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Title:
METHOD AND MACHINE FOR MANUFACTURING OF AN ARTICLE USED IN A SURFACE TREATMENT APPLIANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/147122
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A manufacturing method and a machine for manufacturing to enable pasting of felt strips onto an article used in a surface treatment appliance, including a base frame (101, 401), an article feed-in system having a mandrel guide (102, 404) attached at a vertically top portion of the base frame (101, 401), a felt feed-in system (300) having a felt roller guide (103) connected to one or more comers of the base frame (101, 401), an assembly system (400) having a felt insert station (104) for pasting a felt strip to the article (406) and an article main guide attached vertically below the mandrel guide (102, 404) at the center of the base frame (101, 401) wherein the felt strip is guided by the linear downward force of the mandrel guide and a rotational force from a main guide of the article generates a momentum which causes the felt strip to adhere to the article in a spiral orientation, a detachment system (500a) having a cylinder housing, a cutter (502) to detach the felt strip from its roll and a network of sensors (503, 503a, 503b) having a first sensor activated when pasting process is completing causing the cutter to be extended, a second sensor that causes the cutter (502) to be retracted once the felt is cut, and a third sensor configured to detect completion of cutting and release of the article from the gripper (504).

Inventors:
FOOK YUEN, Lee (Plot 160, Jalan Cyber 2 Kawasan Perindustrian Senai III, Sena, Johor ., 81400, MY)
Application Number:
MY2019/050005
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
January 22, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FOOK YUEN, Lee (Plot 160, Jalan Cyber 2 Kawasan Perindustrian Senai III, Sena, Johor ., 81400, MY)
International Classes:
A46B13/00; A46B9/02; A46D3/00; B65H81/08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
K., MOHAN (A-39 -10 Penthouse, Menara UOA Bangsar,No.5, Jalan Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur ., 59000, MY)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A method of manufacturing an article used in a surface treatment appliance comprising the steps of:

initiating a load operation by utilizing felt strip feed-in system wherein a felt roller guide system implements the felt strip feed-in system while a mandrel guide of an article feed in system loads the article in a spiral rotational movement;

initiating an assembly operation to paste felt strip to the article wherein a linear downward force of the mandrel guide and a rotational force from a main guide of the article generates a momentum that causes the felt strip to adhere to the article in a spiral or convoluted orientation; and

initiating an unload operation wherein at least one sensor detects end of a pasting process to trigger a cutter to detach the felt strip from its roll wherein a gripper is prompted to discharge the article.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cutting is realized in a high speed multi stroke motion.

3. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the article is a roller brush bar.

4. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprises attaching, fixing, bonding, pasting or adhering of a fabric, textile, film or tape along an entire or partial length of a cylindrical or planar exterior of the article used in a surface treatment appliance.

5. A machine (lOOa) for manufacturing an article (406) used in a surface treatment appliance, the machine comprising:

a base frame (101, 401);

an article feed-in system having a mandrel guide (102, 404) attached at a vertically top portion of the base frame (101, 401);

a felt feed-in system (300) having a felt roller guide (103) connected to one or more corners of the base frame (101, 401);

an assembly system (400) having a felt insert station (104) for pasting a felt strip to the article (406) wherein the felt strip is guided at an oblique angle to enable a uniform spiral pasting of the felt strip to the article (406); and an article main guide attached vertically below the mandrel guide (102, 404) at center of the base frame (101, 401);

a detachment system (500a) having a cylinder housing a cutter (502) to detach the felt strip from its roll; and

a network of sensors (202, 503 (503a, 503b)) having a first sensor activated when pasting process is completing, causing the cutter to be extended, a second sensor that causes the cutter (502) to be retracted once the felt is cut, and a third sensor configured to detect completion of cutting and release of the article from a gripper (504).

6. The machine as claimed in claim 5 wherein the article (406) is a roller brush bar.

7. The machine as claimed in claim 6 wherein the brush bar (406) is pushed through the brush bar felt mandrel guide (102, 404), wherein the brush bar mandrel orientates the brush bar using guide pins in an inner wall of the mandrel guide (102, 404).

8. The machine as claimed in 6 wherein the brush bar (406) is guided through the mandrel guide (102, 404) using a motorized system to enable downward motion and rotation of the brush bar (406).

9. The machine as claimed in claim 6, wherein the felt strip is guided through a set of rollers (301, 302, 303) configured to unwind the felt strip, maintain roll tension to prevent wrinkling of the felt strip, remove liner from the felt strip to expose the adhesive face and feed-in the felt strip in an oblique angle towards the assembly system.

