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Publication numberUS3866523 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 18, 1975
Filing dateMay 30, 1973
Priority dateMay 30, 1973
Also published asCA1010431A1, DE2425564A1
Publication numberUS 3866523 A, US 3866523A, US-A-3866523, US3866523 A, US3866523A
InventorsRobert C Geschwender
Original AssigneeLancaster Research And Dev Cor
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for forming bulk containers from articulatable composite panels
US 3866523 A
Abstract
An articulatable composite panel adapted for erection into an enclosure such as a bulk container or bin. The panel is of a stiff but compressible material at least approximately one half inch in thickness and has a substantial resistance to bending on any axis thereof, and is constituted by a core with facing sheets adhered to the opposite faces thereof. A plurality of pairs of opposed symmetrical scores are provided in the opposite panel faces substantially in registry each with the other traversing one panel dimension and defining a plurality of panel segments. Each of the opposed symmetrical scores has side walls defining therebetween an included angle which determines the minimum interior angle between panel segments adjacent thereto when articulated and provides sufficient facing sheet material to permit adjacent panel sections to be articulated through the corresponding exterior angle. Apparatus and methods for forming the articulatable panels and bulk containers are also disclosed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ Feb. 18, 1975 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING BULK CONTAINERS FROM ARTICULATABLE COMPOSITE PANELS [75] lnventor: Robert C. Geschwender, Lincoln,

Nebr.

[73] Assignee: Lancaster Research and Development Corporation, Lincoln, Nebr.

22 Filed: May 30,1973

21 Appl. No.: 365,115

[52] US. Cl. 93/58 ST, 93/1 G, 93/58.3 [51] Int. Cl B3lf 1/00 [58] Field of Search.;..... 93/58 ST, 58 R, 58.3, 1 H,

93/1 G, 49 R, 49 M [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,949,066 8/1960 La Bombard 93/58.3 3,039,372 6/1962 "La Bombard 93/58.3 3,137,217 6/1964 Elliott 93/58 ST 3,163,095 12/1964 Sheeran 93/58.3 3,380,206 4/1968 Barnett 93/1 H 3,603,219 9/1971 Hallis, Jr. 9.3/58 ST X Primary Examiner-Granville Y. Custer, Jr. Assistant Examiner.lames F. Coan Attorney, Agent, or FirmKoenig, Senniger, Powers and Leavitt [57] ABSTRACT An articulatable composite panel adapted for erection into an enclosure such as a bulk container or bin. The panel is of a stiff but compressible material at least approximately one half inch in thickness and has a substantial resistance to bending on any axis thereof, and is constituted by a core with facing sheets adhered to the opposite faces thereof. A plurality of pairs of opposed symmetrical scores are provided in the opposite panel faces substantially in registry each with the other traversing one panel dimension and defining a plurality of panel segments. Each of the opposed symmetrical scores has side walls defining therebetween an included angle which determines the minimum interior angle between panel segments adjacent thereto when articulated and provides sufficient facing sheet material to permit adjacent panel sections to be articulated through the corresponding exterior angle. Apparatus and methods for forming the articulatable panels and bulk containers are also disclosed.

25 Claims, 27 Drawing Figures PATENTED FEB 1 8 ms "WNW? FIG.

FIC5.3

JIIIIIHII IHIIIHIHNIHIIIIIIIIIIIHIIIHH lLNHH-H-l-H-HIllIIIIIHIIIIHHIIHIIHIIH L-Zs PATENIH] FEB 1 8 ms SHEET 7 [IF 8 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING BULK CONTAINERS FROM ARTICULATABLE COMPOSITE PANELS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to bulk containers and in particular to articulatable composite panels for erection into such bulk containers and apparatus and methods for forming such panels.

Various types of material are used for bulk containers, the most widely used being corrugated paper board. In the fabrication of corrugated paper board boxes, the board flats are scored usually on one surface and the flats are subsequently folded along the scores to form a box or enclosure, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,482,569; 2,949,827; 3,489,067; 3,526,566; 3,529,516 and 3,603,219. While corrugated paper board is economical and quite satisfactory for a wide variety of packaging and shipping containers, this material has certain disadvantages particularly where used for large or bulk containers. Some of these disadvantages stem from the fact that impressing score lines into this material sharply reduces the tensile strength thereof at the score lines which thereby limits the load carrying capacity of boxes formed from corrugated paper board, and such boxes tend to break apart or rupture at the score or fold lines. Also, where bulk loads are to be packaged, the number of plies of corrugated paper board necessitated greatly increase the container weight. Further, the side walls of such containers tend to bulge causing wedging in transit and glue and staples are usually needed to assemble them and this requires time and increases labor costs. Moreover, corrugated paper board is inherently weak in its resistance to bending along the axis of the corrugations.

. As a result containers fabricated from corrugated paper board have not been wholly satisfactory for shipping heavy articles which tend to move or shift during shipment thereby to tear or puncture the corrugated paper board from within the bulk container. Further, bulk granular material shipped in corrugated paper board bulk containers causes bulging or sagging thereof, and such corrugated paper board bulk containers are easily ruptured from within and susceptible to puncturing from the exterior with attendant loss of granular material.

One method of minimizing these disadvantages of using corrugated paper board for bulk containers utilizes reinforcing wood frames for the corrugated paper board boxes. However, this greatly increases the costs and weight of the container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Among the several objects of the present invention may be noted the provision of articulatable composite panels for erection into enclosures such as bulk containers which are light in weight yet strong and durable; the provision of such composite panels which are stiff and are resistant to bending on any axis thereof and are useful to fabricate bulk containers with walls that afford high resistance to puncture and rupture; the provision of such panels which may be used to form bulk containers having stiff and strong walls thereby su' stantially eliminating bulging and corner crushing and enhancing the stacking and storage characteristics thereof; the provision of composite panels which may be erected conveniently into bulk containers without glue and staples thereby effecting appreciable savings in setup time and labor costs; the provision of such panels from which bulk containers may be formed and which may be reused; the provision of an articulatable composite panel having scores therein which predetermine the degree of articulation of the panel; and the provision of apparatus and methods for economically, conveniently and reliably forming articulatable composite panels which may easily be erected to form enclosures such as bulk containers. Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

