Title:
FOLD-OVER DEVICE FOR RADIAL PLY BREAKER MATERIAL
United States Patent 3659836


Abstract:
A fold-over device for continuously folding over ply stock or like material, e.g., rubberized tire cord fabric, is disclosed the device being characterized by the presence of a series of rollers arranged in an oblique line along a conveyor and which progressively direct the free edge of the folded-over portion of the stock material into a predetermined overlying relationship with the free edge of the remaining portion of said stock material with edge control means being provided to align the edges of the folded over material with each other in superposed or stepped off relation just prior to the time the layers are adhered together, thereby to provide precisely and uniformly folded over stock material.



Inventors:
Neri, Omero (Royal Oak, MI)
Todd, Charles E. (Detroit, MI)
Application Number:
05/006451
Publication Date:
05/02/1972
Filing Date:
01/28/1970
Assignee:
UNIROYAL INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
493/434, 493/442
International Classes:
B29C53/04; B65H45/08; B29C53/36; (IPC1-7): B29C53/00; B29C53/04; B65H45/00; B65H45/08; B29C53/36; B45h045/22
Field of Search:
270/86,93,94,61,41 156
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
Michell, Robert W.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A fabric fold-over mechanism of the character described, comprising;

2. the axis of each of said rollers being at an acute angle with respect to a vertical plane including one edge of said conveyor belt, and

3. the first of said series of rollers having a paired similarly oriented roller juxtaposed thereto in overlying relation to define therebetween a gap into which one marginal region of said stock folded up and over from the main portion thereof on said belt can be threaded to initiate the folding over of said stock;

4. The mechanism of claim 1, further characterized by the presence of means for altering the angular orientation of said axes of said series of rollers with respect to said vertical plane.

5. The mechanism of claim 1, further characterized by the fact that all except the first of said series of rollers are single rollers.

6. The mechanism of claim 1, further characterized by the fact that said series of rollers, as viewed in the direction of advance of said stock toward said presser roll, are located at progressively diminishing distances from the edge of said conveyor belt closest to said free lateral edge of said remaining stock portion during the advance of said stock toward said presser roll.

7. The mechanism of claim 1, further characterized by the fact that said stock let-off unit includes

8. The mechanism of claim 1, further characterized by the presence of means for laterally adjusting said conveyor belt transversely of its path of movement.

9. The mechanism of claim 1, further characterized by the fact that said edge control means include

10. actuated by said sensing heads and

11. adapted to alter the alignment of said edges.

12. The mechanism of claim 7, further characterized by the fact that said adjustment means include a pair of rolls one positioned above the other for passage of said folded over portion of said stock therebetween in frictional engagement therewith, and means mounting the upper one of said rolls for lateral pivotal movement relative to said conveyor.

13. Apparatus for folding fabric, comprising:

14. said rollers defining therebetween a gap into which a marginal region of a portion of said fabric folded up and back over the lower one of said rollers may be threaded so as to be in frictional engagement with both said rollers,

15. the axes of said rollers being inclined in the direction of advance of said fabric along said conveyor means at an acute angle to a vertical plane parallel to said direction, and

16. said rollers by virtue of their arrangement urging said folded over fabric portion laterally across the fabric portion remaining on said conveyor means as said fabric is advanced by the latter, thereby to shift the free lateral edge of said folded over fabric portion toward a predetermined overlying relationship to the free lateral edge of said remaining fabric portion; and

17. Apparatus according to claim 9, further comprising means located above said conveyor means intermediate said rollers and said edge-adjusting means and arranged to be disposed between said fabric portions for supporting said folded-over fabric portion in spaced relation to said remaining fabric portion during the movement of the former across the latter.

18. Apparatus according to claim 10, said supporting means comprising a plurality of additional rollers spaced from one another longitudinally of said conveyor means and journaled for rotation about respective axes parallel to said axes of said first-named pair of rollers, the latter and said additional rollers as a group being spaced progressively diminishing distances from the side of said conveyor means which is closest to said free lateral edge of said remaining fabric portion during the advance of said fabric along said conveyor means.

