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Publication numberUS3909964 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 7, 1975
Filing dateAug 30, 1974
Priority dateApr 26, 1974
Also published asDE2420318A1, DE2420318B2, DE2420318C3
Publication numberUS 3909964 A, US 3909964A, US-A-3909964, US3909964 A, US3909964A
InventorsWenck Rolf
Original AssigneeE & E Peters Inh Ludwig Mohr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for spreading and feeding pieces of washing
US 3909964 A
Abstract
A device for feeding small pieces of washing e.g. to a mangle comprises a constantly driven feed conveyor, a suction channel and an intermediate device of a type which presents movement of a piece of washing laid with its front end on the moving belts of the feed conveyor and with its rear end in the suction channel.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

271/46, 53, 54, 51, 69, 74, 79; 198/75, 102; 214/1 L; 26/5l67; 28/1 E, 15

United States Patent [191 [111 3,909,964 Wenck Oct. 7, 1975 APPARATUS FOR SPREADING AND [56] References Cited FEEDING PIECES OF WASHING UNITED STATES PATENTS Inventor: Rolf Wenck, Geesthacht, Germany 3,736,678 6/1973 Kamberg 38/143 Assignee: E. & E. Peters Ludwig Mohr, 3,772,808 11/1973 Behn... 38/143 Hamburg, Germany Primary ExaminerGeo. V. Larkin [22] Fled: 1974 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Stevens, Davis, Miller & 21] Appl. No.: 501,984 Mosher [30] Foreign Application Priority Data [57] ABSTRACT Apr, 26, 1974 Germany 2420318 A device for feeding small pieces of washing e.g. to a mangle comprises a constantly driven feed conveyor, a [52] U.S. Cl. 38/143 suction channel and an intermediate device of a type [51] Int. Cl. D06F 67/04 which presents movement of a piece of washing laid [58] Field of Search 38/143, 2; 271/45, 49, with its front end on the moving belts of the feed conveyor and with its rear end in the suction channel.

28 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 7,1975 Sheet 1 of3 3,909,964

U.S. Patent Oct. 7,1975 Sheet 2 0f 3 3,909,964

1-5 OOOOOOO OO o 90 0 Fig- US, Patent. 001:. 7,1975 Shaet 3 01 3 3,909,964

APPARATUS FOR SPREADING AND FEEDING PIECES OF WASHING FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a device for feeding pieces of washing to a washing treatment machine. Particularly the invention relates to such a device for feeding small pieces of washing as handkerchiefs, serviettes, towels or the like.

Known feed devices for pieces of washing are generally well suited for feeding comparatively large pieces of washing but not for feeding comparatively small pieces of washing.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION The object of the present invention is to provide a device for feeding small pieces of washing satisfactorily and close to one another into a washing treatment machine such as a mangle.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION The invention relates to apparatus for feeding in particular small pieces of washing to a washing treatment machine such as a mangle or the like which includes a continuously driven feed conveyor positioned in front of the washing treatment machine and above which a freely rotatable pressure roller is movably positioned. A suction channel connected to a source of reduced pressure is positioned ahead of the feed conveyor channel into which a portion of washing which has been laid with its front end on the feed conveyor can be sucked for shaking out. In the region of the laying on end of the feed conveyor a device is positioned which creates such a resistance to movement of the piece of washing that a piece of washing located with its front end merely laid on the feed conveyor and with its rear end in the suction channel does not move.

SPECIFICATION DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The invention is subsequently illustrated by way of example with reference to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a partial schematically drawn side view of a device according to the invention,

FIG. 2 is a partial view on a larger scale,

FIG. 3 is a plan corresponding to FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2 of a modified embodiment of the invention, and

FIG. 5 shows a stretching out plate in plan.

One embodiment according to the invention is illustrated in the drawings. As shown, the device has a movable frame 1 with two side walls 2 and a bridge 3 connecting the side walls in which for example parts of the electrical control, pressure means control, or the like can be arranged.

Between the side walls 2 there is arranged as a feed belt a feed conveyor 4, which feeds pieces of washing laid thereon in the direction towards a subsequently arranged washing treatment machine which for example can be a mangle, and the infeed conveyor 5 of which is schematically illustrated. According to the illustration, the front reverse roll of the inlet conveyor 5 of the washing treatment machine is in contact with a turn round roll of the feed conveyor 4. By means of such an embodiment, the feed conveyor 4 is then directly driven by the inlet conveyor 5. It is naturally also possible to provide a separate drive device for the feed conveyor 4 in which case then the belt guiding of the feed conveyor 4 runs somewhat otherwise than the illustrated embodiment.