10. The machine as claimed in claim 9 wherein the set of rollers (301, 302, 303) are used to feed-in fabrics, textiles, tapes and films required to be fixed, bonded, pasted or adhered to a curvilinear or planar core surface at perpendicular, parallel or oblique angles.

11. The machine as claimed in claim 10, wherein each of the rollers (301, 302, 303) is used to simultaneously feed-in to the assembly system a plurality of fabrics, textiles, tapes or films differing in color, texture or physical dimensions to manufacture the brush bar.

12. The machine as claimed in claim 6 wherein the assembly system uses a downward force and a rotational force to drive the brush bar, adjusting its orientation with protruding or depressed slot guides based on “poka yoke” principles and simultaneously unwinding the felt strip that subsequently adheres to the brush bar.

13. The machine as claimed in claim 12 wherein the assembly system uses a motorized system to drive the brush bar into assembly block and simultaneously unwind the felt strip that adheres to the brush bar.

14. The machine as claimed in claim 13 wherein the assembly system enables uniform pasting of felt strip.

15. The machine as claimed in claim 6, wherein the brush bar main guide houses a packaging mechanism, wherein the packaging mechanism senses a brush bar of a predetermined length and activates a felt insertion through the felt roller guide. 16. The machine as claimed in claim 5 further comprises a discharge system (500a) having the network of sensors (202, 503 (503a, 503b)) linked to a PLC.

17. The machine as claimed in claim 16 wherein the discharge system (500a) is hardwired, or coded with various programming languages or customized computer software.

18. The machine as claimed in claim 5 further comprises additional stations such as direct adhesive dispensing or heat treatment.

Description:
METHOD AND MACHINE FOR MANUFACTURING OF AN ARTICLE USED IN A SURFACE TREATMENT APPLIANCE

FIELD OF INVENTION The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for the pasting of a fabric along the length of exterior of an article used in a surface treatment appliance. More particularly, the invention relates to a method of manufacturing a machine to paste felt strips onto the brush bar of a vacuum cleaner.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Surface treatment appliances such as vacuum cleaners have a motor driven agitator in the form of a roller/cylindrical brush bar. One type of brush bar has a cylindrical core wrapped with soft padding material (nylon felt) having rows of bristles.

The rotation of the brush bar causes the bristles to sweep along the floor surface, loosening dirt and dust and picking up debris. The soft padding in turn, seals the floor surface directly to the cleaner head, improving the pick-up of solid debris and fine particles.

Over the years, the manufacture of the roller brush bar has raised various challenges. Wrapping the soft padding around the brush bar requires precision because four separate felt strips have to be pasted to the brush bar in the specified area without covering the bristle strips slots. The slots have to be left open to place the bristle strips in a later process. Furthermore, for the manufacturing process either a customized machine is to be produced or the manufacturing is to be done with manpower. Utilizing manual labour results in a slower, error-prone, more expensive and inefficient operation.

Some of the existing manufacturing utilizes automated production of brush bar pasted with felt but they fail to provide uniform pasting of the felt over brush bar. In the view of foregoing, there is a need for an automated brush bar pasting machine. Further, there is a need for a brush bar pasting machine configured for uniform pasting of the felt over brush bar.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a machine and a method to minimize the labour required for manufacturing of an article used in surface treatment appliance.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a method and a machine to perform the manufacturing process in a consistent and continuous manner with minimal stoppages or required reworking so as to be commercially successful.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a versatile apparatus that can be upgraded for additional processing steps in future.

Accordingly, the present invention provides a method of manufacturing an article used in a surface treatment appliance. The method includes the steps of initiating a load operation by utilizing a felt strip feed-in system where a felt roller guide system implements the felt strip feed-in system while a mandrel guide of an article feed in system loads the article in a spiral rotational movement. The method further includes initiating an assembly operation to paste a felt strip to the article wherein a linear downward force of the mandrel guide and a rotational force from a main guide of the article generates a momentum that causes the felt strip to adhere to the article in a spiral or convoluted orientation, and initiating an unload operation wherein at least one sensor detects the end of a pasting process to trigger a cutter to detach the felt strip from its roll wherein a gripper is prompted to discharge the article.

