US 3692303 A
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United States Patent Grantham [451 Sept. 19, 1972 SENSING MEANS FOR FOLDER  Inventor: Frederick W. Grantham, Los An- Primary geles Calif v Assistant Examiner-Robert F. Cutting Attorney-Paul H. Gallagher  Ass1gnee: Mecca Bros, Inc., North Collins,
571 ABSTRACT  Filed: July 1971 A sensing device for folders that are adapted particu- [211 App] 165,682 larly to folding textile pieces and laundry pieces; in the folding operation in such a folder, the means first senses the leading edge of the piece to be folded and in- :LS-il "270/61 itiates afirst and slow movement of Sensing control,
and then senses h g and initiates a Second 1 le 0 re and fast movement of the Sensing control, whereby the fast movement occurs for a longer or shorter period  References cued according to whether the piece is respectively shorter UNITED STATES PATENTS or longer, and thereby-effects operation of the folding element at the desired location, (e.g., the middle), of 3,170,684 2/1965 Eggleton ..270/ 62 the piece regardless of h length f the piece. 3,362,705 l/l968 l-leigl ..270/61 R 3,462,138 8/ 1969 Grantham ..270/62 12 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures 60 P I I20 RPM cw R07. g, 2g R07T BRAKE MOTOR BRAKE MOTOR H F F 20 I 72 P/C Asco M RELAY Lmc. 9
PATENTEDsEPm m2 3.692.303
sum 1 or 2 i8 2. ka- 1 59 i v 49 26' CHERRY SWITCH 1 v #2 18 3a ROTATION 60 RPM I20 RPM cw R07. J4 2g ccw R077 38 BRAKE MOTOR BRAKE MOTOR 60 M 60 606 605 Z a ,600.
O I I r 5a 5'5 NC I IO'SWITCH swam: J
3HOWN IN IDLE POSITION PAIENTEDSEP 1 m2 3 92,303
- sum 2 or 2 ROTATING NC swn'cn IN "IDLE" PosmoN SENSING MEANS FOR FOLDER OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION:
A broad object of the invention is to provide in a folder novel means for folding piecesregardless of their length when pieces are introduced into the folder in random lengths.
Another object is to provide folding means of the kind just previously referred to which includes novel mechanical means for so performing the operation.
Still another and more specific object is to provide a folder of the foregoing character which includes a first and low-speed motor controlling a switch operation which moves a switch control element toward a second switch, and a control element controlled by the movement of the piece to be folded for controlling a second and high-speed motor which in turn controls the second switch and the folding operation.
A still further and more specific object, is to provide a folder of the kind referred to just immediately above, and which includes two forms, in a first of which the motors begin and terminate in a zero position in a construction which may be regarded as the more simple, and in the second of which the motors begin and terminate in any and random positions, regardless of the effective position in the next previous operation.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT:
In the drawings:
FIG. I is a side elevational view of a motor-drive operation utilized in a first form of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view taken at line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a semi-diagrammatic illustration of the principal components of a folder embodying features of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, representing a modified form of electrical control;
FIG. 5 is a diagram of the electrical'circuit utilized in the form of FIGS. 1 to 4;
FIG. 6 is a side view of a motor-drive of a modified form of control and oriented in a direction similar to that of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a view taken at line 7--7 of FIG. 6 and showing only the elements exposed in the plane of that line;
FIG. 8 is a view taken at line 8,-8 of Flg. 6; and
Flg. 9 is an electrical circuit utilized in the form of the construction of FIGS. 6 to 8.
Referring in detail to the accompanying drawings, attention is first directed to FIGS. 1 to 5 showing a first form of the invention. In FIG. 1 a motor 10 is shown, of low speed operation such as 60 RPM, having a drive shaft 12 to which is connected an overrunning clutch 14. Connected to the shaft and leading from the clutch is a radial arm 16 at the outer end of which is secured an axial pin 18 and referred to also as a connector.
The construction of FIG. 1 also includes a second motor 20 of higher speed than the first motor I0, and in the present instance of twice that speed, or 120 RPM. The motor 20 includes a drive shaft 22 to which is secured an overrunning clutch 24, and a radial operating arm 26 is connected with the shaft 22 and leads from the overrunning clutch. The operating arm 26 has a slot 28 receiving the connector pin 18 so that the two arms rotate together about the commonaxis 30 of the shafts 12, 22. The overrunning clutches 14, 24 may be of any suitable and known kind.
The motors 10, 20 have been designated as being 60 and 120 RPM, and thus of the ratio 1:2, which effects folding of the pieces at the middle, which in most cases is desired, but it may be desired to fold the pieces at a location other than the middleand in that case the motors would be pre-selected for. different corresponding speed. This relationship will be referred to again hereinbelow. 1
THe construction includes a first switch 32 in fixed position, having a switch actuating blade 34 actuatable by the connector or pin 18.
