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Патент USA US3035436

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May 22, 1962
Filed Aug. 19, 1957
6 Sheets-Sheet 1
x‘fennef/l G. Macqueen
May 22, 1962
Filed Aug. 19, 1957
6 Sheets-Sheet 2
FIG. 2.
?ennef? 6. Macqueen
May 22, 1962
Filed Aug. 19,} 1957
e Sheets-Sheet 3
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May 22, 1962
Filed Aug. 19, 1957
6 Sheets-Sheet 4
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May 22, 1962
Filed Aug. 19, 1957
6 Sheets-Sheet 5
May 22, 1962
Filed Aug. 19, 1957
6 Sheets-Sheet 6
United States
Patented May 22, 1962
Kenneth Gordon Macqueen, 52 Montague Square,
London, England
Filed Aug. 19, 1957, Ser. No. 678,998
Claims priority, application Great Britain Aug. 20, 1956
7 Claims. (Cl. 66—76)
which determines the length of travel of the cam box of r
the knitting machine thereby determining the length of
each knitting course. The other row of perforations
scanned by the operational control scanner is employed
to operate a number of decoding units which may, for
example, control the racking of the knitting beds in the
case of a double-bed machine, the selection of knit-ting
yarn, the adjustment of the stitch length, and the speed
of travel of the cam box, i.e. the knitting speed.
This invention relates to knitting processes and ma 10
The control apparatus also includes one or more needle
chines and has for its object to enable garments or other
pattern serial scanners which scan the needle pattern tape
articles of apparel of a wide variety of shapes and sizes
or tapes and control the operation of means on the cam
to be knitted expeditiously and more economically than
box for sequentially operating the needle jacks to one
is possible with existing methods or machines.
of two positions, i.e. knitting or non-knitting, as the cam
At the present time, knitted garments are made either 15 box traverses the needle bed.
by ?rst knitting flat sections which are fashioned at the
The traverse of the cam ‘box along the bed of the ma
side edges to provide a predetermined shape when the
chine is preferably effected by means of an endless chain
separate sections are seamed or linked together, or by
‘driven by an electric motor and a servo link connects
knitting fabric which is cut to a pattern or measurements
the chain drive motor with the drive motor of the needle
and then tailored to a required shape.
20 pattern serial scanner thereby to ensure exact synchronism
According to the present invention, a method of
of the speed of movement of the cam box and the speed
knitting a garment comprises knitting courses by forming
stitches on all the needles of a ?at bed knitting machine
of scanning of the needle pattern tape.
The knitting method and machine according to the
invention is especially applicable to the mass production
within the overall knitting width, and knitting on selected
and variable numbers of said needles and holding on the 25 of knitted garments and the control means may be de
remainder of said needles course by course, as determined
signed -as'a separate unit to which a number of “slave”
by control means responsive to electrical impulses pro
knitting machines can be connected by suitable plug and
duced by scanning means as it ‘scans a pattern element
socket connections. Thus, there may be a number of
consisting of a recording medium on which is recorded a
control units each provided with an operational control
required knitting information, thereby to form a com 30 tape corresponding to a distinct form of garment and
plete three-dimensional garment of a shape determined
the number of knitting machines connected to each con
by said knitting information.
trol unit can be varied depending upon the demand for a
According to a further feature of the invention a knit
ting machine for carrying into effect the method of knit
ting according to the invention comprises a ?at needle
bed, needles slidably supported on said bed, a cam box
particular form of garment.
movable along said needle bed for engaging the needles
to elfect knitting operation thereofpmeansfor'variablede
The invention will now be described with reference to
the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a general schematic diagram of a double
bed knitting machine and control means therefor for car
rying out the knitting method according to the invention;
FIGURE 2. is a schematic diagram illustrating the
termining for each knitting course the extent of traverse
of the cam box along the needle bed, selecting means
for rendering individual needles and groups of needles
inoperative for the knitting of each course and means
method of operating a plurality of “slave” knitting ma
responsive to electrical impulses produced ‘by scanning
circuit diagram of one form of the control means shown
means as it scans a pattern element consisting of a record
in FIGURE 1 and applied to a single bed machine;
ing medium on which is recorded a required knitting in
formation for controlling the operation of said traverse
determining and needle-selecting means.
