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Title:
MITTEN MADE AS ONE PIECE AND ASSOCIATED METHOD AND MACHINE FOR THE MANUFACTURE THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1999/000226
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Mitten made as one piece (1), in the thickness of which a cut is made, said cut separating two opposite walls (1a, 1b) of the mitten and forming an opening (2) for entry into the mitten itself, and associated method and machine for the manufacture thereof.

Inventors:
Canetta, Alberto (Via Meschiavino 14, Arizzano, I-28811, IT)
Monchiero, Massimo (Via Ravizza 5, Galliate, I-28066, IT)
Application Number:
PCT/EP1998/004027
Publication Date:
January 07, 1999
Filing Date:
June 24, 1998
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Mesa S. N. C. (di Canetta Alberto e Manara Alessandra, Via Muller 35, Verbania-Intra, I-28044, IT)
Canetta, Alberto (Via Meschiavino 14, Arizzano, I-28811, IT)
Monchiero, Massimo (Via Ravizza 5, Galliate, I-28066, IT)
International Classes:
B26D1/00; B26D1/18; B26D3/08; B26D9/00; (IPC1-7): B26D9/00; A47K7/02; B26D1/18; B26D3/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO1994012088A1
WO1991015983A1
Foreign References:
US3853027A
US3228145A
FR2414897A1
US4902283A
US1545332A
GB517959A
FR1515170A
GB925223A
GB2031276A
US3594045A
FR926385A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raimondi, Alfredo (Piazzale Cadorna 15, Milano, I-20123, IT)
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Claims:
Claims
1. Method for manufacturing mittens (1) as one piece, characterized in that it comprises the following steps: supplying, in a feeding direction, to a rotary cutting device, a strip of material having a width at least corresponding to the length of the mitten; retaining the strip of material along sides transverse to the direction of feeding of the strip itself; translational movement of the rotary cutting device towards the strip of material, in a direction perpendicular to the direction of feeding of the strip and over section of predetermined length; return translational movement of the rotary cutting device in the opposite direction to the direction of forward movement and over a section of equal length; translation of the strip in the feeding direction over a section having a length equal to the width of the mitten; shearing of the strip along an external perimeter corresponding to the external perimeter of the mitten.
2. Method according to Claim 1, characterized in that said strip of material is supplied continuously from a reel.
3. Method according to Claim 1, characterized in that said strip of material is a sheet of predetermined length.
4. Method according to Claims 1 and 3, characterized in that the length of said sheet is a multiple of the width of the mitten.
5. Method according to Claim 1, characterized in that said cutting device performs a further translatory movement in a direction perpendicular to the direction of entry into the material.
6. Method according to Claim 1, characterized in that said cutting of the material is performed in the middle of its thickness.
7. Machine for the manufacture of mittens (1) according to the method according to Claim 1, characterized in that it comprises a device (11) for supplying a strip (12) of material to cutting devices (20) which are movable in translation, either way, in a direction perpendicular to the direction of feeding of the strip, for performing an cut inside the strip itself, and to shearing means (50) for forming the external perimeter of the mitten and for separation thereof from the strip.
8. Machine according to Claim 7, characterized in that said feeding means consist of a conveyor belt (11).
9. Machine according to Claim 7, characterized in that said cutting device (20) comprises a rotating circular blade (21).
10. Machine according to Claim 7, characterized in that said blade is mounted on a pulley (23) which can be actuated rotatably by means of associated actuating means (28b, 28).
11. Machine according to Claim 10, characterized in that said pulley (23) is idle.
12. Machine according to Claim 11, characterized in that said means for rotatably actuating the pulley consist of a belt (28a) mounted endlessly on the pulley itself and on means (28b, 28) which can be operated for rotational actuation of the belt.
13. Machine according to Claim 7, characterized in that said pulley is supported by a bearing (24) integral with a pin (25) inside a protection shell (26,27).
14. Machine according to Claim 13, characterized in that said protection shell (26,27) has the shape of a wedge in the direction of penetration into the material.
15. Machine according to Claim 7, characterized in that said blade (21) is arranged in the middle of the thickness of the strip (12) of material.
16. Machine according to Claim 7, characterized in that said cutting device (20) may perform a second translatory movement in a direction parallel to that of feeding of the strip of material.
17. Machine according to Claim 7, characterized in that said devices for performing the internal cut and the perimetral shearing are arranged in a single workstation.
18. Mitten characterized in that it is made as one piece (1), in the thickness of which a cut is made, said cut separating two opposite walls (la, lb) of the mitten and forming an opening (2) for entry into the mitten itself.
19. Mitten according to Claim 18, characterized in that said cut is made in the middle of the thickness of the body of the mitten.
20. Mitten according to Claim 19, characterized in that the two opposite walls (la, lb) formed by the said cut have the same thickness.
21. Mitten according to Claim 18, characterized in that said cut is made offset with respect to the middle of the thickness of the mitten body.
22. Mitten according to Claim 21, characterized in that the two opposite parts formed by said cut have a different thickness.
23. Mitten according to Claim 18, characterized in that it has corners (ld) on the side opposite to that of the opening (2) which are rounded.
24. Mitten according to Claim 18, characterized in that it is made of expanded material.
25. Mitten according to Claim 24, characterized in that said expanded material is a polyurethane.
26. Mitten according to Claim 18, characterized in that at least one of said walls formed by the internal cut is impregnated with dry detergent or the like.
27. Mitten according to Claim 18, characterized in that it is lined internally with polyethylene.
Description:
Mitten made as one piece and associated method and machine for the manufacture thereof Description The present invention relates to a mitten made as one piece and to an associated method and machine for the manufacture thereof.