Below the feed conveyor 4 is located a suction channel 6 which can be arranged generally horizontally but which in the illustrated embodiment runs somewhat obliquely. On the right hand end of the suction channel 6 as shown in FIG. 1 is connected with the interposition of a sieve 6a an air chamber 7 which extends vertically downwards in which as illustrated there is arranged a blower 8, which is preferably a transverse blower of known type, the turning direction of which is given in FIG. 1 by the arrow. On the pressure side of the blower 8 there is provided a flap 9 or the like which by means of a suitable operation device, which is shown as a piston cylinder device 10, can be operated according to choice in order to close the exit opening or to open it. The purpose of this arrangement is explained below.

Furthermore not illustrated means are provided in order to adjust according to choice the flap 9 to a predetermined opening position. By means of this it is possible to adjust the sucking power corresponding to particular pieces of washing or types of washing, wherein for example for softer washing the suction power is adjusted to less.

It is to be noted that the feed conveyor 4, the suction channel 6, the air chamber 7 as well as the blower 8 extend over the whole width of the device, i.e. over the distance between the two side walls 2 of frame 1.

In the region of the inlet end of the suction channel 6, i.e. on the left hand end of the suction channel 6 as shown in FIG. 1 there is arranged a feed roller 11 which likewise extends over the whole width of the device and which is driven by means of a suitable device 11a, preferably with the interposition of an overload protection such as a friction clutch. The drive to feed roller 1 1 can be switchable in controlled fashion as is described further below.

The inlet end of the suction channel 6 lies somewhat in the region of and below a turn round roller 12 located at the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4, around which the belts or strips of the feed conveyor 4 run. In front of this turn round roller 12 there is arranged a laying on plate 13. In front of the laying on plate 13 is a freely rotatable roller 14 in the form of a plurality of smaller rollers, each of which has a reflective coating 14a. The laying on plate 13 extends around the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4 downwardly so that pieces of washing in this region are prevented from coming into direct contact with the feed conveyor 4. Contact of pieces of washing with the feed conveyor 4 is possible relative to the direction of movement of the feed conveyor 4 and the feed direction of the pieces of washing in the direction towards the washing treating machine after the laying on plate 13.

Below the turn round roller 12 there is located a device in the form of a spreading plate 15 having an arcuate spreading edge. As illustrated, the spreading plate 15 is arranged slideably in a groove 16 formed by suitable means on the frame of the device. To alter the spreading action, variously sized spreading plates 15 can be provided so that then the spreading edge projects out differing distances. In FIG. 5 a spreading plate 15 is shown in plan. It has the customary arcuate spreading edge. Additionally the spreading plate 15 is provided near the spreading edge with a plurality of small openings 15a. By means of this it is obtained that air is sucked also through these holes 150 so that in practice on both sides of the piece of washing an air stream arises by means of which again the laying on is further guaranteed. Additionally it is to be noted that, as illustrated in dashed lines FIG. 2, the spreading plate can also be arranged in angled position.

To protect against the noise generated during working of the sucking device, the walls limiting the air chamber 7 and the suction channel 6 can be provided with acoustic damping where this is possible without too great constructional difficulty. As evident for example from FIG. 1, the upper wall of the suction channel 6 is provided with a sound dampening arrangement. This sound dampening arrangement embraces a layer consisting of sound dampening material which is covered by an expanded mesh which simultaneously forms the upper wall of the suction channel 6.

A freely turnable pressure roll 17 is located above the feed conveyor 4, which roll in the embodiment according to FIG. 1 lies on the feed conveyor 4 and can be moved between the position illustrated in full lines and that illustrated in dashed lines, as is later described in more detail. The pressure roller 17 can suitably consist of a hollow roller made of plastics. The pressure roller 17 is fixed to a swingable mounting. This swingable mounting has at each end of the pressure roller 17 a strut 18 which is pivotally connected at one end with the pressure roller 17. Both struts 18 are connected together by means of a stiffening member for example in the form of a square section tube 19. At their ends remote from the pressure roller 17 each strut 18 is pivotally connected with a link 20 which at its opposite end is pivotally connected to the frame of the device eg on bridge 3, as is denoted at 21. The two links 20 are connected together in a similar fashion to the struts 18 by means of a stiffening or connection member for example in the form of a square section tube 22. Roughly in the middle between the two links 20 there is located on the square section tube 22 a mounting 23 on which the piston rod 24 of a piston cylinder device 25 is pivotally attached. The opposite end of the piston cylinder device 25 is pivotally attached to the frame of the appara* tus for example on to bridge 3, as illustrated at 250.