The construction also includes a a second switch 36 mounted on an arm 38 angularly adjustable about the axis 30, which can be fixed in adjusted position by conventional means indicated at 40. The switch 36 includes an actuating arm 42 which is also'engageable by the connector or pin 18 in a manner referred to hereinbelow.
FIG. 5 shows the circuit embodying the motors and switches referred to above. The circuit includes input lines 44, 46, the motors I0, 20, and the switches 32, 36. The circuit also includes relay means48 which is also included in FIGS. 3 and 4. The relay means 48 may take the form of a PE cell or a mechanical electrical switch as desired and as will be referred to again hereinbelow, the PE cell being indicated at 480 in FIG.
3 and a mechanical switch being indicated at 48b in dicated at 60, on the first conveyor belt 54 along which it moves and onto the second conveyor belt 56. The piece has a leading edge a and a trailing edge 60b, and as it goes across the gap 58 from the first conveyor to the second, it is folded by a folding knife 62 in cooperation with folding conveyors 64, this knife and those conveyors being of conventional kind. The folding knife 62 is operated by an air cylinder 66 controlled by an air valve 68 in turn controlled by an electric switch 70. This switch 70 is shown in FIG. 5 and connected with conductor 46 referred to above and a conductor 72.
In the operation of the device of FIGS. 1 to 5, the arms l626 assume a single zero position which may be upright as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In such position the connector 18 is in engagement with the switch arm 34 holding the switch 32 at NO position (FIG. 5) in which that portion of the circuit is open. In this same position switch No. 2 is in NC position, and in this position this portion of the circuit is also open.
In the movement of the piece along the conveyor means, the leading edge 60a approaches the PE cell and the latter sees" the leading edge of the piece,
As the arms move from their zero position, the connector 18 moves beyondthe switch blade 34 changing the switch No. l to its NC position. At this point in the operation there is no change in the circuit of FIG. 5.
The piece 60 to be folded continues moving along the conveyor, and as the trailing edge 60b passes the PE cell 48, the switch means 50 (FIG. 5) is moved to its opposite position, completing circuit through contact No. 8. This stops the 60 RPM motor and starts the 120 RPM motor 20, and the latter moves the arm 26 at a faster rate, carrying the arm 26 therewith, the latter being moved at the faster rate because of the overrunning clutch l4.
As the arms 26, 16 continue swinging in angular movement, the connector 18 approaches the switch No. 2, the I20 RPM motor having started before that time, and when it does reach that switch, the connector pin actuates the arm 42 in the switch No. 2 (see FIG. 5), moving the contact arm from its NC position to its NO position. This latter-position then energizes the folding knife mechanism through the conductors 46, 72, as referred to above in connection with FIG. 3. The folding knife-62 then moves through the gap 58 and creases the piece 60 at the corresponding position (in this case, the middle) and the piece is then gripped by the conveyor means 64 and correspondingly folded. The arms 26, 16 in further rotation clear the arm 42 of the second switch 36, enabling the latter to revert to its NC position of FIG. 5, and'uponadditional movement, move up to the switch arm 34 of switch No. I, and move it to its NO position. The arms have completed a revolution, or cycle, and are again in zero position from which they start in the next folding operation.
In explanation of the operation of the folding step, it is to be stated that the relationship between the leading edge of the piece actuating a control element,such as a PE cell or a switch, and the trailing edge actuating that same switch, determines the actuation of the folding stepat the desired point. In further explanation it is to be stated that the sooner the trailing edge of the piece actuates the control element in the cycle, the sooner will the faster operating. motor begin operating, whereby in the case of a shorter piece, the faster operating motor vwill operate in a greater portion of the cycle, and the longer the piece is, the lesser portion of the cycle will the faster operating motor operate. The consequence is that regardless of the length of the piece being folded, the shorter the piece is, the longer in time will the faster motor operate, and progressively in the opposite direction, namely the longer in length the piece is the shorter period of time will the higher speed motor operate. I The result is that the pieces to be folded can be fed into the folder in random order, a long piece, a short piece, an intermediate piece, etc. and they will all be folded at the desired position, in the case referred to, in the middle. However, if the pieces are to be folded at a position other than the middle, the ratio of the speed of the motors is correspondingly changed, according to whether the fold is to be made ahead of the middle, or after the middle..The specific speeds of the motors are arbitrary, so long as the desired ratio is maintained, but in the case of folding the pieces in the middle the motors maybe of RPM and 60 RPM respectively, or 120 RPM and 240 RPM, respectively, etc.
It is also practical to utilize a single motor having dual speed characteristics so that instead of operating two different motors at different speeds, the single motor can be operated in the different phases of the cycle at the correspondingly different speeds.