It is known that in the hygiene/sanitary sector there exists the need to use mittens made of spongy material or the like and impregnated with a dry detergent to be moistened at the time of use, for example for washing bed-bound patients.

It also known that mittens designed for this purpose exist, said mittens being made as two parts and being joined together by means of stitching, welding or bonding performed along three sides of the perimeter, so as to form a kind of pocket with an open side into which the user is able to insert a hand.

Said mittens of the known type, although being functional, have certain drawbacks arising from the fact that the two parts which are joined together are made of a spongy material and a backing material both with a low coefficient of friction, thus requiring the addition of an elastic on the open side in order to prevent the mitten from coming off during use.

The application of the perimetral stitching and of the retaining elastic constitute, however, additional operations which increase considerably the costs of producing the mitten which requires several processing steps, performed on machines with different characteristics, in order to join together the two

materials, only one of which may be spongy and therefore able to be impregnated with soap, thus reducing by fifty per cent the possibility of use of mitten which cannot be turned over for use on both the surfaces.

In addition to this, both the stitching and the corners, which are present in traditional mittens, are the cause of possible damage to the patient's skin.

The technical problem which is posed, therefore, is that of providing a mitten for use mainly in the hygiene/sanitary sector, which is composed of a single body, made of material which can be impregnated, but with a high coefficient of friction, which reduces the possibility of the mitten slipping off the user's hand and which, if required, may be made watertight with respect to the external washing water.

Within the context of this problem, a further need is that the mitten may be made with a simple and inexpensive processing method able to eliminate the corners and points of friction such as stitches, welds and the like which may damage the patient's skin.

A further object of the present invention is therefore to provide a method and an associated machine designed to perform processing of said material so as to form a hygienic/sanitary mitten in accordance with that described above.

These technical problems are solved according to the present invention by a mitten made as one piece, in the thickness of which a cut is made, said cut separating two opposite walls of the mitten and forming an opening for entry into the mitten itself. Said mitten is obtained by

means of a method comprising the steps of: supplying, in a feeding direction, towards a rotary cutting device, a strip of material with a width corresponding to the length of the mitten; retaining the strip; translational movement of the rotary cutting device towards the strip of material, in a direction perpendicular to the direction of feeding of the strip; return movement of the rotary cutting device in a direction opposite to the direction of forward movement; translation of the strip in the feeding direction over a section having a length equal to the width of the mitten; shearing of the strip along an external perimeter corresponding to the external perimeter of the mitten.

