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Publication numberUS3862610 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 28, 1975
Filing dateJan 17, 1974
Priority dateJan 17, 1974
Publication numberUS 3862610 A, US 3862610A, US-A-3862610, US3862610 A, US3862610A
InventorsBrocklehurst Charles E
Original AssigneeRiegel Textile Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for cutting and finishing segments of a traveling web
US 3862610 A
Abstract
An apparatus for cutting segments of a traveling elongate material web and finishing marginal edge portions thereof having a supply section, a first edge finishing section wherein up to two edge portions of the web are finished by the application of edge finishing stitches and the like, a scray section, a cutting section for transversely cutting the web into web segments, a transfer section having means for transferring the web segments to a second edge finishing section, and a second edge finishing section wherein the two cut edge portions of the web segments are finished by the application of edge finishing stitches and the like thereon.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

limited States Patent [191 Brocklehurst 1 Jan. 28, 1975 [75] Inventor: Charles E. Brocklehurst, Honea Path, SC.

[73] Assignee: Riegel Textile Corporation, Ware Shoals, S.C.

[22] Filed: Jan. 17, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 434,024

[52] US. Cl. l12/121.11,112/121.14 [51] 1nt.Cl D05b 19/00 [58] Field of Search ..112/2,10,121.11,121.l2,

STATlON STATION A 6 l l l 3,563,484 2/1971 Bray 242/57.l 3,580,198 5/1971 Tced etal 1l2/l2l.ll

3,722,435 3/1973 Elsas A 1l2/121.11 3,745,947 7/1973 Brocklchurst. l12/l21.1l 3.779.186 12/1973 Tecd 112/l21.l4

Primary Examiner-Werner H. Schroeder Attorney, Agent, or F irm Rennie & Edmonds [57] ABSTRACT An apparatus for cutting segments of a traveling elongate material web and finishing marginal edge portions thereof having a supply section, a first edge finishing section wherein up to two edge portions of the web are finished by the application of edge finishing stitches and the like, a scray section, a cutting section for transversely cutting the web into web segments, a transfer section having means for transferring the web segments to a second edge finishing section, and a second edge finishing section wherein the two cut edge portions of the web segments are finished by the application of edge finishing stitches and the like thereon.

29 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures nd EDGE INISHING STATION ER STATION IS TO INSPECTI N6 8 PACKING PATENIED 3,882,810

sum OEUF 11 o N D IIII Wil PATEIEB JAN28|975 SHEET OBUF 11 PATENTED JAN281975 SHEET OBUF H PATENIEB JAN 28 i975 SHEET USUF 11 PATEN-TED JAN 2 8 I975 SHEET 10 0F 11 APPARATUS FOR CUTTING AND FINISHING SEGMENTS OF A TRAVELING WEB BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to devices for handling elongate web materials such as textile webs. More particularly the invention relates to an apparatus for cutting segments of a traveling elongate web of textile material and the like and finishing marginal edge portions thereof with edge finishing stitching means.

2. Description of the Prior Art Various prior art devices for handling fabrics wherein a web of the textile material is supplied at one end and a finished product is provided at the output end are known. It has been considered desirable to improve the efficiency of the production of such finished fabrics by providing operative devices of various types in the form of movable sewing machines, cutting means, folding means, etc. to perform a series of sequential operations on the material web. These operations generally culminate in the production of a finished web portion. Commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 3,779,186, to Richard K. Teed relates to a Self-Aligning Edge Stitching Apparatus for Traveling Webs wherein a traveling web is provided with edge finishing stitches on first and second longitudinal edges by laterally movable stitching means on each side adapted to move laterally in response to deviations in the lateral position of the edges of the web. My commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 3,745,947, dated July 17, 1973 relates to a Diaper Machine having folding, sewing, cutting, conveying and edge finishing sections which incorporate novel means for centering of the web during folding for regulating the overall width of the finished diaper during sewing of a center fold, and for conveying diaper segments in a novel manner while finishing the edges thereof. Commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 3,580,198 to Richard K. Teed, relates to an Apparatus for Automatically Fabricating Individual Articles, such as blankets and the like, from a continuous length of material comprising several operative elements which perform a series of sequential operations on the material resulting in finished articles which are stitched along all four edges. The following patents also relate to methods and devices for handling fabrics in the form of web materials and the like:

. Pat. No. 947,605 to Tillie; Pat. No. 1,588,340 to Sparks; Pat. No. 1,883,177 to Weis; Pat. No. 2,619,057 to Ellis, Sr.; Pat. No. 2,685,664 to Visconti; Pat. No. 2,836,135 to Briggs; Pat. No. 3,013,513 to Judelson; Pat. No. 3.043,532 to Seiden; Pat. No. 3,273,522 to Gore, et al.; Pat. No. 3,329,109 to Portnoff, et al.; Pat. No. 3,345,965 to Gore; Pat. 3,385,244 to Ramsey et al.; Pat. 3,417,645 to Brock; Pat. 3,433,187 to Haefele, et al.; Pat. 3,477,397 to Hawley; and