Furthermore between the links 20 on the square section tube 22 there is fixed a spring 26 which is fixed at one end by suitable means to the square section tube 22. The other end of spring 26 is not attached or firmly fixed. Spring 26 can be a spiral spring or as illustrated a leaf spring. The number of springs 26, the function of which will be described later, depends on the particular requirements.

As is further evident from FIG. 1, a source 27 of a beam of light is attached on the frame device in such a fashion that the beam of light emitted therefrom impinges on the reflective coating 14a of the freely rotatable roller 14 arranged in front of the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4.

Subsequently the mode of action of the device as described so far is described:

First it is to be taken that comparatively small pieces of washing, simply called small pieces, are to be fed. In this case, a car carrying a plurality of such small pieces of washing or the like is appropriately arranged beneath the suction channel 6, which is particularly facilitated by the arrangement chosen and illustrated in the drawing of the suction channel 6 underneath the feed conveyor 4 and essentially in horizontal position. Then,

by operation of a suitable not shown control, the device is placed in running condition, wherein the blower 8 is switched on so that a suction effect is generated in the suction channel 6. Simultaneously the feed roller 11 is driven so that it turns. Furthermore in this condition, the pressure roller 17 is arranged in the right hand position as seen in FIG. 1. The flap 9 on the pressure side of the blower 8 is open at this point in time, since with a closed flap 9 no suction effect can be generated in suction channel 6.

A piece of washing is now grasped by an operative by hand and led upwardly past and in front of the feed roll 11 in an effort to lay the front end of the piece of washing on the feed conveyor 4 behind the laying on plate 13 but in front of the pressure roller. As soon as the piece of washing is led past the outlet end of the suction channel 6, the rear portion of the piece of washing, aided by the turning of feed roll 11 according to the arrow shown in the drawing, is pulled into the suction channel 6, so that the piece of washing lies against the spreading edge of the spreading plate 15 against the covering sheet provided on the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4 and against the freely turnable roller 14.

As soon as the beam of light which is sent out by the light beam source 27 is broken by the upward guiding of the front end of the piece of washing, the flap 9 located on the pressure side of the blower 8 is closed so that that suction action in channel is interrupted. Also by means of the breaking of the beam of light, but however after a certain delay time, the piston cylinder device 25 is activated so that the pressure roll 17 is moved from the right hand position as shown in FIG. 1 into the left hand position as shown in FIG. 2. However in between this the front end of the piece of washing is already laid on the feed conveyor 4, so that the pressure roller 17 during its movement leftwards as seen in FIG. 1 runs onto the front end of the piece of washing. The link 20 operates at the left hand end position of the pressure roller 17 as shown in FIG. 1 a limit switch 20a (FIG. 1) by the operation of which the direction of movement of the pressure roll 17 is reversed and the flap 9 on the pressure side of the blower 8 is again opened by corresponding operation of the piston cylinder device 10.

In the mode of action controlled as mentioned, the front end of the piece of washing lies on the feed conveyor 4 which is continuously driven without it already having been forwarded. Feeding begins at that point in time at which the pressure roller 17 runs onto the front end of the piece of washing. The pressure then exerted by the pressure roller 17 is sufficient in order to effect forwarding of the piece of washing, even after the renewed generation of suction power in the suction channel 6 as a result of the opening of flap 9 on the pressure side of blower 8.

As a result of the shaking out action promoted in known fashion by the suction power and the spreading out action of the spreading plate 15, the piece of washing is both billowed out and spread out so that it is practically wholly prepared on the feed conveyor 4 and fed in the direction towards the wash treating machine, for example the mangle.

As soon as the rear end of the piece of washing frees the light beam emerging from the light beam source 27, the following piece of washing can be laid on using the mode of working previously described, even on to the preceding piece of washing, and fed from the feed conveyor 4. In this way it is possible to lay the pieces of washing on so that they run practically immediately after one another into the washing treatment machine.

The function of spring 26 or springs 26 consists in that during the movement of pressure roller 17 to the right according to FIG. 1 they effect an increasingly great pressure on the pressure roll. As mentioned above, the spring 26 is fixed only at one end and stands freely. The direction in which they stand freely is so chosen that springs 26 stand practically free in the air (FIG. 2) when the pressure roller 17 is located its left hand position according to FIG. 1, i.e. in the position in which they are nearest the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4. With the beginning of the return move ment of the pressure roller 17, i.e. towards the right according to FIG. 1, the angle of spring 26 varies as a result of its fixing to the square section tube 22 and it comes after a comparatively short time on to an abutment 26a on the rectangular section tube 19, which connects the two struts together and exercises, as a result of its suitable stiffness, an increasingly great force directed downwardly on to the pressure roller 17.

