Title:
Banner winding device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for winding a web of material includes a slotted shaft and a motor. The slot in the shaft is oriented along the longitudinal axis of the shaft, and the slot is open on one end of the shaft. The slot is adapted to receive the edge of the web. The motor is connected to the shaft and adapted to rotate the shaft to thereby wind the web.



Inventors:
Felts, Marie N. (Sandston, VA, US)
Felts, Nolan R. (Sandston, VA, US)
Application Number:
10/202955
Publication Date:
01/29/2004
Filing Date:
07/25/2002
Assignee:
FELTS MARIE N.
FELTS NOLAN R.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H19/28; B65H54/58; (IPC1-7): B65H19/28
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, JOHN QUOC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John H. Thomas, P.C. (Richmond, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A device for winding a web of material comprising: a slotted shaft wherein the slot is oriented along the longitudinal axis of the shaft, wherein the slot is open on one end of the shaft, and further wherein the slot is adapted to receive the edge of the web, and a motor connected to the shaft and adapted to rotate the shaft and thereby wind the web.

2. A device for winding a web of material as described in claim 1, wherein the motor is a clutch motor.

3. A device for winding a web of material as described in claim 1, wherein the motor is actuated by a foot pedal.

4. A device for winding a web of material as described in claim 2, wherein the motor is actuated by a foot pedal.

5. A device for winding a web of material as described in claim 1, wherein the motor is connected directly to the shaft.

6. A device for winding a web of material as described in claim 1, wherein the motor is connected to the shaft by a belt and pulley apparatus.

7. A device for winding a web of material as described in claim 1, further comprising a movable frame, and wherein the motor and shaft are mounted onto the frame.

8. A method of winding a web of material comprising: providing a slotted shaft wherein the slot is oriented along the longitudinal axis of the shaft, wherein the slot is open on one end of the shaft, and further wherein the slot is adapted to receive the edge of the web, and a motor connected to the shaft and adapted to rotate the shaft and thereby wind the web; inserting an edge of the web into the slot in the shaft, actuating the motor to wind up the web, and sliding the wound web off the shaft.

9. A method of winding a web as described in claim 8, wherein actuation of the motor comprises pressing a foot pedal.

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates to devices for winding webs of material such as banners.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The manufacture of banners is a very labor-intensive process. A web of banner material must be printed, cut, edged or hemmed if necessary, wound, and then shipped. While there can be automation of some parts of this process, there are still time-consuming steps.

[0003] One step that is historically slow and labor intensive is the manual rolling up of banners once printed, cut, and edged or hemmed. Typically, this hand rolling step is the final step before shipment. Often, there is a substantial hurry to ship out the wound banners, so other work in the facility suffers when all of the hands go to roll up banners. Also, the actual physical act of hand winding up banners is inherently inconsistent. If a banner is wound loosely or not straight, then the result is inefficient packaging that could lead to shipment issues and damaged goods.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a device for the efficient and consistent winding of banners or other webs of materials. The result is a uniform wound product that is obtained substantially faster than a manual winding process.

[0005] In one embodiment, the invention is a device for winding a web of material. The device comprises a slotted shaft wherein the slot is oriented along the longitudinal axis of the shaft, wherein the slot is open on one end of the shaft, and further wherein the slot is adapted to receive the edge of the web. A motor is connected to the shaft and adapted to rotate the shaft and thereby wind the web. The motor may be a variable speed motor, and it may be actuated by a foot pedal. The motor may be connected directly to the shaft, or it may be connected to the shaft by a belt and pulley apparatus. The device for winding the web may further comprise a movable frame, wherein the motor and shaft are mounted onto the frame.

[0006] In another embodiment, the invention is a method of winding a web of material. The method includes providing a slotted shaft wherein the slot is oriented along the longitudinal axis of the shaft, wherein the slot is open on one end of the shaft, and further wherein the end is adapted to receive the edge of the web. The method further provides a motor connected to the shaft adapted to rotate the shaft and thereby wind the web. The method includes the further steps of inserting an edge of the web into the slotted shaft and actuating the motor to wind up the web. The method also includes sliding the wound web off the shaft. The actuation of the motor may comprise pressing a foot petal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a banner winding device in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a slotted shaft and bearing housing in accordance with the present invention.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a side elevation, cross sectional view of a slotted shaft in accordance with the present invention.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of a banner winding device in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0011] In the most simple terms, the present invention is a slotted shaft connected to a motor. The slot is adapted to receive the edge of a web such as a banner that will then be wound around it, and, once wound, removed easily therefrom. The figures show a preferred embodiment of a device in accordance with the present invention. Other variations will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art and may be designed or customized for a specific web winding application.

