BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Field of the Invention
A folding machine of the portable type, which performs a final up
or down plow type fold on documents such as sheets of paper and the like, which
are held in register, folded, compressed, and delivered in folded condition.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
In the printing trade it is often desirable to provide a finished
product that has one or more pockets thereon which can be used to hold other items.
To form a pocket a sheet of paper is scored up from and parallel to the bottom
to form a flap. A glue line is applied to one or more edges of the flap, which
is folded up along the score line to contact the main sheet of paper and form
a pocket. In some instances, it is desirable to provide a cover over the pocket,
in which instance the sheet is scored lengthwise to form a cover flap, which also
may be provided with a pocket, and which cover flap is then folded over and onto
the main sheet.
Various apparatus have been proposed to fold a cover flap up and
then over onto a main sheet, and various apparatus have been proposed to fold a
cover flap down, and then up to cover a main sheet. Depending on the paper stock,
the finish, and other considerations, it may be necessary to fold the cover flap
up or to fold the cover flap down, which until the present invention required
different apparatus to fold up, or to fold down. No single apparatus is available,
which can fold the cover flap up or down as desired. Examples of prior art apparatus
are illustrated in the U.S. Patents Nos. 715,620 to Staude; 846,123 to Mehle;
1,620,444 to Davidson; 1,923,121 to Simmons; 3,572,221 to Baum; 3,797,371 to Randle;
3,807,289 to Labombarde; 4,586,917 to Robinson; and 4,747,817 to Newsome.
With some types of paper stock it is very difficult to obtain an
accurate fold, with the cover flap aligned with the main sheet and obtain an acceptable
As the folded or almost folded sheets leave the folding sections
of various prior art apparatus, they are grabbed by mechanism in the delivery or
alignment section, and subjected to high acceleration forces.
The grabbing or nipping action does not always exert uniform and
perfectly straight forces on the leading edge of the sheet being accelerated. Indeed,
there is a tendency for some of the individual flaps to be cocked or skewed from
a desired position in which their leading edges are at right angles to the flow
path. In the event of flaps cocking or skewing as the sheets leave the folding
section, the subsequent grabbing action produces unsymmetrical flap orientation,
and an unacceptable finished product. This problem is overcome, in the present
None of the prior art apparatus discloses a folding machine which
can fold a flap up, or fold a flap down, as required, and particularly where a
pocket has already been formed on one or more parts of the sheet being processed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to a plow type folding machine for paper and
the like, which receives a sheet of paper which may have one or more pockets, and
has been scored lengthwise to form a cover flap, registers the sheet, and performs
a plow type fold to fold the flap down or up to cover the pocket, compresses and
then delivers the folded sheet for further processing.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a plow type folding
machine, which registers a sheet of paper, which has been scored lengthwise, and
folds a flap up or down along the score line, onto a main sheet, and in aligned
A further object of the invention is to provide a folding machine
of the character aforesaid, which is fast and accurate in its operation.
A further object of the invention is to provide a folding machine
of the character aforesaid , which can be easily set up to provide an up fold,
or a down fold of a flap onto the sheet of paper.
A further object of the invention is to provide a folding machine
of the character aforesaid, which is simple to construct and maintain.
A further object of the invention is to provide a folding machine
of the character aforesaid, which can fold a large variety of types, and configurations
of sheets of paper and the like.