FIG. 4 represents a form that may be utilized in place of that of FIG. 3. In FIG. 4 the control element 48 is a switch 48b identified above, and it has a finger 74'engageable by the piece 60. The finger 74 when engaged by the piece is held in a. deflected position throughout the travel of the piece and after the trailing edge of the piece passes the switch, the finger flicks back to its normal position, with the consequence that while the piece is passing over the switch 48b it has the same effect as if passing through the beam of thePE cell 480 of FIG. 3.
FIGS. 6 to 9 show a modified form of the apparatus. In the present arrangement, the same two motors, a low-speed and a high-speed motor are utilized, but in this case there is no zero position, but the beginning and terminating position, while the same, may be at any random angular location, around the axis of the motor drive shafts.
A low-speed or 60 RPM motor 80 is provided, having a drive shaft 82 on an axis 83, and a commutator 84 mounted on that drive shaft, the commutator having rings 86 associated with brushes 88 (see also FIG. 7.). Mounted on the commutator adjacent the periphery thereof is a switch 90 having a radial actuating finger 92. A high speed or I20 RPM motor 93 is also provided, having a drive shaft 94 on the same axis 83 as the shaft of the first motor. Mounted on the shaft 94 is an operating arm 96 having an axial pin or actuating ele- .ment 98 positioned for engagement with the switch finger 92 at certain times as explained hereinbelow.
FIG. 9 is a diagram of the circuit utilized in the present arrangement. This diagram includes the-rotating switch 90, and the motors 80, 93. It also includes a relay 100 corresponding to the relay 48 in the first form, and controlled by the movement of the piece along the conveyors as represented in FIGS. 3 and 4. Additionally the circuit includes a timer 102 of known kind, and a selector switch 104.
In the operation of the device of FIGS. 6 to 9, a beginning position is assumedin which the commutator 84 is in any random position, with the switch 90 in a corresponding angular position, e.g., the bottom, FIGS. 6 and 8, and in this same beginning position, the operating arm 96 is in position adjacent thereto (FIG. 8, full line position) in which the finger 98 is in engagement with the switch finger 92, holding the switch as represented in FIG. 9 with the switch blade in NO position. In this position the switch actuates the folding knife 62.
As the leading edge of the piece 60 (FIG. 3) moves to the PE cell, the latter sees" that edge, and as a consequence the relay is moved from the contacts No. 5 and No. 8 to the contacts No. 4 and No. 7. This causes the low-speed motor to operate, rotating the switch away from the operating pin 98, as indicated by the dot-dash line position of the switch in FIG. 8, and in that switch the contact blade is moved from the NO contact to the NC contact, whereby the knife is removed from its folding position. The timer 102 is also consequently energized, the timer having been previously set according to a period of time for the leading edge of the piece to move from the PE cell to the folding knife.
As the trailing edge of the piece passes the PE cell, the relay 100 is returned to No. 5 and No. 8, and consequently the slow-speed motor 80 is brought to a stop, instantaneously because of internal breaking function, as is included in the other motor 93 also. The timer 102 and the circuit controlled thereby isheld in ON position through the NC contact in the switch 90.
As the leading edge of the piece passes the folding knife, the timer 102 fires, according to its predetermined setting and its timing characteristics relative to the movement of the piece along the conveying means, so that as the leading edge passes the folding knife, the high-speed motor 93 is energized, moving at twice the speed of the low-speed motor. The operating arm 96 then traces the same angular displacement as the rotating switch 90, but it does so at twice the that the switch was moved. When the operating arm 96 reaches the switch 90, which is at that time stationary, the pin 98 engages the finger 92, changing the switch blade in the switch 90 back to the NO contact. This position of the arm 96 is shown in dot-dash lines in FIG. 8, again in direct association with the switch. This causes the timer 102 to transfer to contact No. 5 therein and thus stop the high-speed motor 93. The apparatus is again in its beginning or idle position.
Thus the movement of the piece along the conveyor produces a timing operation resulting in control of the first and low-speed motor, and then the second and high-speed motor, whereby the latter exercises its function at the end of a period which is one-half of the period in which the low-speed motor moved, and thereby controls the operation of the folding instrumentality at the midway portion of the piece to be folded, as described above in connection with the first form When the pin 98 engages the switch finger 92 the operation of the motors is brought to an abrupt halt. This may occur in any position angularly about the axis 83 and accordingly the apparatus does not have a fixed zero position.
In the event the piece is longer than the distance from the PE cell to the folding knife, the same sequence will be followed except that the timer 102 will fire before the low-speed motor has stopped. This is a definite advantage in certain cases, compensating for the variation in length of the piece and the distance from the PE cell to the folding knife. This apparatus (FIGS. 6 to 9) will function to both add and subtract and to do so in connection with a single operation.
