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Title:
METHOD AND DEVICE FOR REVERSING TUBULAR ARTICLES, SUCH AS SOCKS AND STOCKINGS, AFTER CLOSURE OF THE TOE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/141842
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The method comprises the steps of: resting the pocket of the toe (P) of the article (M) against a reversing element (19); inserting the article over said reversing element, causing the reversing thereof; removing the reversed article from the reversing element; furthermore, in the case of incorrect reversing, the Article is automatically removed from the reversing element, thus permitting the handling of a following article.

Inventors:
GRASSI NERINO (IT)
MAGNI ANTONIO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IT2009/000218
Publication Date:
November 26, 2009
Filing Date:
May 15, 2009
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GOLDEN LADY CO SPA (IT)
GRASSI NERINO (IT)
MAGNI ANTONIO (IT)
International Classes:
D06G3/02; D05B23/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO1991007540A11991-05-30
Foreign References:
EP0744488A21996-11-27
US4627557A1986-12-09
US4509666A1985-04-09
GB472551A1937-09-27
FR2793815A12000-11-24
US20020104857A12002-08-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MANNUCCI, Michele et al. (Via della Scala 4, Firenze, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:

Claims

1. A method for automatically reversing a knitted tubular article with an open edge and a closed toe, comprising the steps of: resting the toe pocket against a reversing element; inserting said article over said reversing element, causing the reversing thereof; removing the reversed article from said reversing element; characterized in that in the case of incorrect reversing, the article is automatically removed from the reversing element, thus permitting the handling of a following article.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1 , characterized by detecting, by means of sensor members, the correct performance of the reversing cycle of the article and by actuating an automatic procedure for ejecting the article in the case of detection of any hindrance during the reversing process.

3. The method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that, in order to remove the non correctly reversed article, the reversing element is lifted from an area in which the article is inserted on the reversing element, by means of a fix member defining an abutment for removing the article.

4. The method as claimed in claim 1 or 2 or 3, characterized by transporting the correctly reversed articles along a feed path and by discharging the incorrectly reversed articles in a separated collection area. 5. The method as claimed in claim 1 , 2, or 3, characterized by removing the incorrectly reversed articles along a removing path.

6. The method as claimed in one or more of the previous claims, characterized by: engaging opposite portions of fabric of the article adjacent to the toe of said article; enlarging the article in the area of the toe transversally to the longitudinal development of said article; moving the reversing element towards the enlarged portion of said article in order to reverse the article.

7. A device for reversing knitted tubular articles comprising an open edge and a closed toe, including: a reversing element; loading members, for loading said tubular articles singularly on said reversing element, inserting each article by reversing it on said reversing element; characterized in that said reversing element is provided with an ejection movement for ejecting the tubular article, if said tubular article has been reversed incorrectly.

8. The device as claimed in claim 7, characterized by gripping elements arranged and controlled to enlarge the toe of each tubular article trans-

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versally to the longitudinal development of said tubular article.

9. The device as claimed in claim 8, characterized in that said gripping elements comprise a pair of mutually opposite gripping members movable so as to move towards and away from each other along a direction transverse to the longitudinal development of said reversing element.

10. The device as claimed in claim 9, characterized in that said gripping elements are arranged between a first pair of conveyors and a second pair of conveyors, aligned along the direction of loading of the tubular article on the reversing element. 11. The device as claimed in one or more of claims 7 to 10, characterized in that said reversing element comprises an elongated rod.

12. The device as claimed in claim 11 , characterized in that said elongated rod is slidable inside a guiding member, forming an abutment for the ejection of the incorrectly reversed articles. 13. The device as claimed in one or more of claims 7 to 12, characterized in that said reversing element is carried by a slide slidable in a guide, said guide being movable so as to cause an overtravel of said reversing element.

14. The device as claimed in one or more of claims 7 to 13, characterized by including two paths for removing the articles, one for the correctly re- versed articles and one for the incorrectly reversed articles.

15. The device as claimed in claim 14, characterized in that at least one of said two paths comprises pneumatic ducts.

16. The device as claimed in one or more of claims 7 to 15, characterized by sensor members for the detection of the correct reversing of said arti- cles.

17. The device as claimed in claim 16, wherein said sensor members include optical sensors which detect the passage of an article in a discharge area after it has been reversed.

18. The device as claimed in one or more of claims 7 to 17, character- ized by including a control unit associated with detecting sensors for detecting the tubular article, said control unit actuating an ejection function for ejecting the article if said sensors detect an hindrance to the reversing of the article.

Description:

"METHOD AND DEVICE FOR REVERSING TUBULAR ARTICLES, SUCH AS SOCKS AND STOCKINGS, AFTER CLOSURE OF THE TOE"

DESCRIPTION Technical field The present invention relates to a device and to a method for reversing tubular articles, especially knitted textile tubular articles such as socks and stockings, after having closed the toe of the articles by means of sewing or linking. Specifically, the invention relates to a device and a method particularly suitable to be used on a completely automatic processing line. State of the Art

In the production of knitted tubular articles, such as socks and stockings, the articles are generally produced with circular knitting machine and then discharged from the machines with the open toe. The toe shall be subsequently sewn or linked for forming the finished article. Sewing or linking are performed with the reversed article, i.e. with the article arranged with the surface, which will be inside the article when this latter will be worn, facing towards the outside, so that the sewing or the linking, once they have been performed, remain inside the finished article by reversing the article and putting it in the condition for final use. Sewing is generally performed by means of sewing machines comprising a guillotine, inside which the end of the tubular article, which will form the sewn toe, is inserted. Once sewn, the article is removed from the guillotine of the sewing machine and inserted in a reversing device. This latter comprises a reversing element, usually comprising a bar, with elongated shape and a thin cross section, against which the pocket forming the toe of the article rests after sewing and over which said article is then inserted through the cooperation of the bar with pairs of transport belts or conveyors.

Sewing machines provided with reversing devices are produced and marketed for example by the company Rosso Industrie S.p.A. (Orbassano, Tu- rin, Italy) under the denomination Rosso 025 Fulltronic Super and Ultraturn 6000.

These machines, although reliable, can present in some cases jams, especially in the part of the device having the function of reversing the tubular article after sewing. When this occurs, the sewing machine must be stopped, and

the operator removes the incorrectly reversed sock and reverses it manually or puts it into a container, from which it is then taken for being reversed manually. The so designed reversing machines and devices are not suitable to automatic processing cycles, as any block of the reversing device entails the stop of the entire processing line which feeds the tubular articles to the sewing machine, with a consequent loss of production until the intervention of the operator, who releases the reversing device and restarts the line.

Therefore, the line remains blocked also for long times, as the operator, who has to control more machines, maybe does not notice promptly the block situation and intervene, or as he/she is maybe engaged in releasing other devices of the same production unit, where more lines are present. Summary of the Invention

According to one aspect, the object of the present invention is to provide a reversing method more suitable for use in completely automatic production cycles for producing knitted tubular articles sewn at the toe.

According to a further aspect, the invention provides for an improved reversing machine or device, particularly suitable to work in combination with the automatic line.

Substantially, according to a first aspect, the present invention provides a method for automatically reversing a knitted tubular article with an open edge and a closed toe, comprising the steps of: resting the toe pocket against a reversing element; inserting said article over said reversing element, causing the reversing thereof; removing the reversed article from said reversing element; characterized in that in the case of incorrect reversing, the article is automati- cally removed from the reversing element, thus permitting the handling of the following article.

In order to facilitate the reversing cycle, the method can provide for engaging and stretching two portions or edges of the fabric of the article toe, before reciprocally moving the reversing element and the article towards each other.

According to a further aspect, the invention relates to a device for reversing knitted tubular articles comprising an open edge and a closed toe, including: a reversing element; loading members, for loading said tubular articles singularly on said reversing element, inserting each article by reversing it on said re-

versing element; characterized in that the reversing element is provided with an ejection movement for ejecting the tubular article, if said tubular article has been reversed incorrectly.

In some embodiments, the device comprises gripping elements or mem- bers arranged and controlled for enlarging the toe of each tubular article trans- versally to the longitudinal development of said tubular article.

Further advantageous features and embodiments of the method and the device according to the present invention are described hereunder with reference to one embodiment and in the appended claims, which form an integral part of the present description. Brief description of the drawings

The drawings show a possible non limiting embodiment of the present invention. More in particular, in the drawing: figure 1 shows a perspective view of the reversing device in the initial step of inserting an article; figure 2 shows a front view of the device according to figure 1 ; figure 3 shows a perspective view of the device of figure 1 in a subsequent step; figure 4 shows a front view of the device in the arrangement of figure 3; figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 show perspective views of the device in subsequent working steps; figure 11 shows a device in an ejection step of ejecting an article non correctly reversed; and figures 12 to 17 show the operating steps of the device in a schematic representation.

Detailed description of embodiments of the invention

With initial reference to figures 1 to 11 , the device, indicated as a whole with the number 1 , has a structure 3 adjacent to a guillotine 5 of a linking or sewing machine of a type known per se, and therefore not described in detail hereunder. For understanding the present invention it is sufficient to specify that the guillotine 5 constitutes the element along which the single article M (for example a sock or a stocking) is made to translate, article which, after having been sewn at the toe, is inserted in the reversing device 1.

In some embodiments, the device 1 comprises a transferring unit 7,

which transfers the single articles from the guillotine 5 to the reversing means. In some embodiments, the transferring element 7 comprises a slide 9 slidable on guides 11 and bearing a gripper or other pick-up member 13, movable according to the double arrow f9 integrally with the carriage or slide 9. In some embodiments, with the structure 3 two pairs of belts or conveyors are integral, indicated with 15A, 15B and 17A, 17B respectively. In some embodiments, each pair of conveyors 15A, 15B, 17A, 17B comprises two pairs of rollers, at least one of which is motorized, around which conveyor belts are fed. The conveyors 15A, 15B are adjacent to each other and between them e- ach article M to be reversed is inserted, in the manner which will be described hereunder. The conveyors 17A, 17B are above the conveyors 15A, 15B and are also mutually opposite. Between the conveyors 15A, 17A and 15B, 17B respectively a reversing element can be inserted, indicated as a whole with the number 19. In some embodiments, the reversing element 19 has the shape of a rod. Preferably, the rod has an elongated shape with a flat cross section, as shown in the drawing. The reversing element or rod 19 is arranged in such a manner as to slide inside a member 21 integral with the structure 1 and forming an abutment for removing the articles M non correctly reversed. The reversing rod or element 19 is movable parallel to its longitudinal development inside a support 23, inside which a slide or plate 25 is arranged, to which the rod 19 is constrained. The plate 25 is connected to the rod of a piston-cylinder actuator 24, whose cylinder is in turn connected to the support 23, to control the sliding movement of the rod in vertical direction according to arrow f19.

The support 23 is in turn movable according to double arrow f23 by means of a piston-cylinder actuator 27 for the purposes which will be explained below.

Between the pair of conveyors 15A, 15B and the pair of conveyors 17A, 17B a pair of gripping members is arranged, for example a pair of mechanical and/or pneumatic grippers, indicated with 31 A and 31 B. These gripping mem- bers are movable according to double arrows f31 in a direction which is substantially orthogonal to the lifting and lowering movement f19 of the reversing rod or element 19.

The device described above operates in the manner described below, schematically represented in the sequence of figures 12 to 16 and in greater

detail in figures 1 to 11.

With initial reference to figure 1 , an article M (for example a sock or a stocking), whose toe P has been closed, which is at correspondence of the guillotine 5 and which has an opposite edge B, is engaged by the grippers 13. The conveyors 15A 1 15B and similarly the conveyor 17A, 17B are mutually spaced, as shown in particular in the front view of figure 2. The reversing element 19 is at least partially lifted (figure 2).

By means of a movement according to f9, the slide 9 with the gripper 13 is moved towards the structure 3 of the reversing device 1 so as to bring the ar- tide M, retaining it at the toe P, in a position between the conveyors 15A, 15B, as shown in figure 3 and frontally in figure 4.

At this point, the conveyors 15A, 15B are moved towards each other by means of actuators arranged inside the structure 3 and not shown, but known to those skilled in the art, so as to press one against the other thus engaging between them the upper portion, i.e. the portion adjacent to the toe P, of the article M, as shown in particular in figure 5 and in the schematic representation in figure 12. The conveyors 17A, 17B remain in the open position and the gripping members 31 A, 31 B are mutually spaced apart from one another.

Once this arrangement has been achieved, the gripper 13 is moved a- way from the work area of the reversing device 1 , i.e. from the area in which the conveyors 15A, 15B, 17A, 17B and the gripping members 31 A, 31 B are arranged, thus allowing the gripping members or grippers 31A 1 31 B to move towards each other, taking the position shown in axonometric view in figure 6 and in the diagram of figure 13. The gripping members 31 A, 31 B are actuated to engage two opposite edges of the toe P of the article M.

In the subsequent step, shown in figure 7 and in the diagram of figure 14, the grippers or gripping members 31A, 31 B are slightly moved away from each other while holding the opposite edges of the toe of the article M, so as to enlarge transversally the fabric forming the toe pocket. The transverse enlar- gement of the fabric pocket forming the toe leaves between the two gripping members 31 A, 31B a space, within which the reversing element or rod 19 can be inserted, that for this purpose moves downwards according to arrow f19, thus pushing with the free lower end 19A thereof against the fabric held in a stretched position by the gripping members 31 A, 31 B. Figure 14 schematically

shows in a clear manner what happens in the area of interaction between the pocket of the toe P of the article M, the lower conveying members 15A, 15B 1 the reversing rod or element 19 and the gripping members 31 A, 31 B. Substantially, the pocket of fabric held in stretched position receives the lower end of the rod 19.

In the subsequent operating step, shown in the perspective view of figure 9, the conveyors 17A, 17B move towards each other, pressing against the reversing rod or element 19, whilst the fabric forming the pocket of the toe P is still maintained in stretched position by the grippers or gripping members 31A, 31 B. In the subsequent step, shown in the diagram of figure 15, the gripping members 31 A, 31 B release the opposite fabric portions of the toe of the article M, the reversing rod or element 19 moves downwards penetrating inside the fabric, whilst the conveyors 15A, 15B rotate to push the fabric of the article M upwards. In this way, the step begins of insertion of the fabric forming the article M on the reversing rod or element 19. This operation ends when the article has achieved the arrangement schematically illustrated in figure 16 and in greater detail in figure 10. The article M is completely reversed with respect to its initial position (i.e. the surface of the fabric that was inside is now outside of the article) and inserted on the reversing rod or element 19, which has been lowered to project below the pair of conveyors 15A, 15B. The edge B of the reversed article M is above the conveyors 17A, 17B. The sewing performed by the sewing machine (not shown) is therefore inside the article M reversed on the rod 19.

Below the members described above and in particular below the position achieved by the reversing element 19 in the arrangement of figure 16, a suction duct 41 is arranged, schematically shown only in figure 16 and omitted in the other figures for the sake of clarity of the drawing. With the mouth of the suction duct 41 , which is arranged laterally offset relative to the reversing members, an oscillating plate 43 is associated, which can oscillate according to the arrow indicated in figure 16 to facilitate the insertion of the tubular article in the mouth of the suction duct 41.

The article is ejected from the reversing area by reversing the movement of the conveyors 15A, 15B and 17A, 17B, and by removing the reversing rod or element 19, so that the article M is sucked in the mouth of the duct 41 facilitated by the plate 43, as shown in figure 17.

Between the conveyors 15A, 15B and the plate 43 a photocell or other sensor is arranged, preferably of the optical type, indicated with 42A, 42B, which detects the passage of the article during the various operating steps. In particular, the introduction of the article in the reversing area by means of the gripper 13 is detected, the subsequent lifting of the article which uncovers the photocell when it is reversed on the rod 19 (figure 16) and the subsequent passage of the reversed article which is discharged in the suction duct 41.

What has been described above is the normal operating cycle of the reversing device. If, for any reason, the article M is not reversed correctly, this condition is detected through the photocell 42A, 42B or other equivalent sensor. In fact, if the article is not reversed, the cycle described is not completed and the article remains entangled in the members provided to perform the reversing. As the normal reversing cycle requires a substantially constant time, for example equal to about 4 seconds, it is possible to set the control unit of the machine in such a way that if the photocell 42A 1 42B does not detect the passage of the reversed article within a time of about 4 seconds or slightly greater, which can be pre-set, the ejection cycle is actuated for ejecting the unreversed sock.

This cycle simply provides for the aperture of the conveyors 15A, 15B 1 17A, 17B and the lifting of the reversing rod or element 19 by an entity greater than its normal stroke inside the support 23. At this end, the actuator 27 is provided that lifts the whole support 23 with the reversing element 19. It is also possible simply to provide a longer stroke for the piston-cylinder 24.

In this way the non correctly reversed article M simply falls in a collection area below, where a basket, or other can be positioned, or a suction duct can be arranged to remove the article and to bring it in a collection area where it can be reversed manually. The plate 43 remains in the approximately vertical position of figure 16, instead of moving towards the mouth of the suction duct 41 , in order to facilitate the falling of the article. It is also possible to arrange a second suction duct in a different suitable position for collecting and removing the unreversed article. In other embodiments, it is possible to provide for the suction of the unreversed article in the duct 41 , which can have a deviation, with adequately controlled interception means, so as to address the article in one or the other of two distinct branches, the one designed to transfer the correctly reversed articles, and the other to transfer the non correctly reversed arti-

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cles.

With the described system the working area of the reversing device 1 is free from the non correctly reversed article, and the reversing cycle of the subsequent article can immediately start, without stopping the sewing machine and consequently the machine upstream of the reversing device 1.

With this arrangement it is possible to automatize the reversing cycle, promptly removing the articles non correctly handled.

It is understood that the drawing only shows an example provided by way of a practical arrangement of the present invention, which can vary in forms and arrangements without however departing from the scope of the concept underlying the invention. Any reference numbers in the appended claims are provided for the sole purpose of facilitating reading of the claims in the light of the description and the drawing, and do not in any manner limit the scope of protection defined by the claims.




 
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