Conveniently, the means for controlling the operation
of the knitting machine is electrically operated and the
recording medium comprises a perforated tape or tapes 50
which are scanned by means of photo-electric cells upon
which light passing through the perforations of the tape
is caused to impinge. Two tape records may be provided
one of which-—hereinafter referred to as the operational
control tape—controls the various operations of the ma 55
chine while the other——hereinafter referred to as the needle
pattern control tape—controls the operation of the in
chines from a master control;
FIGURES 3(A) and 3(B) together give a detailed
FIGURE 4 is a detail showing one form of tape scan
ner for use in the needle pattern scanning means of FIG
URE 3;
FIGURES 5 and 6 respectively are details showing an
alternative form of tape scanner for use in the needle ,
pattern scanning means of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 7 is a transverse section through one bed and
the corresponding cam box of the knitting machine of
FIGURE 1, the section being taken along the line
FIGURE 8 is an underneath plan view of the cam box
of FIGURE 7;
FIGURE 9 is an elevation of a needle of the machine
drawn to an enlarged scale;
pattern. There may be two or more needle pattern con
FIGURE 10 is a longitudinal section of a clutch unit
trol tapes to enable the pattern of knitting to be varied 60 of the cam box of FIGURES 7 and 8;
during the knitting of a garment, the change-over from
FIGURE 11 is a section taken along the line XI——XI
dividual needles of the machine to give a desired knitting
one knitting pattern to another being e?fected under the
control of the operation control tape.
In one form of control means for controlling the opera
of FIGURE 10, and
FIGURE 12 is a diagram showing how the courses are
knitted for forming a garment by the method according
tion of a knitting machine according to the invention 65
to the invention.
there is provided an operational control scanner which
scans the operational control tape which is provided with
Referring to FIGURE 1 of the drawings there is shown
diagrammatically at 1 a double ?at bed knitting machine
having two needle beds 2 and 3 respectively and a double
two rows of perforations for each knitting course. The
perforations of one row are scanned by the operational
control scanner and according to the positioning of the 70 cam box 4 connected to an endless drive chain 5 driven
‘by a motor 6. The operation of the chain driving motor
perforations the potentiometer of a digital to analogue
6 is controlled by a comparator 7 having a potentiometer
potentiometer comparator is preset to a given resistance
the resistance of which is preset by a decoding unit 8
with a number of pattern serial scanners having different
operated from an operational control scanner 9 accord
ing to perforations carried on an operational control tape
pattern tapes and the connecting plugs and sockets may
(not shown). A variable resistor 10, the resistance of
the same ‘master control unit are connected to the same
which is varied according to the distance moved by the
operational control leader so as to produce garments of
identical size and shape, each slave machine or group of
cam box, is connected to the comparator 7 the arrange
ment being such that when the resistance of the variable
be arranged so that while all the machines connected to
slave machines can be connected to a different needle pat
tern scanner so that the knitting pattern of the garments
resistor 10 is equal to the preset resistance of the potenti
is varied between one machine or group of machines and
ometer of the comparator the input to the drive motor 6
is interrupted and the cam ‘box therefore is brought to 10 another.
Referring now to FIGURES 3(A) ‘and 3(B) there is
rest ‘at a position along the needle bed depending on the
shown in detail one circuit arrangement suitable for car
presetting of the potentiometer of the comparator. The
rying the invention into effect and in which similar refer
aforementioned operational control tape is provided with
a further row of perforations for each knitting course and
these are divided into four sets, the sets being scanned
by the operational control scanner for controlling the
operation respectively of a miscellaneous operation unit
ence numerals to those of FIGURE 1 are employed where
applicable. The lines connecting the various units in
FIGURES 3(A) and 3(B) and representing the electrical
connections therebetween are intended to be diagram
matic and in most cases a single line represents a plurality
11, a yarn selection decoding unit 12, a stitch length con
of connecting wires extending between two units.
trol decoding unit 13 and a cam box speed decoding unit
The two tape serial scanners 18 are driven from a com
mon driving shaft 32 driven from a drive control unit 33,
The miscellaneous operation unit 11 is connected to
means (not shown) for controlling miscellaneous opera
tions of the machine such as, for example, racking of the
needle beds. The yarn selection decoding unit 12 is con
nected through a multi-wire cable 15 to eight yarn select 25
the shaft 32 in each scanner being connected through
gearing 34, to sprocket wheels 35 which in known man
ner engage in a perforated needle pattern tape (not
shown) for advancing the tape beneath a scanning means
indicated generally at 36 which scans the perforations
of the tape and, in accordance therewith, transmits to the
ing solenoids 16 on the cam box for selecting the appro
priate yarn or yarns to be knitted. The stitch length con
clutch units 23 of the cam box impulses which cause the
trol decoding unit 13 controls the operation of motors 17
clutch units to operate the needle jacks in accordance with
on each section of the cam vbox for varying the position
of the needle-operating cam transversely of the needle 30 the pattern recorded on the pattern tape. Alternative
forms of scanning means 36 will hereinafter be described
beds thereby to vary the length of stitch and ?nally the
with reference to FIGURES 4, 5 and 6. Also driven
cam box speed decoding unit 14 controls the speed of the
from the common drive shaft 32 and in synchronism with
chain drive motor 6 according to the indications given
the tapes is a distributor 37 comprising a rotating arm
on the operational control tape.