In one embodiment there can be provided in the suction channel 6 near its lower end, howeverin front of the above mentioned sieve 6a, a switch (not shown) on touching of which the drive to the feed roll 1 1 is temporarily interrupted. Such device is useful if for example strip towels of a length of about 30 m are to be fed with the device. With such band hand towels a loop of the band could form in suction channel 6 which, if the noted switch was not present, could reach in suction channel 6 right up to the sieve 6a and thereby eliminate the suction action.

In a modified embodiment of the invention the pres sure roller can have at each of its two ends a guide member which runs on a curved track of such shape that on moving the pressure roller 17 leftwards according to FIG. 1 the pressure roller 17 is first raised from the feed conveyor 4 and then near its left hand end po sition again set on the feed conveyor 4. The curved track should be constructed suitably in this fashion so that on movement of the pressure roller 17 according to FIG. 1 to the right it is pulled back below the track so that then the pressure roller 17 runs on the feed conveyor 4. By such an embodiment it is arranged that pressure roller 17 does not run on to the front end of a piece of washing, but is set on to this from above. By means of this it is then guaranteed that at the front edge of the washing no rolling or the like is effected by laying on of the pressure roller 17. The action described can also be obtained by means of a not illustrated piston cylinder device, which is connected for example via a chain or the like with the ends of the pressure roll, so that on operation at the correct point in time of this piston cylinder device the pressure roller 17 can be lifted up during its movement to the left according to FIG. 1 for a short time from the feed conveyor 4.

In another modified embodiment of the invention, a swingable flap 30 is provided before the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4 i.e. in front of the turn round roll 12, which is illustrated in FIG. 4 and which carries a freely rotatable roller 31 consisting of several individual rollers, of which one again has a reflective coating.

This flap 30 is movable between the two illustrated positions. In the position swung to the left according to FIG. 4, the laying on at the front end of the piece of washing on to the feed conveyor 4 takes place and the feeding of the piece of washing is then initiated by swinging the flap 30 to the right. This swinging of flap 30 to the right is generated in that on laying on the front edge of the piece of washing traverses the beam of light, which is so directed from the light beam source 27 that it impinges on the roller 31 when this is located in the position swung away from the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4.

In this modified embodiment, the pressure roller 32 does not need to be moved to and fro, but it is sufficient that it can be lifted away from the feed conveyor 4 in controlled fashion and again set thereon. For this, means known per se can be used and in FIG. 4 the swinging mounting is only schematically illustrated.

In the embodiment according to FIG. 1 it can happen in practical operation that the. hand of an operative could come into contact with pressure roller 17, particularly when pressure roller 17 moves in the direction towards the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4. However, by such contact practically no injury could occur to the hand, since the pressure roller 17 during the movement mentioned lies practically only with its own weight on the feed conveyor 4 and as a result of the swinging mounting described can simply be allowed to run on to the hand.

It is furthermore possible to provide a marking by means of which it is indicated to the operator approximately where the front end of the piece of washing should be laid on the feed conveyor. For example a colored wire, a colored rod or the like can be arranged at the appropriate position underneth the upper run of the feed conveyor 4. It is important here that the front end of the piece of washing is laid on in such a fashion that the pressure roller 17 on its movement in the direction towards the laying on end of the feed conveyor 4 should run on to the piece of washing. I

The embodiments described so far are arranged with one track. It is however possible to construct the device with more than one track, wherein in that case independently controllable pressure rollers suction channels and blowers are provided, in order to be able to control each track separately. Naturally in that case means are also provided for operating the pressure rollers and the blowers together for single track working, in which case then for example very large pieces of washing can be fed using the now single track working device.

The division of a single suction channel extending of the width of the device into a plurality of individual channels can suitably be carried out in that separator sheets are pushed into guidance slits or grooves in the wall of the suction channel.

It is also possible inthe slit mounting described above to provide a separate spreading plate 15 for each track whe 11 one wishes to work multitrack. It is however also possible to provide a single spreading plate extending over the whole width of the device, when one wishes to work as one track.

The device described can in practice be used for all washing sizes but it is particularly suitable and convenient for so called small pieces such as hand towels, pillow cases, handkerchiefs, serviettes, kitchen towels, di apers etc.