Said method may be implemented by means of a machine for manufacturing mittens comprising a device supplying a strip of material to cutting devices movable in translation, either way, in a direction perpendicular to the direction of feeding of the strip, for performing a cut inside the strip itself, and to shearing means for forming the external perimeter of the mitten and for separation thereof from the strip.

Further details may be obtained from the following description of a non-limiting example of embodiment of the invention provided with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 shows a front view of the mitten according to the present invention; Figure 2 shows a cross-section along the plane indicated by II-II in Fig. 1; Figure 3 shows a cross-section along the plane indicated

by III-III in Fig. 1; Figure 4 shows a lateral schematic view of the machine for manufacturing mittens according to the present invention; Figure 5 shows a partial cross-section along the plane indicated by V-V in Fig. 4; Figure 6 shows a plan view of the cutting tool for forming the mitten according to Fig. 1; and Figure 7 shows a cross-section along the line indicated by VII-VII in Fig. 6.

As illustrated in Fig. 1, the mitten according to the invention consists of a single body 1 which has a given thickness and a substantially rectangular shape.

A cut is made in thickness of the mitten, resulting in the formation of an internal pocket la which separates the two front and facing walls lb and lc of the mitten, as well as an opening 2 allowing the user to insert his/her hand inside the pocket la.

The corners ld on the side of the mitten opposite to that of the cut 2 are rounded so as to pass more easily over the patient's skin and reduce the risks of abrasion thereon.

The mitten is preferably made of expanded polyurethane, but it is obvious that other materials of the expanded type such as cotton wadding, polyethylenes and the like may be used for the manufacture thereof, provided that they possess similar properties of softness,

impregnability and fl. exibility which allow processing of said materials using a method described further below and which, at the same time, ensure the necessary capacity to be impregnated with dry detergent substances and subsequently with suitable liquids.

Since the mitten is made from a single material, both the sides thereof may be impregnated with the said detergent and may at the time of use be brought into contact with said liquids which are designed to wet the detergent so that the patient may be washed.

This obviously allows the working area of the mitten to be doubled, since the mitten may be turned over during use.

By way of an alternative, only one of the walls lb, lc may be impregnated with detergent, while the other one is used for rinsing.

In addition to this, the material used, although being soft and not causing irritation upon contact, has high friction properties which reduce slipping of the material on the user's hand, preventing the latter from coming out of the mitten.

The mitten according to the present invention may be made using a method which is described below and which results in particularly simple and low-cost production thereof.

In order to make the mitten watertight, it may be envisaged lining the internal. walls of the mitten with a suitable material such as, for example, polyethylene or the like.

The method according to the invention comprises basically the following steps: supplying a strip of expanded material, having a width corresponding to the length of the mitten and a length as required, to a rotary cutting device; retaining the strip along the edges transverse to the direction of feeding of the strip of material; translational movement of the rotary cutting device in a direction perpendicular to the direction of feeding of the strip, over a section corresponding to the depth of the cut to be made inside it; translation of the rotary cutting device in a direction opposite to the direction of forward movement, so as to disengage the device from the strip of material after performing the internal cut; movement in the feeding direction of the strip over a section equal to the width of a mitten; shearing of the strip along a perimeter corresponding to the final external perimeter of the mitten which at this point is formed and separated from the strip.

In connection with these method steps it may also be envisaged that the material in strip form is continuously supplied from a reel or that the strips have a predetermined length corresponding to multiples of a mitten; in addition to this it is envisaged that the expanded material may be impregnated with detergent at any moment during its processing, except during the cutting step.