38 moving over three equal arcuate segments 39 each of
There is ‘also provided a pair of needle pattern serial
which is connected through a changeover contact W2 of
scanners 18 each driven by an electric motor 19 and
a control switch 77 to a corresponding clutch of the
which scan a needle pattern tape (not shown) and by
clutch units 23. The control switch operates, as will
means of a photo-electric scanning device indicated dia
hereinafter be described to connect the segments 39 al
grammatically at 20 pass impulses through a distributor 21
and ampli?er 22 to clutch units 23 positioned on each sec 110 ternately to the clutch unit at one or the other end of the
cam box according to the direction in which the cam box
tion of the cam box. The clutch units 23 each comprises
moves. Also included in the drive from the shaft 32 to
three magnetically operated clutches for selectively en
the tape advancing sprockets 35 is a pattern pitch advance
gaging any one of three striker discs (109 FIG. 10) with a
continuously rotating shaft 112 driven by a motor 24.
The striker discs are provided with strikers adapted to
engage the butts of the jacks when the corresponding
clutch is engaged and in this manner the jacks are moved
to one of three positions according to which magnetic
clutch is operated. As will be seen from the drawing there
mechanism 40 which comprises a single revolution shaft
41 operated by a relay L in the case of one serial scanner
or by a relay R in the case of the other serial scanner.
The single revolution shaft 41 is geared to a differential
gear unit 42 included in the drive from the shaft 32 to the
sprocket 35 and the gearing is so arranged that a single
is provided on each section of the cam box a clutch unit 50 revolution of the shaft 41 causes the tape to be advanced
exactly one pattern pitch, the relay L or R—as the case
23 at each end thereof and for use when the cam box is
may ‘be-being energised to cause the shaft 41 to make
moving in one direction or the other.
one revolution under the control of the operational con
FIGURE 2 shows how a number of “slave” knitting
trol scanner as will hereinafter be described. The relays
machines can be connected to a master control unit by
means of multi-wire cables and plug-in connections so 55 L and R at their contacts L1, R1 also serve to operate a
that the number of knitting machines connected to a given
differential relay V having a change-over contact 43
which according to whether contact L1 or contact R1 is
closed switches the output from one or other of the
scanning means 36 to an ampli?er 44 connected to the
operational control scanner 9 and one or more needle
pattern serial scanners 18, as described with reference to 60 arm 38 of the distributor 37.
The drive unit 33 includes a servo motor 45 drivingly
FIGURE 1, and also a re-transmission unit 26 having a
connected to the drive shaft 32, a servo ampli?er 46, a
plurality of connections leading to outlets or connecting
master control uni-t can be varied at will. As will be seen
from the FIGURE, the master control unit 25 includes an
sockets 27. A number of knitting machines 28, each with
its associated slave control feeder unit 29, multi-wire
cable 30 and multi~contact plug 31 can be connected as
desired to the master control unit 25 by inserting the plug
31 in the appropriate socket 27. It will be appreciated
therefore that the arrangement of FIGURE 2 leads to
great ?exibility in knitting production since the number
?eld control unit 45a, and a mag-slip receiver 4'7. The
?eld control unit 45a and the mag-slip receiver 47 are
connected respectively to a generator 48a and a mag-slip
transmitter 48 driven by the cam box drive motor 6 so
that the motor 45 rotates in synchronism with the cam
box drive motor 6.
The operational control scanner 9 comprises a motor
of machines engaged on knitting one type of garment can 70 49 for driving the operational control tape (not shown)
which is provided with two lines of perforations for each
be varied and machines can be switched to knitting an
knitting course, the two lines being scanned at the same
other type of garment merely by removing the plugs from
time. The first line of each knitting course is scanned by
one master control unit and inserting them in another
thirteen stationary photo-transistors 50 and controls the
unit corresponding to the said other type of garment.
Furthermore, the master control unit may be provided 75 number of stitches in the course to be knitted, i.e. it con
trols the distance to be travelled by the cam box in one
direction or the other from the starting needle to a selected
The four resistors 68 are connected in series and are
each of a different resistance value and it will thus be ap
?nishing needle which in turn is the starting needle for the
parent that by operation of suitable combinations of the
next course.
relays 66 there can be obtained sixteen different resistance
values of the combined resistors 63 thereby to give sixteen
The second line of perforations is scanned
by sixteen stationary photo-transistors 51 which are di
vided into four groups of four as will hereinafter be more
different speeds of the cam box motor 6.