U.S. Pat. No. 3,489,113 to Flanagan While these patents relate to various improvements in such devices for handling fabrics, none of them relate to an apparatus for automatically cutting segments of a traveling elongate web of textile material and the like and finishing the marginal edge portions thereof such as l have invented wherein the web segments are produced with greater speed and greater accuracy with the result that the finished segments are extremely uniform as compared to those the prior art. More particularly, these prior art patents do notincorporate or suggest improvements in handling such webs as I have invented. My invention provides improved edge finishing, gripping, cutting, and transfer sections which operate on the web in coordinated timed operational sequence to provide an improved product with substantial improved efficiency.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention an apparatus is provided for cutting segments of a traveling elongate web of textile material and the like and finishing the marginal edge portions thereof. The apparatus is constructed having operationally sequenced supply sections, first edge finishing section, scray section, cutting section, transfer section, and second edge finishing section. Each section is preferably under the control of a multi-cam programmer such that each operation performed on the web and web segments cut therefrom is sequentially timed with respect to the other operations. The apparatus comprises a frame and a supply section wherein an elongate web of textile material is introduced into the input end of the apparatus. The apparatus furthercomprises means for laterally shifting the supply means with edge sensing means for sensing lateral variations of at least one edge portion of the web with respect to the frame. The apparatus further comprises means for advancing the web in a longitudinal direction along a predetermined path of travel. The apparatus further comprises means for cutting the web laterally into individual web segments with means for uniformly gripping a portion of the web forwardly of, and adjacent the cutting means. Gripping means grips a portion of the web and maintains the grip while simultaneously advancing the web past the cutting means. Actuating means provides for actuating the cutting means for cutting a web segment from the web. Each web segment is transferred to an edge finishing section having a conveyor drum for receiving the web segments upon the outer circumferential surface thereof with belt means circumferentially contacting said drum in a secure manner for securing said web materials thereagainst. The edge finishing section further comprises belt means circumferentially contacting said drum in a secure manner for securing the web segments thereagainst, with means for rotatably driving said drum and stitching means for finishing the marginal edge portions which are cut from the elongate web so as to finish each of the marginal edge portions in an accurate and improved manner.

Each of the stitching means are driven by substantially similar synchronous drive means such as synchronous motors, which eliminate the need for transmission linkages. Such linkages were provided between such stitching means in the prior art so as to utilize a single motor source with interconnecting drive means, to provide equal traveling speeds for the edges which are passed through each respective edge finishing stitching means. This avoided wrinkles and distortions in the cloth. My apparatus assures equal speeds for each finished edge in the edge finishing section by utilizing similar synchronous drive means which assures equal drive speeds for each edge finishing means.

In gripping the elongate web segment and extending it past the cutting area an improved gripping means is provided together with a movable carriage which is substantially instantaneously accelerated through the action of an improved reversible air motor. The gripping means provides a tighter grip and improved releasing action of each web segment. In addition, the gripping means provides a greater range of gripping of textile materials and the like having various thicknesses. The instant action of the air motor provides greater speeds and improved efficiency.

An advancing means advances the elongate web after cutting a segment therefrom past the cutting area of the cutting means thereby providing a minor portion for gripping thereof by the gripping means. This eliminates re-threading of the material between laterally positioned guide bars as was necessary in devices of the prior art when the material was inadvertently removed from its forwardly advanced position. In those prior art devices it was necessary to re-insert the material through a narrow slot between the guide bars by rethreading it with a knife or other thin elongated object.

The operation of each section of my apparatus is preferably controlled and timed with respect to the other operations by a multi-cam programmer which maintains the precise sequential timing of each section.

In the preferred embodiment a first marginal edge finishing section is provided between the supply section and a scray section, with first and second stitching means to provide marginal finishing stitches and the like along two opposed marginal edges of the traveling elongate web. Sensing means cooperate with actuating means to shift the edge finishing stitching means laterally in response to edge variations sensed by the edge sensing means associated with the web. Also, in the preferred embodiment third and fourth stitching means are provided in the second edge finishing section such that each web segment finally produced by the apparatus has finishing stitches on each ofits four sides. However, it is clear that where a supply of cloth is provided with one or more marginal edges which are prefinished, a total of four stitching means is not necessary. Therefore, it is within the scope of the present invention to provide less than four edge finishing stitching means as will be seen by the description which follows.

Although in my preferred embodiment overlock (or overedge) stitches are provided on textile materials and the like to provide finished web segments which preferably can be utilized as dish cloths, etc., other materials may be used in combination with overlock edge finishing or alternate equivalent edge finishing means without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, it can be seen that wash cloths, towels, diapers, etc. may be provided by an apparatus constructed according to the present invention. I-Iemming means may be provided to finish 'the edges.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A preferred embodiment of the invention isdescribed hereinbelow with reference to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an overall plan view of the fabric handling apparatus of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view ofthe supply and first edge finishing station of the apparatus of FIG. 1 with portions cut away;

' FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view takenalong lines 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 66 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 77 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the fabric transfer carriage taken along lines 88 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a view, partially in cross-section. taken along lines 99 of FIG. 8;

FIGS. 10 and 11 are progressive views of the fabric advancing and gripping mechanism of the cutting station;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 12-12 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a side elevational view of the second edge finishing station as viewed in the direction of arrow 13-l3 in FIG. 1 with parts broken away;

FIG. 14 is an end elevational view of the second edge finishing station as viewed in the direction of arrow l4l4 in FIG. 1 with parts broken away.

FIG. 15 is a plan view of finished web segments with parts cut away, illustrating the interconnecting thread section produced by the overlock stitching machines of the second edge finishing station;

FIG. 16 is a view of the thread section cutting apparatus with parts broken away taken along lines l616 of FIG. 13;

FIG. 17 is a side elevational view of the thread section cutting apparatus taken along lines l717 of FIG.

FIG. 18 is a side elevational view of a multi-cam programmer for coordinating and controlling the several components of the apparatus of the invention; and

FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 19-19 of FIG. 18.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS I. General For the purpose of the description the terms forward and forward end" refer to the output end of the apparatus, and the terms rearward and rearward end" refer to the input end of the apparatus of the present invention.

