anvil so as to cover the pneumatically evacuatable openings, and the lower-surface of a relatively nonporous and areally smaller backing is superimposed upon the sheet material and vertically overlying the anvil multiperforate field-area whereby the backingsheet combination is pneumatically secured together and also pneumatically clamped to the anvil. The secured backing-sheet combination remains clamped to the anvil so long as the plenum. chamber subatmospheric pressure is maintained whereby the clamped backing-sheet combination is amenable to a variety of operational treatments including joining the sheet material to a relatively inflexible backing as a fold-form, which folding and joinder can be embodied into novel apparatus.
9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PA TENTED (131 1 9 4 SHEET 2 OF 3 FIG. 3
COVER ANVIL SUPERIMPOSE REDUCE PRESSURE TREAT. SHEET- PERFORATIONS BACKING AND OF BACKING WITH SHEET REGISTERING WITH PLENUM SECURED MATERIAL ANVIL PERFORATIONS ,CHAMBER COMBINATION INCREAS PRESSURE IN PLE UM CHAMBER TESTING COVER ANVIL COVER ANVH' cALC ATE CA u ATE PERF RATIONS RAI s LC L o PERFO TON READING- DIMENSIONAL- FOR BACKING- FOR SHEET- v RATIO RATIO READING PRESSURE READING PRESSURE A APPARATUS FGR PNEUMATIGALLY SECURING BACKING TO SHEET MATERIAL ANCILLARY T FOLDING OR OTHER OPERATIONAL TREATMENT Flexibly festoonable sheet materials having a substantially uniform (constant) thickness between the two opposed broad surfaces thereof are commonly subjected to various operational treatments such as stitching or other needlework, decorative painting or other coatings, joining to other components, etc. The flexible nature of sheet materials, typified by woven and nonwoven fabrics, cellulosic and synthetic resin films, and thin metallic sheets, complicates handling of such flexible sheet materials during manual and automated operational treatments thereof. Moreover, many flexible sheet materials tend to be slippery, or highly pneumatically porous, or structurally fragile, which properties introduce additional handling difficulties ancillary to operational treatments for flexible sheet materials. To mention a single typical example, a common contest award comprises a rectangularly elongate colored opaque fabric ribbon upon which is pre-imprinted the contest event for which it is to be awarded. The top end of the colored ribbon is folded over and joined to a relatively small name-tag by the award manufacturer; at some future day, and at the conclusion of the contest, an official thereat writes the awardees name onto the name-tag. Manufacturers of contest awards of these ribbon and name-tag type have experienced handling difficulties stemming from the satiny slippery surface characteristics of the rectangularly elongate colored ribbon, and also from the fact that the small name-tag has to be very precisely positioned near the ribbon top end ancillary to ribbon folding and joinder'of the ribbon fold to the name-tag. Heretofore, automated and even semi-automated apparatus for manufacturing ribbon and nametag type awards have not been attainable, thereby relegating award manufacturers to laborious and costly manual operations.
It is accordingly the general object of the present invention to provide novel method and apparatus to facilitate handling of flexible sheet materials during operational treatments thereof. It is an ancillary general object to utilize pneumatic handling techniques for flexible sheet materials during operational treatments thereof, and especially when the operational treatments require the presence of a backing material superimposed upon the flexible sheet material.
lt is another general object of the present invention to provide novel method and apparatus to facilitate handling of relatively areally large and pneumatically porous sheet material together with relatively areally small and pneumatically non-porous backing material wherein the backing-sheet combination can be pneumatically secured in laterally arrested spatial relationship to each other thereby facilitating subsequent operational treatments for the combination. It is an ancillary general object to also pneumatically clamp the pneumatically secured backing-sheet combination to an anvil for the finite time-duration required for the operational treatment( s).
It is a further general object to provide method and apparatus to pneumatically secure backing to sheet material at an anvil for a finite brief time-duration to facilitate operational treatment of the backing-sheet combination involving folding the sheet material over the backing followed by relatively permanentsolid fastener joinder of the sheet material to the backing.