Briefly, and in its broader concept, an articulatable composite panel of this invention adapted for erection into an enclosure comprises a panel of stiff but compressible material at least approximately one-half inch in thickness with substantial resistance to bending on any axis thereof. The panel has a core and facing sheets adhered to the opposite faces thereof with'a plurality of pairs of opposed symmetrical scores in the opposite panel faces substantially in registry each with the other traversing one dimension thereof and defining therebetween a plurality of panel segments. Each of the opposed symmetrical scores has side walls defining therebetween an included angle which determines the minimum interior angle between panel segments adjacent thereto when articulated and provides sufficient facing sheet material to permit adjacent panel sections to be articulated through the corresponding exterior angle. The invention also comprises apparatus for forming such panels with scores in both faces thereof spaced at predetermined intervals along the length of the panel so that the panel may be articulated at the scores. The apparatus includes means at a scoring station operable between open and closed positions for forming a pair of scores extending transversely of the panel, one in each face of the panel, with the two scores substantially in registry. Also provided are means operable intermittently and incrementally to feed the panel lengthwise in a predetermined path in the plane of the panel through the scoring means at the scoring station with the scoring means open, the increments corresponding to the desired spacing of the scores, and with a dwell between successive feeding operations. Further provided are means for closing the scoring means to form the pair of scores and then opening it during each dwell, the formation of the two opposed scores during each dwell causing a drawing in of the panel on opposite sides of the scoring station, and the feeding means permitting the drawing in. Also in accordance with a method of this invention such a composite panel is formed by intermittently feeding an unscored panel of the material forwardly lengthwise in a predetermined path through a scoring station in successive increments corresponding to the desired spacing of the scores with a dwell between successive feeding operations and, during each dwell, forming a pair of scores in the panel at the station, one in each face of the panel, the two scores extending transversely of the panel and being substantially in registry. The formation of the two opposed inregistry scores during each dwell causes a drawing in of the panel on opposite sides of the scores but the panel is sufficiently free of restraint on opposite sides of the station as to be capable of drawing in from each end thereof toward the station as the scores are formed, the initial length of the panel being selected to correspond to the desired final length plus the total shortening of the panel due to its being drawn in on each scoring step.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a composite panel showing the initial length, width and thickness dimensions thereof;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation of the panel of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3-6 are schematic views illustrating steps of a method of this invention for forming the panel of FIG. 1 into an articulatable panel of this invention;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation of the panel as shown in FIG. 4 illustrating a score forming step;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to that of FIG. 6 showing the rebound effect of a resilient core of the panel after scoring;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation of the FIG. 6 articulatable panel showing immediately adjacent side-by-side scores in the opposite faces of the panel;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation of the panel during the FIG. 3 step of forming a bevel in the leading end of the panel;

FIGS. 11, 13-15 and 18 are plan views of finished panels erected into enclosures;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary view showing a corner of the erected enclosure of FIG. 11;

FIG. 15A is an enlarged fragmentary view showing a corner of the erected enclosure of FIG. 15;

FIG. 16 is a side elevation of a knocked-down sleeve of this invention formed from the articulated composite panel of this invention;

FIG. 17 is an enlarged fragmentary view showing a corner of the knocked-down sleeve of FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is aside elevation of a finished articulatable composite panel of this invention;

FIG. 20 is a right-end elevation of the panel of FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a plan view of the panel of FIG. 19;

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of an enclosure erected from the panel 'of FIG. 19;

FIG. 23 is a plan of apparatus of this invention for forming articulatable composite panels of this invention;

FIG. 24 is a side elevation of the apparatus of FIG. 23;

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of the scoring and beveling dies and the fluid pressure systems therefor; and

FIG. 26 is a schematic and circuit wiring diagram for the apparatus of FIGS. 23 and 24.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawings, there is shown at l a composite panel of stiff but compressible material which, for the purpose of this invention, is at least approximately one-half inch in thickness and has a substantial resistance to bending on any axis thereof. Panel 1 has a core 3 with facing material, such as kraft paps. sheets 5, 7 or the like, adhered thereto and which constitute opposite faces 9, ll of the panel. Opposite ends 13, 15 of panel I, which are generally perpendicular to LII the opposite faces thereof, are designated as leading and trailing to identify the direction of panel movement during the fabrication of the finished articulatable composite panel, as discussed hereinafter. Core 3 is shown as honeycomb material formed from kraft paper or the like, but other core materials, such as foamed or porous plastic materials of polyurethane or the like, and which have similar physical characteristics compatible with the method of forming a panel of this invention. are also useful for this purpose. Also, other facing materials, which are well known in the art as comparable to paper facing material or alternatively used therefor. may also be utilized. Length dimension L of panel 1 is predeterminately longer than that of the finished panel. but width dimension W and thickness dimension T remain essentially constant except at the particular locations along the length dimension L in which panelforming operations are performed thereby to predeterminately reduce thickness dimension T. If desired, panel leading and trailing ends 13, 15 may be beveled thereby also to reduce thickness dimension T, as discussed in detail hereinafter.

Referring now to FIGS. 3-6, panel 1 is intermittently fed forwardly lengthwise along its length dimension L in a predetermined path (as indicated by the arrow) through a scoring station 17 in successive increments corresponding to the desired spacing of the scores 19, 19a with a dwell or predetermined period of time between successive feeding operations, and during each dwell scores 19, 19a are formed in the panel at the scoring station, one in each face 9, 11 of the panel. The two scores 19, 19a extend generally transversely of panel 1 in width dimension W thereof and are substantially symmetrical and in registry with each other so as to define articulatable panel segments 20, 20a between adjacent pairs of scores. Formation of scores 19, 19a during each dwell causes a drawing in of panel 1 on opposite sides of the scores, and the panel is sufficiently free of restraint on opposite sides of scoring station 17 as to be capable of drawing in leading and trailing ends 13, 15 thereof toward the scoring station, as discussed hereinafter. Y

Optionally the finished articulatable composite panel may have the leading and trailing edges 13, 15 beveled. The leading edge as shown in FIG. 3 has progressed through scoring station 17 to arrive at a beveling station 21 disposed adjacent scoring station 17, and a beveling die 23 has been moved downwardly from its normal rest or raised position to engage one of its opposite beveling faces 25 with the leading end of the panel so as to crush it to form a bevel 27 which extends transversely of the panel generally parallel with width dimension W thereof. In FIG. 4, panel 1 has been moved forwardly lengthwise along its predetermined path.

through a panel length increment defining the desired spacing of the first score from the leading end so as to predeterminately position the panel relative to scoring station 17, and upper and lower scoring dies 29, 29a, which are symmetrical and substantially in registry with each other, have been moved from their open positions to their closed positions in scoring engagement with the opposite faces 9, ll of the panel. In this manner, a pair of scores 19, 19a is formed, one in each face 9, II of the panel 1, extending transversely thereof in width dimension W. Scores 19, 19a are symmetrical and substantially in registry with each other since they are substantially complementary to scoring dies 29, 29a. In

FIG. 5, panel 1 has been further advanced lengthwise along the predetermined path thereof through scoring and beveling stations 17, 21 by a small successive increment preparatory to forming a second pair of scores 30 and 30a in an immediately adjacent side-by-side relation with the first score pair 19, 19a. By further movement of the panel through additional successive increments corresponding to the desired spacing between scores, scoring dies 29, 29a are operable to impress other scores into panel opposite faces 9, 11 at the desired predetermined locations along panel length dimension L, as also shown in FIG. 6.