The apparatus has five main sections, each of which represents a separate and distinct operational step in the operation of the invention. Referring to thedrawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a Supply Station 10; a First Edge Finishing (or Overlock) Station (or other suitable fabric marginal edge finishing operation, such as hemming) 12; a Scray 14; Cutting and Transfer Station 15; and a Second Edge Finishing (or Overlock Station 17. After the fourth and final marginal edge finishing stitching operation is completed, the finished panel is directed to a transfer means for inspection and packing. The utilization of a unique combination of improved mechanical fluid operated components in the present apparatus results in the production of an improved product with greater efficiency and greater dimensional ranges.

Referring to FIG. I, a base fabric web 34 is fed into the first edge finishing station 12 from the supply station 10. In the first edge finishing station 12 a series of marginal edge finishing overlock stitches are placed on opposed marginal portions of the web. Equivalent marginal finishing operations such as hemming and the like, are also contemplated by the invention. After the first overlock stiching operation, the web proceeds forwardly into a scray 14, the function of which is to permit a sufficient quantity of web 34 to accumulate in a relaxed condition prior to the remaining operations.

The web is then directed into the cutting and transfer station 15 in which a web segment 218 is dropped into a transfer belt which turns its movement approximately 90 toward the second overlock station 17. In the second overlock station, the third and fourth (or final) marginal edge finishing operations are performed to complete the finished web segment. After passing through the second overlock stitching station, the web is directed to transfer belt which carries it to an inspection and stacking station. The inspection and stacking station is now shown in the drawings.

2. Supply Section Referring now to the drawings and initially to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, a fabric handling apparatus constructed according to the principles of the present invention has been illustrated. Beginning with the supply station 10, a roll 16 of web material 34 suitable for the manufacture of finished fabric sections such as washcloths, diapers, towels and the like, is mounted at the input end of the machine on longitudinal structural members 18 connected to vertical structural members 21 and plates 10. As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the roll 16 is mounted on bar 22 which rests across member 18. Longitudinal members 18 and and transverse vertical plate 24 form a movable carriage 23 which is movable in a transverse direction on shafts 26 and 28 through bearings 30 and 32 respectively. Actuation of cylinder 33, which is preferably of the hydraulic fluid type, shifts the entire carriage 23. Since input roll 16 is positioned on the carriage 23, the position of roll 16 is adjusted by transverse movements of the entire carriage 23 on shafts 26 and 28.

The web 34 passes from the input roll downwardly and turns upwardly about a lower idler roll 36 which is rotatably mounted on the input structural framework. The web then proceeds upwardly and passes through tensioning unit 39 having tensioning rolls 38, 40 and 42 as shown in FIG. 2. A typical tensioning unit contemplated by the invention is the Mount Hope Open-Width Tensioning Control Unit marketed by Mount Hope Machinery Company, Taunton, Massachusetts. These tensioning rolls turn the direction of the web 34 such that it enters the first marginal edge finishing station in a substantially horizontal position, while providing tension on the web between the tensioning unit 39 and powered nip rollers 113 and 115 which will subsequently be described.

Intermediate the idler rolls 36 and 38 and along the side of web 34, is positioned a sensor switch assembly 44 which includes air operated edge sensing means to sense the interruption of air flow between spaced elements of the switch. The sensing elements are air operated and sense the lateral position of the edge of the web with respect to the switch. When web 34 moves out of its preset position, a signal is generated by sensing switch 44 to a central Air Pressure-Hydraulic Power Unit 46 which in turn, will actuate hydraulic cylinder 33 which shifts carriage 23 as required to adjust the lateral position of the input roll 16. When the edge of the web tracts evenly in its preset lateral position, no interruption of the airflow through sensing switch 44 will take place and, therefore, there will be no movement of input carriage 23.

The Air Pressure-Hydraulic Power Unit 46 is preferably of the type which contains control valves adapted to receive a signal in the form of a differential air pressure and will, in turn, control the transmission of hydraulic fluid under pressure to the appropriate hydraulic cylinder. An example of a central Air Press- Hydraulic Control Unit contemplated by the invention is Model P50-3 which is marketed by the Fife Corporation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

3. First Edge Finishing Stitching Station Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, there is shown the first marginal edge finishing station and its associated drive components. In this section the first two opposed marginal portions of the web are finished with overlock stitches.

Motor 48 drives pulley 50 which in turn, drives transversely grooved timing belt 52, which drives correspondingly grooved pulley 54. Pulley 54 is supported on shaft 55 journaled at one end in bearing 49 supported in bracket member 49a as shown in FIG. 3. Pulley 54 in turn drives pulley 56 through the agency of clutch unit 59 and shaft 58 which is journaled in bearing 51 supported in bracket 51a as shown in FIG. 3. Shaft 58 is in turn drivingly connected to gear reducer 62.

Pulley 56 is also connected by the double faced, laterally grooved timing belt 63 to drive pulleys 60, 64 and 66 with central pulley 64 rotating in a direction opposite to the direction of pulleys and 66 as shown in FIG. 4. As can be seen particularly in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5, pulley 66 is connected to shaft 80, journaled in bearings 81 and 83, to drive laterally grooved, extra width pulley 82. Pulley 82 is in turn, connected by single faced laterally grooved timing .belt 84 which cooperates to drive pulley 86 in the same direction as pulley 66 as shown in FIG. 4. Pulley 86 drives shaft 88 which is connected to drive the upper overlock stitch sewing machine 90 fed by input supply yarns 69.

The drive mechanism for driving lower overlock stitching machine 78 will now be described. Referring to FIGS. 3, 4, and 5, pulley 64 whose rotation is opposite to that of pulleys 60 and 66, is connected to pulley by connector 71 to form, in effect, a double pulley as shown in FIG. 5. Pulley 65 drives belt 73 which drives pulley on shaft 68. Shaft 68 is rotatably supported by depending bracket member 77 and respectively through bearings 67 and 67a. Shaft 68 drives extra width laterally grooved pulley 70 which is drivingly connected to grooved pulley 74 through laterally grooved cooperating timing belt 72. Shaft 76 is driven by pulley 74 and is connected to rotatably operate lower overlock stitching machine 78 which is fed by input supply yarns 79.