It is yet another object to facilitate the manufacture of contest awards of the ribbon sheet material and name-tag backing type, wherein the backing-sheet combination is pneumatically secured together and also clamped at an anvil for the finite-duration required for the folding and joinder operational treatments, thereby eliminating much of the manual laboriousness and tediousness which has plagued thisindustry. It is an ancillary object to provide manufacturing techniques and apparatus amenable for both the so-called straight-top and the peak-top" shapes of the ribbon and name-tag type contest awards.
It is a further object to provide apparatus for making ribbon and name-tag type contest awards wherein the fold at the top end thereof is unusually tightly uniformly creased and which is free of puckering.
It is yet another object to provide apparatus for pneumatically handling sheet material ancillary to various kinds of joinder to a relatively areally small and nonporous backing. It is a related object to provide apparatus to efficiently join the name-tag backing to the folded sheet material ribbon of contest awards.
With the above and other objects and advantages in view, which will become more apparent as this description proceeds, the method and apparatus of the present invention comprise a shelf-like anvil with a multiperforate field-area thereof communicating with a plenum chamber at sub-atmospheric pressure, the relatively areally larger and pneumatically porous sheet material abuttably lying upon the anvil including its perforate portions, the lower-surface of a relatively areally smaller and non-porous backing being superimposed upon the sheet material and vertically overlying the field-area whereby the backing-sheet combination is pneumatically secured in mutually laterally arrested spatial relationship and also pneumatically clamped to the anvil. In the preferred apparatus form, there is a folding-shoe reciprocatably associated with the apparatus frame for folding the sheet material over the backingas a fold-form, there being s'eiquencecontrol means to initiate a solid type relatively permanent joinder of the sheet material to the backing.
in the drawing, wherein like characters refer to like part s in the several views, and in which:
FIG; lis a perspective view of a rudimentary form apparatus intended to describe the general method for pneumatically securing a typical backing to a sheet material (both shown in exploded form) and also for pneumatic'clamping them to a multiperforate shelf-like anvil communicating with a pneumatically evacuatable plenum chamber.
FIG. 2 is a sectional elevational view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the backing and sheet material pneumatically secured together and pneumatically clamped to the anvil, the backing-sheet secured combination being subjected to a typical operational treatment.
FIG. 3 is a schematic flow sheet diagram describing the generalmethod exeinplifiedin FIGS. 1 and 2.
I FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a representative apparatus embodying the method of the present invention, particularly an apparatus for folding the sheet material over the backing as a fold-form prepatory to permit mechanical joinder of the backing to the folded sheet material.
FIG. 5 is a detail right side elevational view of the FIG. 4 apparatus embodiment.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a typical contest award which might be manufactured utilizing the method and apparatus of the present invention.
Turning initially to FIGS. 1 and 2 that depict a rudimentary form apparatus, which simplified apparatus embodiment form 10 illustrates the method for pneumatically securing and clamping the sheet material and backing whereby the backing-sheet combination might be subjected to selectable operational treatments. Apparatus 10 comprises a relatively massive frame member 11, herein including a horizontal pedestal 12 adapted to stably support apparatus 10 upon a suitable underlying substrate, such as horizontal floor 9. Frame 11 further includes a massive upright column 13 extending vertically upwardly from base 12, column 13 herein having four planar vertical walls including frontwall 16, rear-wall 17, right-wall l8, and left-wall 19.
Column 13 has a planar horizontal upper-wall 14, herein provided with an etched groove 15 which provides indexing means for precisely locating the backing (e.g. 60) in lateral relationship to the sheet material (e.g. 50) and the anvil perforations.
There is a non-vertical shelf-like anvil member 20, herein having a substantially planar rectangular upperside 24. Shelf upper-side 24 is herein horizontal and defined by four vertical sides including front-side 26 (forwardly offset of front-wall 16), rear-side 27 (rearwardly offset of rear-wall l7), right-side 28, and leftside 29 which extends parallel to and integrally attached to frame right-wall 18 (as by welding). The anvil-like shelf has a frontal free-end terminus which is herein synonymous with front-side 26 (having width dimension w). A shelf-area for the rectangular upper- 1 side 24 represents the mathematical product of the free-end 26 dimension times the right-side 28 dimension. As indicated in FIG. 1 by four phantom lines, the shelf upper-side includes a minor field-area portion, indicated with the legend fa. Shelf is structurally provided of metallic bar stock or other similarly rigid and pneumatically impervious structural material. However, shelf 20 is provided with a plurality of distinct perforations preferably regularly spaced at regular increments within field-area fa, each perforation 25 extending vertically downwardly of shelf upper-side 24. Perforations 25 collectively represent a perforatearea at the anvil upper-side 24.
