Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ATTACHING SLIDERS TO A SLIDE FASTENER CHAIN
United States Patent 3663000


Abstract:
A method and apparatus for attaching sliders to a slide fastener chain having longitudinally spaced gaps free of coupling elements, in which, while the chain is held in taut condition, a gap at an assembly station is spread in transverse direction, a slider is placed in the spread gap, and then the chain pulled under tension in longitudinal direction in such a manner that the adjacent side edges of the stringers of the chain are forced into the slider channel to thus attach the slider to the chain. The chain is then moved together with the slider attached thereto in longitudinal direction until the next gap is at the assembly station, whereafter the cycle is repeated.



Inventors:
PERLMAN MORRIS
Application Number:
05/012264
Publication Date:
05/16/1972
Filing Date:
02/18/1970
Assignee:
MORRIS PERLMAN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/706, 29/717, 29/768
International Classes:
A44B19/62; (IPC1-7): B23P19/04; B23P11/00
Field of Search:
29/408,409,27
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:



Primary Examiner:
Eager, Thomas H.
Claims:
I claim

1. A method of attaching sliders to a slide fastener chain composed of a pair of parallel stringers having beads on adjacent inner edges carrying coupling elements engaged with each other and element free gap spaces spaced in longitudinal direction from each other along said chain, said method comprising the steps of pulling the chain under tension in longitudinal direction to locate one of said gap spaces at an assembly station; stopping the chain with said one gap at said assembly station; spreading the stringers at said assembly station apart so as to transversely widen said gap at portions between the ends thereof to a width slightly greater than the maximum width of the slider; placing a slider into the spread gap between the maximum spread portion and the trailing end of said gap; holding said slider stationary while advancing the fastener chain under tension again in longitudinal direction to cause the beads on the adjacent inner edges of the stringers at the trailing end of the gap to move into the slider channel to thus attach the slider to the slider chain; and releasing the thus attached slider for movement with the chain during advance of the latter.

2. A method as defined in claim 1, and including the step of squeezing portions of the beads located laterally of the stationary held slider so that the beads will follow the path of least resistance and move into the slider channel.

3. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the slider is a lock slider having a locking tooth normally extending into the slider channel, and including the step of withdrawing the locking tooth from the slider channel during placing of the slider in the widened gap.

4. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein said chain is fed in a first direction and said slider is moved into said widened gap in a direction normal to said first direction.

5. A method as defined in claim 4, wherein said stringers are spread apart by moving a gradually widening spreading element in a direction normal to said first direction and opposite to the direction of movement performed by said slider during placing the latter in said widened gap.

6. An apparatus for attaching sliders to a slide fastener chain composed of a pair of parallel stringers having beads on adjacent edges carrying rows of engaged coupling elements alternating with short longitudinal portions free of coupling elements to thus provide longitudinally spaced gaps, said apparatus comprising means for pulling said chain under tension in longitudinal direction for a predetermined distance substantially equal to the spacing between successive gaps to locate one of said gaps at an assembly station; means for then spreading a portion of said one gap between the ends thereof to a width greater than the maximum width of a slider; means for subsequently placing a slider into the thus spread gap between the trailing end of the latter and said spreading means and for holding said slider stationarily after it has been moved into the spread gap; and control means cooperating with said pulling means, said spreading means and said slider placing means for restarting said pulling means after a slider has been placed into the spread gap to pull the chain again under tension in longitudinal direction so that the beaded portions of the tensioned stringers which are free of coupling elements will move into the slider channel to thus attach the slider to said chain, and to subsequently withdraw the spreading means to thereby release the thus attached slider for movement with the chain.

7. An apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein said means for placing a slider into the spread gap comprise elevator means movable in a direction substantially normal to the movement of said chain between a lower receiving position and an upper delivery position.

8. An apparatus as defined in claim 7, wherein said elevator means has at the upper end thereof a nest for receiving a slider in predetermined position and including means for feeding sliders seriatim into said slider nest when said elevator means is in said lower receiving position.

9. An apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said feeding means comprises a chute having a lower end, aligned with said slider nest when said elevator means is in said lower position, for guiding a plurality of sliders downwardly towards said slider nest, means for yieldably holding the lowermost of such sliders in the region of said lower end of said chute, and means for positively feeding said lowermost slider beyond said holding means into said slider nest when said elevator means is in said receiving position.

10. An apparatus as defined in claim 9, wherein said feeding means comprise a slide mounted on said chute movable between an advanced and a retracted position, a feed pawl carried by said slide for engaging during movement of the latter from said retracted to said advanced position the lowermost slider to move the latter beyond said yieldable holding means, and fluid operated cylinder and piston means cooperating with said slide for moving the same between said positions thereof.

11. An apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said elevator means comprises a slide member provided at the upper end thereof with said slider nest, means guiding said slide member movable between said lower receiving and said upper delivery position, and fluid operated cylinder and piston means cooperating with said slide member for moving the same between said positions thereof.

12. An apparatus as defined in claim 11, and including stationary means located above the slider nest and cooperating with said slide member for squeezing the beaded edges in the region of a slider located in the slider nest when said elevator means is in said upper receiving position.

13. An apparatus as defined in claim 11, wherein said sliders are automatic lock sliders having a pull tab and spring-pressed detent means normally extending into said slider channel and withdrawable therefrom by exerting a pull in a predetermined direction on said tab, and including withdrawal means on said slide member for engaging the pull tab of a slider placed in said slider nest and for withdrawing the detent means from said channel during movement of said slide member from said receiving to said delivery position.