19. Apparatus for folding rubberized tire cord fabric, comprising:

20. said rollers defining therebetween a gap into which a marginal region of a portion of said cord fabric folded up and back over the lower one of said rollers may be threaded so as to be in frictional engagement with both said rollers,

21. the axes of said rollers being inclined in the direction of advance of said cord fabric along said conveyor means at an acute angle to a vertical plane parallel to said direction, and

22. said rollers by virtue of their arrangement urging said folded-over cord fabric portion laterally across the cord fabric portion remaining on said conveyor means as said cord fabric is advanced by the latter, thereby to shift the free lateral edge of said folded over cord fabric portion toward a predetermined overlying relationship to the free lateral edge of said remaining cord fabric portion;

23. Apparatus according to claim 12, said supporting means comprising a plurality of additional rollers spaced from one another longitudinally of said conveyor means and journaled for rotation about respective axes parallel to said axes of said first-named pair of rollers, the latter and said additional rollers as a group being spaced progressively diminishing distances from the side of said conveyor means which is closest to said free lateral edge of said remaining cord fabric portion during the advance of said cord fabric along said conveyor means.

24. Apparatus according to claim 12, said adjustment means comprising means for sensing the relative positions of said free lateral edges, a pair of rolls with horizontal axes of rotation, said rolls being arranged one above the other and defining therebetween a gap through which said folded-over cord fabric portion may pass in frictional engagement with both said rolls, means mounting the lower one of said rolls in a fixed location relative to said conveyor means, means mounting the upper one of said rolls for lateral translational movements relative to said lower roll and said conveyor means, and means operatively interconnecting said sensing means and said mounting means for said upper roll for effecting said movements of the latter in response to signals from said sensing means so as to shift said folded over cord fabric portion relative to said remaining cord fabric portion in a direction tending to bring said free lateral edges precisely into said predetermined relationship.

25. Apparatus according to claim 14, said supporting means comprising a plurality of additional rollers spaced from one another longitudinally of said conveyor means and journaled for rotation about respective axes parallel to said axes of said first-named pair of rollers, the latter and said additional rollers as a group being spaced progressively diminishing distances from the side of said conveyor means which is closest to said free lateral edge of said remaining cord fabric portion during the advance of said cord fabric along said conveyor means.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention has utility in any area in which it is desired to continuously fold sheet-like material into longitudinally folded over relationship.

It has particular utility in the field of tire manufacturing, especially with regard to accurately making the longitudinal fold on a moving strip of a low angle cord type rubberized fabric that has been bias cut, spliced and rolled up prior to being processed by this invention. In applications of this type, it is particularly desirable for production purposes that the strip always be folded at either its median line or at another predetermined fold line, either of which is parallel to the edges of the strip. Attainment of such an objective is the principal object of this invention.

2. Prior Art

The following prior art is known to the applicant:

Pirelli British Patent 1,124,824 Haren U.S. Patent 1,452,379 Matthias U.S. Patent 1,667,009 Kirk U.S. Patent 1,721,304 Hennessy U.S. Patent 1,727,372 Stevens U.S. Patent 1,817,929 Wikle U.S. Patent 2,060,269 Menell, et al. U.S. Patent 3,387,841

Of the above prior art, only British Pat. No. 1,124,824 is deemed applicable to the particular objectives herein being sought. However, in this reference, the sheet material is advanced over a series of large diameter discs that, in effect, permit the material to drape down on both sides of the disc and thence be removed in a folded over condition. It is obvious that this device would require large areas of vertical space in order to achieve a fold-over operation of any appreciable width of fabric stock.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention proceeds on a different theory to achieve fold-over by utilizing a series of longitudinally spaced rollers that overlie a conveyor that is advancing the stock toward the discharge end of the unit. By appropriate spacing and angular location, these rollers serve to gradually and progressively increase the amount of fold-over until such time as the complete degree of predetermined fold-over is obtained near the discharge end of the conveyor. At this time, the edges are accurately aligned in predetermined relation with each other and the layers are in spaced apart relationship. Immediately following this alignment, the layers are pressed together to produce accurately folded over stock material that is then removed from the unit by wind-up means.

A key feature of the invention lies in the use of control means that serve to automatically align the stock supply unit with the conveyor unit, as well as other sensing and control units that continuously and automatically align the edges of the folded over stock in predetermined relationship with each other just prior to the point where the same are pressed together.

Production of a fold-over device having such improved features accordingly becomes the principal object of this invention, with other objects thereof becoming more apparent upon a reading of the following brief specification, considered and interpreted in view of the accompanying drawings.