Referring now to the comparator 7 of FIGURE 1, this
is fed through ‘a multi-channel ampli?er 52 to the decod~
is shown in FIGURE 3 as comprising a digital to analogue
ing units 11, 12, 13‘ and 14.
potentiometer comparator having a potentiometer com
The miscellaneous operation relay unit 11 comprises 10 prising a number of resistor units 70 connected to form
four relays 53 which are operated in accordance with the
a series parallel arrangement and each adapted to be
outputs of the ?rst group of four transistors 51. The
short-circuited by a contact of a plurality of relays 71 so
contacts of the relays 53 are connected in known manner
that upon operation of selected ones of the relays the
to form a relay tree by which any one of sixteen outgoing
effective resistance of the series parallel arrangement is
circuits 54 can be connected to single input 55. The out~ 15 varied. There are thirteen relays 71 each connected to
put circuits 54 are each connected to suitable means for
one of the photo-electric transistors Si} by means of a
eifecting miscellaneous operations of the knitting ma
multi-channel ampli?er '72 so that the relays are operated
chine such as racking, needle transferring and, for ex
or not operated according to the perforations of the
ample, one of the output circuits 54a is connected to a
operation control tape. The relays 71 are divided into
relay 56 ‘for effecting at its contacts 56a the change-over 20 three groups of four relays and one group of one relay.
from one needle pattern serial scanner to the other. _
Each relay 71 is provided with a pair of normally open
The yarn selector relay unit 12 ‘also comprises four
contacts and a pair of normally closed contacts which are
relays 57 operated in accordance with the outputs of the
respectively connected across corresponding resistors 7t)
second group of photo-transistors 51, the contacts of the
in the two arms of the series parallel arrangement so that
relays 57 being interconnected to form a relay tree pro 25 when a given relay 71 is released the corresponding resis
viding eight output circuits 58 and a single input 59.
tor 7t‘! in one arm is short-circuited and the corresponding
resistor in the other arm is open circuited and by suitably
Each of the output circuits 58 is connected through a
proportioning the values of the several resistors 76 it is
cable 60 to a separate one of the yarn selector solenoids
possible to vary the effective resistance of the arms of the
16 so that the appropriate yarn selector solenoid or sole
fully described, and the output from each group of four
noids is or vare operated to select a given yarn or com
bination of yarns according to the appropriate perfora
30 series parallel arrangement in steps of 1 ohm.
Thus, for
example, the first group or" four relays 71 controls four
resistors having resistances of 1, 2, 3 and 4 ohms respec
tively; the second group of four relays 71 controls resis
tions of the operational control tape.
The stitch length control relay unit 13 comprises four
tors having resistances of 10, 26, 30 and 40 ohms respec
relays 61 operated in accordance with the outputs of the
third group of four photo-transistors 51 and the contacts 35 tively; the third group of relays 71 controls resistors hav
ing resistances of 100, 200, 300 and 400 ohms respec
of which are arranged to control the effective resistance of
tively; and the relay 71 of the last group controls resistors
two limbs 62 and 63 respectively of a bridge circuit, the
having resistances of 1,000 ohms. As stated the relays 71
other two limbs of which are constituted by a potentiom
are operated in accordance with the perforations of the
eter 64 having a rotating contact arm 65 driven in syn
chronism by the stitch length control motor 17. Thus, 40 operation control tape and as an example the relays thus
operated may be relays 2 and 4 of the ?rst group, relays
depending upon the actuation of the relays 61 the bridge
circuit may be unbalanced and causes an EMF. to be
3 and 4 of the second group, relay 2 of the third group
applied across the stitch control motor 17 which then
rotates to adjust the ‘length of stitch as will hereinafter
be ‘described, until the arm 65 of the potentiometer moves
and the relay of the fourth group the effective resistance
thus being 1,276 ohms.
to a position in which the bridge is again balanced and
the E.M.F. across the motor 17 reduced to zero.
Signals from the pattern tape scanning means indicate
tated in synchronism with the cam box drive, the resistors
70 and the potentiometer 73 thus constituting a bridge cir
whether a stitch is to be knitted or tucked and the length
cuit connected across the cam box drive motor 6 so that
of stitch varies accordingly.
when the bridge is unbalanced and
is applied to
the motor which thereby drives the cam box and the
In order to feed the required
length of yarn to give a uniform fabric a means (not
The arrangement of resistors 70 is connected to a
potentiometer 73 having a contact arm 74 which is ro
potentiometer arm 74- until the bridge is balanced. The '
shown) is provided for measuring the yarn fed to the
setting of the resistors 70 thus determines the extent of
needles and comparing the measured length with the re
travel of the cam box and by suitably selecting the speed
quired length as indicated by the needle pattern scanner.