14. An apparatus as defined in claim 13, wherein said withdrawal means comprises a spring-pressed member slidably guided in said slide member, a pin carried by said member and adapted to engage into an opening in said pull tab of a slider placed in said nest, and stationary means engaging said spring pressed member shortly before said slide member reaches its delivery position to thereby exert a pull in said predetermined direction on said tab to thus withdraw the detent means from the slider channel.

15. An apparatus as defined in claim 7, wherein said spreader means comprises an elongated bar having a width greater than the maximum width of said slider and a lower end portion tapering substantially to a point, means for guiding said bar between an upper inactive position in which said point is spaced upwardly from a chain portion at said assembly station and a lower active position in which said end portion extends into said one gap to thus spread the gap in lateral direction, and fluid operated cylinder and piston means cooperating with said bar for moving the same between said positions thereof.

16. An apparatus as defined in claim 6, wherein said chain is provided with a bottom stop at the leading end of each gap, and wherein said control means includes further feeler means upstream of said spreading means and said slider placing means for sensing the presence of such a bottom stop at the respective gap, and means cooperating with said feeler means for preventing placement of a slider in the respective gap in the absence of a bottom stop at the leading edge of the respective gap.

17. An apparatus as defined in claim 6, wherein said chain is spliced at longitudinal spaced portions thereof, and wherein said control means includes further splice detector means upstream of said spreading means and said slider placing means for detecting a splice as the latter moves with said chain to said assembly station, and means cooperating with said splice detector means for preventing placing of a slider in a gap immediately following said splice.

18. An apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said control means includes sensing means for sensing the presence of a slider in said slider nest when said elevator means in said upper delivery position, and for stopping operation of said apparatus in the absence of a slider.

19. An apparatus as defined in claim 10, wherein said elevator means comprise a slide member movable between said lower receiving position and said upper delivery position and fluid operated cylinder and piston means cooperating with said slide member for moving the same between said positions thereof, and wherein said spreader means comprises a bar having a lower end portion tapering substantially to a point and additional fluid operated cylinder and piston means cooperating with said bar for moving the same between an upper inactive position and lower active position, and wherein said control means comprise solenoid operated valves respectively cooperating with said fluid operated cylinder and piston means for feeding into and discharging pressure fluid therefrom, and an electrical control circuit comprising a plurality of switch means respectively cooperating with said slide, said slide member and said bar for energizing and de-energizing said solenoids of said valves in proper sequence.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The first step in manufacturing slide fasternes is the production of an endless stringer in which coupling elements are attached to the beaded edge of a band or tape. Such coupling elements may be individual elements which are attached to the beaded edge of the tape in closely spaced relationship, or such coupling elements may comprise a metal or plastic spiral attached to the beaded edge. Two such stringers are then pulled up so that the coupling elements on adjacent stringers are engaged with each other to thus form a more-or-less endless slide fastener chain. The slide fastener chain is then further processed to produce slide fasteners of desired lengths with all necessary additional components such as bottom stops, sliders and top stops, attached thereto.

Since such individual slide fasteners must have for the ease of assembly with a garment or other article to which the slide fastener is to be attached, tape portions which are free of coupling elements at the top and bottom ends thereof, the first step in processing the endless slide fastener chain is to cut out or remove longitudinally spaced portions of coupling elements attached to adjacent side edges of the two stringers to thus form an endless slide fastener chain carrying along adjacent side edges thereof rows of coupling elements of a given length separated by longitudinally spaced gaps which are free of coupling elements.

Formally, the thus-produced chain provided with the longitudinally spaced gaps free of coupling elements has been cut transversely substantially midway of each gap to thus produce a plurality of short slide fastener chains of desired lengths to which the additional above-mentioned components have then been subsequently attached. This required handling of each of the thus cut short chain pieces during attaching of the additional necessary components thereto, which obviously increased the cost of the finished slide fastener.

To reduce the cost of production, different methods have been developed lately in which most or all of the above-mentioned additional components are attached to the endless slide fastener chain before the latter is cut up into individual pieces.

The first components which may be attached to the slide fastener chain, are the bottom stops, that is a bottom stop which permanently connects the two stringers, is attached at one end of each gap.

The next step may comprise the assembly of a slider with each portion of the slide fastener chain located between successive gaps, and the present invention relates to a method and apparatus for attaching sliders to successive portions of an endless slider fastener chain.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide for a method and apparatus for attaching sliders to a slide fastener chain composed of a pair of parallel stringers having along adjacent side edges coupling elements engaged with each other and longitudinally spaced gaps free of coupling elements in such a manner that a slider is attached to each portion of the chain located between successive gaps.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide for a method of the aforementioned kind which is fast, reliable and fully automatic.

It is an additional object of the present invention to provide for an apparatus for carrying out the method which is relatively simple in construction so that the apparatus may be built at reasonable cost and will operate trouble-free during extended use.

With these objects in view, the method according to the present invention of attaching sliders to a slide fastener chain composed of a pair of parallel stringers having beads on adjacent inner edges carrying coupling elements engaged with each other and element free gap spaces spaced in longitudinal direction from each other, mainly comprises the steps of pulling the chain under tension in longitudinal direction to locate one of the gap spaces at an assembly station, stopping the chain and spreading the stringers at said assembly station apart so as to transversely widen said gap at a portion between the ends thereof to a width slightly greater than the maximum width of a slider, placing a slider into the spread gap and holding the slider stationarily while again advancing the fastener chain under tension in longitudinal direction to cause the beads on the adjacent inner edges of the stringers at the trailing end of the gap to move into the slider channel so that the slider will be attached to the slider chain, and releasing the thus attached slider for movement with the chain.