Of the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of the improved fold-over machine.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing the improved machine in elevation.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the left-hand end of the machine as shown in FIG. 2, the view being taken substantially on the lines 3--3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an end elevational view taken on the lines 4--4 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a horizontal view taken on the lines 5--5 of FIG. 3 having the stock and the conveyor belt shown in phantom for the sake of clarity.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a fragmentary portion of the conveyor system and showing the fold-over rollers.

FIG. 7 is a view taken on the lines 7--7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a view taken on the lines 8--8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a view taken on the lines 9--9 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 10 is a view taken on the lines 10--10 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the wind-up means.

FIG. 12 is an elevational view of the wind-up means taken on the lines 12--12 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a plan view of the edge control mechanism.

FIG. 14 is a vertical section taken on the lines 14--14 of FIG. 13.

FIGS. 15 and 16 are sectional views taken on lines 15--15 and 16--16 respectively of FIG. 14.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 2, the improved fold-over unit is, generally speaking, made up of five main components, as follows:

A. Stock let-off means;

B. Conveyor belt and table assembly;

C. Fold-over roller assembly mechanisms;

D. An edge-control means; and

E. A presser and wind-up mechanism.

These five components and the manner in which they coact together so as to progressively advance folded-over stock along the fold-over line 100 are best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. The above described main components will now be separately described in detail.

STOCK LET-OFF UNIT A

The stock let-off unit A is best shown and described in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 of the drawings, as well as being represented generally in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings.

Referring first then to FIG. 4, a support frame 9 is constructed in known fashion so as to extend transversely to the path of travel of the fabric being folded over, and as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, this frame is generally of H-shaped structural configuration in elevation so as to form a point of support for certain of the components that will now be described.

In this regard, and referring again to FIG. 4, a vertical plate assembly 10 is shown provided with appropriate bearings 12,12 within which may be received a cross shaft 11, with the outboard ends of shaft 11 being received by appropriate bearing blocks 13,13, that are, in turn, supported on the top of support frame member 9. By this arrangement, the entire assembly 10 is permitted to shift transversely on the cross shaft 11, with a hydraulic cylinder 24 being mounted on the frame and employed in known fashion to effectuate such shifting, and with the extent of such shifting being indicated by the full and chain-dotted lines in FIG. 4 of the drawings.

The vertical plate assembly 10 also includes opposed vertical side plates 14,14 which project to the rear of the plate, as well as intermediate vertical support ribs 14a, 14a that are also provided on the rear face of said assembly for support purposes.

As shown in FIG. 3, the side plates 14,14 serve as a point of support for several units, including a stock roll 16, a liner wind-up roll 15, and a motor 17, with motor 17 serving, through appropriate gearing and sprocket connections, to drive an emery covered pull roll 18 and the liner wind-up roll 15.

In this regard, and throughout the remainder of this specification, the letters, "FL" will indicate a combination of fabric and liner, while the letter, "L" used alone will indicate liner material itself. Likewise, the fabric itself will be designated by the letter, "F."

Referring again then to FIG. 3, as the fabric and liner combination FL leaves stock roll 16, it passes over liner wind-up roll 15 where the adhesion-inhibiting liner L is separated from the fabric F which then passes under idler roll 26 and over pull roll 18. As fabric F leaves roll 18, it passes beneath a dancer bar 19, thence upwardly over a first idler roll 20, and thence downwardly under a second idler roll 21. The dancer bar 19 is pivotally mounted on arms 19a and is movable with respect to the assembly 10 so that, for example, when the dancer bar is in an upward position, as shown in FIG. 3, the motor 17 will be energized so as to operate the pull roll 18, with the motor being de-energized when the dancer bar 19 is in a down position, as shown in chain-dotted lines of FIG. 3.

As the fabric F advances upwardly past idler roll 21, it will come in contact with edge sensing means indicated by the numeral 22. Air sensing means of this type are conventional, and the purpose served here is that on the demand of the sensor 22, the cylinder 24 will move the unit 10 transversely of frame 9 until proper alignment is achieved between the fabric F and the conveyor means B, which will now be described.

CONVEYOR BELT AND TABLE ASSEMBLY B

Referring again to FIG. 3, the assembly includes an appropriate frame 25 also connected to support frame 9, upon which may be provided an elongate table surface 26. Frame 9 supports an idler roll 33, around which an endless belt 27 may be received with belt 27 serving as a conveyor belt upon which the fabric F is received, as it passes upwardly past the edge sensing device 22.