When panel 1 is moved through successive increments for scoring and trailing end 15 thereof has arrived at beveling station 21, beveling die 23 is again operated to move downwardly to engage the other of its beveling faces 31 with the trailing end thereby to crush or compress it thereby forming a bevel 33 extending transversely of the panel substantially in width dimension W thereof. The bevels 27, 33 across panel leading and trailing ends 13, 15 are adapted to form engaging closure abutments upon erection of the finished panel into an enclosure, as discussed hereinafter. As panel 1 is intermittently fed through scoring and beveling stations 17, 21, the dwell provides a period of time to permit the scoring and beveling operation of scoring dies 29, 29a and beveling die 23 and also their retractive movements to their opened and raised positions before the panel is fed through its next successive increment. As previously mentioned, formation of scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a during each dwell causes the drawing in or predetermined shortening of panel length L on opposite sides of the scores and provision is made for this retractive movement. The initial length L of panel 1 is selected to correspond tov the desired final length thereof plus the total shortening of the panel due to its being drawn in on each scoring operation, the final length being indicated in FIG. 6 as L-Zs.

As shown in FIG. 7, upper and lower scoring dies 29, 290 are symmetrical and in registry, and for the purpose ofillustration, the included angle A between faces 35, 37 and 35a, 37a of the scoring die is selected to be approximately 90. However, other angles may be chosen depending upon the number of side or panel segments proposed for a particular panel enclosure, e.g., 60 for a hexagonally shaped enclosure. The tips or inner ends 39, 39a of scoring dies 29, 29a are formed with a radius of approximately one-fourth of an inch so as to not rupture facing material 5, 7 during scoring operations, but the tip radius may also be varied depending upon the number of panel segments in a particular panel enclosure. Also for purposes of illustration, panel thickness T is chosen to be 1 inch, but it will be recalled that panel thickness T for the purposes of this invention may be substantially greater than one-half or I inch. For a panel thickness dimension T of approximately 1 inch the scoring dies 29,29a are closed in scoring engagement therewith, as previously mentioned, to a point where the die tips 39, 390 are spaced apart as shown at C about three-sixteenths inch, thus crushing the honeycomb material of core 3 between the scoring dies as illustrated by the wavy lines in FIGS. 7 and 8. The dimension C will vary depending upon the type of core material used in panel 1, but the dimension *1" should never be so small as to sharply crease the kraft paper and structurally damage it thereby adversely affecting the tensile strength of the core material. When scoring dies 29, 29a are brought into scoringengagement with panel faces 9, 11, the die faces 35, 37 and 35a, 37a and the die tips 39, 39a form complementary side walls 41, 43 and 41a, 43a and radiused or smoothly curved junctions 45, 45a. Upon the subsequent return of the scoring dies to their open positions disengaged from panel 1, the resiliency of honeycomb core 3 causes it to rebound or spring back somewhat as shown in FIG. 8, so that the junctions 45 and 4511 between inner walls of scores 19, 19a become spaced apart, as indicated at F, about three-eighths inch. The dimension F to which core 3 will rebound is variable depending entirely upon the type of material forming core 3, but once honeycomb core 3 is compressed to its crushed position, as shown in FIG. 7, the rebound characteristics of the core are irrelevant since the resiliency of the core will permit return to the crushed position upon subsequent articulation of the panel. During the scoring operation of panel 1, scoring engagement of scoring dies 29, 29 a with facing material 5, 7 of panel faces 9, l l pulls or displaces a predetermined amount or length as indicated at 47, 47a of facing material into the scores 19, 19a to form side walls 41, 43 and 41a, 43a. It is this displacement of facing material into the scores which causes the shortening or drawing in of the panel ends 13, 15 each time panel 1 is scored. The panel shortening effected by each scoring operation is predetermined so that original length dimension L of the panel and the final length dimension of a finished panel can be calculated in advance. For instance, scores 19, 19a substantially form isosceles triangles, and the lengths 47, 47a of facing material 5, 7 pulled into the scores during the scoring operation are generally equalto the sum of the score side wall lengths D measured from the midpoint of valleys 45, 45a to the panel faces 9, 11. The sum must be added to panel length L for each score 19, 19a in panel 1. These displacement lengths 47, 47a offacing material 5, 7 into scores 19, 19a during the scoring operation permit panel segments 20, 20a adjacent the scores to be articulated through included angle A of scores 19, 19a without tearing or creasing facing material 5, 7 whichever is the exterior side of the enclosure into which a finished panel is erected, as also shown in FIG. 12 and discussed hereinafter.

As discussed with respect to FIG. 6, panel 1 is moved forwardly along its length dimension L relative to scoring station 17 in successive increments corresponding to the spacing desired for successive scoring of the panel, and successive scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a may be provided immediately adjacent or in side-by-side relation with each other in panel faces 9, 11 as also shown in FIG. 9, in the same manner that single scores 19, 19a are formed. The included angles A between side walls 41, 43 and 41a, 43a are additive to each other to provide a predetermined l articulation or bend between panel segments 20, 20a adjacent thereto, and side walls 41, 43 (or 41a, 43a depending upon the direction panel segments 20, 20a are articulated) define abutment or positive stops for engagement with each other thereby to provide a maximum limit to articulating movement of panel segments 20, 20a, as shown in FIG. 17 and discussed hereinafter.

The beveling operations performed at beveling sta tion 21 on panel leading and trailing ends 13, 15 are optional, and depending upon the type of enclosure into which the finished panel is erected, the beveling operation may be omitted leaving the leading and trailing ends in their original shape generally perpendicular to panel faces 9, 11. Referring now also to FIG. 10, when the beveling operation is performed, beveling die 23 is moved downwardly at beveling station 21 to engage either of its die faces 25, 31 with either the panel leading or trailing ends 13, 15 positioned at the beveling station thereby to crush honeycomb material of core 3 forming either bevels 27, 33 depending upon which panel end has arrived in position relative to the beveling station. For purposes of illustration there is shown in FIG. the bevel 27 as formed by die face 25 of beveling die 23 with an angle G of approximately 45 which represents about one-half of the closure angle (which was selected to be 90 for purpose of illustration) of the enclosure into which a finished panel is erected. The lower corners of beveling die 23 are also radiused so as to not rupture facing materials 5, 7. The unbeveled portion H of panel leading and trailing ends is about onefourth of an inch in thickness and this dimension is about the same for panels thicker or thinner than 1 inch and for different angles G of faces 25, 31 of beveling die 23.