If the slider to be attached is a lock slider, the method according to the present invention also comprises the step of withdrawing the locking tooth from the slider channel during placing the slider into the widened gap so that the locking tooth will not interfere with relative movement of the fastener chain with respect to the slider.

The apparatus of the present invention preferably comprises means for pulling the chain under tension in longitudinal direction for a predetermined distance substantially equal to the spacing between successive gaps to locate one of the gaps at an assembly station, means for then spreading a portion of this gap between the ends thereof to a width slightly greater than the maximum width of the slider, means for subsequently placing a slider into the thus spread gap and for holding the slider stationarily after it has moved into the spread gap, and control means for operating the above-mentioned means in the mentioned sequence and for then restarting the pulling means to pull the chain again under tension in longitudinal direction so that the beaded portions of the tensioned stringers which are free of coupling elements will move into the slider channel so that the slider will be attached to the chain and to subsequently withdraw the spreading means and to release the thus-attached slider for movement with the chain.

The means for placing a slider into the spread gap preferably comprise elevator means movable in a direction substantially normal to the direction of movement of the chain between a lower receiving position and an upper delivery position, and means for feeding sliders into a slider nest at the upper end of the elevator means when the elevator is in the lower receiving position.

The apparatus of the present invention may also include withdrawal means for withdrawing, when lock sliders are to be assembled with the slide fastener chain, the locking tooth of the respective lock slider from the slider channel during movement of a slider with the elevator means between the lower receiving position and the upper delivery position of the latter.

The control means may not only be constructed to move the various elements of the apparatus in proper sequence, but also to prevent attaching of the slider to a spliced chain portion, or to stop operation of the machine when, for any reason, no sliders should be fed at proper sequence onto the elevator means.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIGS. 1a-1d schematically illustrate the sequence of operations of attaching a slider to a slide fastener chain;

FIG. 2 is an overall side view of the apparatus according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a partial top view of the feeding means for feeding sliders seriatim onto the elevator means of the apparatus;

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal cross-section taken along the line 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a transverse cross-section taken along the line 5--5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a transverse cross-section taken along the line 6--6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a partially sectioned end view of the apparatus taken along the line 7--7 of FIG. 2, and drawn to an enlarged scale;

FIG. 7a is a cross-section taken along the line 7a-7a of FIG. 7;

FIG. 8 is a cross-section taken along the line 8--8 of FIG. 7, and showing the spreader means in an upper inactive position and the elevator means in a lower receiving position;

FIG. 9 is a partial section similar to FIG. 8, but showing the spreader means in a lower active position and the elevator means in the upper delivery position;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing details of the withdrawal means for withdrawing the locking tooth of a lock slider from the slider channel when the slider is moved into the spread gap;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged top view showing the slider nest at the upper end of the elevator means and adjacent portions of the apparatus with a slider placed in the slider nest; and

FIG. 12 is a wiring diagram illustrating the control means of the apparatus of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1a-1d schematically illustrate the sequence of operations for attaching sliders to a slide fastener chain.

As shown in FIG. 1a, the slide fastener chain C to be used in the method and apparatus according to the present invention comprises two stringers 1 and 2 each formed by a woven band or tape having at adjacent inner edges thereof beaded portions 1a,2a, respectively, which may be formed by cords sewn to the tape edges, or which may be formed during weaving of the tape. Coupling elements 3 of known construction are attached to the beads 1a and 2a and these coupling elements 3 are engaged with each other. Such coupling elements 3 may be constituted by individual elements provided with coupling portions, or by closely wound spirals arranged to engage each other. The stringers 1 and 2 with the coupling elements 3 attached thereto are produced in more-or-less endless form, but in the finished chain C as shown in FIG. 1a, rows of coupling elements 3 are separated by longitudinally spaced portions of the chain C free from coupling elements 3 to provide longitudinally spaced gaps 4 of a length l, one of which is shown in FIG. 1a. It is to be understood that the chain C is provided at predetermined distances with such gaps 4 which are free from coupling elements. A bottom stop 5 of known construction which may comprise a metal slip having prongs penetrating through the tapes and encompassing the beaded edges thereof are provided at one end of each gap to permanently connect the two stringers 1 and 2 to each other. The chain C is pulled under tension in the direction of the arrow X and the bottom stop 5 is therefore attached to the leading end of the gap 4. When during pulling of the tape in longitudinal direction a gap 4 arrives at the assembly station of the apparatus according to the present invention, further movement of the tape in longitudinal direction is stopped, in the manner as will be described later on in detail and a spreader 6, which tapers substantially to a point in downward direction is moved in the downward direction into the gap so as to provide a spread gap 4' on one side of the spreader, as shown in FIG. 1b.

Subsequently thereto, a slider 7 is moved in upward direction into the spread gap 4' in a manner as will be described later on, and the slider 7 after it has been moved into the spread gap is held stationarily, as shown in FIG. 1c. Subsequently thereto, pulling of the chain in the longitudinal direction of the arrow X is continued which causes movement of the beaded edges 1a and 2a of the two stringers at the downstream end of the gap 4' to move respectively through the slots provided between the pairs of slider rails 7a in the manner as will be described later on in detail, and during further movement of the chain C in longitudinal direction, the coupling elements 3 will move into the slider channel 70 so that the slider 7 is attached to the chain C and can move with the latter in longitudinal direction after the spreader is withdrawn from the gap as shown in FIG. 1d.

This sequence of operation is performed with the apparatus according to the present invention, which will now be described in connection with FIG. 2 and the following Figures.

FIG. 2 illustrates an overall side view of the apparatus according to the present invention.