Referring once again to the power unit 48, pulley 56 is adapted through the agency of coupling 87 to drive the input shaft 89 of gear reducer 62. Gear reducer 62 drives sprocket gear 92 which drives sprocket gear 94 through link chain 96. Sprocket gear 94 is connected through drive connector 98 to drive lower sprocket gear 100 which is drivingly connected to rotate upper sprocket gear 102 through link chain 104. Gear 102, in turn, rotates nip rollers 113 and 115 on shafts 113a and 115a journaled in sets of bearings 107 and 109, respectively, in vertical structural members 106 and 111. Nip rollers 113 and 115 draw web 34 through the sewing section as is clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

In operation, the web 34 enters the sewing section in a horizontal position, as is shown in FIG. 2, and a first marginal edge portion passes through air operated edge sensing switch 108 and then through overlock sewing machine 78 which finishes the marginal end portion of the web by applying a continuous series of criss-cross overlock stitches therealong. When the lateral positioning of the web shifts from a predetermined position the interruption (or change) of air flow in the edge sensing device 108 transmits a signal to the Air Pressure- Hydraulic Control Unit 46. Control Unit 46 then actuates hydraulic cylinder 110, shown in FIG. 3, which is adjustably connected through slotted openings (not shown) to the transverse frame member 117 and is adapted to adjust the lateral position of table 112 and overlock stitch sewing machine 78 which is supported thereon. It can be seen that the use of the laterally grooved wide width pulley 70 and single faced laterally grooved timing belt 72 permit transverse movement of the sewing machine and pulley 74, while belt 72 merely shifts it lateral position relative to the rotating pulley 70. Thus, by pre-setting sensing means 108 and the position of overlock stitching machine 78, the overlock stitches are always applied to the identical marginal portions of the web, notwithstanding minor variations in width between the bolts of cloth which may be used. In addition, major variations in the widths from bolt to bolt may be made by preadjusting the sewing machine and the edge sensing devices. v

After passing through overlock stitching machine 78 the direction of the web is then reversed about idler rollers 114 and 116 and then passes through air operated edge sensing switch 118 prior to passing through the overlock stitch sewing machine 90 for applying overlock stitches to the opposite marginal portion of the web. Air operated sensing device 118 tracks the second marginal edge portion of the web 34 to sense shifting of the web from its preset position. When the lateral position of the second marginal edge portion of the web shifts from its preset position, sensing switch 118 transmits a signal to Air Pressure-Hydraulic Power Unit 46. When Air Pressure-Hydraulic Power Unit 46 transmits an appropriate signal to cylinder 122 the position of table 126 is adjusted and the lateral position of sewing machine 90 with respect to web 34, is correspondingly adjusted. This maintains the lateral positioning of overlock stitching machine 90 relative to the opposite marginal portion of web 34. Hydraulic cylinder 122 is adjustably connected to transverse frame member 120 through slotted openings (not shown).

After the application of edge finishing stitches to the second marginal portion ofthe web 34, it proceeds forwardly out of the second sewing machine 90. The web reverses its direction about idler rollers 128 and 130 and is then drawn through powered nip rollers 113 and 115 and into the Scray Section 14 which will be described in further detail.

4. Scray The function of the scray 132 is to permit a sufficient quantity of web 34 to accumulate in a relaxed condition prior to the remaining operations in a manner which is similar to the scray disclosed in my commonly assigned US. Pat. No. 3,745,947 dated July 17, 1973.

The scray essentially includes a bin 132a between Iongitudinal frame members 134 and 136, supported on a shaft 138 which is pivotable with respect to frame members 134 and 136. When the bin 132a has been filled to a predetermined weight, switch 140 is actuated by rotatably pivoted member 142 to interrupt the flow of web material into the first overlock stitching section by interrupting the power to motor 48. When the web is removed from the scray by the transfer and cutting section, as will be hereinafter described, a counterweight (not shown) will cause the scray to return upwardly thereby rotating member 144 to actuate switch 140a to restore power to motor 48 thereby reactivating the overlock stitching section of the apparatus and causing additional web material to be processed forwardly into the scray.

5. Cutting and Transfer Station a. Cutting Section Referring now to FIGS. 6 through 12, there is illustrated the Cutting and Transfer station of the apparatus. The fabric cutting and advancing section will first be described. The web 34 proceeds out of the scray and is threaded through fabric guide member 146 to which bristle (or nylon) brush 148 is connected and is positioned to adjustably apply pressure to the web to secure it and maintain it in a flattened condition against table 150.

Referring to FIG. 7, air cylinders 156 are connected to links 160 which are rotatably connected about pivot member 163 to rotate fabric advancing plate 162 between the upward position shown in FIG. 10 and the downward position of FIG. 11. Air cylinders 168 are secured on each side of the apparatus to frame members 210. Shafts 1680 are connected to block and a thin fabric support plate 155 for forward and rearward movement of the fabric advancing mechanism to either of positions A or 8" shown in FIG. 11 or the corresponding positions D or C shown in FIG. 10 with fabric advancing plate 162 in the rotated position.