Other objects and advantageous features of the invention will be
apparent from the description and claims.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The nature and characteristic features of the invention will be more
readily understood from the following description taken in connection with the
accompanying drawings forming part hereof in which:
- Fig. 1 is a view in perspective, and partially broken away, of a plow type
folding machine in accordance with the invention, set up to fold a cover flap initially
- Fig. 2 is a view similiar to Fig. 1, from the opposite perspective, and with
a pocket folding machine feeding sheets of paper to the plow type folding machine;
- Fig. 3 is a view similiar to Fig. 2, but of the plow type folding machine alone;
- Fig. 4 is a view similiar to Fig. 2, showing the plow type folding machine
set up to fold a cover flap initially upwardly;
- Fig. 5 is a view similiar to Fig. 3, showing the plow type folding machine
set up to fold a cover flap upwardly;
- Fig. 6 is a view in perspective, and enlarged, of a portion of the plow type
- Fig. 7 is a view similiar to Fig. 6, showing another portion of the plow type
- Fig. 8A is a fragmentary elevational view, showing a document in position prior
to folding a cover flap in an initially downward direction;
- Fig. 8B is a view similiar to Fig. 8A, with the document in partially folded
- Fig. 8C is a view similiar to Fig. 8B, with the document in final folded condition;
- Fig. 9A is a view simiilar to Fig. 8A, showing a document prior to folding
a cover flap in an initially upward direction;
- Fig. 9B is a view similiar to Fig. 9A, with the document in partially folded
- Fig. 9C is a view similiar to Fig. 9B, showing the document in final folded
It should, of course, be understood that the description and drawings
herein are illustrative merely and that various modifications and changes can be
made in the structure disclosed without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Like numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now more particularly to the drawing and Figs. 1-3, 6,
7, 8A, 8B and 8C which illustrates the apparatus set for downward cover flap folding,
and to Figs. 4 and 5 which illustrates the apparatus set for cover flap upward
folding. A folding machine 10 is therein illustrated, which is set up for folding
of cover flaps 11 of documents 12, such as sheets of paper and the like, which
have been longitudinally prescored. The machine 10 includes a document receiving
section 13, a folding section 14 and a delivery section 15. The folding machine
10, which is of a general rectangular configuration, has side plates 16 and 17,
which are connected together by end plates 18 and 19. The side plates 16 and 17
have rollers 20 thereon at the receiving end, and at the delivery end rollers 20
are attached (not shown) to end plate 19 so that the machine is portable and can
be rolled to desired locations. Vertically adjustable stops 25 are provided, carried
in brackets 26 on end plate 19, so that machine 10 can be locked when it is in
In Fig. 2, a pocket folding machine 27 of well known type is shown,
in phantom, and which delivers documents 12, which have had one or more pocket
flaps 29 formed thereon, which have been glued and folded to form pockets (not
shown) prior to delivery to machine 10. The documents 12 have also had a lengthwise
score line 30 applied thereto, in well known manner, while in machine 27, to provide
a main panel 12A and a cover flap 11.
The folding machine 10 has a pair of top rails 31 and 32, above side
plates 16 and 17, secured by bolts 33 to vertical brackets 34, which extend upwardly
from side plates 16 and 17. The top rails 31 and 32 extend to the right as seen
in Fig. 2, and to the pocket folding machine 27. The top rails 31 and 32 are connected
together by a plate 35, which has a flat document transfer plate 36 secured thereto
by screws 37. The top rails 31 and 32 form the document receiving section 13, with
a longitudinally extending plate 38 therebetween and to end plate 18. A transverse
idler roller 40 is provided, carried in bearings (not shown) in top rails 31 and
32. A plurality of endless document transport belts 41 are provided carried by
roller 40, on top of plate 38, which extend to a driven roller 42, which is carried
in bearings (not shown) on top rails 31 and 32. The belts 41 transport documents
12 from the receiving section 13 to the folding section 14.
Shafts 44 are provided, connected to top rails 31 and 32, with vertically
extending brackets 45, which have arms 46 engaged therewith and which are connected
to a document register member 47.
The arms 46 are slotted and have thumb screws 48 engaged with the
brackets 45, and thumb screws 48 engaged with the document register member 47.
The brackets 45 have a document side stop and guide plate 49 spanning
and connected thereto, which in conjunction with member 47 registers and guides
documents 12 as they are transported by the belts 41 to the folding section 14.
The member 47 is preferably of wear resistant plastic, such as Delrin,
and has a plurality of captive balls 50 to engage documents 12, and assist in their
A second document transfer plate 51 is provided, secured to end plate
18 by screws 52, and which transfers documents 12 from belts 41 to the folding
section 14. The folding section 14 has an endless belt 55 to receive documents
12 and is engaged with a driven roller 56, which has a shaft 56A, which is carried
in bearings (not shown) on top rails 31 and 32, and which belt 55 extends over
a bed plate 57 onto a driven roller 58. The bed plate 57 extends under and between
the endless loop of belt 55, and has an extension plate 60, adjacent to plate 51,
which extends to side plate 17, and forwardly a fraction of the length of the
bed plate 57.
A plurality of guide rollers 61 are provided, in pairs, resting on
belt 55, and are rotatably carried on shafts 62 in brackets 53A of plate 53. Shafts
54 are provided connected to plate 53, and engaged with U-shaped clamps 64, which
are carried on a longitudinally extending square shaft 65, engaged with a mounting
block 59 carried on a transversely extending square shaft 66, that is engaged with
posts 67, which are secured to top rails 31 and 32 by bolts 68. The clamps 64 are
movable on square shaft 65, and block 59 is movable on shaft 66, and they may be
fixed in position by adjustment screws 69, carried therein.