In FIG. 11, there is shown a finished articulatable composite panel 51 formed in the manner previously discussed and erected into enclosure 53. Panel 51 is provided with three spaced scores 19, 19a and beveled ends 13, 15. Upon erection of finished panel 51 into enclosure 53, panel segments 20, 20a adjacent scores 19, 19a are relatively movable, as shown in FIG. 12, through the interior included angle A (preselected to be approximately 90) thereby to abut score side walls 41, 43 which form positive stops or abutments limiting articulation of the panel and affording strength and stability to enclosure 53. As previously mentioned, panel 1 is always articulatable through included angle A as initially crushed into the panel upon formation of scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a irrespective ofthe resilience or rebound of core 3 from the originally scored included angles. Upon the articulation of panel segments 20, 20a, score 19a is substantially everted transforming exterior. included angle A between side walls 41a, 43a into a relatively smooth generally arcuate or curved exterior surface, edge or corner 55 of enclosure 53. As will be recalled, a predetermined length 47, 47a of facing material 5, 7 is drawn into side walls 41, 43 and 41a, 43a of scores 19, 19a, and length 47a of drawn-in facing material 7 is stretched to form enclosure corners 55 upon the eversion of score 19a thereby to permit the formation of arcuate corners without tearing or overly stressing facing material 7. If panel 1 is articulated in the opposite direction, the length 47 of drawn-in facing material 5 would stretch out forming an enclosure corner in the same manner as described with respect to the formation of corner 55. Beveled ends 13, of finished panel 51 are abutted to form the closure corner 57 of enclosure 53, and tape 59 is drawn tightly around corner 57 so as to pull down or compress the unbeveled portions H of the ends thereby to form a relatively smooth generally arcuate surface at closure corner 57 which is similar in appearance to the other exterior corners 55. It will be understood that the ends of the panel 1 alternately may be held or secured together by banding straps conventionally used for large containers.

In FIG. 13 there is shown generally at 61 an enclosure erected from another finished articulatable composite panel 63 similar to panel 51 with the exception that the beveling operation was not performed and ends 13, 15 thus remain perpendicular to panel faces 9, 11. In panel'63, the selected spacing of scores 19, l9a is such that ends l3, l5 abut endwise intermediate one side of enclosure 61, and tape 59 bridges the ends exteriorly of the enclosure. Tape 59 may also be applied bridging ends 13, 15 interiorly of enclosure 61 if desired.

In FIG. 14 there is shown generally at 65 an enclosure or bulk container erected from another finished articulatable composite panel 67 similar to finished panel 51, again with the exception that ends 13, 15 are not beveled. In panel 67 the selected spacing of scores 19, 19a is such that end 13 abuts with a side portion of panel 67 adjacent end 15 at the closure corner 69 of enclosure 65, and tapes 59 bridge ends I3, 15 at the closure corner. Exterior tape 59 is drawn tightly around corner 69 so as to pull down or compress end 15 so that it is similar in contour to other corners 55. Tape 59 may also be applied interiorly of the closure corner 69, if desired.

The articulatable panels may be shipped flat, or in the form ofa flattened sleeve or tube, such as indicated at 71 in FIG. 16, formed from another finished articulatable composite panel 73 fabricated in the manner previously discussed herein. Such a sleeve may be erected into an enclosure or bulk container simply by moving the ends together as shown in FIG. 15. Panel 73 is provided with scores 19, 19a interposed along the panel length dimension between double or side-by-side score pairs 19, 19a and 30, 30a as also shown in FIG. 9, and panel ends l3, 15 are beveled at 27, 33 forming closure corner 57 bridged by tape 59 in the same manner as discussed above with respect to panel 51 of FIG. 11. The interior included angles A of side-by-side scores 19, 30 are additive so that the respective side walls 41, 43 fold into abutment with each other, as shown in FIGS. 16 and 17, thereby to permit l80 of articulation between panel segments 20, 20a immediately adjacent to the side-by-side scores when the sleeve is flat. Upon articulation of panel segments 20, 20a into their erected positions, scores 19a, 30a (also shown in FIG. 9) are substantially everted wherein the exterior included angle Abetween side walls 41a, 43a, respectively, is transformed into a relatively smooth generally arcuate or curved exterior surface or corner 75. As will be recalled, predetermined lengths 47, 47a of facing material 5, 7 are drawn in to form side walls 41, 43 and 41a, 43a of side-by-side scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a, and lengths 47a of drawn-in facing material 7 in lower scores 19a, 30a are stretched to provide sleeve corners 75 upon eversion of scores 19a, 30a thereby to form relatively smooth and generally arcuate enclosure corners 75 without tearing or unduly stressing facing material 7. In this manner the provision of side-by-side scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a permits the adjacent panel segments to be folded over into overlapping engagement with each other so that tube 71 can be shipped and/or stored as a knocked-down sleeve, and erected without subsequent taping of closure corner 57 by the user. When sleeve 71 is erected into an enclosure (FIG. 15), respective side walls 41, 43 of side-by-side scores 19, 30 are only moved through about one-half of the included angles A therebetween so that these scored side walls are not in abutment with each other (FIG. 15A), but the side walls 41, 43 of the single score 19 are in abutment thereby to afford stability and stiffness to sleeve 71 when erected as previously discussed.

A coiled or helical type erected enclosure 77 is shown in FIG. 18 constituted by another finished articulatable composite panel 79 formed in the same manner as previously discussed. Scores 19, 19a are spaced in successive increments from each other so as to provide a double-thick layer of panel wherein panel segments form a double loop or coil with respect to each other. Inner loop 81 is formed by four inner segments 83, 85, 87, 89 with panel end 13 in abutment with a side of panel segment 89, and segments 91, 93, 95, 97 which constitute outer loop 99. Tape 59 may, if desired, be sealed between inner loop segments 83, 89 at the end 13. Panel end may or may not be beveled, but tape 59 is pulled tightly around end 15 effecting partial deforming thereof so that closure corner 101 of enclosure outer loop 99 has generally the same appearance as other corner 55. Utilizing panel 79 in the coiled enclosure 77 not only serves to increase the strength of the enclosure and the load carrying or supporting capacity thereof but also is advantageous in that it permits the panel manufacturer to minimize the number of different-thickness cores that must be made and stocked. The panel 79 of enclosure 77 may be successively looped several more times in order to provide triple or more thicknesses.

In FIGS. 19-21 there is shown a finished articulatable composite panel 111 which is erectable into an enclosure 113 (FIG. 22) having integrally formed closure or panel segments or flaps 115,117, 119 and 121 for closing the top end (or bottom end) of the enclosure, and a lid 123 is received on the bottom end (or top end) of the enclosure.