In an embodiment, the present invention provides a machine for manufacturing an article used in a surface treatment appliance. The machine includes a base frame, an article feed- in system having a mandrel guide attached at a vertically top portion of the base frame, a felt feed-in system having a felt roller guide connected to one or more comers of the base frame. The machine includes an assembly system having a felt insert station for pasting a felt strip to the article wherein the felt strip is guided at an oblique angle to enable a uniform spiral pasting of the felt strip to the article and an article main guide attached vertically below the mandrel guide at the center of the base frame. The machine also includes a detachment system having a cylinder housing a cutter to detach the felt strip from its roll. The system also includes a network of sensors having a first sensor activated when the pasting process is completing, causing the cutter to be extended, a second sensor that causes the cutter to be retracted once the felt is cut, and a third sensor configured to detect the completion of cutting and release of the article from a gripper.

In an advantageous aspect of the present invention, multiple processing steps are incorporated in a single machine. Further, the roller brush bar as an article is manufactured in an effective, efficient and commercially viable manner. Also, a single operator is used to manufacture the article within a short cycle time.

In another advantageous aspect, the manufacturing complexity of the machine is simplified. The invention uses felt rolls/bobbins instead of pre-cut strips as the latter would incur higher material costs due to additional supplier processing, require more storage space because of the semi-finished form and wastage due to higher offcuts.

In yet another advantageous aspect, a single processing station is used to simultaneously paste a plurality of felt strips, with different colors, texture or other physical features, on the article. This is a more efficient approach compared to the alternative of using multiple stations to paste one strip at a time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description when read with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote corresponding parts throughout the several views:

FIG. 1A illustrates a block diagram of the method and systems for manufacturing of an article used in a surface treatment appliance, according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1B illustrates a perspective view of a brush bar pasting machine with the felt, according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1C illustrates the front view of the soft roller brush bar, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a brush bar feed-in system, according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of a felt strip feed-in system, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4A & 4B illustrates the assembly system of the machine, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5A illustrated top view of a cutter as a detachment system, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5B illustrates top view of the cutter and gripper, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Various embodiments of the present invention provide a method of manufacturing an article used in a surface treatment appliance and a machine therefore.

In a related embodiment, the article is an automated roller brush bar for a surface treatment appliance like a vacuum cleaner and the invention is related to a machine and a method for manufacturing the same. However, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that the manufacturing method and machine, with modifications, could also be applied to equivalent parts in other surface treating appliances. The term“surface treating appliance” includes vacuum cleaners and other related appliances within the scope of the present invention. It extends to a wide range of appliances that are able to draw material from surfaces and machines which apply material to surfaces such as polishing machines, shampooing machines, packaging machines etc.

Referring to block diagram lOOa in FIG. 1A, the present invention can be divided into three separate operations required to assemble the roller brush bar. The first operation is to load the inputs namely the brush bar which forms the core, and the felt which makes up the covering. The second operation is the assembly of the roller brush bar whereby the felt strip is pasted or bonded to the brush bar surface. The third operation is to unload the finished product by using a cutting mechanism to sever the felt strip from the roll, producing a single roller brush bar.

The three operations described above are accomplished with various internal systems. A feed-in system consisting of two separate modules for the felt strip and the brush bar; an assembly system that combines the two inputs namely the brush bar and felt strip using a pasting process; and the detect, detach and discharge system that utilizes a detection sensor to detach the strip from the felt roll, thereby producing a single roller brush bar.

In an embodiment, the load operation has two separate feed-in systems. The felt strip feed-in is implemented by the felt roller guide system while the mandrel guide guides the brush bar in a spiral rotational movement.

In another embodiment, the assembly operation includes pasting of the felt strip to the brush bar to form the article. This is achieved through the momentum generated by the linear downward force of the mandrel guide and the rotational force from the main guide station that causes the felt strip to adhere to the brush bar in a spiral or convoluted orientation.

In yet another embodiment, the unload operation has three parts. Once the sensor detects the end of the pasting process, the cutter is triggered to detach the felt strip from its roll. The cutting is realized in a high speed multi-stroke motion. The completion of the cutting prompts the gripper to discharge the finished roller brush bar.

FIG. 1B illustrates a perspective and side view of a brush bar pasting machine with the felt, according to one embodiment of the present invention. With respect to FIG. 1B, the machine (lOOb, lOOc) comprises a base frame (101), a mandrel guide (102), a felt roller guide stations (103), a felt insert station (104), a brush bar main guide (105), a cutting station (106) and at least one felt roller (107). The mandrel guide (102) is attached vertically to the top portion of the base frame (101). The felt roller guide stations (103) are located at the four corners of the base frame (101). The brush bar main guide (105) is vertically below the mandrel guide 102, at the center of the base frame (101). The cutting station (106) is horizontally below an assembly station of the brush bar main guide (105). As shown in Fig. 1C the brush bar includes at least one slot 108 (l08a, l08b) for accommodating the brush strip. The felt is pasted on the surface of the brush bar/ core (109).