The said means may comprise a potentiometer having a 55 of the drive motor and the driving connection thereof to
the cam box it can be arranged that each ohm resistance
sliding contact which is driven by the yarn as it is fed to
of the resistors 75? corresponds to the movement of the
the needles so that the setting of the potentiometer is
cam box from one needle to the next, so that in the above
proportional to the length of yarn per stitch. The po
mentioned example in which the resistors 7 i) are set to give
tentiometer resistance is compared with a resistance which
is preset under the control of the pattern serial scanner 60 a resistance of 1,276 ohms the cam box would be ad
vanced to needle 1276.
to a value proportional to the required length of stitch and
However, it is required that upon return movement of
the result of the comparison determines the operation of
the cam box the knitting should start at needle 1276 and
the stitch length control motor 17 which adjusts the
it is therefore necessary to provide. for additional move
needle-operating cam in one direction or the other until
the required length of stitch is produced. In order to 65 ment of the cam box corresponding to the distance be
tween the two clutch units 23 which will be referred to
provide for a constant yarn tension, there may be em
as the distance x. This additional travel is automatically
ployed a constant torque motor (not shown) which feeds
provided for in the comparator by means of a relay X/l
the yarn off from the cone, bobbin or pirn so that a con
stant tension of a predetermined value is maintained
which inserts an additional‘ resistance 75 in the bridge cir
between the cone, bobbin or pirn and the needles.
cuit to give the required additional travel. of the cam box
The cam box speed control relay unit 14 comprises four
so that upon the return movement the appropriate clutch
relays 66 each of which is provided with a normally open
unit 23 commences operation at needle 1276.
make and break contact 67. The contacts 67 are respec
Upon completion of knitting of a course and while the
tively connected across resistors 68 connected in the input
cam box is advancing the additional distance x, it is neces
circuit of an ampli?er 6h feeding the cam box drive motor 75 sary to cause the pattern pitch advance mechanism of the
appropriate needle pattern scanner to operate in order to
advance the pattern tape one pitch. This is effected by
Secured upon the end of the shaft 32 is a scanning device
85 consisting of four radially extending members 86 each
supporting on its outer end a photoelectric cell 87. The
members 86 are disposed in a plane coinciding with the
plane of the member 81 and the output from the photo
electric cell is connected to slip rings 88 which are engaged
by brushes 89 having leads 90 connected thereto.
Thus, as the shaft 32 is rotated the photo-electric cells
87 scan sequentially the perforations 84 and according
means of a relay D connected to a discriminator circuit
76 which compares the instantaneous out-of balance volt
age of the input to the cam box drive motor ampli?er 69
with a set voltage so that when the compared voltages are
equal the relay D operates and at D1 closes a contact to
energise the pattern pitch advance mechanism 40 of the
corresponding needle pattern serial scanner and at contact
D2 applies earth to the input to the ampli?er 44 thereby 10 to the light impulses received transmit corresponding
electric pulses to the input to the ampli?er 44.
In the alternative form of scanning means shown in
to render ineffective the output from the scanning means
36 of the appropriate needle pattern serial scanner. The
operation of contact D2 also closes a circuit for relay X/ 1
whichuoperates and at its contact Z1 closes a holding
circuit over the contact D2.
It will be understood that means other than the digital
analogue comparator arrangement shown and described
for example, bi-directional Dekatron counters may be
employed for determining the length of traverse of the
cam box.
Should the operation of the pattern pitch advance
mechanism take longer than the time taken by the cam
FIGURES 5 and 6 the pattern tape 79 is fed over a row
of photo-electric cells 91 corresponding in number to
15 the maximum number of perforations that can occur in
one line. Disposed above the pattern tape is a masking
member 92 which extends transversely across the tape
and is provided with a row of spaced apertures 93 coincid
ing with the photo cells 91. Disposed above the mask
20 ing member 92 is a scanning member 94 which comprises
a glass cylinder 95 (FIGURE 6) extending transversely
of the tape above the row of apertures 93 and adapted
to be driven from the drive shaft 32. As shown in FIG
box to advance the additional distance x there is pro
URE 6 the glass cylinder 95 is masked by means of an
vided a security sequence device which prevents the start
ing of the cam box on a fresh course of knitting until the 25 opaque coating 96 to provide two unmasked slots 97 of
helical form and each extending through 180° from one
full advance of the pattern tape and all other simultane
end of the cylinder to the other. The combination of
ous actions required have been effected. The security
the two unmasked slots 97 results in the formation of a
sequence device comprises a relay M/1 the energising
diamond-shaped transparency extending vertically through
circuit of which is connected through normally open con
tacts S1’, S2’, S3’, S4’, and S5’ of relays S1, S2, S3, S4, 30 the cylinder and which—-as the cylinder is rotated-—moves
and S5 connected respectively in the common return cir
lengthwise thereof so that by means of a tubular lamp
cuit of the relays 71 of the comparator 7, the relays 66
of the cam box speed control unit 14, the relays 61 of
the stitch length control relay unit 13, the relays 57 of the
yarn selector unit 12 and the relays 53 of the miscellane
ous operation unit 11. The relay M/l at its normally
98 positioned above the cylinder 95 light is transmitted
through the diamond-shaped transparency to each of the
made contact M1 applies earth to the input to the cam
box drive motor ampli?er 69 to prevent the motor from
FIGURE 7 shows a transverse section through one bed
apertures 93 in turn and if a perforation on the tape
coincides with an aperture 93 the corresponding photo
electric cell 91 is energised to give a required output.