Finished panel 111 is generally formed in the same manner as previously described having bevels 27, 33 formed on leading and trailing panel ends 13, 15, and single pairs of scores 19, 19a alternating with side-byside pairs of scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a traversing width dimension W thereby to form panel segments 125, 127, 129 and 131. Additional lengthwise extending scores 133, 133a are formed at an edge of alternate panel segments 125, 129 in opposite panel faces 9, 11 substantially perpendicular to transverse scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a, and lengthwise extending scores 135, 135a are formed at an edge of panel segments 127, 131 in the opposite panel faces substantially perpendicular to transverse scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a. Scores 133, 133a and 135, 1350 are offset from each other forming hinge lines for closure segments 115, 119 and 117, 121 which are adapted to overlie each other thereby to close the top end (or bottom end) of the enclosure 113 erected from panel 111. In order to permit the overlying relationship between closure segments 115, 119 and 117, 121, each is blanked or relieved at 137. Upon the erection of panel 111 into enclosure 113, the exterior included angles 19a and 30a are everted thereby to form relatively smooth and uncreased arcuate surfaces, corners or edges 55, 75 and tape 59 is adhered to panel segments 125, 131 at closure corner 57. As an alternative, only two of the closure segments 115, 119 or 117, I21 need be formed and these may be taped together as shown at 59 in dashed outline in FIG. 22 thereby to close the end of enclosure 113, and such alternati construction is also within the scope of the invention. As another alternative, other closure segments, as shown in dashed line outline in FIG. 20, complementary t0 segments 115, 119 and 117, 121 may be. formed in the same manner at the opposite side edge of the panel segments for closing the other end of the enclosure, and such alternative construction is also within the scope of the invention. Referring now back to FIG. 22, a lid 14] is received on the bottom end (or top end) of enclosure 113, and the lid has sides 143 which extend in overlying relation with end portions (bottom or top) of panel segments 125, 127, 129 and 131. Metal bands 145, or the like, may be secured about enclosure 113 to maintain the closure segments 115, 119 and 117, 121 and lid 141 in their respective closing positrons.

In FIGS. 23-25, there is shown generally at 151 apparatus for forming the articulatable composite panels of this invention and carrying out the methods thereof. Apparatus 151 is provided with scoring means, such as scoring dies 29, 29a, at scoring station 17 which are operable between open and closed positions for forming the pairs of opposed scores 19, 19a and 30, 30a (FIGS. 4 and 6) extending transversely of the panel, one in each face 9, 11 of the panel with the scores in registry, as previously described. An intermittently operable means 153 feeds panel 1 lengthwise along its predetermined path in the plane of the panel through scoring means 29, 29a, with the scoring means open, in increments corresponding to the desired spacing of scores 19, 19a or 30, 30a with a dwell between successive feeding operations, and means, indicated generally at 155 (FIG. 25), are provided for closing the scoring means to form each pair of scores 19, 19a or 30, 30a and then opening it during each dwell. The formation of the scores 19, 19a or 30, 3111a during each dwell causes a drawing in of panel 1 on opposite sides of scoring station 17, and feeding means 153 permits this drawing in as will be discussed hereinafter. Apparatus 151 is also provided with means, such as beveling die 23, at beveling station 21 operable between raised and lowered positions for forming bevels 27, 33 (FIGS. 3 and 6) extending transversely of panel 1 at the leading and trailing ends l3, 15 thereof, and intermittently operable means 153 feeds-the panel through the beveling means at the beveling station with the beveling means raised between the respective arrivals of the leading and trailing ends of the panel at the beveling station with a dwell foreach beveling operation. Means, indicated generally at 157 (FIG. 25), are provided for lowering beveling means 23 to form bevels 27, 33 and then raising it during each dwell for beveling operations.

Referring in particular to FIGS. 23 and 24, a loading station 159, at which panels 1 are side loaded, is provided with spaced outrigger supports 161 having rollers 163 which are canted to direct a side of the loaded panel toward alignment means, such as a guide rail 165, and panel leading end 13 toward the intermittently operable drive means. Guide rail 165 aligns panel 1 in its predetermined path as illustrated by the arrow in FIG. 23, along which it progresses through apparatus 151. Trigger switches 167, 169, 171, 173, 175, of a type well-known in the art, are adjustably disposed and spaced in predetermined increments along guide rail 165 for sensing movement of panel trailing end 15 past each of the trigger switches for actuating the intermittently operable means thereby to position panel 1 relative to scoring station 17 for scoring at the predetermined increments along the panel length dimension L, and the trigger switches are depressed toward deactu- Two drive rolls 177, 179 are provided adjacent scoring and beveling stations 17, 21, and several biasing rollers 181, 183 engage the upper side of panel 1 lightly biasing it into driven engagement with the drive rolls. A sprocket and chain drive assembly 185 interconnects drive rolls 177, 179 thereby to effect concerted actuation thereof. Drive roll 177 is driven by a motor 186 through an alternately operable brake and clutch 187, 189 (FIG. 26) such as that marketed under trade designation Electro Pack by Warner Electric Brake and Clutch Company of Beloit, Wis. Biasing rollers 181, 183, sprocket and chain drive assembly 185, brake and clutch 187, 189 and an electric motor 186, along with components of the electrical circuitry therefor, as discussed hereinafter, constitute intermittently operable drive or feed means 153. The biasing rollers 181, 183 have low friction contact with the top face of the panel to permit sliding of the panel relative to drive rolls 177, 179 and thus allow the drawing in or shortening of the panel during each scoring operation.

A limit switch 195, engageable by panel 1 as it progresses through apparatus 151, is positioned between scoring station 17 and drive roll 177, and a bed plate or supporting platform 197 for supporting the panel is provided adjacent the scoring station and at the beveling station. Spring-loaded plates 199, 201 are provided on opposite sides of beveling die 23 at the beveling station 21 for urging panel 1 downwardly toward supporting engagement with bed plate 197. Depressible switches 203, 205, 207, 209 are mounted in the bed plate along the path of the panel. Drive roll 179 and biasing roller 183 are located adjacent the downstream side of beveling station 21 for driving panel 1 through its predetermined path to roller conveyor 211 at an unloading station 213.

As shown in FIG. 25, scoring dies 29, 29a are actuated to move from their open to their closed positions by air cylinders 215, 215a, and a control valve 217 is operated by a solenoid 219 to selectively apply and exhaustfluid pressure to the air cylinders through conduits 221, 221a and 223, 223a to move scoring dies 29, 290 between their open and closed positions. Another air cylinder 225 is operably connected with beveling die 23, and another control valve 227 operated by a solenoid 229 selectively applies and exhausts fluid pressure to the air cylinder through conduits 231, 233 to move the beveling die downwardly and upwardly between its raised or inoperative position and its lowered position. Control valves 217, 227 are of a type wellknown in the art and are connected with air supplies 235, 237.