There are means for evacuating air from shelf perforations 25, said means comprising a pneumatically evacuatable plenum chamber with which said shelf perforations communicate. For example, the pneumatically evacuatable plenum chamber 30 might be located immediately beneath shelf 20 and defined by five pneumatically impervious metallic plates, including four vertical plates 36-39 respectively depending from shelf 20 and integrally attached thereto and to each other by welding or other pneumatically impervious attachment means. Herein, depending left-plate 39 extends along shelf left-side 29, depending right-plate 38 extends along shelf right-side 28, depending front-plate 36 extends along shelf front-side 26, and depending rearplate 37 is forwardly offset both from shelf rear-side 27 and columnar rear-wall l7. Plenum chamber 30 also includes a rectangular floor plate integrally attached to the several vertical plates 36-39. As is readily apparent from FIG. 2, the respective shelf perforations 25 communicate with plenum chamber 30 and are pneumatically co-evacuatable therewith.
For pneumatically evacuating plenum chamber 30, a conventional electrically-powered (44) vacuum pump 40 might be employed which is herein mounted to frame base 12 and communicates through piping 41 with the interior of plenum chamber 30. In this vein, a tubular nipple 43 passes through and is herein threadedly engaged with planum chamber plate 35. An elbow fitting 42 might provide a tubular connection between nipple 43 and piping 41. A reducing-valve 45 is inserted into piping 41 thereby controlling the pneumatic evacuability of planum chamber, so long as pump 40 is electrically powered (44). The pneumatic pressure, whether atmospheric or sub-atmospheric, within plenum chamber 30 is indicated on pressure gauge 46 inserted in series along piping 41 between reducingvalve 45 and plenum chamber 30. Herein, for sake of consistent nomenclature, pressure gauge is graduated in units of inches mercury", a zero reading correspondingwith atmospheric pressure and a 29-inches reading corresponding with near-perfect vacuum.
As had already been alluded to, the pneumatic securing and clamping methodof the present invention depends upon using both a relatively areally broad porous sheet material and also a relatively areally smaller nonporous backing. At this juncture, sheet materials and backings suitable for the method herein will be described. A typical acceptable sheet material herein named 50 might be of rectangular shape (such as width w) and having a regular thickness dimension t between the two opposed broad surfaces thereof. Sheet material 50 is preferably flexible, as evidenced by its cantilever festooning under its own weight (flap of FIG. 2). A typical acceptable backing (herein named might also be of rectangular shape, such as said width w, but having a relatively short length y whereby backing 60 is areally smaller than is sheet material 50. Backing 60 might be of regular laminar thickness m between the two opposed broad surfaces, upper-surface 61 and lower-surface 62. Backing 60 is relatively pneumatically non-porous as compared to sheet material 50, as might be differentiated by the following test and utilizing apparatus (10) of the present invention. First, vacuum pump 40 is actuated, as by plug 44, and reducing-valve 45 is made at least partially open so that air can be drawn along piping 41 toward pump 40. Second, backing 60 alone is positioned in directly vertically overlying relationship with all the perforations 25, and by virtue of its(60) own weight directly abutting shelf fieldarea fa, whereupon a backing-reading is taken from pressure gauge 46. If this backing-reading (in inches mercury" pressure) can be made to exceed 3 inches, the second step is finished. Third, after removing backing 60 from shelf 20, sheet material 50 by itself is positioned in directly abutting overlying relationship with all the anvil perforations 25 and directing abutting the shelf field-area fa, whereupon a sheet-reading is taken from pressure gauge 46. If the gauge sheetreading as compared to the gauge backing-reading bears a reading-ratio of less than one-fifth, and preferably less than one-tenth, then the backing is deemed to be sufficiently relatively non-porous as compared to the porous sheet material, provided that: a socalled dimensional-ratio is sufficiently large. Specifically, based upon the sheet material thickness, i.e., t, the backing peripheral length(e.g., twice w plus twice y), and the backing lower-surface(62) area (e.g. wy), the dimensional-ratio equals wy divided by the product of 2t times (w plus y). If the dimensional-ratio exceeds 10, and preferably 20, then the one-fifth (or less) porosity reading-ratio requirement is valid.