Referring now to FIG. 7, air cylinder 208 is connected to link 212 which rotates about transverse pivot shaft 214a. Shaft 214a is rotatably supported in frame members 210 at each end to rotate stationary toothed sprocket wheels 214 on each end thereof. Mechanically cooperating toothed members 216 are movable upwardly and downwardly by the rotation and mechanical cooperation with sprocket wheels 214. Toothed members 216 are secured to L-shaped bracket member 153 which is slidably mounted on grooved plates 153a secured to vertical plate members 210 at each side of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 7. Movable cutting member 152 is secured to the underside of L-shaped bracket member 153 for upward and downward vertical movement passed lower stationary cutting member 154.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 through 11, the cutting of the web segment and the advancing of the web 34 will be described. The web segment 218 is cut between the cutting edges of cutting members 152 and 154 by a shearing action when the upper cutter 152 moves downwardly passed the lower stationary cutter 154. At the time of the cutting the free end portion of the web is gripped with within the jaws of a gripper which is extended to its forward limit position away from the cutting area by a predetermined distance which corresponds to the desired length of the web segment. Gripper 175 is comprised of gripping members 172 and 174 rotatably connected by bracket 173 and hinge 179. Hinge 179 is preferably of the type generally referred to as a piano hinge.

Also, the web 34 is secured in position in the cutting area by the transverse rotatable fabric advancing plate 162 which is in the position A shown in FIG. 11 in phantom lines against the upper surface of plate 155 which is slidable along the upper surface of the lower cutting member 154. The dual gripping arrangement provides secure positioning of the web segment during cutting and thereby facilitates accurate and improved cutting action of the web material. Slidable plate 155 provides support for the fabric and carries it forwardly for gripping and cutting. This assures that the fabric is positively secured and advanced in a uniform manner.

After cutting, the gripping members 172 and 174 of gripping mechanism 175 release the web segment 218 and it is permitted to drop onto the transfer conveyor 220, shown clearly in FIGS. 1 and 6. The transfer conveyor 220 transports the web segment 218 to the second overlock stitching station as will be described.

Referring once again to the fabric advancing and gripping mechanism, the remaining portion of the cutting sequence will be described. After the web segment 218 is dropped to the conveyor belt 220 air cylinders 168 are then programmed to actuate the fabric advancing plate 162 and fabric support plate 155 to the position B, shown in solid lines in FIG. 11. This forward movement causes the remaining portion of web 34 to move forwardly until a minor portion 177 of the web overhangs stationary cutter 154 as shown in FIG. 11. Approximately simultaneously therewith, gripping mechanism 175 is in an open position and is being shifted rearwardly toward the cutting area by transfer carriage 192 (as will be described) after having released the previously cut web segment.

Upon arriving at the cutting area as shown in FIG. 11 the gripping mechanism 175 grips the overhanging fabric segment 177 as shown in FIG. 9 by the actuation of air cylinders 178. Once minor fabric segment 177 is securely gripped within jaws 172 and 174 of the gripping mechanism 175, actuators 156 rotate fabric advancing plate 162 upwardly about pivot member 163 to the position C shown in phantom lines in FIG. 10. Fabric gripping mechanism 175 is carried forwardly byv carriage 192 as will be described. The forward movement of the gripping mechanism 175 serves to draw a greater length of segment of the web past the cutting members and out of the scray. At about the same time, air cylinders 168 are programmed to retract and shift the entire fabric advancing mechanism rearwardly. This includes the fabric advancing plate 162 which is in the upwardly rotated position, as well as the thin fabric support plate 155. This rearward motion moves fabric advancing plate 162 to the position D shown in solid lines in FIG. 10.

Prior to cutting, air cylinder 156 is programmed to rotate plate 162 to the position A shown in phantom lines in FIG. 11 such that the fabric advancing plate 162 secures the web 34 against the upper surface 155a of a thin fabric support plate 155. This is accomplished by actuation of the actuator 156 which extends rod 156a thereof. At this time the end of the fabric is gripped in gripper 175 while in its forward limit position. Thus the fabric is secured at two positions when cutting member 152 moves downwardly to cut the extended web segment 218. After completion of the cutting the gripper releases the fabric and it is permitted to fall onto conveyor 220 and the advancing and cutting cycle is repeated.

It should be emphasized that the gripping mechanism 175 is actuated to either of a gripping or a release position by three air cylinders 178. This is particularly advantageous since the gripping forces are controlled and limited by the available pressure of the air supplied to each air cylinder 178. Thus, notwithstanding the thickness of the web material the gripping forces applied are always substantially identical. For example, where the web material is thin, the rotational travel of the gripping member 172 (and correspondingly the rotational travel of hinge 179) is greater than the case ofa thicker web segment. The length of travel of the piston rods 178a of air cylinders 178 will be reduced corresponding to the increased thickness of the web material and the air pressure on the pressure side of the piston of the air cylinder will always be the same because available pressure of the air supply is approximately constant.

Referring to FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, fabric advancing carriage 192 is in the full forward limit position against shock absorber 201 and adjustable positive stop 198, just prior to cutting. Fabric web 34 has overlock stitches on each of its two opposed longitudinal marginal edge portions and is extended through cutting members 152 and 154. Movable cutting member 152 is in its upward position. Air cylinder 208, shown in FIG. 7, is then programmed through the multi-cam programmer previously mentioned, to retract piston rod 208a in an upward direction thereby rotating link 212 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 7. The rotation of link 212 rotates sprocket wheel 214 in a clockwise direction to lower movable cutter 152 downwardly passed stationary cutter 154. This provides the shearing action between the cutting members necessary to cut the fabric. When the cutting action is completed the cut fabric portion 218 drops onto intermittently driven endless transfer belt 220 and is carried in the transfer section toward the second overlock stitching station as will be described. The rearward travel of carriage 192 is limited by engagement with an adjustable positive stop (not shown); also its momentum is absorbed at least in part by shock absorber 199 in combination with spring 1990 as shown in FIG. 7.