Referring now to FIG. 26, there is shown electrical circuitry for controlling the operations of apparatus 151 connected to a main power supply 241 by lines L1 and L2. A scoring control circuit is indicated generally at 243 and includes a relay coil 253 of a time-delay relay 255 connected in a loop circuit by leads 245, 246, 247 across power supply junctions 249, 251 contacts 257 of interlock or enabling switch 195 and the contacts of several trigger switches 167, 169, 171, 173 and 175. Scoring control circuit 243 energizes timedelay relay 255 whenever any one of the prederrni nately spaced parallel-connected, normally open contacts oftrigger switches 167, 169, 171, 173, 175 are momentarily closed, provided contacts 257 of switch 195 are closed by the weight of a panel. For the sake of simplicity only trigger switches 167 and 169 are shown.

Time-delay relay 255 has two pairs of normally open contacts 261, 263. Another similar time-delay relay 265, connected in a beveling control circuit 266, also has two pairs of normally open contacts 267, 269 and has its relay coil 271 connected across the power supply via control switches as will be discussed below. Time-delay relays 255, 265, which provide a predetermined dwell or time period for the scoring and beveling operations, when energized effect respective actuation of the scoring and beveling dies and after a delay in reopening their contacts, deenergize these units. Contacts 261 and 267 of relays 255 and 265, when closed, respectively energize solenoids 219 and 229 to actuate scoring die control valve 217 or beveling die control valve 227. A control unit 315, such as sold under the trade designation MCS-l09 by Warner Electric Brake and Clutch Co. of Beloit, Wis., controls operation of brake and clutch 187, 189 in response to closing or opening of its control terminals 317, 319. The torque applied is adjustable as indicated at 318 and power is supplied to this brake and clutch control unit and to motor 186 by leads 325, 327. Contacts 263 and 269 of relays 255 and 265 are parallel-connected across these control terminals. When either of these sets of contacts is closed by energization of either of the time-delay relays 255, 265, unit 315 actuates brake 187 and simultaneously deactuates clutch 189. However, reopening of relay contacts 263, 269 does not immediately cause control unit 315 to deactuate the brake and reactuate the clutch, inasmuch as unit 315 has a time delay (adjustable as indicated at 316) after opening the circuit across its control terminals 317, 319. This permits the beveling or scoring dies to retract from their crushing positions before the panel is again advanced along its path.

The beveling dies are actuated by several interlock or enabling switches connected in a network 291 in series with relay coil 271 by conductors 293 and 295. These switches include a double-throw switch 209 with a contact arm 307 connected to lead 293 and movable to mate alternately with either of two fixed contacts 301 and 303. When switch 209 is depressed by the weight of the panel, contact arm 307 is closed on contact 303 which is connected by a conductor 313 to the contacts of trigger switch 207. The latter contacts momentarily close as the leading end of a panel strikes it or as the trailing panel end passes beyond it. The circuit to lead 295 and relay coil 271 may be completed through the path from the contacts of switch 207 via a fixed contact 297 and a movable contact 305 of a double-throw switch 203 when the latter is not depressed by the weight of the panel. Alternately the circuit to relay coil 271 may be completed via leads 293 and 295 through a lower fixed contact 299 of switch 203, if closed by the weight of the panel; the closing of the contacts of trigger switch 205; a lead 311 and the upper contact 301 of switch 209 if the panel is not then depressing the latter switch.

When panel 1 is loaded on outriggers 161 at loading station 159 with a side edge engaging guide rail 165, all of trigger switches 167, 169, 171, 173, are depressed by the panel thereby opening their contacts after a momentary closure. However, this momentary closure does not energize relays 255 or 265 to actuate the scoring or beveling dies since switch 195 and trigger switches 205, 207 are open at this time. Panel 1 is manually moved forwardly to engage the leading end 13 thereof with drive and biasing rolls 177, 181 which thereafter initiate movement of the panel along its predetermined path through apparatus 151. As panel leading end 13 is moved to the right (FIGS. 23, 24) it depresses enabling switch 195 closing the contacts thereof to set or prepare the scoring control circuit 243 for completion by momentary closing of one of the trigger switches 167, 169, 171, 173 and 175. As the panel leading end moves across bed plate 197, it depresses enabling switch 203 thereby moving contact arm 305 thereof into engagement with contact 299 which closes the circuit to trigger switch 205. When trigger switch 205 is also depressed by panel leading end 13 arriving at the beveling station 23 and under beveling die face 25, it momentarily closes its contacts and thereby completes beveling control circuit 266 via contacts 301 and 307 of enabling switch 209 (which remains raised as panel 1 has not yet depressed it). Thus power is applied to coil 271 of relay 265 from L1, L2 through the above conductive path interconnecting lines 293 and 295. Both pairs of contacts 267 and 269 of time-delay relay 265 are then closed, the closing of the latter contacts energizing the brake and clutch control unit 315 to deactuate clutch 189 and actuate brake 187 and thus bring the panel to rest with its leading edge under the face 25 of beveling die 23 at the beveling station 21. The simultaneous closing of contacts 267 energizes solenoid 229 to actuate control valve 227 which supplies fluid pressure from the supply 237 thereofthrough conduit 231 to actuating cylinder 225 while simultaneously exhausting fluid pressure therefrom through conduit 233 thereby to move beveling die 23 downwardly from its raised or inoperative position to engage beveling face 25 thereof with panel leading end 13 crushing or compressing it to form bevel 27. The time delay of relay 265 is sufficient to permit completion of the beveling operation.

After the predetermined time-delay period of rela 265, it contacts 267 open thus deenergizing solenoid 229 of control valve 227 to exhaust fluid pressure from actuating cylinder 227 through conduit 231 and supplying fluid pressure through conduit 233 to actuating cylinder 225 to retract beveling die 23 from its lowered position back to its raised position. The simultaneous opening of time-delay relay contacts 269 deenergizes control unit 315, but the time delay of clutch and brake control unit 315 provides a predetermined delay at the end of the dwell to insure that the beveling die 23 has sufficient time to return to its position prior to the subsequent deenergization of brake 187 and energization of clutch 189 thereby to again effect driving engagement between motor 186 and drive roll 177 to initiate movement of panel 1 through its next incremental movement for scoring.