The apparatus basically comprises pulling means P for pulling a chain C, as described above, under tension in longitudinal direction into and past an assembly station A of the apparatus. When during such pulling of the chain in longitudinal direction, a gap 4 free of coupling elements arrives at the assembly station, further movement of the chain in longitudinal direction is stopped, in the manner as will be described later on in detail, and the spreader element 6 of spreader means S provided at the assembly station is caused to move downwardly in a direction substantially normal to the chain C to thus spread the gap 4 transversely as shown in FIG. 1b. The apparatus comprises further means for placing a slider 7 in the thus spread gap 4' and these means comprise elevator means E movable from a lower receiving position in upward direction substantially normal to the chain C to an upper delivery position. Feeding means F are also provided for feeding sliders 7 from a hopper H of standard construction, not forming part of the present invention, in downward direction and to place these sliders seriatim into a slider nest provided at the upper end of the elevator means E, whenever the latter is in its lower receiving position. The aforementioned elements or means are mounted on a support or table T, only partly shown in FIG. 2.

The pulling means P for pulling a chain C into and past the assembly station A of the apparatus comprise a pair of rubber-covered rolls 8 and 9 mounted adjacent each other for turning about parallel axes on a substantially upright support member 10 which is fixed at its lower end by any suitable means to the table T. The shaft 9' of the lower roll 9 is connected by an electromagnetic coupling 11 to a coaxial fly-wheel 12 which is driven over a belt drive 13 from an electromotor 14. The fly-wheel and the belt drive are covered by a removable cover 15. The upper roll 8 is pressed by means of standard construction, not shown in the drawing, against the lower roll 9 so that a chain C placed between the peripheral surfaces of the two rolls will be tightly engaged and during driving of the lower roll 9 in counterclockwise direction fed in the direction of the arrow X. A handle 16 is operatively connected to the upper roll 8, in a manner known per se, to lift the roll 8 upwardly from the position shown in FIG. 2 to thereby facilitate threading of a chain C between the peripheral surfaces of the two rolls.

The chain C taken from a chain supply, not shown in the drawing, enters the apparatus of the present invention from the left, as viewed in FIG. 2, and is guided over a first guide roll 17 mounted for rotation about a vertical axis on the table T through a brake 18, beneath a splice detector 19 over guide rolls 20 and 21 onto the upper surface of a block 22 to the assembly station A, past the latter and over additional guide rolls 23,24 and 25 into the nip between the pull rolls 8 and 9 and from there into a chute 26 which delivers the chain into a basket or the like, not shown in the drawing.

The brake 18 comprises a stationary member 27 mounted on the table T and a movable member 28 guided on substantially vertical pins 29 for movement towards and away from the stationary member 27 and pressed by spring 30 towards the stationary member so that a chain fed between the facing surface of the members 27 and 28 is frictionally engaged by these surfaces and braked so that the chain between the brake 18 and the pull rolls 8 and 9 will always be held in taut condition. The chain C is pulled along the upper surface of the block 22 which is provided with a shallow guide groove for guiding the coupling elements 3 in longitudinal direction, to the assembly station A located in the region of the right end, as viewed in FIG. 2, of the block 22. The block 22 is mounted at an angle on a block 30 which in turn is fixed at its lower end to the table T.

Between the brake 18 and the block 22, the chain C passes under the splice detector 19 which comprises a lever 31 mounted intermediate its ends for tilting movement about a horizontal pivot 32 and held in the position shown in FIG. 2 by a spring 33 connected at opposite ends to the lever 31 and to a support ember 34, while the lower end of the lever 31 engages the tapes of the two stringers. A button 35 projecting rearwardly from an upper portion of the lever 31 engages the operating portion of a microswitch MS1 in the position of the lever 31 as shown in FIG. 2 to thereby hold the microswitch in closed position. If one of the stringers 1 and 2 of the slide fastener chain is spliced, and the splice is pulled beneath the lower end of the lever 19, the latter will tilt about its pivot 32 in counterclockwise direction so that the microswitch MS1 will open for a purpose as will be described later on.

Bottom stop sensing means 36 are mounted to the left of the assembly station A, as viewed in FIG. 2, on the upper surface of the block 22. These bottom stop sensing means 36 comprise, as best shown in FIGS. 7 and 7a an elongated arm 37 extending transverse over the upper surface of the block 22 and being pivotally mounted adjacent its right end, as viewed in FIG. 7, by means of a pivot pin 38 which in turn projects from a block 39, laterally fixed to the block 22 in any convenient manner, so that the arm 37 may be tilted about its pivot pin 38 in counterclockwise direction as indicated by the arrow Y. A ball 42 located in a bore formed in the block 39 and biased outwardly by a compression spring 43 in the bore so as to protrude slightly beyond the face 39' of the block 39 engages with a portion thereof the lower edge of the lever 37 to yieldably resist tilting movement of the arm 37 in the direction of the arrow Y. A plate 40 is attached in any convenient manner to the right face of the arm 37, as viewed in FIG. 7a, which plate has a width slightly greater than the width of the chain C. The arm 37 as well as the plate 40 are provided with a central guide groove 41, wider than and located symmetrically with respect to the guide groove 22' formed in the upper surface of the block 22. The guide groove 41 has an upper face 41' which curves downwardly towards the right end of the plate 40 so that when a bottom stop 5 attached to the chain C is moved in the guide groove 41 towards the right, as viewed in FIG. 7a, the plate 41 will be slightly lifted and the arm 37 thereby tilted about its pivot pin 38 in the direction of the arrow Y. In the region of its left end, as viewed in FIG. 7, the arm 37 carries in a threaded bore thereof an adjusting screw 45 having at its lower end a rounded head 44 cooperating with a microswitch MS2 mounted on the block 22, in a manner as will be described later on in detail.