Fig. 2A & 2B illustrates the feed-in system (200a, 200b) for the brush bar. It consists of the mandrel guide (201) and at least one sensor (202). The mandrel guide (201) is a shaft attached vertically at the top of the base frame driven by a pneumatic cylinder. The brush bar (204) is pushed downward in a spiral motion through the guide cylinder (205) with the mandrel (203) at the top and the mandrel (208) from the preceding brush bar at bottom. To enable continuous pasting, the alignment of the individual incoming and outgoing brush bars in the assembly station is important. If the brush bars are not rotated correctly relative to each other, the felt strip will be pasted incorrectly in succeeding articles. The feed-in mechanism is designed to enable the smooth feed-in of successive brush bars and the activation of continuous felt strip pasting without any interruption. The brush bar (204) includes slots (206). The machine has guide pins constructed in the inner walls (207a, 207b).

According to one embodiment of the present invention, the brush bar is automatically loaded through the brush bar mandrel guide. In addition, the brush bar could be rotated to enable the wrapping material to adhere to it. A screw or helical motion driven by a motorized system could be used to accomplish the automated control required.

FIG. 3 illustrates the feed-in system (300) for the felt strip. It consists of a felt roller guide. In the present embodiment, there are four felt rollers in the machine. The felt roller guides are located at each corner of the base frame. The roller guide consists of a pair of unwinding guide rollers (301), a stripper roller (302), a feed-in roller (303) and a felt roller (304). The pair of unwinding rollers (301) maintain the tension of the unwound felt strip and prevents the strip wrinkling or crimping. The felt strip in the present embodiment uses a double-sided tape as the adhering agent. The adhesive face (305) is protected with a liner (306). The stripper roller (302) removes the liner to expose the adhesive film. The feed-in roller (303) controls the oblique angle of the feed-in according to the spiral rotation of the brush bar. The roller guide system is critical to ensuring a uniform felt coverage over the brush bar.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, the brush bar main guide houses a packaging mechanism. The packaging mechanism senses a brush bar of a predetermined length and activates a felt insertion through the felt roller guide.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, additional stations such as direct adhesive dispensing, or heat treatment could be added to the felt stations.

FIG 4A & FIG 4B illustrates the assembly system (400a, 400b). The assembly system consists of a base (401), a brush bar main guide (402) and a felt insert stations (403). The brush bar main guide is attached vertically below the mandrel guide (404). The felt insert station (403) are the four corners; one for each roller guide system. The felt insert station (403) supports and directs the felt strip at an oblique angle from the feed-in roller to the assembly zone.

The main guide (402) enables the pasting of the felt strip to the brush bar (406). The continuous spiral or convoluted pasting of successive brush bars is based on using a series of guide pins protruding from the inner wall of the main guide (402). The top guide pins and middle guide pins are located inside the mandrel guide cylinder. The bottom guide pins are inside the brush bar main guide that is on a platform of the base frame (401).

The pasting is driven by the momentum generated from the downward and rotational forces exerted on the brush bar. Once part of the felt strip adheres to the brush bar, the downward motion pulls the remainder of the felt strip towards the brush bar, and triggers the unwinding of the felt from the roll. The felt strip (407) is pasted in a spiral or convoluted formation along the brush bar body in feed system (408), as shown in FIG. 4B.

FIG. 5A illustrates the top view of the detachment system (500a) and in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The system (500a) consists of a pneumatic cylinder (501), cutter blade (502) with at least two cutting edge (502a, 502b), a pointed edge (502c) and a network of sensors 503 (503a, 503b) linked to a programmable logic controller. FIG. 5B provides perspective view (500b) of cutter and gripper in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

The invention has four detachment stations. The exit sensor at the assembly stage detects the end of the pasting process. The brush bar is positioned at the cutting station with a gripper (504) holding it. This triggers the pneumatically powered cutter (502). The V- shaped cutter (502) severs each felt strip from its roll. The pointed end (502c) creates a tear in the center while the edges (502a, 502b) slit the felt apart. When the cutting stroke is completed, a sensor (503) triggers the retraction of the cutter (502). The sensor (503b) beneath the cutting station detects the completion of the cutting stage and triggers the gripper (504) to discharge the finished roller brush bar (407).

As will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, the present invention may easily be produced in other specific forms without departing from its essential characteristics. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered as merely illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the claims rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the scope are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

Although the embodiments herein are described with various specific embodiments, it will be obvious for a person skilled in the art to practice the invention with modifications. However, all such modifications are deemed to be within the scope of the appended claims.