Incremental movement of panel 1 moves trailing end 15 thereof to a position uncovering trigger switch 167 permitting it to rotate or return to its normal raised position thereby to momentarily close its contacts which completes the scoring control circuit 243 through closed contacts 257 of enabling switch 195 to energize coil 253 of time-delay relay 255 which closes its two pairs of contacts 261, 263. Closing the latter contacts of the time-delay 255 closes the circuit across control terminals 317 and 319 of control unit 315 which, as

previously noted, deenergizes clutch 189 interrupting driving engagement between motor 186 and drive roll 177 and energizes brake 187 which positively stops rotation of drive roll 177 thereby to terminate the incremental movement of panel 1 so that it stops at scoring station 17 at the proper position to be scored. At the same time, closure of time-delay relay contacts 261 completes the scoring circuit thereby to energize the solenoid and actuate control valve 217. Control valve 217 supplies fluid pressure to actuating cylinders 215, 215a through conduits 221, 2210 while exhausting fluid pressure through conduits 223, 223a thereby to move scoring dies 29, 29a to their close-d positions in scoring engagement with panel opposite faces 9, 11 thereby to impress scores 19, 19a therein, as shown also in FIG. 4. At this time, time-delay relay 255 opens contacts 261, 263 thereof, and the opening of contacts 261 opens the circuit between solenoid 219 and its power supply 241 thereby to deenergize the solenoid and deactuate control valve 217. When deactuated, control valve 217 exhausts fluid pressure from actuating cylinders 215, 215a through conduits 221, 221a and applies fluid pressure from the source 235 thereof through conduits 223, 223a thereby to return scoring dies 29, 29a to their normal or open positions. Opening of the time-delay contacts 263 also deenergizes control unit 315, but the time delay thereof as previously mentioned, prevents brake 187 from being deactuated and clutch 189 from being actuated until scoring dies 29, 29a have had sufficient time to return to their open or retracted positions. Subsequent to the time delay of control unit 315, it deenergizes brake 187 and energizes clutch 189, thereby to drivingly reengage motor 186 and drive roll 177 and initiate the subsequent movement of panel 1 through its next successive incremental movement. lt should be noted that upon scoring of panel 1, leading and trailing ends 13, 15 thereof are drawn inwardly with respect to scoring station 17, thereby to shorten length dimension L of the panel as previously described, and since biasing rollers 181, 183 are only lightly engaged with the panel, the panel is substantially unrestrained on opposite sides of scoring stations 17 and substantially free to draw in and slide between rollers 181, 183 and braked drive rolls 177, 179 to its shortened position. This predetermined shortening movement of panel 1 in response to scoring moves panel trailing end 15 away from trigger switch 167 which it had operated, but this panel shortening movement with respect to the trigger switch is permissible since the trigger switch has already performed its function by stopping panel 1 after the prescribed increment of movement to its proper position for scoring, as previously described.

Successive trigger switches 169, 171, 173, operate as they are uncovered by trailing end 15 of panel 1 to be released to spring up and momentarily close in the same manner as previously described with respect to trigger switch 167 to effect stopping of the panel at scoring station 17 for the scoring operation after every predetermined increment of movement. As panel trailing end 15 moves through drive roll 177 and roller 181, and scoring station 17 toward beveling station 21, the limit switch is uncovered and returns to its normally open position thereby to disable scoring control circuit 243, and the switches 203, 205 and 207 are successively uncovered by panel trailing end 15. in this manner, limit switch 203 returns to its normal position reengaging its contact arm 305 with upper contact 297 opening the circuit to switch 205 and closing the circuit to switch 207. When trigger switch 205 returns to its normal position, it cannot actuate time-delay relay 265 since switch 203 has opened the circuit to switch 205. As the panel trailing end 15 uncovers trigger switch 207, it returns to its upright position momentarily closing its contacts to complete the beveling control circuit through 295, contacts 305, 297 of switch 203 and contacts 303, 307 of still depressed enabling switch 209 thereby to energize relay coil 271 and actuate timedelay relay 265. Time-delay relay 265, when actuated, closes its contacts 267, 269, and as previously described, closure of contacts 269 actuates control unit 315 thereby to deenergize clutch 189 and energize brake 187 to interrupt the driving engagement between the motor 186 and drive rolls 177, 179 and effect the stopping of panel trailing end 15 positioned at beveling station 21 under face 31 for beveling. At the same time, closure of time-delay relay contacts 267 completes the circuit between power supply lines L1 and L2 and control valve solenoid 229 to effect energization thereof and the actuation of control valve 223 in the same manner as previously described with respect to the beveling operation on panel leading end 13 thereby to engage face 31 of beveling die 23 with panel trailing end 15 to crush or compress it forming bevel 33, as shown in PK]. 6. Subsequent to the beveling operation time-delay relay 265 opens contacts 267, 269, and opening of contact 267 opens the circuit between power supply 241 and control valve solenoid 229 effecting deenergization thereof and deactuation of control valve 227 thereby to retract beveling die 23 to its raised position, as previously described. Opening of time-delay relay contacts 269 also opens the circuit to control unit 315, but the time delay thereof prevents actuation of brake 187 and clutch 189 until beveling die 23 has had sufficient time to return to its raised position. When the control unit time delay has elapsed, control unit 315 again is operative to deenergize brake 187 and energize clutch 189 thereby to reestablish the drive between motor 186 and drive rolls 177, 179. Thereafter, drive roll 179 moves panel 1 from apparatus 151 to unloading station 213 onto the roller conveyor 211.

As it would be undesirable to have the beveling die 23 actuated at any time except when either the leading or trailing end of a panel is properly positioned at the beveling station 21, the beveling control circuit 266 is so arranged that this is prevented. The enabling switches 203 and 209 are so interconnected in the switching network of control circuit 266 that no circuit can be completed between conductors 293 and 295 so as to energize coil 271 of relay 265 if both of these switches are depressed by weight of the panel 1. Also, if both of these switches are in raised positions, the circuit to relay coil 271 is also impossible to complete even though trigger switches 205, 207 are momentarily closed, thus blocking actuation of beveling die 21 when no panel is positioned at station 23. Similarly, inadvertent actuation of the scoring dies is prevented if there is no panel depressing enabling switch 195.

Apparatus built in accordance with this invention will fabricate articulatable panels at the rate of about 30 feet per minute and typically can handle honeycom panels with a compressive strength of about I psi and of lengths up to about 20 feet and widths up to feet, although, of course, such machines may be easily built with increased capacities. Such machines, which may be used to carry out the methods of the present invention, may be employed, for example, in fabricating panels for other purposes, such as disclosed in my copending coassigned application Ser. No. 309,801 filed Nov. 27, 1972 and entitled Lightweight Foldable Furniture Piece and Method of Constructing Same.

in view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.