The spreader means S of the apparatus according to the present invention are mounted on the block 22 above the assembly station A. The spreader means S comprise, as best shown in FIGS. 7-9, a block 46 projecting upwardly from the block 22 and fixed thereto in a convenient manner. The block 46 is formed with a guide groove 47 extending through the block 46 substantially normal to the upper surface of the block 22. Located in the guide groove 47 and abuting against the bottom face 47' thereof, is an elongated guide block 51 fixed to the block 46 in any convenient manner. A bar 48 integrally extended at the lower end into a spreader member 6 which tapers at its lower end thereof substantially to a point, as best shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, is guided for movement in longitudinal direction in the guide slot 47 between the face 51' of the guide block 51 and the rear face 50' of a cover plate 50 fixed by screws 52 over the guide slot 47 to the block 46. The bar 48 and the spreader member 6 integrally formed therewith are movable in longitudinal direction between an upper inactive position, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, and a lower active position, as shown in FIG. 9, in which the spreader member 6 penetrates into a gap 4 of a chain C to spread the gap transversely as shown in FIG. 1b. The guide block 51 is formed with a central bore 52 therethrough having an upper bore portion 52' of larger diameter, and the upper end of the bore portion 52' is closed by a cover 55 fastened to the block 46 by screws 56'. An elongated pin 53 is guided for movement in longitudinal direction in the bore 52 and in an aligned opening formed in the cover 55. A coil compression spring 54 located in the bore portion 52' engages with its upper end the bottom face of the cover 55 and with its lower end a snap ring 55' fixed in an annular groove in the pin 53 so that the snap ring 55' will normally engage the shoulder formed at the bottom end of the bore portion 52' and so that the lower end of the pi 53 will extend normally slightly beyond the bottom face of the guide block 51, as shown in FIG. 8. The top end of the pin 53 cooperates with the operating portion of the microswitch MS3 in a manner as will be described later on in detail. The microswitch MS3 is mounted on a plate or bracket 56 which in turn is fixedly connected in any convenient manner to the block 46.

Connected to the upper end of the bar 48 by screws or the like, is a transverse plate 49 which projects laterally, to the left, as viewed in FIG. 8, beyond the bar 48, to cooperate, when the bar 48 and the spreader member 6 integrally formed therewith are moved to the lower active position, as shown in FIG. 9, with the operating portion of a microswitch MS4 in the manner as will be described later on in detail. The microswitch MS4 is mounted in fixed position on the block 46.

The bar 48 and the spreader member 6 integrally formed therewith are moved between their upper and lower positions by cylinder and piston means 57 mounted on a bracket 58 which is connected with its lower end to the block 46 and the threaded lower end of the piston rod 59 of the cylinder and piston means 57 is threadedly connected to an insert 48' lodged in an appropriate cut-out formed in the region of the upper end of the bar 48, as best shown in FIG. 7. The cylinder and piston means 57 is operated by compressed air and inlet and outlet of compressed air to opposite ends of the cylinder of the cylinder and piston means 57 is controlled by solenoid operated valves V3 and V5 in the manner as will be described later on in detail.

Elevator means E are provided for placing a slider 7 into the transversely opened gap 4' as shown in FIG. 1c. The elevator means E comprise, as best shown in FIGS. 7-9, an elongated slide member 60 movable in a direction substantially normal to the upper surface of the block 22 between a lower receiving position, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, and an upper delivery position, as shown in FIG. 9. The slide member 60 is guided in a guide groove 61 formed in the block 22 and a cross head 62 is connected by screws 63 to the lower end of the slide member 60. The cross head 62, in turn, is guided on a pair of guide pins 64 which slidably extend through bores in the cross heads 62 and which are press fitted with the upper ends thereof into bores formed in the block 22. A ring 65 mounted on one of the pins 64 and adjustably held thereon by set screw 66 limits the lower end position of cross head 62 and slide member 60, and a tension spring 70 (FIG. 2) connected at its upper end to the cross head 62 and in its lower end to a bracket 69 mounted on the table T biases the cross head 62 and the slide member 60 connected thereto against the stop ring 65. Cylinder and piston means 67 mounted on the bracket 69 and having a piston rod 68 engaging the lower surface of the cross head 62 serve to move the latter and the slide member 60 connected thereto against the bias of the spring 70 from the lower receiving position to the upper delivery position. The cylinder and piston means 67 are likewise operated by compressed air. Flow of compressed air into and out from the cylinder and piston means 67 is controlled by solenoid operated valves V4 ad V5 in a manner as will be described later on in detail.

A screw 70 screwed in a threaded bore of the cross head 62 cooperates with the operating portion of a microswitch MS5 when the slide member 60 and the cross head 62 connected thereto are in their lower receiving position in the manner as will be described later on in detail.

The sliders 7 to be attached to the chain C are fed by feed means F from a hopper H of known construction, not forming part of the present invention, seriatim onto the slider nest 71 at the upper end of the slide member 60, and the feed means F are constructed in such a manner to positively place a slider onto the slider nest 71, whenever the slide member 60 of the elevator means E is in its lower receiving position.