Having now defined adequate sheet materials and backings, method description will now continue. Firstly, the vacuum pump 46 is actuated and reducingvalve 475 is opened until the prepatory test indicates a backing-reading of at least El-inches mercury (at pressure gauge 66). Then, sheet material 60 is placed directly abutting upon shelf upper-side 24 so as to cover all the perforations 25. In the FIGS. 1 and 2 rep-v resentative example, the two lengthwise edges of sheet material 56 are respectively aligned with shelf left-side 29 and right-side 28 with the flexible sheet material forward flap portion 55 extending forwardly of shelf freeend 26 in downward cantilever fashion. Next, the backing lower-surface 62 is directly superimposed upon sheet material 50 and in overlying vertical registry with at least 90 percent the perforate-area of, shelf upperside 24. If the sheet material 50 is visually opaque,
backing indexing means are desireable, such as an etched groove 15 along frame top-wall M. For example, if the backing trailing-end 63 is linearly aligned with groove 15, then backing 60 will vertically overlie all perforations 25. coincidentally, and for reasons to be mentioned later, the backing leading-end 66 might be forwardly offset of shelf free-end 26. Inasmuch as the superimposed backing 60 is relatively nonporous the permitted airstream flowing through perforations 25 into sub-atmospheric pressure plenum chamber 30 lies predominately below backing lowersurface 62. In other words, airstream flow into plenum chamber 30 through perforations 25 is forced to take a lateral path through the very thin porous sheet material, i.e., the very thin laminar height t between shelf upper-side 26 and backing lower-surface 62. Because airflow into plenum chamber 30 is so restricted through a very thin pathway, atmospheric pressure secures backing 60 in laterally arrested condition to sheet ma terial 50. Moreover, the pneumatically secured backing-sheet combination is coincidentally pneumatically clamped in laterally arrested relationship to anvil upper-side 26 (primarily at field-area fa), provided a modicum of frictional coefficient exists between sheet material 56 and anvil upper-side 26. Assuming that the vacuum pump 40 continues operating to maintain the plenum chamber sub-atmospheric pressure, for a selected brief time-duration, the backing-sheet combination will remain pneumatically secured and clamped to permit operational treatment thereof. For example, as indicated by aerosol paint supply 59, backing 66 might function as a mask for spray painting unmasked portions of sheet material 50. At the conclusion of the finite time-duration necessary for a selected operational treatment, the pressure of the plenum chamber is increased (as by actuating reducing-valve 45 or stopping pump 40) whereby the backing and sheet material become pneumatically free or dc-clamped" of shelf 20.
If the operational treatment for the pneumatically secured and clamped backing-sheet combination is to include folding the sheet material flap over the backing, the laminar backing might itself serve as a fold-form, provided the backing is relatively inflexible (i.e., stiff) and the backing-reading exceeds S-inches mercury.
rial Si) at flap does not droop downwardly in canti-- lever fashion. In other words, if one were to hold backing 66 at 63 only, the backing weight itself is not sufficient for its deformation Thus, the pneumatically secured and clamped backing-sheet combination is ame nable to having the sheet forward flap 55 folded tightly over the backing 6f) leading-end 64 as a tight fold 55F, indicated in phantom line in FIG. 2. Moreover, fold 55F can be relatively permanently solidly joined (as with eyelet fastener 58) to backing to provide a composite article, such as the contest award C (FIG. 6) of the folded ribbon(50) and name-tag (60) type. The folding operation might be wholly manual, or automatic or semi-automatic in which events the apparatus might include a contoured ramp (e.g., 65 rigidly attached along shelf right-side 28) for guiding a longitudinally reciprocatable folding-shoe (e .g., 76).