A guide rod 70 is provided, engaged in a clamp 64 on shaft 65, with
a straight member 71, and a diverging curved guide portion 72, which extends along
and on top of bed plate 57.
A downward guide rod 75 is provided, which has a straight portion
74 engaged in a clamp 64, which is carried on a square shaft 76, which is fastened
to and extends transversely from top guide rail 32.
The rod 75 has a contact portion 77 which extends therefrom and under
bed plate 57 to guide a cover flap from a document 12 to be described. The shaft
76 has an extended curved contact portion 78, connected thereto by portion 79,
and which extends along and under bed plate 57, which also guides the cover flaps
11 of documents 12, to be described. As shown in Fig. 2, a pair of clamps 64 are
engaged with top rail 31, with square shafts 80 therein and connected to a document
guide member 81, which is of rectangular configuration, and has rollers 85 which
rest on belt 55, and with a smooth top surface 86 to guide documents 12, to be
The delivery section 15, which receives partially folded documents
12 from the folding section 14 includes an upper mounting plate 90, which is connected
to side plate 17 by shafts 91, and has an upper drive plate 92 mounted thereto
by bosses 93, and bolts 94 engaged in slots 95 in plate 92.
The plate 92 has a drive shaft 96 in bearing 97, thereon, with a
sprocket gear 98 which is driven by a chain (not shown).
The shaft 96 has a roller 99 thereon, which has an endless belt 100
engaged therewith, and engaged with an idler roller 101 on shaft 102, which is
mounted to plate 92, by a bolt (not shown) in slot 103. The belt 100 is engaged
with an idler roller 104 preferably of steel, on shaft 105 mounted to plate 92,
a roller 106, preferably of steel, on a shaft 107 on plate 92, and an idler roller
109 on shaft 110, mounted to plate 92, and an idler roller 107 on shaft 116. The
shaft 105 has another steel roller 111 thereon, which has an endless belt 112 engaged
therewith, and with an idler roller 113 on shaft 114, which is mounted to plate
92 by a bolt (not shown) carried in slot 115 of plate 92.
The belt 112 between rollers 111 and 113 diverges upwardly from the
horizontal as represented by belt 55.
A lower mounting plate 120 is provided, which is connected to side
plate 17 by shafts 121, and has a lower drive plate 122 mounted thereto by bosses
93, and bolts 94 engaged in slots 123 in plate 122.
The plate 122 has a drive shaft 124, in bearing 125, which is in
plate 122, with sprocket gear 126 thereon, which is driven by a chain (not shown).
The shaft 124 has a roller 127 thereon, which has an endless belt
128 engaged therewith, engaged with an idler roller 129 on shaft 131, which is
mounted to plate 121, by a bolt (not shown) in slot 130. The belt 128 is also engaged
with an idler roller 132 on shaft 133 mounted to plate 122, a roller 134, preferably
of steel, on a shaft 135, in bearing 136 on plate 122, an idler roller 137 on
shaft 138, mounted to plate 122, and an idler roller 143, in shaft 144 on plate
The shaft 135 has another steel roller 139 thereon, which has an
endless belt 140 engaged therewith, and with an idler roller 141 on shaft 142,
which is mounted to plate 122 by a bolt (not shown) carried in slot (not shown)
of plate 122.
The belt 140 between rollers 139 and 141 diverges downwardly from
the horizontal as represented by belt 55.
A driving motor 150 is provided, which is mounted (not shown) to
the end plate 18, with an output shaft 151 that has a pulley 152 thereon, with
an endless belt 153 engaged therewith, and with a pulley 154 on shaft 56A to drive
roller 56. The belt 153 is also engaged with a pulley 155 on transverse shaft 156,
which is mounted in bearing 157 in side plate 16, and in bearing 158 in side plate
17. A pulley 159 is mounted to shaft 156 with an endless belt 160 engaged therewith,
and with a pulley (not shown) which drives the belts 100, 112, 128 and 140.
The motor 150 is connected to a control box 165 by wires (not shown)
which box has well known structure therein to provide the motor 165 with a variable
A hand wheel assembly 166 is provided, mounted to top rail 31, and
engaged with shaft 56A for rotation as required. The hand wheel assembly 166 is
of the safety clutch type, which requires the operator to pull the hand wheel 167
outwardly against a spring (not shown) to engage the hand wheel 167 for rotation
of shaft 56A.
