US 3297200 A
Beschreibung (OCR-Text kann Fehler enthalten)
Jan. 10, 1967 J. N. ANDREWS ETAL 3,297,200
DUAL FEED OF TRANSVERSELY DISPOSED TUBES Filed Sept. 1, 1965 F l G. 2
TA r ATTORNEY United States Patent Filed Sept. 1, 1965, Ser. No. 484,179 3 Claims. (Cl. 221-175) This invention relates to feed mechanisms, and particularly to mechanism for advancing tubes to a tube beadin g or like machine.
An object of the invention is to feed tubes to a conveyor apparatus in regular sequence with minimum opportunity afforded for skip, misfeed and the like.
Another object of the invention is to utilize feed mechanism simple in construction and trouble free in operation.
A further object of the invention is to provide for continuous sensing for the presence or absence of tubes in a segment of the tube feeding mechanism.
Other objects and structural details of the invention will appear from the following description, when read in connection with the accompanying drawing, of which FIG. 1 is a view in longitudinal section, fragmentary in form and partly diagrammatic, of a feed mechanism in accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a detail view, partly in cross section, showing the manner in which dual feed means advance tubes over a supporting table.
Referring to the drawing, the feed mechanism of the invention is disclosed as operating as a part of or in conjunction with a tube beading machine. The machine comprises a stationary frame 11 having upright portions supporting at one end thereof a shaft 12. The shaft 12 mounts a sprocket wheel 13 over which a chain 14 is drawn, the chain encompassing a like sprocket (not shown) at the opposite end of the machine. The chain has mounted thereto a longitudinal series of fingers 15 which depend downwardly or at right angles to the chain and are formed with slots 16 assuming in the normal run of the chain a vertical position. The slots are open at what may be considered their upper end and are closed at their other or bottom ends by bridging flange means 17. Each slot is vertically elongated and has front and rear edges which over a substantial part of their length are parallel and near the bottom of the slot are divergent. Although only one chain 14 and its mounted fingers 15 is shown, the machine provides a pair of such chains in laterally spaced longitudinally extending positions the-rein, as indicated in FIG. 2. Corresponding finger-s on the respective chains are laterally aligned with one another and accordingly form sets or pairs wherein a tube received in the slot 16 may be supported at its opposite ends in respective opposed fingers.
In closely adjacent overlying relation to the chains 14 is a stationary plate 18 rigidly supported, as by bracket means 19, upon the frame 11. At what may be considered the forward end thereof, the plate 18 is formed with a transversely extending through slot 21. The slot 21, as will hereinafter more clearly appear, is adapted to receive and pass the-rethrough a tube to be Worked on in the heading machine. By virtue of rotation of the sprocket wheels 13, the fingers 15 are brought in a series of indexing steps successively to underlie and to register with the slot 21. A tube dropping by gravity through the slot 21 accordingly is received in aligned slots 16 in opposing fingers 15. While the tube may come to rest in the bottoms of the slots 16, in the illustrated instance it drops upon a table 22 mounted on a frame supported wall 23 and extending a short distance longitudinally between the chains 14 and between the fingers 15 carried thereby.
The table 22 extends to the first of a series of rollers 24 disposed crosswise in the machine transversely of the path of movement of the chains 14. The rollers 24 are mounted on supports 25 and are freely rotatable. The rollers 24 are arranged in a longitudinal series of spaced apart members. Disposed between each pair of rollers 24 is a pair of parallel rolls 26 and 27 and an underlying support roll 28. The rolls 26 and 27 are rotatively driven in a manner which it is unnecessary here to consider and are supported by the described support roll 28 and by the relatively angularly disposed rollers 24.
In the operation of the machine, a tube, for example as indicated at T, drops into the slots 16 of a pair of fingers 15 and comes to rest on the table 22. Under forward motion of the fingers 15, as the chains 14 run over the sprockets 13, the fingers 15 carry the tube T forwardly, off the end of the table 22 and onto the described series of rollers. It is allowed to rest in the position shown between the rotatively driven rollers 26 and 27, this being the end of an indexing step as described. While the tube is held in this manner, and caused to rotate by reason of the rotating rolls 26 and 27, beading means descends thereon and indents the tube in one or a plurality of longitudinally spaced positions thereon. It will be understood that the conveyor means, as represented by the chains 14 and fingers 15, operates in a timed relation to the operation of the described beading means. Thus, the fingers 15 bring a tube T to a position of rest between a pair of rollers 26 and 27 and then stop for an interval before carrying the tube to a next succeeding tube beading station. In such interval the heading means descends and works the tube as described. Beyond the final station, the fingers 15 turn with chain 14 and return along a path beneath the tube beading stations to the starting point under table 18. In turning, the fingers 15 invert and allow the tubes to drop through the open ends of slots 16 for collection and removal.