I claim as my invention:

1. An apparatus for feeding pieces of washing to a washing treatment machine comprising a frame, a drivable feed conveyor positioned on said frame, a freely rotatable pressure roller positioned above said feed conveyor, a suction channel positioned below said feed conveyor, a vacuum means connected to said channel whereby a piece of washing can be sucked to stretch it out, and a device connected to the frame which on contact with a piece of washing generates such a resistance to movement of the piece of washing that a piece of washing located with its front end laid on to the feed conveyor and with its rear end in the suction channel does not move.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the device generating the resistance against movement to the piece of washing has a frictional surface at the laying on end of the feed conveyor extending transversely across its width.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the device generating the resistance to movement of the piece of washing defines a plate arranged in the laying on region of the feed conveyor and extending over the width of the feed conveyor, and includes means attached to said channel forming a spreading edge.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3, and a turn around roll wherein the plate is positioned in front of the turn round roll for said feed conveyor positioned in the laying on region and the spreading edge of said means is arranged essentially underneath the turn round roll.

5. The apparatus according to claim 3 including a freely rotatable roller positioned in front of the laying on end of the feed conveyor.

6. The apparatus according to claim 5 including a light beam source positioned above the feed conveyor and wherein the freely turnable roller has a reflective coating which constitutes the reflector for said light beam source.

7. The apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the spreading edge is adjustably and exchangeably positioned on the frame.

8. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the spreading plate is formed with an arcuate spreading edge and is provided near the edge with a row of apertures.

9. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the frame has a slit opening and the spreading edge is positioned in said slit opening.

10. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the suction channel extends over the breadth of the feed conveyor.

11. The apparatus according to claim including a vertical air chamber on the rear end of the suction channel and a blower positioned within said chamber.

12. The apparatus according to claim 10 including a sieve between the suction channel and the air chamber.

13. The apparatus according to claim 10 including a controllable outlet opening on the pressure side of the blower.

14. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the inlet end of the suction channel lies in the region of the laying on end of the feed conveyor.

15. The apparatus according to claim 1 including a drivable feed roller positioned in the region of the inlet end of the suction channel in order to promote the entry of the rear end of a piece of washing laid with its front end on the feed conveyor into the suction channel.

16. The apparatus according to claim 15 including a switchable drive for the feed roller.

17. The apparatus according to claim 15 including a friction clutch for overload protection for said feed roller.

18. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the freely turnable pressure roller lying on the feed conveyor is movable in controlled fashion in a direction towards the laying on end of the feed conveyor and away therefrom.

19. The apparatus according to claim 18 including guide members on each end of said pressure roller and controllable tracks within which said guide members run so that the pressure roller on its movement in a direction towards the laying on end of the feed conveyor is first lifted therefrom and then again set thereon.

20. The apparatus according to claim 18 including a lifting means connected with the pressure roller in order first to lift the pressure roller from the feed conveyor during its movement in a direction towards the laying on end of the feed conveyor and then to place it thereon.

21. The apparatus according to claim 18 including a swingable means located on the frame and connected to the pressure roller, said means defining a strut pivotally connected to each end of the pressure roller and a link pivotally attached to the frame, each of said struts being additionally pivotally connected to said link.

22. The apparatus according to claim 21 including a piston cylinder means defining a piston rod pivotally connected to said link and a cylinder pivotally connected to the frame.

23. The apparatus according to claim 21 including at least one spring connected to the swingable means in such a fashion that on movement of the pressure roller in the direction away from the laying on end of the feed conveyor the pressure roller presses with increasing force against the feed conveyor.

24. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the pressure roller may be lifted from the feed conveyor and set thereon again.

25. The apparatus according to claim 1 constructed as a single track device with one pressure roller.

26. The apparatus according to claim 1 constructed as a multitrack device with a plurality of adjacent pressure rollers, a plurality of suction channels and a plurality of blowers which are operable independently and together.

27. The apparatus according to claim 26 including separator plates dividing said suction channel into a plurality of suction channels.

28. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the walls of the suction channel and air chamber are formed with acoustic damping material.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3736678 *Dec 3, 1971Jun 5, 1973Chicago Dryer CoFeeder apparatus
US3772808 *Apr 19, 1972Nov 20, 1973Super Laundry Mach Co IncFlatwork feeding apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4345391 *Jul 9, 1980Aug 24, 1982Weir Henry JLaundry feeding machine
US4729181 *Sep 29, 1986Mar 8, 1988Weir Henry JLaundry feeder
US4967495 *Jun 5, 1989Nov 6, 1990Weir Henry JVacuum feed system for feeding laundry articles onto a conveyor
US7017291May 12, 2003Mar 28, 2006Finishtech, Ltd.Gap reduction system and method for laundry processing
Classifications
U.S. Classification38/143
International ClassificationD06F45/28, D06F67/04, D06F67/00, D06F11/00, D06F45/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F67/04
European ClassificationD06F67/04