In the rudimentary apparatus embodiment it] of FIGS. land 2, the time-control means for determining the brief finite time-duration for v sub-atmospheric pneumatic evacuation of the plenum chamber (36) is manual, i. e., manipulating electrical plug 44 and/or opening-or-closing the reducing-valve 45. Similarly, for embodiment 10, the operational treatment for the pneumatically secured and clamped backing-sheet combination is manual, i.e., using aerosol paint supply 59. Sophisticated apparatus embodiment 106 of FIGS. 4 and 5 represents certain structural additions to rudimentary embodiment 110. These additions include semiautomatic or fully-automatic time-control means, and there are program-means for subjecting the backingsheet combination to operational treatment during the sub-atmospheric time-duration. Herein selected for the program-means are the sequential steps of: folding the relatively larger flexible sheet material over the stiffer backing 60, and next, relatively permanently joining the sheet fold 55F to the intervening backing (60), as with the eye-let fastener 58. Such program-means is amenable for manufacturing contest awards of I the folded ribbon and name-tag type, either the straighttop" style CA of FIG. 6 or the peak-top style (not shown). The award style depends upon the construction chosen for the longitudinally reciprocatable folding-shoe() and the shape ofthe backing leadingend(64). For the sequentially moving parts of appara tus 106, structural description will be devoted primarily to these parts at solid line Normal-station, just before commencement of the finite time-duration for pneumatically evacuating plenum chamber 30. Phantom line indicates their positions upon activation of the joinder mechanism step (94) of the program-means, and just prior to termination of the brief finite timeduration.
The longitudinally reciprocatable folding-shoe, as a selected embodiment 70 thereof, is of generally rectangularshape and extending lengthwise substantially the entire transverse width w of shelf free-end 26. Herein, folding-shoe 70 is provided of heavy gauge sheet metal including an uptured fore-end 71, a linearly generated broad underface 72, and a central opening 73. The rightward end of transversely extending folding-shoe 70 is rigidly attached to the longitudinally extending dog 74 having a depending rearward cam 75 located rearwardly of fore-end 71. The forward portion of dog 74 is pivotably connected at transverse rod 76 to the upper portion of an elongate upright arm 80 having its lower portion pivotably attached at transverse rod 81 to frame base 12. A helical biasing-spring 77 connected from dog cam 75 to arm 80 biases dog 74 downwardy against a stop-pin 78 passing transversely through the upper portion of arm 80. A helical retraction-spring 82, herein connected between a medial portion of arm 80 and a forward flange 12A of frame base 12, normally urges the longitudinally reciprocatable folding-shoe (70) in the forward direction. Thus, as will be noted especially in conjunction withFlG. 5, when folding-shoe 70 is carried longitudinally rearwardly by arm 80, and dog cam 75 follows contoured ramp 65, the areally larger sheet material 50(at 55) is first lifted by fore-end 71 and ultimately folded around the stiffer backing 60, to provide the fold 55F (also indicated in FIGS. 2 and 6). Upon attainment of the sheet material fold 55F around the intervening backing 60, the folding-shoe broad underface 72 is pressing tightly downwardly against said fold 55F(including opening '73 thereat) and toward backing upper-surface 61.
A suitable joinder mechanism portion of apparatus 100 (herein indicated as 94) permanently vertically overlies anvil upper-side 24 and vertically registers with opening 73 when folding-shoe 70 is pressing downwardly against the fold 55F, and is adapted to effectively emplace the fastener (e.g., eyelet 58) between fold 55F and the intervening backing 60. While the powering-means for the selected joinder mechanism (e.g. 94) might be electrical, hydraulic, etc., herein em-' ployed is an air-compressor 90 with its superatmos pheric pressure airline 91 extending therefrom to power the joinder mechanism, e.g., conventional vertically reciprocatable eyelet setting device 94. lnterposed along airline 91 is a normally-closed pressurevalve 92 which is made open whenever the pushbutton 93 of pressure-valve 92 is activated.