b. Fabric Transfer Section The web conveyor 220 is comprised of straps 220 intermittently driven about short barrel-like rotating members 221 mounted at the rearward end on shaft 220 journaled in bearings 224 and 226. Similar members 220 are mounted for rotation with shaft 222 at the forward end as shown in FIGS. 1 and 6 and particularly in FIG. 13. Referring to FIG. 6, variable speed drive 230 which is comprised of motor 230a and variable speed gear reducer 230b, is connected by couple 232 to clutch brake 234, which is preferably of the magnetic clutch type. Output shaft 236 of clutch brake 234 drives sprocket wheel 238 which drives link chain 240. Link chain 240 drives sprocket wheel 242 which rotatably drives shaft 222 to drive the flexible members 2200 of conveyor 220. At the end ofeach fabric cutting stroke, clutch brake 234 is activated for a time sufficient to rotate sprocket wheel 238 and thereby cause conveyor 220 to carry the web segment 218 into the second overlock station. Thus, the time during which conveyor 220 is in motion corresponds approximately to the time necessary to convey the cut web segment .218 in a transverse direction toward the second overlock station a distance approximately equal to its width plus an appropriate additional distance for spacing between segments. This time may be varied according to the desired length of the web segments by adjusting the multi-cam programmer which will hereinafter be described. The conveyor motion is intermittent and occurs after completion of each cutting cycle.

Referring now to FIG. 6 the fabric advancing carriage will be described. Air motor 180 drives sprocket 182 which drives larger sprocket gear 184 at a reduced rotational speed through link chain 183. Sprocket gear 184 in turn drives sprocket 186 through shaft 189. Sprocket 186 drives endless link chain 188 around sprocket gear 190 which is connected to the fabric advancing carriage 102 through bracket member 195.

The extreme forward position of carriage 192 is limited by its engagement with-adjustably positioned positive stop 198 and shock absorber 201. As can be seen in FIG. 8, shock absorber 201 and positive stop 198 are adjustable to various positions along the slotted plate member 202 which receives adjustable anchoring bolt 203. Coarse adjustments of the position of positive stop 198 are made by adjustably shifting the entire stop/ shock absorber. The position in which it is set is deter mined by the desired length of the fabric web segment to be cut. Fine adjustments are made by turning threaded portion 198a to adjust the positive stop 198 as can be seen in FIG. 8. When the transfer carriage 192 is slidably driven toward the cutting section to the position shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, its movement is limited by its engagement with an adjustably positioned rearward positive stop (not shown) and shock absorber 199 shown in FIG. 7.

In operation, when air motor 180 is programmed to rotate in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 6, the motion of link chain 188 is in a corresponding clockwise direction. This advances carriage 192 rearwardly toward the fabric cutting area with members 197 slidably moving along rails 193 and 195. Once the fabric gripping mechanism 175 grips the overhanging fabric portion 177 as previously described, the air supply to air motor 180 is reversed through the action ofa multicam programmer. At this time fabric advancing plate 162 is in the forward upwardly rotated position C as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 10. The reversal of the air supply to motor 180 reverses motor 180 causing carriage 192 to advance forwardly away from the cutting section of the apparatus while gripping mechanism 175 simultaneously grips fabric web 34 tightly and evenly between jaws 172 and 174 as has been described. It can be seen that the use of an air motor as described, for transferring carriage 192, is advantageous over the air cyclinders which were utilized for shifting fabric in devices of the prior art. This is particularly due to the improved relatively accelerated carriage movement which is provided by the almost instantaneous responsive action of the air motor compared to prior art air devices which utilized air cylinders to shift fabric transfer mechanisms.

6. Second Overlock Stitching Station Referring now to FIGS. 13 and 14 there is illustrated the second overlock station of the apparatus wherein the two remaining widthwise cut marginal end portions of the fabric segment 218 are finished by the application of overlock (or overedge) stitches. Third overlock stitching machine is driven as follows. Synchronous motor 298 rotatably drives laterally grooved timing belt 304 through pulley 300. Timing belt 304 drives pulley 303 which, through the agency'of shaft 251, drives third overlock stitching machine 302.

Fourth overlock stitching machine is driven as follows. Referring to FIG. 14, synchronous motor 244 drives pulley 246 which is drivingly connected to the fourth overlock stitching machine 254 by laterally grooved timing belt 248. Timing belt 248 drives pulley 250 which in turn, drives overlock stitching machine 254 through shaft 252.

In addition, motor 244 drives pulley 256 which drives grooved timing belt 258 connected to pulley 260. Pulley 260 is connected to variable speed reducer 262 which, through couple 264, drives shaft 266 slidable within tubular shaft 268 and rotatably connected thereto through transverse pin 270. Shaft 268 is journaled in bearing 272 which is supported in structural plate members 274. Shaft 268 drives pulley 276 which drives grooved timing belt 278. Belt 278 rotatably drives pulley 280 which rotates shaft 282 journaled in bearings 284 which are supported in structural plate members 274a and 274b. Shaft 284 drives cylindrical driving roll 286 around which endless straps 288 are driven. Endless straps 288a and 288b drive rotatably mounted drum 290 by their intimate contact therewith through several properly positioned idler rollers 292 as shown in FIG. 13. The endless straps 288a and 288b are properly tensioned by adjusting the position of idler roller 292 through spring biased crank 294 which is pivotal about pivot 296 to adjustably tighten the flexible belts 288. Drum 290 is comprised of sections 290a and 29011 which are slidable toward and away from each other to accomodate web segments 218 of various sizes as can be seen clearly in FIG. 14. The width of the drum is variable by moving sections 290a and 29012 toward and away from each other depending upon the desired width of the fabric segment.