Considering further the feeding mechanism, a plate 29 is mounted in a position of rest on the stationary plate 18 and is slidable relative thereto, in a sense longitudinal of the machine. The sliding motion of the plate 29 is resolved into a reciprocating movement by virtue of its connection through a bracket 31 and rod 32 with a pneumaticcylinder 33 mounted on the plate 18. By virtue of compressed air supplied to alternate ends of the cylinder 33, the rod 32 is alternately extended and retracted, resulting in corresponding extending and retracting movements of the connected sliding plate 29. Near what may be considered its forward end, the plate 29 is formed with a through transverse slot 34. In a fully extended position thereof, the plate 29 limits against a stop 35 and in this position of the parts the slot 34 overlies and registers with the slot 21 in plate 18. In a retracted position of the plate 29, the slot 34 occupies a position, as indicated in dotted lines, out of alignment with slot 21 and immediately beneath the bottom of a chute 36. The slot 34 thus has alternate positions of adjustment wherein it is respectively aligned with the stationary slot 21 and with the bottom of chute 36.
The chute 36 extends generally vertically in the machine and is supported by means including a block 37 at its lower end and a block 38 at its upper end, the latter projecting from an inclined stationary support 39. The chute is comprised essentially of front and back plates 41 and 42 disposed transversely of the machine and spaced relatively closely together so as to accommodate tubes T with but slight clearance to either side thereof. In the mid portion of the plates 41 and 42 are aligned vertically elongated openings 43 and 44. The chute 36 is open ended at its top and bottom. The bottom end,
however, substantially rests upon the sliding plate 29 and i is closed thereby except when slot 34 is brought to registry with the chute. The upper end of the chute extends to a bearing block 45 where it registers with a slot 46 extending substantially radially from a transverse cylindrical bore 47 therein. The latter is occupied by a cylindrical rotor 48 and in the upper part thereof bore 47 opens through the bearing block 45 in a manner relatively to project an upper circumferential area of rotor 48. The described projecting portion of rotor 48 is received in the bottom of a hopper 49 suitably supported by bearing block 45 and by a wall 51 mounted to stationary parts of the frame as by an upright bracket 52. The hopper 49 receives tubes T from a larger place of storage 53 through a connecting trough 54. The tubes are, as indicated, horizontally disposed in the hopper 49 and occupy multiple layers. The bottom of the hopper is inclined, as by an angular surface 55 and by a rounded surface 56 in a manner to direct tubes at the bottom of the stacked assembly in the hopper to the projecting surface of rotor 48. The latter is formed with a circumferential series of longitudinally extending grooves 57 of a size to receive a single tube T therein.
The rotor 48 is adapted to turn about its axis and this motion is suitably provided for to give such member motion as described either in a continuous rotating sense or in intermittent incremental steps.
The operation of the feeding mechanism will be largely self evident. Rotary motion of the cylindrical member 48 results in single tubes being selectively Withdrawn from the bottom of hopper 49 by virtue of being received in a groove 57. The tubes are carried in the grooves 57 around the surface of bore 47 until they register with slot 46 in the bearing block 45. They drop by gravity into such slot and continue to move under gravity influence into the open upper end of chute 35. The first such tube so delivered drops to the bottom of chute 36 and comes to rest on the sliding plate 29. Subsequent tubes'come to rest on top of one another, building up a single row of stacked tubes within the chute as indicated. When the sliding plate 29 is put in operation, and begun to reciprocate between its extended and retracted positions as described, the slot 34 makes repeated trips between the bottom of chute 36 and the slot 21 in underlying plate 18. In so doing, it receives the bottommost tube in chute 36 and carries it forwardly to a position of registry with slot 21. Thereupon the tube drops out of slot 34 and through slot 21 into the embrace of fingers 15 as before described. The bottom of chute 36 lies closely adjacent to the surface of plate 29 so that the tubes T are confined within the chute except when slot 34 registers therewith. Similarly, the plate 29 is in close intimately contacting relation to the plate 18 so that tubes carried by slot 34 are unable to move out of such slot until it aligns with slot 21.
The described openings 43 and 44 in the chute 36 are used for sensing the presence or absence of tubes within the chute at a selected level. This sensing may be done visually and the chute appropriately marked so that when the column of tubes therein reaches a predetermined height operation of cylindrical member 48 may 'be discontinued. In the illustrated instance, however, the sensing is carried out electronically. A photo electric cell 58 is disposed to have a beam of light cast thereon from a source 59. The light beam passes through the chute at the intermediate location represented by openings 43 and 44. The light beam is interrupted by the presence of a tube T at the plane of such beam. In accordance with one mode of use of such an arrangement, the cell 58 may be disposed in an electrical circuit lwhereby rotation of rotor 48 continues as long as cell 58 is energized and is discontinued upon deenergizing of the cell. In accordance with this mode of operation, movement of the member 48 is intermittent, being started each time a tube is withdrawn from the bottom of chute 36 and being discontinued when that tube is replaced at the top of the contained column.