Time-control means for determining the subatmospheric time-duration for plenum chamber 30 preferably includes at least one air-valve (85) interposed along piping 41. The said at least one air-valve is preferably of the so-called three-way type including a normallyopen bypass port 86 which tends to normally maintain the plenum chamber (30) at atmospheric pressure. Airvalve 85 conventionally includes a pivotal lever 87 to close the normally-open bypass port 86, air-valve 85 being in communicating relationship (via nipple 43) with the plenum chamber. Pivotal lever 87 can take the form of a conventional unidirectionally effective roller type and spring-biased toward the solid line normalstation. Herein, bypass port 86 is made closed as pivotal lever 87 moves rearwardly oward the phantom line position (F IG. 4). The time-control means, in addition to the air-valve(85), preferably comprises time-delay means which acts continuously for a finite timeduration, herein upon pivotal lver 87 via rod 99.
Whenever the program-means comprises two or more operational steps, the apparatus desireably includes sequence-control means. For example, in apparatus embodiment 100, the mechanical joinder (94) step necessarily sequentially follows the attainment of fold 55F, both steps being within the finite timeduration, e.g., during unidirectional movement of pivotal lever 87. In this regard, a suitable initiator-means (e.g., 95) might be advantageously employed. For example, the initiator-means might take the form of a bell-crank 95 having its central portion pivotably attached at 96 to frame column 13, the bell-crank horizontal leg 98 resembling a treadle and downwardly movable (phantom line) by an operators foot. There is a helical stretch-spring 88 connected from the bellcrank vertical leg 97 to a medial position of up-right pivotal arm 80. Stretch-spring 88 is of sufficient tension so that at the normal-station for arm 80, the bell-crank vertical leg 97(at 99) exerts negligible rearward force against pivotal lever 87 and bypass port 86 remains open. Then, after sheet material 50 is placed upon anvil upper-side 24 and backing 60 is superimposed thereupon to cover fa, as indicated in FIG. 2, the operator pushes his foot downwardly against bell-crank leg 98. Then, rod 99 of vertical leg 97 pushes rearwardly against pivotal lever 87 of air-valve 85 whereby bypass port 86 is made closed thereby commencing the time-duration for the sub-atmospheric condition of plenum chamber 30. Coincidentally, the backing-sheet combination becomes pneumatically secured together and also clamped at anvil upper-side 24. As the treadle leg 98 is pushed lower, vertical leg 97 and pivotal lever 87 move together rearwardly thereby maintaining the sub-atmospheric condition for plenum chamber 30. During this time-duration, but before rod 99 of leg 97 activates push-button 93, stretch-spring 88 causes arm 80 to pivot rearwardly whereupon folding-shoe has created sheet fold 55F and arm becomes rearwardly stopped against ramp 65, as seen in phantom line in FIG. 5. When rod 99 of leg 97 attains and activates push-buttom 93, compressed air is allowed to proceed from pressure-valve 92 to downwardly activate the vertically reciprocatable (double-headed arrow) joinder mechanism 94 which punches through opening 73 to set eyelet fastener 58. At this instant, the operator can view the completion of award article CA whereupon he will release treadle 98 to ultimately terminate the sub-atmospheric time-duration for chamber 30, the retraction-spring 82 forwardly longitudinally returns folding-shoe 70 to its normal-station, and the backingsheet unitary combination (CA) is pneumatically declamped from shelf-like anvil 20. Then, after removal of article CA from anvil 20, successive like articles can be made in similar fashion from backing(6t)), sheet(50), and eyelet(58) components.
From the foregoing, the construction and operation of the pneumatic method and apparatus will be readily understood and further explanation is believed to be unnecessary. However, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occurr' to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, and falling within the scope of the appended claims.
