US 3881379 A
A method of automatically cutting out material pieces from a web in conformance with a cutting pattern including scanning a line of predetermined width defining a pattern cutting line, orienting a sensor arrangement along at least one edge of the line, or centrally thereof, transmitting a signal from the sensor arrangement to a control device in dependance upon the intensity of the signal received, and actuating a cutting knife for cutting the material web pursuant to the evaluation of the sensor signal.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Stumpf May 6, 1975  METHOD OF AUTOMATICALLY CUTTING 3,470,780 lO/l969 Wright 83/925 CC O M ER PIECES FROM A WEB IN 3,626,799 l2/l97l Gerber 83/925 CC 3,766,813 l0/l973 83/56 CONFORMANCE WITH A SCANNED CUTTING PATTERN Giinter Otto Stumpf, 7421 Mehrstetten, Kreis Munsingen, Germany Filed: June 13, 1973 Appl. No.: 369,760
Foreign Application Priority Data Mueller 83/56 Primary Examiner-J. M. Meister  ABSTRACT A method of automatically cutting out material pieces from a web in conformance with a cutting pattern including scanning a line of predetermined width defining a pattern cutting line, orienting a sensor arrangement along at least one edge of the line, or centrally thereof, transmitting a signal from the sensor arrangement to a control device in dependance upon the intensity of the signal received, and actuating a cutting knife for cutting the material web pursuant to the evaluation of the sensor signal.
2 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures Y IU'HEU 5 3.881.379
SHEET REF 5 FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a method for the automatic cutting out of material components or pieces from a material web pursuant to a cutting pattern.
DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART A method for the cutting out of material or cloth pieces from a web is generally known from German Pat. No. 1,256,173. Thus, in the prior art method, the pattern of cutting is resolved by an uninterrupted or, in effect, noncrossing line. This, in actuality, signifies that the various line portions neither contact nor cross each other at any point. Consequently, two pieces of the cutting pattern are at all times interconnected by two closely extending line portions, which encompass therebetween a connecting portion or bridge which, after the cutting out of the cutting pattern, must be cut through so as to provide for separation of the individual material pieces. The separation of the connecting portion between the two material pieces is effected through a manual operation. This, of course, creates the drawback, that a manual operation follows the previous fully automatic cutting method, which partly detracts from the high degree of automation. Additionally, the connecting portion remains attached to one of the two material pieces which are interconnected by means of that particular connecting portion, since the separation between the pieces is only effected by means of a single cut through the connecting portion. Consequently, in order to provide for the clean cutting out of the material pieces and to separate the latter, it is required to carry out two manual cutting operations so as to completely remove the connecting portion.
According to US. Pat. Nos. 1,774,865 and 2,172,3 l3 it is generally known that in order to obtain the precise sensing and separation of material pieces from a continuous material web, a photosensing or scanning device may be provided in which a sensor arrangement is adapted to be oriented adjacent the edge of the cutting or separating line. However, even applying the concepts of the above-mentioned US. patents toward effecting the cutting operation disclosed in German Pat. No. 1,256,] 73 still would not provide a fully automatic method of cutting out material pieces from a material web.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, accordingly, a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved method for the fully automatic cutting out of completely separated material pieces from a material web.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved method for the fully automatic cutting out of completely separated material pieces from a material web which completely eliminates the need for the subsequent removal of any material portions between the material pieces.