Although in a preferred embodiment, the cut is performed in the middle of the thickness of the mitten so as to make the two opposite walls lb, lc thereof the same, it is obvious that is also possible to arrange the cutting device in an asymmetrical position with respect to the

thickness of the material, so as to provide mittens with a particular form in which the two opposite surfaces are intended for different uses and hence require a different thickness.

According to the invention, the apparatus 10 for the production of the mitten 1 in accordance with the method described above comprises a conveyor belt 11 mounted endlessly on associated drive rollers lla, at least one of which is operated by a motor lib.

The strip 12 of material to be brought opposite the various workstations is positioned on the said belt 11.

As illustrated in Fig. 5, in a preferred embodiment, the strip of material 12 is supplied in sheets preimpregnated with detergent and is brought opposite the cutting device 20 so as to perform the cut inside the mitten.

At said station suitable means, consisting of bars 13 arranged transversely with respect to the feeding direction, retain the strip so as to prevent undesirable movements during entry of the blade.

The cutting device 20 substantially consists of a circular blade 21 provided with a central hole 21a and holes 21b arranged along a circumference inside the cutting edge 21c.

Said holes 21b allow the insertion of screws 22b for fixing the blade 21 to a pulley 23 which, in turn, is provided with a central hole 23a housing a bearing 24 which is keyed onto a pin 25 provided with a coaxial threaded hole 25a for engagement with a corresponding locking screw 26a designed to pass through a hole 26b formed on a cover 26b of a half-shell 26 in the form of

a wedge.

Said screw 26a has a coaxial internal female thread suitable for engagement with a corresponding screw 27a, the head of which reacts against a counter-shell 27 which thus forms the support element for the blade 21 and which has a shape symmetrical with that of the half-shell 26 in relation to the blade 21.

The said pulley 23 is idle and engaged with a corresponding belt 28a which is mounted endlessly on actuating means for example consisting of the shaft 28b of a motor 28 (Fig. 4).

The device 20 for internal cutting of the mitten is also connected to means for performing its translatory movement and for controlling its position relative to the machine reference point, said means being schematically indicated by a pair of cylinders 40, one of which forms a hydraulic brake for adjusting the speed of translation of the cutting device, the rod of which operates a slide 41 movable on a guide 42 fixed to a base 43.

As illustrated in Fig. 4, a shearing device 50 for shearing the external perimeter of the mitten is provided in the station downstream of the internal cutting station, the mitten thus being formed and separated from the strip 12.

The operating mode of the machine is as follows: -once the strip 12 of material has been supplied to the cutting station, the devices 13 for retaining the strip itself are activated and rotation of the blade 21 is started and the latter moved towards the strip 12 into

which it penetrates over a section of predetermined length corresponding to the depth of the pocket to be formed; -once the internal cut has been formed, the blade 21 is moved backwards, freeing it from engagement with the strip 12; -the strip is made to advance by means of the conveyor belt 11 over a section corresponding to the programmed width of the mitten 1 so as to bring the piece of material, already cut internally, opposite devices 50 for external perimetral shearing; -the said devices for performing external perimetral shearing are activated, while, at the same time, the internal cutting device 20 enters into the section of the strip 12 which has been brought opposite the device itself by the previous feeding movement, so that while one mitten 1 is formed by external cutting, another mitten is prepared with the internal cut.

Although described for a preferred embodiment, many constructional variants of the various component parts of the machine may be introduced, in particular as regards the working sequence which may also be reversed, performing beforehand the external perimetral cut of the strip for forming the individual mittens, with subsequent internal cutting for forming the pocket.

In addition to this, it is envisaged that, should the transverse dimension of the pocket la be greater than the diameter of the blade 21, the latter may be moved in translation also in a direction perpendicular to the direction of entry into the material so as to allow the

creation of a cut of equal depth, but with a width programmable according to requirements.

In a further simplified embodiment, the machine may also be constructed with a single workstation where both the internal cut and the external perimetral cut are performed; in such a case, however, the productivity is reduced, it not being possible to perform the two operations at the same time.




 
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