1. Apparatus for briefly pneumatically securing a relatively areally smaller non-porous laminar backing in superimposed laterally arrested combination relationship with a relatively areally broader-porous sheet material, the pneumatically secured backing-sheet combination for a brief finite time-duration also being pneumatically clamped in laterally arrested relationship to the non-vertical broad upper-side of a shelf-like anvil portion of the apparatus to permit brief operational treatment of said secured and clamped backing-sheet combination, said apparatus comprising:
A. A frame member for said apparatus;
B. A shelf-like anvil attached to the frame member and generally provided of a pneumatically impervious structural material, the shelf broad non-vertical upper-side including a free-end terminus and a finite shelf-area, the shelf within a minor portion of the shelf-area being provided with a plurality of perforations that collectively represent a perforatearea at the shelf upper-side;
C. A pneumatically evacuatable plenum chamber communicating with anvil perforations;
D. A vacuum pump communicating with the plenum chamber and adapted to continuously withdraw air fluid therefrom during said time-duration;
E. Time-control means to limit air withdrawal from the plenum chamber to a finite brief time-duration; and
F. Indexing means to permit the areally smaller laminar backing to be located in aligned superimposition upon the areally larger sheet material so the backing is located in overlying registry with at least nine-tenths the anvil perforatearea.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein elongate piping extends communicatively between the plenum chamber and the vacuum pump; and wherein the timecontrol means comprises at least one air-valve interposed along said elongate piping between the plenum chamber and the vacuum pump.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the time-control means additionally comprises a timing-means for said at least one air-valve, said timing-means being effective from commencement and until finally terminating the finite time-duration pneumatic evacuation of the plenum chamber; and wherein there are programmeans for accomplising at least one operational treatment of the pneumatically secured and clamped backing-sheet combination during said brief finite time-duration.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein there are sequencecontrol means for activating the program-means appropriately during the said brief time-duration; wherein the program-means comprises a folding-shoe longitudinally reciprocatably associated with the frame and adapted to fold a flap portion of the areally larger sheet material along the superimposed backing as a fold-form, the folding-shoe having a broad underface adapted to be in pressing engagement against the sheet material fold; and wherein the program means further comprises backing to folded sheet joinder through a poweringmeans therefor and activated by the sequence-control means after the reciprocatable foldingshoe has folded the sheet material.
5. The apparatus of claim 4; wherein the poweringmeans comprises a superatmospheric airline including a pressure-valve therealong; wherein the folding-shoe is pivotably connected to the upper portion of an elon gate upright arm having its lower portion pivotably attached to the frame member; wherein the apparatus has an attached contoured ramp for lifting the foldingshoe ancillary to folding the sheet material flap portion;
and wherein the sequence-control means activates the pressure-valve portion of the joinder powering-means after the underface of the reciprocatable folding-shoe has attained a downwardly pressing relationship atop the sheet fold and toward the intervening backing.
ti. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein there is initiatorineans for the elongate upright arm to initiate reciprocation of the folding-shoe toward said contoured ramp and to also actuate the timing means and the powering means pressure-valve thereafter; and wherein the folding-shoe is provided with an opening extending there through and terminating at the underface thereof to facilitate backing to folded sheet joinder.
7. The apparatus of claim l wherein there are program-means for accomplishing at least one operational treatment of the pneumatically secured and clamped backing-sheet combination during said brief timeduration evacuation period, said program-means being amenable to a folding-shoe reciprocatably associated with the frame and adapted to fold a flap portion of the areally larger sheet material along the superimposed backing as a relatively stiff fold-form, the folding-shoe having a broad underface adapted to press the sheet fold downwardly against the backing upper-surface, the apparatus also including a contoured ramp for lifting the folding-shoe during longitudinal travel thereof and ancillary to folding the sheet material flap portion.
8.. The apparatus of claim '7 wherein the folding-shoe is pivotably connected to the upper portion of an elongate upright arm having its lower portion pivotably connected to the apparatus frame; wherein the program-means further includes powering-means of a joinder mechanism for joining the folded sheet to the backing during said brief finite time-du|ration; and wherein there are sequence-control means for activating said powering-means after the underface of the longitudinally reciprocatable folding-shoe has attained a downwardly pressing engagement with the sheet fold and toward the backing upper-surface.
9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the time-control means additionally comprises at least one air-valve together with a timing-means therefor, said timing-means being effective for commencing, holding, and finally terminating the finite time-duration pneumatic evacuation of the plenum chamber; wherein the joinder mechanism is located in overlying relationship and separated from theanvil upper-side; wherein the folding-shoe is provided with an opening to facilitate backing to folded sheet joinder as the folding-shoe overlies the sheet fold; wherein the folding-shoe is attachedto a dog pivotably attached to the elongate arm upper portion, said dog being engageable along the ramp; and wherein there are initiator-means to initiate longitudinal movement of the folding-shoe toward the anvil and to also activate the timing-means and finally the powering-means after attainment of the sheet fold by the folding-shoe.