The feeding means F shown in FIGS. 2-6 comprise an elongated curved chute 72 formed by an elongated upper curved heavy metal strip 73 and a pair of lower elongated steel blades 74 connected by screws 75 to the strip 73 so that the inner edges of the blades 74 form between themselves a gap as best shown in FIG. 5. The inner edge portions of the blades 74 engage into the slots formed between the opposite slider rails 7a, as shown in FIG. 5, to guide thereby the sliders 7 from the hopper H in downward direction towards the slider nest 71 of the slide member 60 of the elevator means. The lower end of the chute 72 is connected to a block 76 which in turn is fixedly mounted in a convenient manner on the block 22, as best shown in FIG. 2. The manner in which the sliders are transferred from the hopper to the upper end of the chute 72 is conventional and well known in the art and does not form part of the present invention. The sliders 7 slide by gravity down the chute until the lowermost of the slider 7 is stopped by a pair of jaw members 88 which engage the curved sides of the slider as best shown in FIG. 3. The jaw members 88 are guided for movement in longitudinal direction in appropriate grooves formed in the block 76 and the inner ends of the jaw members 88 are biased towards each other by leaf springs 89 fastened at the lower ends thereof by screws 90 to the block 76, whereas the upper ends of the leaf springs 89 engage the outer ends of the jaw members 88 as best shown in FIG. 6. Lateral projections 88' (FIG. 3) on the outer ends of the jaw members 88 engage side faces of the block 76 and limit inward movement of the jaw members. The jaw members 88 form therefore yieldable holding means for preventing undesired advance of the sliders under the influence of gravity beyond the jaws 88.

To feed the lowermost of the sliders 7 yieldably held by the jaw members 88 in a predetermined position onto the slider nest 71 of the slide member 60 of the elevator means, when the latter is in the lower receiving position, a slide 77 is provided which is guided in a guide block 78 fastened by screws to the chute 72 in the region of the lower end thereof. The slide 77 carries in a cut-out 77' formed in the region of the front end thereof a feed pawl 79 tiltably mounted about a pivot 80 and normally held in the position as shown in FIG. 4 by a coil compression spring 81 engaging with opposite ends thereof the feed pawl 79 and the slide 77. The slide 77 and the pawl 79 mounted thereon are movable between a retracted position, as shown in FIG. 4, and an advanced position in which two lower prongs 79' of the pawl 79 respectively engage the curved end faces 7" of a slider 7, held by the jaws 88 in a predetermined position, to push the slider beyond the jaws 88 onto the slider nest 71 of the slide member 60, while the latter is in the lower receiving position. Thereby, the front end of the slide 77 moves into the guide groove 61 of the block 22. During movement of the slide 77 to its retracted position, the pawl 79 may tilt in counterclockwise direction against the bias of the spring 81 about its pivot 80 so that the prongs 79' may move over and rearwardly of the next slider on the chute and so that the now-lowermost slider may move into engagement with the jaws 88. The block 76 is formed with an appropriate cut-out 76' permitting the pull tabs 7' on the slider to pass through this cut-out.

To move the slide 77 and the pawl 79 carried thereon between the retracted and the advanced position, a crosshead 82 is fixedly connected to the rear end of the slide, and a pair of coil compression springs 84 engage with opposite ends thereof into blind bores formed in the guide block 78 and the crosshead 82 to yieldably hold the slide 77 in its retracted position as shown in FIG. 3. Cylinder and piston means 85 mounted by a bracket 87 on the strip 73 and having a piston rod 86 engaging with its free end the crosshead 82 serve to move the slide 77 and the pawl 79 mounted thereon from the retracted to the advance position thereof. The cylinder and piston means 85 are operated by compressed air and inlet and outlet of compressed air into the cylinder thereof is controlled by solenoid operated valves v1 and V2 as will be described in detail later on. As shown in FIG. 3, the chute 72 carries in the region of the lower end thereof, two microswitches MS6 and MS7, and the operating portion of the microswitch MS7 is engaged by an end of the crosshead 82 when the slide 77 is in its retracted position, as shown in FIG. 3, whereas the operating member of the microswitch MS6 is engaged by the crosshead when the slide 77 and the crosshead 82 are moved to their advanced position.

The slider nest 71 formed in the upper end of the slide member 60 of the elevator means is best shown in FIG. 11. The slider nest 71 has a shelf face 91 parallel to the upper face of the slide member 60 and lower for a distance slightly less than half the height of a slider. The shelf face 91 is bordered by a pair of inclined side faces 92 which intersect a pair of parallel side faces 93 spaced from each other a distance substantially equal to the width of a slider at its rear end and the rear of the shelf face 91 is defined by an end face 94 extending between the side faces 93 substantially normal thereto. A channel 95 is formed in the upper face of the slide member 60 rearwardly of the slider nest 71 and extending in direction of movement of the slide fastener chain C to thereby guide the interlocking elements 3 and the beaded edges 1a and 2a of the chain towards a slider 7 held in the slider nest. The channel 95 forms a continuation of the channel 22' formed in the block 22. The slider nest 71 is further formed with a central cut-out 96 of a configuration as shown in FIG. 11 to accommodate the downwardly extending lug of the slider and the pull tab 7' connected thereto.

If the slider is to be attached to the chain C are lock sliders, provision must also be made to withdraw the locking tooth of the lock slider from the interior of the slider channel to permit movement of the chain C relative to the slider when the latter is stationarily held in the slider nest 71. The locking tooth withdrawal means are best shown in FIGS. 7 and 10 and they comprise a substantially U-shaped member 97 located in an appropriate cut-out 60' of the slide member 60, as best shown in FIG. 10, and a pair of compression springs 99 engaging with opposite ends respectively the bottom faces of the two legs of the U-shaped member 97 and the bottom face of the cut-out 60' yieldably hold the U-shaped member 97 in an upper position relative to the slide member 60, as shown in FIG. 7, for movement therewith in longitudinal direction. A pin 98 press-fitted in a bore of the U-shaped member 97, projects rearwardly therefrom and through an opening of a pull tab 7' of a slider 7 placed in the slider nest 71, as shown in FIG. 10. During the movement of the slide member 60 of the elevator means E from the lower receiving position to the upper delivery position, the member 97 will first move together with the slide member 60, but before the slide member 60 reaches its uppermost position, a hook-shaped member 100 mounted in fixed position in an appropriate cut-out of the block 22 engages the upper face of the U-shaped member 97 and prevents further upward movement thereof together with slide member. In this way, the pull tab 7' of the slider 7 of the slider nest is held stationary while the slider moves further upwardly for a small distance and the downward pull thus exerted on the pull tab 7' withdraws in a known manner the locking tooth from the slider channel.