and the corresponding cam box of the knitting machine
in which the bed 2 is provided with a plurality of trans
operating and only when all the relays S1, S2, S3, S4 and
S5 are operated the relay M/l operates to remove earth 40 versely extending slots 99 each adapted to accommodate
a jack 100 and knitting needle 101. The cam box sup
from the ampli?er 69 thereby to permit the cam box
ports on the underface thereof a pair of needle-operating
drive motor to operate.
cams 102, a needle positioning earn 102:: and jack-operat
In order to effect the necessary change-over of selected
ing cams 103 adapted to engage respectively in known
circuits at the end of each travel of the cam box the
control switch 77 comprises a relay W/4 connected to a
voltage generator 78 on the shaft of the cam box drive
motor, the arrangement being such that the relay W/4
operates only when the generator voltage is zero, i.e. the
manner the butts of the needles and jacks.
A cam track
1021) is provided for operating the bolts of the tubular
bolt needles hereinafter described with reference to FIG
URE 9 when these are provided. Each needle-operating
cam 102 is slidable transversely with respect to the cam
cam box has arrived at the end of its travel. The relay
W/ 4 upon operating closes its contact W1 to cause the 50 box in order to vary the length of stitch and the said
transverse sliding movement is effected by means of a pin
operational control scanner drive motor 49 to operate and
advance the operational control tape. At its contacts
104 eccentrically mounted on the end of a vertical shaft
W2 the relay W4 switches the segments 39 of the distribu
105 and sliding in a rectangular slot 106 in the cam 102
tor 37 from one clutch unit 23 to the other, at its contact
so that upon rotation of the shaft 105 in one direction or
W3 opens the circuit of relay Z/l which restores and at 55 the other the cam is caused to move transversely by the
Z1 removes the earth from the input to the ampli?er 44
cam box and forwardly or rearwardly with repsect to the
to permit the output from the appropriate needle pattern
scanner to again become effective and at its contact W4
causes the relay X/ 1 of the comparator 7 to operate to
front edge of the needle bed 2. The shaft 105 is driven
through gearing 105a by the motor 17 and the arm 65 of
the potentiometer 64 is secured to the upper end of the
insert the resistor 75 in the appropriate arm of the bridge 60 shaft 105 so that the potentiometer arm is driven in
circuit depending upon the direction of travel of the cam
synchronism with the movement of the needle cam 102
as hereinbefore described.
In FIGURE 4 there is shown one form of the scanning
The needles 101 are individually slidable in the ap
means 36 of the needle pattern serial scanner. In the
propriate slots or tracks and are preferably formed of
arrangement shown in FIGURE 4 the pattern tape 79 is 65 ?ne tubular steel. As shown in FIGURE 9 each needle
passed over a curved roller 80 to cause the tape to as
comprises a shank 101a formed of ?ne gauge tubular
sume an arcuate forrn transversely of the tape concentric
stainless steel having at one end a knitting hook 101b
with the drive shaft 32. The arcuate tape is fed over a
and at the other end a butt 101a. Slidingly positioned
member 81 of a translucent material such as, for exam
in the ‘bore of the shank is a bolt 101d which may be
ple, perspex sheet, having a curved upper surface 82 70 either tubular or solid and at one end 101e is shaped to
matching the curvature of the tape and having an edge
engage the point of the hook 101b and at its other end is
lighting lamp 83 disposed beneath the lower surface there
formed as a butt 101]‘.
of. The member 81 is of a thickness equal to the line
As the cam box traverses the needle bed the selected
pitch of the tape so that as the tape is advanced each line
needle butts 101a are engaged successively by the needle
of perforations 84 will be illuminated from underneath. 75 positioning cam 102a to position the needles for subse
quent actuation by the needle cam 102, the butts 101]‘ of
the bolts being engaged in and actuated by the bolt oper
ating cam track 1021:.
The cam box supports adjacent each end thereof the
aforementioned clutch units 23 each of which comprises
three electromagnet clutches 108 driven from the motor
24 through a common drive shaft and each adapted when
Knitting is again resumed on needles 0 to
270 and the courses are successively reduced in length as
at 134 which provides for the waist-hip fashioning and
then courses 135 of linking waste are knitted on needles
0 to 27 0. The garment sleeve commences by knitting on
needles 260 to 2'70 and the courses successively increase
and then decrease to form a shaped portion 136 which
energised and as the cam box moves along the bed, to
forms half of the sleeve of the garment. Although the
actuate a striker 107 so that according to the operation
pattern for the entire garment is not shown in FIGURE
of the clutches the strikers are caused to move the jacks 10 12, it will be understood that the knitting is cotninued to
into knitting or holding position. As will be more clearly
provide a further sleeve portion followed by linking waste
seen in FIGURES l0 and 11, the striker 107 is supported
courses and by a waist and bust fashioning portion and
at the periphery of a disc 109 mounted upon a freely ro
so on and at the end of the knitting, further waste courses
tatable shaft 110 capable of longitudinal movement and
are knitted followed by another similar ‘garment so that
spring biased by means of springs 111. A shaft 112 con 15 in this manner the garments can be knitted in a continu
tinuously rotated by the motor 24 through the common
ous fashion and subsequently separated by cutting the
drive shaft and appropriate gearing supports at one end
intervening waste courses. The linking waste courses—
adjacent the disc 109 an electromagnet 113 having a coil
such as 135—of each garment are then severed and the
114 to which current is fed through brushes 115, and slip
respective portions of the garment are linked together to
rings 116. Thus upon energisation of the coil 114, the
disc 109‘ is attracted‘towards‘ the electromagent 113 and
is caused to rotate inv the direction of the arrow 117 to
produce the ?nished garment.