While the buildup of tubes within the chute 36 has been described as-occurring due to a starting of cylinder 33 subsequent to operation of cylindrical rotor 48 a preferred mode of operation provides that the two may be started as a part of the same operation, with the rotor 48 feeding tubes into the chute 36 at a somewhat faster rate than they are withdrawn by the plate 29. Thus, reciprocation of the plate 29 is part of what may be termed a machine operation and occurs in a synchronous, timed relation to advance of the fingers 15. Rotary stepping of the member 48, however, is an independent operation which may be regulated by a timer in an electrical circuit opened by interruption of the light beam cast on cell 58.
What is claimed is:
1. Feed mechanism in a tube working machine, including continuously moving conveyor means, a stationary plate overlying said conveyor means and having a slot through which a tube may drop through said stationary plate on to said conveyor means, a reciprocable plate slidable on said stationary plate and having a through slot therein which at one end of its reciprocating stroke overlies and is aligned with the slot in said stationary plate, an open ended chute carrying tubes stacked one upon another, said chute rising generally vertically above the plane of movement of said reciprocable plate and having its lower end positioned to align with the slot in said reciprocating plate at the other end of its reciprocating stroke, means for introducing tubes into the upper end of said chute, said tubes descending by gravity through said chute and dropping one at a time into the slot in said reciprocable plate on successive strokes thereof, the lower end of said chute being of a size to pass only a single tube and terminating in such proximate relation to said reciprocable plate as to be closed thereby except when said slot in said reciprocable plate is aligned therewith, said reciprocable plate being in such proximate relation to said stationary plate as to close the bottom of said slot in said reciprocable plate except when aligned with the slot in said stationary plate, said conveyor means including dual transversely spaced sets of longitudinally spaced apart fingers, corresponding fingers of the dual sets aligning with one another, each finger having a vertically elongated slot open at its top and closed at its bottom and having front and rear edges which are parallel over a substantial part of their length and divergent near the bottom of the slot, said fingers being conducted successively beneath the slot in said stationary plate each to receive in its upper end a tube falling by gravity therethrough, and a table disposed between said dual sets to intercept said tubes prior to their dropping to the bottom of said slots, the tube having a length to exceed the width of the table, said fingers carrying said tubes lengthwise along said table in response to movement of said conveyor means.
2. Feed mechanism in a tube working machine, including continuously moving dual transversely spaced sets of conveyor means, each of said conveyor means including longitudinally spaced apart fingers each having a vertically elongated slot open at its top and closed at its bottom and having front and rear edges which are parallel over a substantial part of their length and which are divergent near the bottom of the slot, corresponding fingers of dual sets being aligned, a stationary plate overlying said conveyor means and having a slot through which a tube may drop through said stationary plate, said fingers being conducted successively beneath the slot in said stationary plate to receive in their upper ends a tube falling by gravity therethrough, the opposite ends of a tube being received by aligned fingers of the dual sets, said tubes being carried by said conveyor means with freedom of vertical movement in said slots, and means for bringing tubes one at a time to said slot in said stationary plate to drop therethrough as described.
3. Dual feed mechanism in a tube working machine or the like, including a pair of conveyor means of longitudinal extent in a transversely spaced apart relation to one another, each said conveyor means including longitudinally spaced apart fingers, corresponding fingers of the pair of conveyor means being aligned with one another, each of said fingers having a slot opening through the upper end of the finger and closed at the bottom, means for dropping tubes one at a time upon said conveyor means, the ends of a tube being received in the open upper ends of the slots in aligned fingers and the tubes tending to drop by gravity to the bottoms of such slots, and a table disposed between said conveyor means in a plane to intercept tubes dropping into the slots in said conveyor, the tubes having a length to exceed the width of said table whereby the opposite ends of the tubes may engage with said fingers and be advanced over said table into the tube working machine, the machine affording tube working stations to which the tubes are delivered by said table, the slots in said fingers allowing said tubes to rise and fall in said fingers which being worked in said stations while remaining in said fingers for advancement therewith.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 245,408 8/1881 Sheldon 221- 1,507,999 9/1924 Hubbard 221281 1,606,834 11/1926 Halank 221-236 2,134,832 11/1938 Morrison 198-131 2,571,576 10/1951 Hopkins et al 221-277 3,026,003 3/1962 Edels et al. 221-225 3,206,065 9/1965 Netta 221-225 FOREIGN PATENTS 8,371 4/ 1899 Great Britain.
ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
WALTER SOBIN, Examiner.