The wiring diagram of the apparatus according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 12. As shown in FIG. 12, a conductor 101 leads from the main lead L1 over the normally closed microswitch MS2 cooperating with the arm 37 of the bottom stop sensing means 36 over a contact A2 to a relay RA and from there to the other main lead L2. Branching off from the conductor 101 between the contact A2 and the relay RA, is a conductor 102 which leads over a normally closed microswitch MS8 to the magnet coil C5 of the electromagnetic clutch 9 and from there to the main lead L2. A conductor 103 branching off from the conductor 102 connects the coil of the timer TI1 cooperating with the microswitch MS8 to the main lead L2. A conductor 104 branching off from the conductor 101 between the microswitch MS2 and the contact A2, leads over a contact A1, a contact D3, the microswitch MS5, to the coil C1 of the solenoid operated air valve V1 controlling flow of compressed air into the rear end of the cylinder and piston means 85 cooperating with the slide 77 of the slider feed F. A conductor 104' connects the microswitch MS3 cooperating with the control pin 53 over a toggle switch S1 in parallel to the contact A2, and a conductor 105 branching off from the conductor 104 intermediate the contact A1 and D3 leads over a contact D1 to a coil C2 of the air valve V2 controlling flow of compressed air into the front end of the cylinder and piston means 85. The microswitch MS1 of the splice detector 19 is connected by a conducotr 107 to the main lead L1 and over the coil of a time delay TI2 to the other main lead L2. A conductor 108 leads from lead L1 over a contact D4 to the normally closed microswitch MS6, cooperating with the crosshead 82 of the slide 77 of the slider feed F when the slide is in its advanced position, to a time delay relay RD and to the lead L2. A conductor 109 connects a contact A3 to lead L1 and to the conductor 108 intermediate the contact D4 and the microswitch MS6. An additional conductor 110 leads from lead L1 over the contact D2, a toggle switch S2, and the normally open microswitch MS7, cooperating with the crosshead 82 when the latter is in the retracted position, to the coil C3 of the air valve V3 which controls flow of compressed air into the upper end of the cylinder and piston means 57 of the spreader means S and to the other lead L2. A further conductor 111 leads from the main lead L1 over the microswitch MS4, cooperating with the plate 49 connected to the upper end of the bar or slide 48 of the spreader 6, to the coil C4 of valve V4 which controls feeding of compressed air to the lower end of the cylinder and piston means 67 cooperating with the crosshead 62 of the elevator means E, to the lead L2. Finally, a conductor 112 connects the lead L1 over a contact D5 and the coil C5 of valve V5, which controls flow of compressed into the upper end of the cylinder and piston means 67, and into the lower end of the cylinder and piston means 57, to the lead L2.

The contacts A1 and A2 and A3 are controlled from the relay RA in such a manner that the contacts A2 and A3 are closed when the relay RA is energized and opened when de-energized, whereas the contact A1 is closed when the relay RA is de-energized and opened when energized. Likewise, the contacts D1 - D5 are controlled from the time delay relay RD in such a manner that the contacts D3, D4, D5 are closed when the relay RD is energized and opened when de-energized, while contacts D1 and D2 are closed when the relay RD is de-energized and opened when the relay is energized. The valve V1 - V5 are solenoid operated and when the respective coils C1 - C5 are energized the valves connect the ends of the respective cylinder and piston means to a supply of compressed air to feed compressed air into the connected end, while when the coils are de-energized the valves are moved to permit escape of compressed air from the respective end.

The above-described apparatus operates as follows:

At the start of the operation, the chain C is pulled by hand in the direction of the arrow X until a gap 4 reaches the assembly station A. Furthermore, the elevator E is in the lower receiving position and a slider 7 is put into the slider nest 71. The pawl 79 of the feed means is in the retracted position and the microswitch MS7 is therefore closed and current may pass through the contact D2, the closed toggle switch S2, closed microswitch MS7, to the coil C3 of the air valve V3 which is thus opened and feeds compressed air into the upper end of the cylinder and piston means 57 so that the spreader means 48, 6 move downwardly into the gap 4 and spread the latter in transverse direction. As the spreader means reach the extreme down position, the plate 49 fixed to the upper end of the spreader means, engages the operating portion of microswitch MS4 to close the latter so that current will now pass through the closed microswitch MS4 to the coil C4 of the air valve V4 which feeds compressed air into the lower end of the cylinder and piston means 67 of the elevator means E to raise the latter to thereby move a slider 7 in the slider nest into the spread gap as the slide 60 of the elevator means moves to its upper delivery position. When the slide 60 is in its upper delivery position, the upper face of the slider 7 engages the bottom end of the pin 53 and raises the latter so that the upper end of the pin closes the microswitch MS3, so that current can now flow through the normally closed microswitch MS2 on arm 37, the now-closed microswitch MS3, the closed toggle switch S1, to relay RA, and at the same time also to the coil C5 of the magnetic clutch 11 which when energized connects the shaft of the fly wheel 12 to the pulling roll 9, causing pulling of the chain C in the direction of the arrow X, while the slider 7 in the slider nest 71 is held in stationary position.