It will. be understood that the above described appa
ratus for carrying out‘ the method according to the inven
tion may be modi?ed to suit particular requirements.
move the striker into the path of the corresponding jack
butt. The movement of the disc 109‘ is limited by stops
It will be further understood that the invention is not
118 and upon deenergisation of the electromagnet 113 25 limited to knitting courses which run lengthwise of the
garment, but is also applicable to garments in which the
the disc is restored to its normal position by a restoring
spring 119.
The jacks 100‘ are divided into groups of three, the jacks
of each group being of different length in order to be ac
tuated by one of the three strikers 107 at one end of the
cam box. As the cam box slides along the bed, and a
knitting signal is received from the'knitting pattern scan
ner, the striker 107 on the corresponding clutch unit is
knitting courses extend across the width of the garment.
I claim:
1. A knitting machine comprising a flat needle bed,
needles slidably supported :on said bed for movement from
a holding position to a position for knitting operation,
jacks for effecting said movement of the needles, a 'cam
box movable along the needle bed, cams on said cam box
moved to the operative position and strikes the lower
for effecting knitting operation of said needles when in
butt 100a of the corresponding jack which is thereby 35 the knitting position, drive means for traversing the cam
moved forwardly in its track-s0 that the higher butt 100!)
box ‘along the needle bed, means controlling operation of
of the jack is engaged in the cam track 103 which causes
the jack to move further towards the center of the bed
said drive means for variably determining for each knitting
course the extent of traverse of the cam box along the
and push the associated needle forwardly from its hold
needle bed, means carried by said cam box and movable
ing position to the knitting position on ‘which the butt 40 from an inoperative position to an operative position for
1010 of the needle engages in the cam track 102, while
engaging the jacks to effect said operation of the jacks to
the butt 101]‘ of the needle is engaged in the cam track
move the associated needles into position for knitting,
102b. In this manner and by reason of the needle butts
electrically operable means responsive to electrical im
101s and 101]‘ in the tracks 102 and 1021) respectively, as
pulses for effecting movement of the said jack engaging
the cam box moves along the bed the bolt 101e is caused
to open and close on the hook 10111 of the needle to effect
means to the jack-engaging position, and a needle pattern
serial scanner for producing said electrical impulses by
the required knitting action.
scanning a pattern element, whereby ‘as the cam box trav
If no knitting signal is received as mentioned above,
erses the needle bed the needles are moved to the position
i.e. the needle is to hold a stitch, the clutch unit is not
for knitting or permitted to remain in ‘the holding posi
energised, the butt is not moved forwardly and the butt 50 tion in accordance with the impulses produced by said
101s of the needle engages in the lower portion of track
scanner as it scans said pattern element.
102 and butt 1013‘ again engages in track 1021) so that
2. A knitting machine ‘as claimed in claim 1 in which
the needle bolt is not operated and no knitting operation
said electrically operable means comprises a pair of clutch
of the needle is effected.
units mounted on the cam box, one for each direction of
In FIGURE 12 there is shown a portion of a pattern 55 movement thereof along the needle bed, each said clutch
for knitting a ladies’ dress by the method according to
unit comprising a continuously rotated driving member,
the invention. The pattern indicates how the knitting is
a driven member movable from a retracted position to an
effected course~by-course and the numbering of the needles
is indicated at the bottom of the ?gure.
operative jack-engaging position, and electromagnetic
ting is held on needles 200 to 336, the courses then suc
knitting operation of the needles when in the knitting
means responsive to a said electrical impulse for coupling
The knitting commences with a number of waste 60 the said driving and driven members whereby the driven
courses 124 of throw-away yarn knitted on all the needles.
member is moved from retracted to operative position to
Knitting on needles 73 to 336 is then held while knitting
effect said operation of a jack engaged thereby.