[0012] Turning now to FIG. 1, there is shown a winding device 10 that includes a shaft 11, motor 12, and frame 13. The shaft 11 is attached to the frame 13 by shaft bearings 20 that are contained in a bearing housing 21. That housing 21 is mounted onto the table surface 22 portion of the frame 13. Also attached to the frame 13 and suspended below the table surface 22 is the motor 12. Motor mounts 23 attach and secure the motor 12 beneath the table surface 22.

[0013] The motor 12 is actuated by the actuator lever 30 that is in turn connected to linkage 31 that is then connected to foot pedal 32. A user may move the foot pedal 32 upwardly and downwardly in order to move the actuator lever 30 and set the motor 12 in motion to turn the shaft 11. The actuator lever 30 is spring-loaded so that it is biased in the upward or off position. Power to the motor 12 is controlled by power switch 35 that is connected to an electrical source by electric cord 36.

[0014] The frame 13 is made up of horizontal base supports 41 and vertical supports 42. The base supports 41 are carried by caster wheels 40 in order to make the entire device easily movable. The base supports 41 carry the vertical supports 42. The base supports 41 are further connected to a cross bar 43 that carries the foot pedal 32. The vertical supports 42 are connected on their bottom to the base supports 41 and on their top to the table surface 22.

[0015] FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the shaft 11 extending from the bearing housing 21. Shaft 11 includes a slot 50 that runs along substantially the entire length of the longitudinal axis of the shaft 11. The end of the shaft 11 opposite the bearing 20 is open. There are beveled or rounded edges 51 on the open end of the shaft 50.

[0016] FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the shaft. As is evident from this view, the shaft 11 has a slot 50 which is defined by the edges 52 that are deburred and rounded to prevent any sharp surface from coming in contact with or damaging a web that will be wound. In a preferred embodiment, the width of the slot 50 is one-quarter inch. The width may be varied depending on the web being wound.

[0017] FIG. 4 demonstrates the linkage mechanism between the motor 12 and the shaft 11. Specifically, there is shown a pulley 60 that is attached to the spindle 61 of the motor 12. There is similarly a pulley 62 that is fixed to the shaft 11. A belt 63 runs around the pulleys 60 and 62 so that when the motor 12 operates, it rotates the pulley 60 which in turn rotates the pulley 62 and rotates the shaft 11.

[0018] In use, a person inserts an edge of a web into the slot 50 of the shaft 11. Once the web is inserted into the slot 50, the motor 12 is actuated by the foot pedal 32 to begin rotation of the shaft 11. Preferably, the motor 12 is a clutch motor, so by slowly engaging the clutch, the rotation of the shaft is relatively slower at first. Once the web has wound one or more revolutions around the shaft 11, then the clutch can be fully engaged and the speed increased to quickly and completely wind up a web such as a banner. Once the web is wound around the shaft 11, it may simply be removed by longitudinally sliding the web off of the shaft 11 that remains fixed.

[0019] For example, a job may consist of winding vinyl banners of various thickness having typical dimensions of 3′±×12′±. The short side is inserted into the slot in the shaft. The clutch motor is then engaged, and the shaft is rotated so that a banner is wound in about three seconds. Based on experience, an order of 500 banners could take 8.3 man hours to wind up by hand. Using a banner winder as described herein, the same job can be done in less than 1.5 hours.

[0020] The shaft 11 is preferably made of stainless steel or other smooth metal material. This is preferred for rigidity purposes as well as for the sake of creating only smooth edges. Also, it facilitates sliding the wound web off of the shaft. The specific shape of a slot on a shaft is not important. It is only important that the slot be able to receive a web of material.

[0021] The web of material that may be wound may be virtually anything. The web must be thin enough to be insertable in the slot, and it must not be so tacky as to stick to the shaft so that it cannot be easily slid off after wound. The devices are very effective and helpful when winding most vinyl banners. Cloth or other film materials may similarly be wound.

[0022] The length of the slotted shaft is a matter of preference or specific application. In a preferred embodiment, the shaft is about 59 inches long to accommodate banners having a width of about 48 inches. Heavy, low friction bearings are preferred to carry the shaft so that potential rough handling during use does not disable the shaft.

[0023] As shown, the motor 12 is mounted underneath the table surface 22. The motor is connected to and rotates a shaft through a belt and pulley apparatus as shown. Alternatively, a motor may be a variable speed motor and/or it may be connected directly to a shaft. Also, other types of gears and other drive connections could be used. In the preferred embodiment, the motor is Tacsew Industrial Clutch Motor Model # BM1878-IL.

[0024] While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that numerous variations, modifications and additional embodiments are possible, and all such variations, modifications, and embodiments are to be regarded as being within the spirit and scope of the invention.