A further object of the present invention lies in providing a method as described above which utilizes a scanning arrangement in which a photosensor is conveyed along an edge of the separating line so as to allow for the fully automatic cutting out and separation of the material pieces.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Reference may now be had to the following detailed description of a method and arrangement for carrying out the present invention, illustrating various exemplary embodiments, and taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates a simple form of a cutting pattern with three material pieces;
FIG. 2 illustrates the linear guide path used for resolving the cutting pattern of FIG. I pursuant to a first embodiment;
FIG. 3 illustrates the linear guide path used for resolving the cutting pattern of FIG. 1 pursuant to a second embodiment;
FIG. 4 illustrates a variation of the linear guide path for effecting the cutting pattern according to FIG. 1 in accordance with the second embodiment;
FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective, generally schematic view of an arrangement for carrying out the inventive method;
FIG. 6 illustrates, on an enlarged scale, a generally schematic representation of a scanning head utilized in the arrangement of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary representation of the region VII showing the scanning along an edge of the line in FIG. 2;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary representation of the region VIII showing the scanning of both edges of the line in FIG. 4;
FIG. 9 illustrates a representative realistic material cutting pattern;
FIG. 10 illustrates the linear cutting guide path for the separation of the material pieces according to the pattern of FIG. 9, employing the first embodiment of cutting pattern; and
FIG. 11 shows the linear cutting guide path for the separation of the material pieces according to the pattern of FIG. 9, employing the second embodiment of cutting pattern.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now in detail to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a simplified cutting pattern having a cutting pattern base portion 1 and three cutting pieces, 2, 3 and 4. In accordance with this cutting pattern, pieces may be cut out from one or more superimposed layers of material webs. The cutting pattern may have a somewhat smaller physical measurement as compared to the actual material pieces which are to be cut out. In this instance, a suitable scale transfer or conversion means must be provided intermediate the scanning arrangement and the installation for the cutting out of the material pieces.
The aggregate material pieces 2, 3 and 4 of the cutting pattern are cut out by means of a single, continuous cut. This signifies that the cutting pattern must be resolved in an uninterrupted line which extends about the edges of all of the material pieces 2, 3 and 4. In this manner, the pieces are to be completely separated from each other after the completion of the single cutting sequence.
A first application for the separation of the cutting pattern according to FIG. I by means of an interrupted line Sis illustrated in FIG. 2. In that instance, the pieces 2 and 4 are connected to each other by two line portions 6 and 7 which for a short distance extend in a coinciding relationship. Similarly, the two pieces 2 and 3 are connected to each other by two line portions which extend over a short distance in a coinciding relationship. At the location in which the line portions 6 and 7 are superimposed or coincide, there is effected the separation of the pieces from the material layers by means of a cutting knife.
Another possiblity for the guidance of line is illustrated in FIG. 3. In this instance. the material pieces 3 and 4 are also connected to each other by two lines portions 8 and 9 which cross at locations 10 and I]. At the crossing locations 10 and 11 there is effected the separation of the pieces which are cut out of the material layers in conformance with the pieces 3 and 4 of the cutting pattern.
Due to reasons requiring further explanation, the corners in FIGS. 2 and 3 must be rounded. However, if it is desired that the corners be made as pointed as is possible, then line 5, in accordance with FIG. 4, may be conveyed toward the corner points in a path so as to describe a loop. On the basis of loop 12 and the crossing points 13 in FIG. 4, it may be ascertained that the loop deviates from the corresponding piece 3 of the cutting pattern.
The arrangement illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings includes two tables 19 and 20. The cutting pattern which is to be scanned is positioned on table 19, while the material layers are positioned on table 20, from which material pieces are to be cut in conformance with the pattern pieces of the cutting pattern. The cutting pattern and the material layers are not illustrated. A pair of longitudinal guides 21 are mounted on table 20, having positioned thereon a pair of running frames 22 which are interconnected by a traverse 23. A suitable drive 24, which is not described in greater detail, is located on one of the running frames 22. The drive 24 is adapted to convey the running frames, on the one hand, in the direction of the longitudinal guides 21, and may further be connected with a spindle 25. The spindle 25 is connected to a cross-slide 26 which is slidably mounted on the traverse 23. The cross-slide 26 supports a cutting knife 27 which is vertically reciprocable by means of a cutting motor 28. Furthermore, crossslide 26 supports thereon a rotary motor 29 which imparts a predetermined cutting direction to the cutting knife 27. Furthermore, a transverse projecting arm 32 is seated on one of the running frames 22, on which a scanning device 30 is slidably supported. The scanning device 30 is also connected to spindle 25 and, consequently, is slidable in synchronous motion with the cross-slide 26. The scanning device 30 is provided on its lower surface with a sensing head 31. A switch or control panel is designated by reference numeral 34.
The sensing head 31 is generally schematically illustrated in FIG. 6 of the drawings. A photometer 40 is located in the sensing head 31 which is adapted to scan a portion of the area of the cutting pattern 1 through the intermediary of an optical installation 35. The optical installation 35 is rotatable about a vertical axis within the sensing head. A lamp 36 is connected with the optical installation, and is adapted to direct a light spot onto the cutting pattern I, which is larger than the scanned pattern area. The lamp 36 is pivotable about the rotational axis of the optical installation 35 in conjunction with the latter. Furthermore, the optical installation 35 includes a follower wheel 37, which is also pivotable about the axis together with the optical installation 35. The angle of rotation of the optical installation is transmitted, by means of gear wheels 38 and 39, to a rotation indicator 4!. The direction of movement of the sensing head 31 is represented by means of the arrow.
In FIG. 7 of the drawing, a portion of line 5 is illustrated on an enlarged scale. The light spot which is directed onto the cutting pattern by the lamp 36 of the sensing head is designated by reference numeral 14. The pattern portion which is scanned by the optical arrangement 35 and photometer 40 is designated by reference numeral 15. One-half of the illuminated portion 15 is located on line 5, and the other half thereof on the cutting pattern base 1. Since the line 5 is darker than the cutting pattern base 1, less light is reflected from the half of the portion 15 which is located on line 5 then from the half located on the cutting pattern base 1. However, the photometer 40 measures the total quantity of the light which is reflected from both halves of the portion 15. This signifies that more light is reflected from the portion 15 when the portion 15 in FIG. 7 moves toward the left; and correspondingly less light is reflected when the portion 15 oppositely thereto moves toward the right. Consequently, the intensity of the reflected light measured by the photometer 40 provides a measure of the deviation of the scanned portion 15 from the left edge of line 5 in FIG. 7. The intensity may, accordingly, be utilized in a known manner for the guidance of sensing head 31, so that the latter is oriented pursuant to the pertinent edge of line 5.
In FIG. 5, chain-dotted lines schematically illustrate where are utilized the obtained informations rotation angle" or reflected light intensity which are transmitted from sensing head 31. Both informations are transmitted into an evaluation installation 33, which controls the transverse and longitudinal drive 24. The rotational angle serves to provide correlation between the transverse direction and the longitudinal direction of the drive, and both co-ordinates of the cutting pattern. In addition thereto, the rotational angle is transmitted to the motor 29 for determining the cutting angle of knife 27. The arrangement which is schematically illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings automatically moves with sensing head 31 along line 5. Needless to say, knife 27 also cuts the corresponding material pieces out of the material layers on the table.
As previously mentioned, according to FIG. 6, the sensing head orients itself only along one edge of line 5. This type of scanning is suitable when it is desired to follow line 5 in accordance with FIG. 2. This indicates that this scanning arrangement may also be utilized in cutting patterns in which two line portions extend in superimposed or coinciding relationship. However, in order to provide for that the scanned portion 15 (FIG. 7) lies with one-half thereof on line 5 and with the other half thereof on the cutting pattern base 1, the line 5 in the area of the coinciding line portions must be so extended, whereby the line edge on which the sensing head orients itself, at both line portions lies at times on the other line edge of the deviating line portion. This indicates, for example in the instance of FIG. 2, that in at line portion 6 the mentioned line edge lies toward the left, and at the line portion 7 the mentioned line edge lies toward the right. When it is assumed that one moves in conjunction with the sensing head, then the mentioned line edge naturally lies at both line portions 6 and 7 on the same side, namely toward the left. Since the sensing head 31 and similarly other types of sensors cannot be conducted through sharp corners, it is also a requirement that the line 5 in FIG. 2 is so guided, so that the later scanned line portion 7 approaches the previously scanned line portion 6 at a narrowing acute angle, until the later scanned line portion 7 tangentially contacts the previously scanned line portion 6. For the same reasons also the edges of pieces 2, 3 and 4 in FIG. 2 are rounded off.
In order to scan the line 5 of the cutting pattern in accordance with FIG. 4, a method is utilized pursuant to FIG. 8. For this method, the sensing head 31 illustrated in FIG. 6 is so modified whereby, in lieu of a photometer 40 with its associated optical installation 35, there are provided two adjacent positioned photometers with corresponding optical installations. In FIG. 8 there is, needless to say, provided a light spot 16 which is projected by lamp 36 onto the cutting pattern, and in which both scanned areas or portions are designated by 17 and 18. The evaluation of the two portions 17 and 18 is separately effected. In order to provide for the actuation of the sensing head 31, both measured light intensities are compared with each other. When both of the intensities are equal then the sensing installation 31 moves along the center of line 5. If the light intensities become unequal, then the sensing head is actuated so that the intensities again become equal. The rotational angle is also here transmitted by the follower wheel 37.
The scanning arrangement disclosed in FIG. 8 has the advantage in that it only concerns itself with the relative relationship of the reflected light intensities from both scanned portions 17 and 18. This renders it possible to effect that a line crossing-over may be traversed by the sensing head 31, as is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. In order to provide undisturbed scanning, the crossing-over angle should be approximately 90.
While there has been shown what is considered to be the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious that modifications may be made which come within the scope of the disclosure of the specification.
What is claimed is:
l. A method of automatically cutting out material pieces from a material web in conformance with a cutting pattern of pattern segments, said cutting pattern being formed by a continuous line of predetermined width, comprising; automatically scanning said line with a sensor arrangement sensitive to distinctions between said line and the background of said cutting pattern; transmitting a signal generated in response to sensed distinctions to a control installation; and imparting a cutting movement to a cutting tool for said material in conformance with the signal received by said control installation, said continuous line having portions extending between at least two adjacent pattern segments of said cutting pattern and being in coincident or crossing relationship in at least one location, said sensor arrangement including photo scanning means, conveying said photo scanning means along the center of said line in an oriented relationship with reference to both edges of said line, said line having a portion extending between at least two pattern segments of said cutting pattern in crossover configuration at a crossing angle of about and forming corners on said pattern segments through the crossing point of a loop formed in said line, said loop extending away from said pattern segment.
2. A method of automatically cutting out material pieces from a material web in conformance with a cutting pattern of pattern segments, said cutting pattern being formed by a continuous line of predetermined width, comprising; automatically scanning said line with a sensor arrangement sensitive to distinctions between said line and the background of said cutting pattern; transmitting a signal generated in response to sensed distinctions to a control installation; and imparting a cutting movement to a cutting tool for said material in conformance with the signal received by said control installation, said continuous line having portions extending between at least two adjacent pattern segments of said cutting pattern and being in coincident or crossing relationship in at least one location, said sensor arrangement including photo scanning means, comprising conveying said photo scanning means along the center of said line in an oriented relationship with reference to both edges of said line, said line having a portion extending between at least two pattern segments of said cutting pattern in cross-over configuration at a crossing angle of about 90, said line having a darker-lighter coloring in contrast with the background of said cutting pattern, directing at least one light spot toward both edges of the line for photo scanning; said light spot illuminating an area of said line and the areas of the adjacent cutting pattern background on both sides thereof; evaluating independently the intensities of light reflected from each of the line edge areas and adjacent cutting pattern background areas and in the direction of scanning movement, the continuing scanning being moved toward the left upon the reflected light at the left side having a lower intensity than the reflected light intensity at the right side and conversely.