The top rails 31 and 32 have another pair of brackets 67 secured
thereto by bolts 68 with a transverse square shaft 168 therein, which has a mounting
block 59 engaged therewith and with a square shaft 169 extending longitudinally
of machine 10 and engaged with a block 59, which is carried on and engaged with
A rod 170 is provided, which has a roller 171 connected thereto by
a shaft 172, and is mounted to shaft 159 by clamp 64. The roller 171 bears on the
edge 173 of bed plate 57, to force the score lines 30 of documents 12 against the
edge 173 as they travel on the belt 55 and along plate 57, to be described.
The shaft 169 has another clamp 64 engaged therewith and with an
up fold contact and guide rod 175 engaged therein. The rod 175 has a straight portion
176, with another straight portion 177 at an angle thereto, connected to a curved
contact rod 180, which can extend under transfer plate 51 and bed plate 57 for
upward folding of document flap 11 to be described.
The shaft 66 has another clamp 64 engaged therewith, with a document
contact and guide rod 185 engaged therewith, which has a straight portion 186,
and a straight portion 187 connected thereto, which extends over top of belt 55
and adjacent the end of the folding section 14, to contact documents 12 as they
are transported on belt 55 to the delivery section 15.
The side plate 17 has two square shafts 190 extending perpendicularly
therefrom, with a square shaft 191 connecting them and extending longitudinally
of the machine 10. A clamp 64 is carried on shaft 191, with a guide and contact
rod 192 engaged therewith, which extends under the plate 55 for contact and guidance
with cover flaps 11 when flaps 11 of documents 12 are to be folded downwardly.
A guard 193 is provided, in the delivery section 15, of U-shape,
open at the ends, and fastened to upper mounting plate 90 by bolts (not shown)
in well known manner.
As seen in Fig. 2, a transport or feeding table 195 is provided,
shown in phantom, and which receives folded documents 12 from delivery section
15 for further processing as required.
The mode of operation will now be pointed out.
When it is desired to fold the cover flaps 11 of documents 12 initially
downwardly, the rod 170 is adjusted so as not to interfere with the downward rotation
of cover flaps 11, as they come off plates 51 and 60, and rods 70, 75 are adjusted
to appropriate positions to contact and guide flaps 11.
The motor 150 is actuated to drive roller 58 and belt 55. Documents
12 are fed onto belts 41 from pocket fold machine 27 against guide plate 49, and
under member 47, where the documents 12 are registered. The belts 41 deliver the
documents 12 to transfer plate 51 and onto belt 55, and extension plate 60. As
the documents 12 move onto and off plate 51, their main panels 12A are engaged
by guide roller 61, and as the cover flaps 11 are no longer supported by the plate
60, they fall downwardly until they contact rods 70, 77, with the score lines 30
against the edge 173 of bed plate 57. As the belt 55 moves the documents 12 along,
the flaps 11 are rotated downwardly by rods 70, 77, and are then upwardly and contacted
by rod 172 until the flaps are under plate 57. The documents 12 are also contacted
by rollers 85, and by roller 171 on score lines 30, forcing the documents 12 against
edge 173 of plate 57 and urging the flaps 11 upwardly while the rest of the document
is carried along on belt 55. The documents 12 are moved off belt 55, and into the
delivery section 15 where they contact belt 160, and then belt 140 which carries
them between the rollers 111 and 139, which compresses the main panel 12 and flaps
11 of documents 12, and delivers them onto a feeder table, such as table 195 for
use as desired.
When it is desired to fold cover flaps 11 initially upwardly, guide
and contact rod 170 is moved under extension plate 60 so that flaps 11 will be
supported as the documents move off plate 60, and along belt 55. The cover flaps
engage rod 180, which rotates flaps 11 upwardly and between rods 180 and rod 185
onto belt 55, under roller 171, onto surface 86, onto panel 12A, and the documents
12 are moved off the belt 55 to delivery section 15, where they are engaged by
belts 140 and 160, and further compressed between rollers 111 and 139.
Due to the divergent angles between the belts 140 and 160 at the
entrance to the delivery section 15 from belt 55, the documents 12 are not immediately
gripped, and are not compressed between rollers 111 and 139 until they are substantially
off the belt 55, which results in substantially folding the entire length of the
documents 12 along the crease lines 30, while registered and under pressure from
rollers 171 and 85. The cover flaps 11 are therefore maintained in alignment until
the documents 12 contact the belts 140 and 160 at the location of the rollers 111
and 139, which further compresses the documents 12, and maintains the alignment
of flaps 11 as the documents 12 pass therethrough and are delivered for further
processing as desired.
It will thus be seen that apparatus has been provided with which
the objects of the invention are achieved.