As various changes could be made in the above methods, constructions, and products without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for forming a panel of stiff but compressible material at least about one-half inch in thickness with scores in both faces thereof spaced at predetermined intervals along the length of the panel so that the panel may be articulated at said scores, said panel comprising a core with facing material adhered to opposite faces of the core having substantial resistance to bending on any axis thereof; said apparatus comprising means at a scoring station operable between open and closed positions for forming a pair of scores extending transversely of the panel, one in each face of the panel, with the two scores substantially in registry, means operable intermittently to feed the panel lengthwise in a predetermined path in the plane of the panel through the scoring means at the scoring station with said scoring means open in increments corresponding to the desired spacing of the scores with a dwell between successive feeding operations, and means for closing said scoring means to form said pair of scores and then opening it during each dwell, the formation of the two scores during each dwell causing a drawing in of the panel on opposite sides of the scoring station, and said feeding means permitting said drawing in.

2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 further comprising means disposed along the path of the panel and spaced at intervals corresponding to the spacing between successive pairs of scores and adapted to sense the position of the panel relative to the scoring station.

3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2 which further includes means for intermittently deactuating the feeding means in response to the sensing of panel movement past successive spaced sensing means.

4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 further comprising means for predeterminately delaying the reactuation of the feeding means subsequent to each scoring of the panel.

5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein the feeding means includes rolls adapted to be intermittently driven to feed the panel lengthwise and freely rotatable rolls lightly biasing the panel against the feed rolls thereby to permit the drawing in of the panel during the formation of said scores.

6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 further comprising means at a beveling station operable between raised and lowered positions for forming bevels extending transversely of the panel at the leading and trailing ends thereof, said intermittently operable means feeding the panel through the beveling means at the beveling station with the beveling means raised between the respective arrivals of the leading and trailing ends of the panel at the beveling station with a dwell for the beveling operations of the beveling means, and means for lowering the beveling means to form the bevels and then raising it during the dwells for the beveling operations.

7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6 further comprising other means predeterminately disposed along the path of the panel for sensing the arrival of the leading and trailing ends at the beveling station thereby to respectively position the leading and trailing ends relative to the beveling station.

8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 7 which further includes means for intermittently deactuating the feeding means in response to sensing the arrival of the leading and trailing ends at the beveling station.

9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6 further comprising means for predeterminately delaying reactuation of the feeding means subsequent to the beveling of the panel leading and trailing ends.

10. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6 further comprising means for preventing actuation of the beveling means when the panel is positioned to be scored and for preventing actuation of the scoring means when the panel is positioned to be beveled.

11. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein said beveling means comprises opposite beveling faces for respectively beveling the leading and trailing ends of the panel.

12. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6, further comprising a bed plate at the beveling station for supporting the leading and trailing ends of the panel when the bevels are formed, and means for biasing the leading and trailing ends into engagement with the bed plate.

13. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 further comprising a loading station onto which the panels are loaded for subsequent feeding along the predetermined path, and means at the loading station for aligning the panels with the predetermined path.

14-. Apparatus as set forth in claim 13 wherein the loading station further includes means for directing panels toward both the aligning means and the feedinr means.

15. The method of forming a panel of stiff but compressible material at least about one-half inch in thickness with scores in both faces thereof extending transversely thereof spaced at predetermined intervals along the length of the panel so that the panel may be articulated at said scores, said panel comprising a core with facing material adhered to opposite faces of the core and having substantially resistance to bending on any axis thereof; said method comprising the steps of intermittently feeding the panel of said material forwardly lengthwise in a predetermined path through a scoring station in successive increments corresponding to the desired spacing of the scores with a dwell between successive feeding operations and, during each dwell, forming a pair of scores in the panel at said station, one in each face of the panel, the two scores extending transversely of the panel and being substantially in registry, the formation of the two scores during each dwell causing a drawing in of the panel on opposite sides of the scores, and the panel being sufficiently free of restraint on opposite sides of said station as to be capable of drawing in from each end thereof toward said station as the scores are formed, the initial length of the panel being selected to correspond to the desired final length plus the total shortening of the panel due to its being drawn in on each scoring step.

16. The method as set forth in claim 15, comprising the additional step of sensing movement of the panel along the path toward the scoring station and intermittently discontinuing feeding of the panel as successive increments of panel movement are sensed.

17. The method as set forth in claim 15 wherein the forming step further comprises forming during successive increments of panel movement immediately adjacent side-by-side pairs of scores in the panel.

18. The method as set forth in claim 15 comprising the additional step of predeterminately delaying successive feeding operations subsequent to the formation of each pair of scores.

19. The method as set forth in claim 15 further comprising the additional step of feeding the panel in its predetermined path through a beveling station and forming a bevel at each of the leading and trailing ends of the panel with a dwell for the beveling operations.

20. The method as set forth in claim 19 comprising the additional step of sensing the arrival of the leading and trailing ends of the panel at the beveling station and intermittently discontinuing the feeding operation when the leading and trailing ends are positioned at the beveling station.

21. The method as set forth in claim 20 comprising the additional step of preventing formation of scores when the bevels are formed and preventing formation of the bevels when the scores are formed.

22. The method as set forth in claim 20 comprising supporting the panel in its predetermined path at the beveling station, and biasing the leading and trailing ends of the panel downwardly at the beveling station to insure the support thereof upon the formation of the bevels.

23. The method as set forth in claim 20 comprising the additional step of predeterminately delaying successive feeding operations subsequent to the formation of the bevels.

24. The method as set forth in claim 15 wherein the scoring step defines a plurality of panel segments and in which at least alternate segments of the panel have an additional panel segment extendingfrom one edge thereof, and forming additional pairs of scores at right angles to the first said scores thereby to define said additional panel segments.

25. The method as set forth in claim 15 wherein the core is honeycomb material formed of kraft paper or the like and the panel is compressed during each scoring step to about 15-25 percent of its thickness along the line of the score.

UNITED STATES PATENT UFFICE CERTIFICATE UF 1;"? CNN PATFNT NO. I 3,866,523 DA ES 1 February 18, 1.975

WVEWOWS) Robert C. Geschwender it is cerrtred that error appears in the ab0veidentrfied patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 18, line 33, "claim 20" should read claim 19 Line 37, "claim 20" should read claim 19 Line 43, "claim 20" should read claim 19 Signed and sealed this 17th clay of June 1.375.

(SEAL) Attest:

C; E-EARSHALL DANN RUTH CIo MASON Commissioner of Patents Arresting ()fficer and Trademarks

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Classifications
U.S. Classification493/18, 493/19, 493/400
International ClassificationB65D65/40, B31B1/25, B31B5/00
Cooperative ClassificationB31B1/25, B31F1/08, B31B2201/252
European ClassificationB31B1/25