It can be seen that the use of synchronous motors 298 and 244 is advantageous since the rotational speed of such motors is continuously maintained at constant levels regardless of variations in available voltage and power. This permits the use of separate motors for each overlock stitching machine thereby providing identically synchronized action at each sewing machine without costly and space consuming transmission linkages driven by a single common drive means. Further, prior art devices having fabric handling devices of this type generally included such power transmission linkages between the fabric carrying members such as between the adjustable drum sections 2900 and 29%. By introducing additional mechanical linkages and components between the drum sections this arrangement reduced the travel of the drum sections toward and away from each other thereby reducing the dimensional ranges of web segments which can be handled. On the other hand, the present arrangement permits greater travel of these sections and hence, a greater range of web segment widths. In addition, as a result of synchronous motors 298 and 244,'the sewing rate of each sewing machines 54 and 302 is precisely synchronized with respect to each other, and the web is thus carried through the second overlock station continuously and evenly on all sides.

In operation web segment 218 is carried by conveyor 220 toward the second overlock station and is transferred to the drum 290 where it is carried through the second overlock operation between the straps 288 and drum 290. The segment 218 is secured tightly against the drum in this manner and is thus secured in firm position through the overlock stitching operations at machines 254 and 302. While web segment 218 passes through the third overlock stitching machine 302 the third marginal portion is finished by the application of overlock stitches thereto. Upon being carried by the rotating drum to the lower overlock stitching machine 254, the fourth (and last) marginal edge portion is finished by the application of overlock stitches thereto. Upon the completion of the last overlock stitching operation the segment is transferred to endless conveyor 218 where it is examined and transported to a packing station.

As shown in FIG. 15, each web segment 218, after overlock stitching, is connected by a thread section 306 formed by the continuous operation of the overlock stitching machines 254 and 302. As shown in FIG. 13, and particularly in FIGS. 16 and 17, each thread section 306 is subjected to a cutting operation almost immediately after its respective overlocking operation. This is accomplished by carrying the marginal edge portion of each web segment past the thread section cutting apparatus 308 illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17. cutting apparatus 308 is comprised of stationary cutter 310 and oscillating cutter 312. Cutter 312 oscillates as shown by the arrows in FIG. 17 due to the action of offset bearing extension 314 connected to the outboard end of rotating shaft 315 which is supported in pillow block 315a. Shaft 315 is an extension of motor shaft 328a. Thus the bearing extension 314 follows an orbital circular path about the central axis of shaft 315 while bearing against the walls defining slot 313 in pivoted crank 320 causing it to oscillate about pivot 322 as shown by the arrows in FIG. 17. This motion produces the oscillating action of cutters 312. Simultaneously with the cutting of each thread segment between cutters 310 and 312, conduit 324 provides a continuous vacuum which removes the cut thread section 306. Cutter crank 320 is pivotally mounted on support member 326 which in turn, is supported on rotational power source 328.

It should be understood that the aforementioned sequence of operations is preferably under the control of a multi-cam programmer 330 such as is shown in FIGS. 1, l8 and 19. The programmer 330 comprises an electric motor 332 which drives shaft 334 through reduction gearing 336. Shaft 334 is journaled at one end in a bearing 338. Mounted upon shaft 334 are a series of cams 340 which, as shown in FIG. 19, are approximately contoured with respect to followers 342 to actuate various switches 344. Thus, the apparatus of the invention has each of its various operations under the control of a respective cam 340 and each operation is, therefore, timed precisely with respect to other operations. The various switches 344 directly or indirectly actuate motors or valves controlling the essential functions of the apparatus. In particular, the significance of the multi-cam programmer is illustrated with respect to the cutting and transfer section wherein, as previously described, the significance ofthe sequential steps of advancing the fabric, gripping, cutting and transfer, with accuracy in timing, is necessary to the proper functioning of the apparatus.

In accordance with the description, it is therefore evident that the apparatus of the invention uniquely provides for improved production of fabric segments having finished marginal edge portions. The improved gripping mechanism, combined with the improved responsive transfer carriage and fabric advancing, gripping and cutting sections, as described, combined with the improved marginal edge finishing sections. provide accuracy in the production of such web segments in an improved manner and with substantial efficiency and speed. Greater dimensional ranges are provided for the finished web segment as well as greater accuracy and improved quality.

It should be understood that the preferred embodiment of my invention comprises an apparatus capable of cutting web segments and finishing all four edge portions. However, it is evident from the foregoing description that other combinations of sections and operative components are contemplated within the scope of my invention; particularly when a belt of cloth is provided with one or more finished edge portions. For example, my apparatus may include means for cutting web segments and finishing only the two cut edge portions. In addition, an apparatus may be provided wherein the first edge finishing station finishes one edge portion of the web and the second edge finishing station finishes the remaining two cut edges after cutting of web segments from the web.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for cutting segments of a traveling elongate web and finishing at least two marginal edge portions thereof, the combination comprising:

a. a frame having an input end and an output end;

b. a supply section at the input end having means for introducing a continuous web;

c. edge sensing means adapted to cooperate with an actuating device for shifting the supply means laterally in response to lateral variations of at least one edge portion of said web with respect to the frame;

d. means for advancing the web in a longitudinal direction along a predetermined path of travel;

e. means for cutting the web laterally into individual web segments;

f. means for uniformly gripping a portion of the web forwardly of and adjacent the cutting means;

g. means for advancing the gripping means forwardly while simultaneously gripping the web such that a segment portion of said web is extended past the cutting means;

h. means to actuate the cutting means for cutting the web segment from the web; and

3'. means for transferring said web segment to an edge finishing section having:

l. a conveyor drum for receiving said web segments upon the outer circumferential surface thereof;

2. belt means circumferentially contacting at least a portion of the surface of said drum in a secure manner for securing said web segments against said drum;

3. means for rotatably driving said drum; and

4. first and second stitching means for finishing at least first and second cut marginal edge portions of said web, each of said stitching means being independently driven by synchronous motors so as to provide accurately and uniformly finished marginal edge portions so that each of the web segments is finished along at least two of its marginal edges.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a scray section having a bin configured and adapted to receive and accumulate the web material prior to cutting web segments therefrom.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2 further comprising a first edge finishing section between said supply means and said scray section having:

a. a first stitching means mounted adjacent to the longitudinally moving web for finishing a first longitudinal marginal edge portion of the longitudinally moving web, said stitching means being mounted for lateral movement relative to said web;

b. means operatively associated with said first stitching means for moving said stitching means laterally in response to edge sensing means associated with said web;

c. a second stitching means mounted adjacent to the opposite side of the longitudinal web for finishing a second longitudinal edge portion of the longitudinally moving web, said stitching means being mounted for lateral movement relative to said web; and

(1. means operatively associated with said second stitching means for moving said stitching means laterally in response to edge sensing means associated with said web.