At the other end of the table 26 there is provided a driven roll 28 (FIG. 11) that is driven by a motor 29 so as to continuously move the conveyor belt with one or more idler rolls 35,35 (FIGS. 2 and 3) being employed and with the path of movement being endless. A belt edge sensing head 32 is also carried on the frame adjacent the stock let-off unit and is adapted to shift the belt transversely for alignment purposes. A conventional locating unit or Kamberroller 31, of the type manufactured by Fife Manufacturing Company of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is provided for the purpose of shifting the belt 27 transversely on the frame in response to demand from the sensing head 32. The combination of the Kamberroller 31 and sensing head 32 assures that belt 27 is always at a predetermined position on the conveyor B so that the fabric F is deposited at the same position relative to the belt edge. The predetermined position of the fabric edge FE in this case is necessarily outside the longitudinal path of the edge of the belt 27, as shown in FIG. 16.

FOLD-OVER ROLLER ASSEMBLY MECHANISMS C

The fold-over means C are best shown and described in FIGS. 6 through 10 of the drawings, and are also generally shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings.

In this regard, it will be first noted from FIG. 6 that two general types of fold-over roller units 38 and 39 are employed, with the unit 38 comprising a pair of rollers 38a,38a mounted one above the other, while only a single roller 39 is used in the instance of the three right-hand fold-over stations as they appear in FIG. 6 of the drawings.

All of the fold-over roller units are of somewhat similar configuration and each includes a frame 40 bolted or otherwise secured to frame 25 at longitudinally spaced points along the conveyor. Each frame 40 supports a transverse arm 41, each arm being shorter than the preceding one. Preferably, each arm 41 is inclined slightly at an angle with respect to the transverse dimension of said table. The roller axes are parallel to the arms 41, and the rollers are aligned at an angle as shown in an imaginary plane P, so that they progressively approach the fabric edge FE as shown in FIG. 6.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the rollers 38a,38a are spaced apart slightly and contact the opposed side surfaces of the folded over portion FO of the fabric material and, in a sense, grip the fabric.

As will be noted in FIG. 7, one roll 38a is mounted on a rod 38b which rides freely within a vertical groove 42a on the frame 42 so that varying thicknesses of fabric could be folded over without affecting the operation of the device. As will be seen in FIGS. 9 and 10, the remaining roller units 39,39 serve to space the fabric layers apart as the progressive fold-over operation continues. They also serve to progressively urge the edge FO toward overlying relationship with the edge FE as the fabric moves from left to right in FIG. 6, for example.

It will be noted in FIG. 10, for example, that the folded over edge FO is not yet quite in overlying relationship with respect to the unfolded edge FE.

It is also believed well understood that the frame work 40 can be adjusted so as to vary the angular inclination of the arm 41 as desired. In this regard, the angle of the unit 38 is felt to be important since this angle, when correlated with the length of the table determines the angle of the folded over edge relative to the direction of advance of the fabric, i.e., between the edges FE and FO, and the angle at which the edge FO will enter the edge control device D.

EDGE CONTROL MEANS D

The edge control means D are best shown in FIGS. 13 through 16 of the drawings, with the purpose of these means being to positively align the folded over edge in predetermined relationship with the unfolded edge just prior to the point that the folded over portions are pressed together.

Accordingly, and to this end, a first sensing head 43 and a second sensing head 44 are associated with the edge control means. Thus, by controlling the transverse locations of the conveyor belt and fabric relative to each other, both at the let-off end and along the path of movement and the transverse location of the belt, the alignment condition that is illustrated in FIG. 15 of the drawings, for example, can be obtained.

Air sensing heads 43 and 44 are mounted longitudinally adjacent to each other, but on different levels so that the folded over portion FO (FIG. 15) is received within the head 44, while the lower portion FE (FIGS. 14 and 15) is received within the sensing head 43.

In this instance, there is an adjusting device 46 for altering the position of the top edge in relationship to its alignment with the bottom layer. In effect, the folded over edge FO is held between a friction roll 52 and nylon roller 53 (FIG. 14) so that if this point of contact is pivotally shifted, resulting in an angular change, either to the right or left (FIG. 16), the alignment of the edges will be effected. Transverse movement of this type is effectuated by the pivotal movement of the bracket assembly 47.