1. In a folder, means for sensing a piece to be folded, comprising,
means for conveying the piece through the folder,
folding means positioned in predetermined position folding the piece,
a sensing element responsive to movement relative to the conveying means for cooperating therewith for folding the piece, along the conveying means and particularly responsive to the leading edge of the piece passing thereby and similarly responsive to the trailing edge passing thereby,
low-speed motor means and first means for energizing it controlled by the sensing element pursuant to the leading edge of the piece passing by the sensing element,
high-speed motor means and second means for energizing it controlled by the sensing element pursuant to the trailing edge of the piece passing by the sensing element, and
means responsive to the combined effect of the movements of the low-speed and the high-speed motors for operating the folding means at an intermediate position relative to the leading and trailing edges passing by the sensing element.
2. Sensing means in a folder according to claim I wherein the last means includes a first switch means in fixed position and actuated by the motor means,
a second switch adjustable in position, and
wherein the motor means are operative first in an initial portion of the movement thereof for actuating the first switch, and in a latter portion thereof for actuating the second switch, and finally to again actuate the first switch for terminating the cycle.
3. Sensing means in a folder according to claim 1 wherein the switch means is mounted on the low-speed motor and moved thereby,
the high-speed motor while moving in its faster rate proceeds to the position of the switch and upon contact therewith effects actuation of the folding means, and
means responsive to actuation of such switch operative for stopping the motors.
4. In a folder means for sensing a piece to be folded comprising,
means for conveying the piece through the folder,
folding means positioned in predetermined position relative to the conveying means for cooperating therewith for folding the piece, 7
a sensing element responsive to movement of the piece along the conveying means and particularly responsive to the leading edge of the piece passing thereby and similarly responsive to the trailing edge passing thereby,
low-speed and high-speed motor means,
first switch means in fixed location,
second switch means angularly displaced from the first switch means,
a low-speed motor and a high-speed motor with common angularly rotating arms having a zero position in which the contact and control the first switch means, means responsive to the sensing means for initiating movement of the low-speed motor in response to the leading edge of the piece passing by the sensing element whereby the first switch means is actuated to a different control position,
means responsive to the trailing edge of the piece passing by the sensing element for initiating movement of the high-speed motor, whereby the lowspeed motor is stopped and the high-speed motor continues to move and wherein the high-speed motor continues to move the angularly movable arms into engagement with a second switch, and they perform a switching operation on the latter which in turn effects actuation of the folding means, and the highspeed motor continues to operate and move the arm means past the second switch and into operative engagement with the first switch terminating movement at substantially the beginning of that movement.
5. Sensing means in a folder according to claim 4 wherein the motors have a common axis and rotate in the same direction considered in axial view and the arm means include overrunning clutches whereby to enable each motor to drive ahead regardless of the position or movement of the first motor.
6. Sensing means in a folder according to claim 5 wherein the sensing element includes a PE cell and a relay control thereby whereby in response to the leading edge of the piece passing bythe PE cell the relay is shifted into operative position for operating the lowspeed motor and upon its trailing edge passing ny the PE cell, it effects shifting of the relay to a position for stopping the low-speed motorand operating the highspeed motor. I
7. Sensing means in a folder according to claim 5 wherein the sensing means includes a switch with an operating finger disposed in the path of the piece and upon engagementby the piece at the leading edge of the latter, the actuating finger is moved to a first position whereby it controls movement of the slow-speed motor and that condition continues throughout the movement of the piece pass the switch and upon the trailing edge of the piece passing the switch, the switch returns to its first position and effects stopping of the low-speed motor and starting of the high-speed motor.
8. Sensing means in a folder according to claim 2 wherein the last means includes a relay movable to respectively opposite positions for controlling the motors.
9. Sensing means in a folder according to claim 8 and including timer means for controlling the relay means.
10. Sensing means according to claim 1 wherein the motors have a common axis and a common beginning position, but random relative to angular position around the axis.
11. Sensing means in a folder according to claim 2 wherein the motors have a common axis, and radial arms for controlling the switches, and the arms move in unison around the axis.
12. Sensing means in a folder according to claim 3 wherein the motors have a common axis, and radial arms for controlling the switches, and the arms move in unison around the axis.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTIGN Paten 3 ,692 .303 Dated September 19 1972 lnventofls) Frederick W. Grantham It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
On the cover sheet,v  Assignee: Mecca Bros Inc.,
North Collins, N. Y." should be deleted,
Signed and sealed this 1st day of May 1973.
Attestz' I I EDWARD F-LETCHER,JR. I ROBERT GOTTSCHALK AttestingOfficer Commissioner of Patents FOFM (10-69) USCOMM-DC 6O376-P6Q U S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 969 0355334,