4. The apparatus according to claim 3 further comprising means for advancing a minor portion of the web forwardly of the cutting means after cutting a segment therefrom, said minor portion facilitating gripping of the web by said gripping means.

5. An apparatus for cutting segments of a traveling elongate web of textile material and the like and finishing the marginal edge portions thereof, the combination comprising:

a. a frame having an input end and an output end;

b. a supply section at the input end having means for introducing a continuous web of said material;

c. edge sensing means adapted to cooperate with an actuating device for shifting the supply means laterally in response to lateral variations of at least one edge portion of said web with respect to the frame;

d. means for advancing the web in a longitudinal direction along a predetermined path of travel;

e. a first edge finishing section adjacent the supply section having:

1. a first stitching means mounted adjacent to the longitudinally moving web for finishing a first longitudinal marginal edge portion ofthe longitudinally moving web, said stitching means being mounted for lateral movement relative to said web;

2. means operatively associated with said first stitching means for moving said stitching means laterally in response to edge variations sensed by the edge sensing means associated with said web;

3. a second stitching means mounted adjacent the opposite side of the longitudinal web for finishing a second longitudinal marginal edge portion'of the longitudinally moving web, said stitching means being mounted for lateral movement relative to said web; and

4. means operatively associated with said second stitching means for moving said stitching means laterally in response to edge variations sensed by the edge sensing means associated with said web;

f. means for cutting the web laterally into individual web segments;

g. means for uniformly gripping a portion of the web in the cutting area of said cutting means;

h. means for advancing the gripping means forwardly while simultaneously gripping the portion of the web such that a portion of said web is extended past the cutting means;

i. means to actuate the cutting means for cutting a web segment;

j. means for transferring said web segments to a second edge finishing section having:

1. a conveyor drum for receiving said web segments upon the outer circumferential surface thereof, said drum being comprised of sections adapted for movement toward and away from each other for varying the width thereof;

2. belt means circumferentially contacting at least a portion of the surface of said drum in a secure manner for securing said web materials against said drum;

3. means for rotatably driving said drum; and

4. third and fourth stitching means, a first stitching means adjacent the upper portion and the second stitching means adjacent the lower portion of said rotating drum, said stitching means adapted for finishing the third and fourth marginal edge portions of said web, each of said stitching means being independently driven by synchronous rotational drive means so as to provide accurately and uniformly finished marginal edge portions so that each of the web segments is finished along all four of its edges.

6. The apparatus according to claim 5 further comprising a scray section between the first edge finishing section and the cutting means, said scray section having a bin configured and adapted to accumulate the web material having two of its longitudinal marginal edge portions finished thereby permitting said material to accumulate in a relaxed condition prior to the cutting of each web segment.

7. The apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said gripping means comprises two gripping members movable from a first closed web gripping position to a second opened position, said members being connected by a laterally positioned hinge in a manner which provides uniform and even gripping of the laterally extending marginal edge portion of said web after cutting a segment therefrom.

8. The apparatus according to claim 7 further comprising means for advancing a small segment of said traveling web into a gripping area beyond said cutting means to provide a small portion of said web for gripping by said gripping means prior to advancing said web past the cutting means for cutting a segment there from.

9. The apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said conveyor drum of said second edge finishing section is comprised of two sections adjustably movable toward and away from each other, and said stitching means are movably adjustable in directions corresponding to the directions of movement of said drum sections, said ad justable movability of said drum sections and stitching means thereby facilitating the application of edge finishing on web segments of variable lengths.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4515097 *Aug 30, 1982May 7, 1985Herman RovinDrapery pleat hemming method
US4632046 *Mar 4, 1985Dec 30, 1986The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.Assembly system for seamed articles
US4856444 *Sep 23, 1988Aug 15, 1989Sew Simple Systems, Inc.Fitted sheet hemmer
US5642835 *Dec 15, 1995Jul 1, 1997The Procter & Gamble CompanySheet products for use in a pop-up dispenser and method for forming
US5891008 *Dec 15, 1995Apr 6, 1999The Procter & Gamble CompanySheet products for use in a pop-up dispenser and method for forming from stretched ribbons
USD684613 *Apr 14, 2011Jun 18, 2013Curt G. Joa, Inc.Sliding guard structure
WO1989003907A1 *Oct 20, 1988May 5, 1989Sew Simple Systems IncFitted sheet hemmer
WO1999021785A1 *Oct 26, 1998May 6, 1999Kalevi DrockilaMethod for scarfing a paperboard strip
Classifications
U.S. Classification112/470.5
International ClassificationD05B65/00, D05B25/00
Cooperative ClassificationD05B25/00, D05D2207/06, D05D2207/04, D05D2305/12, D05B65/00
European ClassificationD05B25/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 3, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: MOUNT VERNON MILLS, INC., A CORP. OF MD
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:RIEGEL TEXTILE CORPORATION (MERGED INTO);REEL/FRAME:004761/0802
Effective date: 19870601