is continued on needles 0 to 72 to form a pleat 125 at
3. A knitting machine comprising a flat needle bed,
the bottom of the skirt. At 126' knitting is resumed on
needles slidably supported on said ‘bed, jacks slidably
needels 0 to 300, the subsequent courses being increased 65 supported on said bed for moving the needles from ‘a hold
in length as at 127 to give the full knitting width which
ing position to :a knitting position, ‘a cam box movable
continues to a waist fashioning course 128 in which knit
along the needle bed, cams on said cam box for effecting
cessively diminishing to provide for the waist fashioning
position, an electric motor drivingly connected with said
after which the courses are again extended to the full 70 cam box for traversing the cam box along the needle bed,
knitting width as at 1291 and then again successively de
a variable ?rst electrical resistance operatively connected
crease as at 130 to provide the back sleeve fashionin' ,
with the cam box and variable in response to traversing
while at 131 knitting on needles 0 to 196 is held so that
movement of the cam box to a resistance value propor
the course begins at 132 and subsequent courses are made
tional to the extent of traverse of the cam box, ‘a second
successively shorter to provide for the under-arm waist 75 variable electric resistance pre-set-table to a resistance value
corresponding to a required extent of traverse of the cam
across the perforated tape and masked to provide a pair
box, a comparator for comparing the ?rst and second elec
trical resistances and for causing stopping of the drive
of helical translucent slots disposed so that a diamond
of the cam box by the motor when the extent of traverse
of the cam box reaches the said required extent, an op
erational control scanner which produces electrical im
cylinder and moves lengthwise thereof as the cylinder is
shaped transparency extends diametrically through the
rotated, a masking member interposed between the cyl
inder and the tape on one side thereof, a plurality of
spaced apertures extending lengthwise of said masking
pulses by scanning a ?rst pattern element means responsive
member, a row of photo electric cells disposed on the
to said electrical impulses for presetting said second re
other side of the tape and registered with said spaced aper
sistance, means carried by said cam box and movable
from a retracted position to an operative position for en 10 tures, and lighting means cooperating with the cylinder to
produce a light beam which as the cylinder is rotated
gaging the jacks to etfect said operation thereof to move
traverses the said diamond-shaped transparency and sue
the needles into knitting position, a needle pattern serial
cessively scans each aperture in the masking member and
scanner which produces electrical impulses by scanning a
energises the corresponding photo electric cell when a
second pattern element and electrically operable means
responsive to the electrical impulses produced by said 15 perforation in the tape coincides with the aperture.
needle pattern serial scanner for effecting movement of
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
said jack~engaging means to the operative position where
by the needles are moved to the knitting position or are
permitted ‘to remain in the holding position in accordance
with the impulses produced by said needle pattern serial 20
4. A knitting machine as claimed in claim 1 in which
said means controlling the operation of said drive means
comprises ‘an operational control scanner which produces
electrical impulses as it scans a cooperating pattern ele
ment, and electrically adjustable means responsive to the
electrical impulses produced by said control scanner.
5. A knitting machine as claimed in claim 3, including
a second drive motor for driving said needle pattern serial
scanner, ‘and means synchronising the operation of the 30
said cam box drive motor and said second drive motor,
whereby the traversing movement of the cam box is syn
chronised with the scanning of the second pattern element
by the needle pattern serial scanner.
6. A knitting machine as claimed in claim 1 for use 35
with a pattern element of the type consisting of a perfo
rated tape, in which said scanning means comprises photo
electric cells supported upon arms and extending radially
outward from a drive shaft, means for transversely curv
ing the perforated tape so that the tape is concentric with
the drive shaft, and means for illuminating the apertures
of the tape line by line to be scanned by the rotating photo
electric cells.
7. A knitting machine as claimed in claim 1, for use
with a pattern element of the type consisting of a perfo
rated tape, in which the said scanning means comprises a
cylinder of translucent material extending transversely
Challands et al _________ __ Sept. 22, 1896
Fels __________________ __ Feb. 2, 1926
Lombardi ____________ __ Oct. 30, 1928
Gagne _______________ __ Apr. 26, 1932
Vollenweider __________ __ Feb. 28,
Means _______________ __ Apr. 18,
Nakanishi ____________ __ Oct. 26,
Fisher et al. ___________ __ Nov. 8,
Fisher et al ___________ __ May 16,
Tandler et al __________ __ Sept. 19,
Hall _________________ __ Nov. 26,
Burkey _______________ __ June 2,
Lorenz ________________ __ Jan. 5,
Garric _______________ __ Mar. 9,
Luhn ________________ .__ July 13,
Hayhurst _____________ __ Mar. 5,
Miller ________________ __ July 6,
Diem ________________ __ Sept. 23,
Casper _______________ __ Aug. 18,
Garrou et a1 ___________ __ Apr. 19,
Wickardt _____________ __ Sept. 6,
Hall et a1. _____________ __ Apr. 3,
Bristow ______________ __ Sept. 18,
Rhoads _______________ __ Jan. 22,
Sumner _______________ __ Mar. 5, 1957
Clauser ______________ __ Mar. 26, 1957
Pasquet _______________ __ July 29, 1958
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