This bracket assembly includes a bracket 47a that is fixed to the frame as at 47b so as to have an arm portion 47c thereof overlying the friction roll 52, as best shown in FIG. 16, A clevis block 49 is pinned as by pin 48 to the arm 47c, with the clevis block 49 being free to pivot around the axis of pin 48. A linkage 54 connects to a cylinder 55 so that upon actuation of the cylinder 55 in either direction, a pivoting movement occurs with respect to the clevis 49.

Since the clevis 49 is connected to the adaptor block 50, it follows that a similar pivoting movement of the block will occur. Likewise, and since the friction roller 52 is associated with the member 50, a similar pivoting movement will occur to vary the position of the edge as it is gripped between the roller 52 and the nylon roller 53.

The edge control device 47 is responsive to the sensing head 44, but since heads 43 and 44 are both mounted on the Kamberroller carriage 45, they, therefore, work in unison. Thus, sensing head 43 follows the edge of the bottom layer FE and in so doing, causes sensing head 44 to move relatively thereof, thereby requiring the edge of the top layer FO to be altered to meet predetermined specifications.

In this regard, the specification being followed may be an exact edge to edge alignment, or an off-set overlap, and it is believed apparent by the use of the adjustment mechanism just described that the specifications can be changed relatively simply.

PRESSER AND WIND-UP MECHANISM E

Referring now to FIGS. 11 and 12 of the drawings, the press roll 56 is shown mounted transversely on frame 25 so as to press the stock material into folded over contact prior to its emission from the conveyor portion of the unit.

The material so emitting as folded over fabric FF passes beneath a dancer roll 58, as it leaves the conveyor and, thence, on to a wind-up roll 57, with a liner being supplied from liner roll 59, in known fashion.

In this regard, the operation of the dancer roll 58 merely serves to activate, or inactivate, the motor 60 that drives the wind-up roll in response to the position of the dancer roll 58, the roll being shown in the down positions in solid lines in FIG. 11 and in chain-dotted lines in the same figure in its up position.

OPERATION OF THE DEVICE

While the operation of the various components of the machine has been described in connection with the structural description of each of them, a description of the over-all operation of the machine now follows.

First, it will be assumed that the component parts are assembled to the condition indicated in the drawings, and further that stock material and wind-up rolls and the like have been properly positioned.

It will further be assumed that the machine has been "threaded" by a portion of the fabric having been folded up and back about the lower roller 38a and disposed between the same and the upper roller 38a in frictional engagement with both, and is in operation.

Accordingly, it follows that fabric and liner being removed from stock roll 16 will pass over liner wind-up roll 15 with the fabric stock F being separated from the liner L for further movement around rolls 18, 19, 20 and 21 prior to leaving the stock let-off unit A. As fabric material leaves the let-off unit A, it will pass between edge sensing means 22 with these means serving to move the unit 10 relatively of frame 9 in the event there is misalignment.

Assuming no misalignment, the material then passes on to the conveyor belt 27 and is conveyed downstream with respect to the longitudinal extent of table 26. As the material passes the first rolls 38a,38a a portion of it is continuously folded up and over, with the folded portion passing between rolls 38a,38a and the unfolded portion passing beneath lower roll 38a, and shifted transversely over the belt at an angle to the direction of advance of the material, as indicated by the line P of FIG. 6. The edges of the material thus approach their predetermined overlying relationship as they reach the edge control means D and pass between rolls 52 and 53. If any adjustment is required, the edge control device can be adjusted to laterally shift the point of nip (FIG. 16) either right or left as the case may require. The device will respond to the sensing head 44 and the Kamberroller unit 45 will effectuate such shifting of the edges as is required. As the folded material leaves the edge control device, its edges will be perfectly aligned in their predetermined relationship, and will then be passed between driven roller 28 and presser roller 56, following which it will pass beneath the dancer roller 58, and, thence, onto the wind-up roll 57.

It will be seen from the foregoing that there has been provided a new and improved type of fold-over machine that is characterized by the use of progressive fold-over which gradually rolls the material over into folded up relationship with pre-determined edge alignment occuring at the end of such roll-over period so as to insure maximum accuracy. It has been further shown that such edge control mechanism, just prior to the point of pressing the folded over units together, further reduces the possibility of error in this regard.

While a full and complete description of the invention has been set forth in accordance with the dictates of the Patent Statutes, it is to be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific embodiments herein shown.