It will be noted that the guide member 51 has downwardly projecting ridges 51" which cooperate with the upper surface of the slide member 60 of the elevator means E, when the latter is in its uppermost delivery position, to squeeze the beaded edges 1a and 2a of the two stringers 1 and 2 in vertical direction along portions of the same located laterally of the side faces 93 of the slider nest 71 and also along the edges of groove 95 so that as the chain C moves forwardly, the compressed beaded edges will move inwardly of the compressing ridges 51" to a path of smallest resistance, i.e., through the gap between the slider rails 7a into the slider channel to thus attach the slider to the chain.

When the relay RA is energized, the contact A1 opens while the contacts A2 and A3 close. When the contact A2 closes, current may flow directly through microswitch MS2, the closed contact A2, to the relay RA and the clutch coil C5 which therefore stays energized even after microswitch MS3 opens. Closing of contact A3 energizes the time delay relay RD which, after a set time, opens the contact D1 and D2 while closing the contacts D3, D4, D5. When contact D1 opens, coil C2 of air valve V2 is de-energized which shuts off air valve V2 at the front end of the cylinder and piston means 85 of the slider feed F, while opening of the contact D2 de-energizes the coil C3 of valve V3 which thus permits escape of compressed air from the upper end of the cylinder and piston means 67 of the spreader means S. Closing of contact D5 energizes coil C5 of air valve V5 which in turn causes feeding of compressed air to the lower end of cylinder and piston means 57 and into the upper end of cylinder and piston means 67 so that the spreader means S move up and the elevator means E moves down. In the meantime, as the chain C is pulled forwardly in the direction of the arrow X, a bottom stop 5 will pass the microswitch MS2 on arm 37 to momentarily open this microswitch thereby de-energizing the relay RA, so that the contacts A2 and A3 open, whereas contact A1 closes. Opening of contact A2 de-energizes the clutch coil C5 which disconnects the clutch 9 from its drive so that the chain stops with a new gap 4 located at the assembly station A.

When the elevator means E has reached its lowermost receiving position, the head of the screw 70 on the crosshead 62 closes the microswitch MS5 so that current may flow through the coil C1 of the air valve V1 causing thereby feeding compressed air into the rear end of the cylinder and piston means 85 moving the piston rod 86 thereof forwardly which in turn moves the feed pawl 79 to its advanced position, placing thereby the foremost of the sliders in the chute 72 into the slider nest 71, while the elevator means E are in the receiving position thereof. When the corsshead 82 of the feeding means F reaches its extreme forward position, it opens the normally closed microswitch MS6 which in turn de-energizes the relay RD so that the contacts D1 and D2 close again, while the contacts D3, D4, D5 open. Closing the contact D1 energizes the coil C2 of air valve V2 so that the piston rod 86 retracts and pawl 79 will move to its retracted rearward position under the force of compression springs 84.

Thereafter the above-described cycle is repeated.

The apparatus of the present invention is provided with the following safety features:

1. The microswitch MS5 will only be closed after the elevator means E have moved to the proper receiving position, and if for some reason whatsoever the elevator means E should not move to the lower receiving position thereof, microswitch MS5 will not be closed and therefor the slider feed F will not be started and the cycle will be stopped.

2. When the feed pawl 79 of the slider feed F has pushed the slider nest in proper position into the slider 71, the crosshead 82 of the slider feed will open the microswitch MS6, which in turn causes retraction of the feed pawl. However, if the slider should not be pushed correctly into the slider nest, the crosshead 82 will not contact microswitch MS6 and the cycle will again be stopped.

3. If the slide 77 of the slider feed F does not retract properly so that the front end of the slide 77 is not moved out of the path of the member 60 of the elevator means E, the microswitch MS7 will not be activated and the member 60 of the elevator means will therefore not be moved upwardly, which will prevent jamming of the machine.

4. If no slider is inserted in the slider nest 71 during movement of the slide member 77 to its advanced position, for instance, if the sliders should become jammed in the slider chute, the member 60 of the elevator means E will move upwardly, but the pin 53 will not be actuated and the microswitch MS3 will therefore not be moved to its closed position and the cycle will also be stopped.

5. In order to start the machine again, the operator has to press the toggle switch S2 energizing thereby the coil C5 of the air valve V5 which causes movement of the elevator means E to its lower receiving position and the spreader means S to its upper inactive position and then the slide 77 of the slider feed F has to be moved by hand against the action of the coil compression spring 84 to its advanced position to insert a slider into the slider nest 71 and to close the microswitch MS6, which restarts the cycle.

6. In order to try out the machine, the toggle switch S1 may be opened which cuts off the power to the relay RA so that pulling of the chain C by hand is possible.

7. If a splice passes beneath the splice detector 19, the normally closed microswitch MS1 will be opened which will activate the time delay relay TI2 and shunt the microswitch MS2 so that the next bottom stop passing beneath the arm 37 of the bottom stop sensing means 36 will not activate the relay RA and the cycle will not start until the splice has passed through the machine. This will prevent inserting sliders into a spliced portion of the slider chain C.

8. The timer of the relay TI1 of the clutch is set in such a manner that if the apparatus is not recycled in proper time sequence, it will de-energize the clutch and stop the machine.

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other methods and apparatus for attaching sliders to a slide fastener chain differing from the type described above.

While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a method and apparatus for attaching sliders to a slide fastener chain in which the apparatus is provided with control means to operate the various elements of the apparatus in proper sequence, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can be applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims.