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Publication numberUS20070266753 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/749,399
Publication dateNov 22, 2007
Filing dateMay 16, 2007
Priority dateMay 18, 2006
Publication number11749399, 749399, US 2007/0266753 A1, US 2007/266753 A1, US 20070266753 A1, US 20070266753A1, US 2007266753 A1, US 2007266753A1, US-A1-20070266753, US-A1-2007266753, US2007/0266753A1, US2007/266753A1, US20070266753 A1, US20070266753A1, US2007266753 A1, US2007266753A1
InventorsRichard L. Kuhns
Original AssigneeGutter Protection Systems, Inc., Rk Industries, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gutter Cover Manufacturing Apparatus
US 20070266753 A1
Abstract
Methods and apparatus for fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock, such as gutter covers, are provided herein. In some embodiments, an apparatus for fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock includes an uncoiler for receiving and metering out a desired quantity of a flat feedstock in roll form; a feeder/straightener for receiving the feedstock from the uncoiler; a first press for receiving the feedstock from the feeder/straightener, the first press housing a tool and die that forms one or more apertures in the feedstock; a second press for receiving the feedstock from the first press, the second press housing a tool and die that cuts the feedstock into a finished length; and a roll former for receiving the feedstock from the second press, the roll former comprising a plurality of rollers that create a desired profile along the width of the feedstock.
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Claims(20)
1. An apparatus for fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock, comprising:
an uncoiler for supplying a flat feedstock in roll form;
a feeder/straightener for receiving the feedstock from the uncoiler;
a first press for receiving the feedstock from the feeder/straightener, the first press housing a tool and die that forms one or more apertures in the feedstock;
a second press for receiving the feedstock from the first press, the second press housing a tool and die that cuts the feedstock into a finished length; and
a roll former for receiving the feedstock from the second press, the roll former comprising a plurality of rollers that create a desired profile along the width of the feedstock.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first and second presses are about two-ton presses or smaller.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second press is configured to form one or more apertures in the feedstock.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second press is configured to form one or more notches along an edge of the feedstock.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second press is configured to form one or more apertures and one or more notches in the feedstock while cutting the feedstock into a finished length.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the roll former further comprises a set of feed rollers configured to pull the finished length feedstock into the roll former.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
a collection table disposed proximate an exit side of the roll former, such that the finished length feedstock can be dropped into the collection table as it exits the roll former during operation.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
a control module configured to control the one or more of the uncoiler, the feeder/straightener, the first press, the second press, or the roll former.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the controller counts each part manufactured.
10. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the controller further includes a computer readable medium containing instructions that, when executed, cause the apparatus to fabricate sections of a rain gutter cover having a plurality of apertures and that overlap and may be fastened together proximate cut edges of the feedstock to form a gutter cover having a desired length.
11. An apparatus for fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock, comprising:
an uncoiler for supplying a flat feedstock in roll form;
a feeder/straightener for receiving the feedstock from the uncoiler;
a press for receiving the feedstock from the feeder/straightener, the press configured to form one or more apertures in the feedstock and to cut the feedstock into a finished length; and
a roll former for receiving the feedstock from the press, the roll former comprising a plurality of rollers that create a desired profile along the width of the feedstock.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the press has a size of up to about 10 tons.
13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the press further comprises:
a first tool and die configured to form from one or more apertures with each stroke of the press; and
a retractable second tool and die comprising one or more independent sections configured to cut the feedstock into a finished length and to make at least one of one or more apertures or one or more notches proximate cut edges of the feedstock.
14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the retractable second tool and die is configured to create both one or more apertures and one or more notches proximate cut edges of the feedstock simultaneously in the part of the feedstock being cut into a finished length and the remaining portion of the feedstock.
15. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising:
a collection table disposed proximate an exit side of the roll former, such that the finished length feedstock can be dropped into the collection table as it exits the roll former during operation.
16. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising:
a control module configured to control the one or more of the uncoiler, the feeder/straightener, the press, or the roll former.
17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the controller further includes a computer readable medium containing instructions that, when executed, cause the apparatus to fabricate sections of a rain gutter cover having a plurality of apertures and that overlap and may be fastened together proximate cut edges of the feedstock to form a gutter cover having a desired length.
18. A method of fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock, comprising:
providing, in alignment, an uncoiler for supplying a flat feedstock in roll form, a feeder/straightener for receiving the feedstock from the uncoiler, a first press for receiving the feedstock from the feeder/straightener, and a roll former for receiving the feedstock from the press;
metering out a desired quantity of a flat feedstock in roll form from the uncoiler to the feeder/straightener;
forming one or more apertures in the straightened feedstock using the first press;
cutting the feedstock into a finished length; and
creating a desired profile along the width of the feedstock using the roll former.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the feedstock is cut into a finished length using the first press.
20. The method of claim 18, wherein a second press is provided between the first press and the roll former and wherein the feedstock is cut into a finished length using the second press.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application entitled “GUTTER COVER MANUFACTURING APPARATUS”, Ser. No. 60/747,555, filed May 18, 2006, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to the manufacture of gutter covers. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention generally relate to manufacturing apparatus for the manufacture of gutter covers.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    Gutter covers, such as those depicted in U.S. Pat. No. 5,339,575 and D382,944, have conventionally been fabricated using a variety of apparatus. In one conventional embodiment, gutter covers may be fabricated using a turret press. In this manner of manufacture, flat metal sheets are sheared to specified sizes and then manually inserted into the turret press to fabricate the apertures one hole at a time. The fabricated sheet with prescribed apertures is then formed with prescribed radius bends in a manually operated brake. Due to the nature of the manual brake, each radius bend is formed one at a time.
  • [0006]
    This method of fabrication is very time consuming and has high risk of variations in the finished product. For example, it has been found that forming radius bends utilizing a manual brake may lead to production of up to 4% off-spec material. While technology exists to automate feeds to the turret press, the size and weight of the equipment limits it to principally being operated by machine shops with highly skilled repair technicians.
  • [0007]
    In another conventional manufacturing method, gutter covers may be fabricated using a punch and die apparatus containing a series of manufacturing elements. In this embodiment, flat metal feedstock in coil form is introduced into a feeder which straightens the metal, which is subsequently fed in a prescribed length to a large press that forms the apertures and cuts the cover to a prescribed length. The fabricated sheet with prescribed apertures is then formed with prescribed radius bends one at a time in a manually operated break as described above.
  • [0008]
    While this method of manufacture is faster than the turret press, the size of the equipment limits production to machine and specialty shops employing highly skilled technicians.
  • [0009]
    Another problem associated with these conventional fabrication apparatus is that the extremely large size and weight (approximately four tons) of both the punch and die press and the turret press requires special rigging companies to transport and deliver the equipment. In addition, the turret presses and presses required to operate the tool and die are expensive and require a large investment. Moreover, the sophistication of the equipment also limits manufacture to certain specialty or machine shops, thereby requiring substantially more shipping and handling expense for the distribution of the rain gutter products.
  • [0010]
    Therefore, there is a need for a manufacturing apparatus that can be easily acquired for much less than the cost of equipment previously used and that may be easily installed in a fabricator's warehouse.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    The present invention generally provides an improved apparatus for fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock, such as gutter covers. The present invention overcomes the disadvantages associated with the prior art. Specifically, the present invention includes equipment used for fabricating gutter covers which is light in weight as compared to the conventional equipment presently used. The new equipment can easily be moved and installed with typical equipment used in warehousing, such as a fork lift.
  • [0012]
    In some embodiments, an apparatus for fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock includes an uncoiler for receiving and metering out a desired quantity of a flat feedstock in roll form; a feeder/straightener for receiving the feedstock from the uncoiler; a first press for receiving the feedstock from the feeder/straightener, the first press housing a tool and die that forms one or more apertures in the feedstock; a second press for receiving the feedstock from the first press, the second press housing a tool and die that cuts the feedstock into a finished length; and a roll former for receiving the feedstock from the second press, the roll former comprising a plurality of rollers that create a desired profile along the width of the feedstock.
  • [0013]
    In some embodiments, an apparatus is provided including, in order, an uncoiler, a feeder/straightener, a first press, a second press, a roll former, a collection table, and a control module. An input material, such as a flat metal sheet in roll form, is loaded onto the uncoiler and is fed to the straightener/feeder. The straightener/feeder moves the material through a series of rollers which bends the flat metal in opposing directions removes any curl or memory the metal may have from being stored in coiled form. The feeder portion of the feeder/straightener measures and delivers a specified length of the material to the two presses in series. The first press houses a tool and die that pierces and forms the apertures of the gutter cover. The number of apertures formed with each hit from the press can range from one at a time to any number. The second press houses a tool and die that separates the material into a finished length and forms any prescribed apertures and notches specified in the finished parts for installation on a rain gutter such that the individual rain gutter covers overlap and are fastened together. As the part, complete with all apertures formed, leaves the second press in flat form, a set of feed rollers pull the part into the roll former. The roll former forms the radius bends as specified for the finished part through a series and combination of rollers. The finished part exits the roll former and is dropped into the collection table. The components of the apparatus are equipped with controls and instrumentation which automatically counts the number of hits made on each press, controls each press and feeder, and counts each part manufactured for reporting purposes. Alternatively, the equipment can be also operated in manual form without any controlling equipment.
  • [0014]
    In some embodiments, an apparatus for fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock includes an uncoiler for receiving and metering out a desired quantity of a flat feedstock in roll form; a feeder/straightener for receiving the feedstock from the uncoiler; a press for receiving the feedstock from the feeder/straightener, the press configured to form one or more apertures in the feedstock and to cut the feedstock into a finished length; and a roll former for receiving the feedstock from the press, the roll former comprising a plurality of rollers that create a desired profile along the width of the feedstock.
  • [0015]
    In some embodiments, an apparatus is provided including, in order, an uncoiler, a feeder/straightener, a press, a roll former, a collection table, and a control module. The press contains both a first tool and die and a retractable second tool and die encapsulated by connecting members in one housing unit. The first tool and die is configured to form from one or more apertures with each stroke. The retractable second tool and die may consist of one or more independent sections that are configured to separate the parts and make any apertures or notches that may be specified to be located at the end of the parts. The retractable second tool and die creates both apertures and notches located at the end of the part of the material being cut off and the beginning of the part of the material being moved through the press. This apparatus is otherwise similar to the apparatus described above.
  • [0016]
    In some embodiments, a method of fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock includes providing, in alignment, an uncoiler for receiving and metering out a desired quantity of a flat feedstock in roll form, a feeder/straightener for receiving the feedstock from the uncoiler, a first press for receiving the feedstock from the feeder/straightener, and a roll former for receiving the feedstock from the press; metering out a desired quantity of a flat feedstock in roll form from the uncoiler to the feeder/straightener; forming one or more apertures in the straightened feedstock using the first press; cutting the feedstock into a finished length; and creating a desired profile along the width of the feedstock using the roll former.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0017]
    The teachings of the present invention will become apparent by considering the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • [0018]
    FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view showing one embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 3 is a schematic plan view showing another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 4 is a schematic plan view showing another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 5 is a schematic plan view showing another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 6 is a schematic plan view showing another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus.
  • [0024]
    FIGS. 7A-B are perspective views of one embodiment of a gutter cover that may be fabricated with the apparatus of the present invention.
  • [0025]
    Where possible, identical reference numerals are used herein to designate identical elements that are common to the figures. The images in the drawings are simplified for illustrative purposes and are not depicted to scale. The appended drawings illustrate exemplary embodiments of the invention and, as such, should not be considered as limiting the scope of the invention that may admit to other equally effective embodiments.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0026]
    Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to the manufacture of articles having apertures from a flat feedstock. In one illustrative embodiment, embodiments of the present invention may be utilized to fabricate gutter covers, such as are depicted in U.S. patent Ser. No. 5,339,575, issued Aug., 23, 1994, and D382,944, issued Aug. 26, 1997, or any other gutter cover containing one or two rows of apertures (see, for example, gutter cover 700 depicted in FIGS. 7A-B). The manufacturing apparatus of the present invention is advantageously relatively small in size, can be easily installed without special rigging equipment, and can be easily operated by a relatively unskilled workman. Although described below in reference to manufacturing gutter covers, it is contemplated that the inventive apparatus may be utilized to manufacture other articles having apertures from a flat feedstock.
  • [0027]
    The present invention utilizes a series of readily available equipment arranged in a specific order to manufacture specified rain gutter covers utilizing flat metal stock available in coil form. These presses are readily commercially available from companies such as Minster Machine Co, located in Minster, Ohio; Cincinnati, located in Cincinnati, Ohio; Niagara Machine and Tool Works, located in Buffalo, N.Y.; Komatsu Industries Corp., located in Tokyo, Japan; Chicago Dreis & Krump (D&K), located in Chicago, Ill.; and the like.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 1 is a schematic showing one embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus of the present invention. As depicted in FIG. 1, a gutter cover manufacturing apparatus 100 includes an uncoiler 102, a feeder/straightener 104, a first press 106, a second press 108, a roll former 110, a collection table 112, and a control module 114.
  • [0029]
    The uncoiler 102 may be a powered uncoiler, such as are commercially available through companies such as ASC Machine Tools, Inc., of Spokane Valley, Wash., and the like. In addition, uncoilers are typically available through most metal handling industrial supply houses such as Rapid Air, of Rockford, Ill. The uncoiler 102 is typically mounted horizontally, such that the shaft or mandrel for holding a coil of feedstock, or material, (not shown) is horizontal to the floor. The uncoiler 102 is typically motorized and controlled by a set of micro switches or a photo beam that controls the uncoiler 102 as it selectively feeds material to the feeder/straightener 104.
  • [0030]
    Because the feeding speed of the uncoiler 102 may be different than that of the feeder/straightener 104, there is typically a distance of up to approximately 6 to 8 feet between the uncoiler 102 and the feeder/straightener 104 to allow for excess material to drop near the floor during operation. In operation, as the material drops towards the floor or a predetermined point near the floor, a micro switch turns off the feed of material from the uncoiler 102. As the feeder/straightener 104 uses up the material, the excess material disposed between the uncoiler 102 and the feeder/straightener 104 raises in elevation to the location of a second micro switch which turns on the uncoiler 102, causing it to resume feeding material.
  • [0031]
    It is contemplated that any method of controlling the uncoiler 102 may be utilized, including photo cell technology, control arms that may be included as a part of uncoiler 102, other arrangements of micro switches, and the like. It is further contemplated that the uncoiler 102 and the straightener can be combined in one unit, such as is commercially available from Tomac Corp., located in Taishan, Taiwan (http://www.toptran.com.tw/cproducts_thin.htm). It is further contemplated that the uncoiler 102 may be unmotorized and/or mounted vertically, such as in a pallet reel format, also commercially available from companies such as Rapid Air, of Rockford, Ill., such that either the feeder or straightener or both pull the coil of material from the uncoiler without having the necessity of a loop in the coil to make up for different speeds of the equipment.
  • [0032]
    The feeder/straightener 104 may be manufactured as one device which straightens as it feeds and removes coil from an unmotorized uncoiler 102. The feeder/straightener 104 may be either of a servo feed nature, where the precise rotation of rollers are controlled to deliver a specific length of material, or air feed, wherein the material is clamped with air pressure by a feeding clamp and advanced for a specified length at which point the feeding clamp is released and a stationery clamp is engaged to keep the material stationary while the feeding clamp is slid back to a feed position to begin the feed cycle once again. The stationary clamp is released while the feed clamp is engaged.
  • [0033]
    The feeder/straightener 104 contains a series of rollers (not shown) disposed on either side (e.g., above and below) the material. As the material passes between the rollers, the material is bent in opposite directions, thereby straightening the material and removing any memory of the material from having been stored in roll form. The rollers are typically adjustable to increase or decrease the degree of bend required to flatten or straighten the material, although they can be fixed. Typically at least three rollers are provided. However, the number of rollers may vary.
  • [0034]
    The feeder portion of the feeder/straightener 104 can be adjusted to deliver a specified length of flat material to the press 106. The feeder/straightener 104 is typically controlled by the control module 114 such that the feeder/straightener 104 feeds a specified length of straightened material to the press 106 during operation.
  • [0035]
    The press 106 is typically an approximately two-ton or less press containing a tool and die for forming one or more apertures in a workpiece with each stroke of the press 106. The number and arrangement of the apertures is designed into the press 106 as desired to produce the particular end product. For example, the press 106 may be configured to form one or more apertures 710 as depicted in FIGS. 7A and 7B. A signal indicating the end of feed from the feeder/straightener 104 causes the press 106 to perform a stroke. The feed and stroke series occurs a prescribed number of times as controlled by control module 114.
  • [0036]
    When the prescribed number of strokes is complete, a signal from the control module 114 is sent to the press 108 causing it to stroke. The press 108 may be similar in size to press 106 and contains a tool and die for cutting the material to a desired length and making any apertures or notches that may be specified to be located at either the end of the material. The tool and die of the press 108 creates both apertures and notches located at the end of the part of the material being cut off and the beginning of the part of the material being moved through the press 108. For example, in addition to cutting the material to length, the press 108 may be used to form apertures 720, 734 and notches 722 as depicted in FIGS. 7A-B. At the completion of the stroke of the press 108, a signal is sent to control module 114 which begins the counting sequence once again. Those skilled in the art will recognize that depending on the number of apertures formed by the press 106, the feed length may be altered for the press 108 to cause separation of the material into parts of a desired length without deviating from the scope of this invention.
  • [0037]
    As the separated part of the material containing all apertures and notches leaves the press 108, a feed roller in the front portion of the roll former 110 guides the material into the main body of the roll former 110. The roll former 110 contains a series of rollers, typically a minimum of four rollers, that pulls the material through the roll former 110, thereby causing the material to be gradually be shaped with the specified radius bends as it exits the end of the roll former 110. For example, the roll former 110 may be configured to bend the material to form a front ledge 716, a front face 730, and a cover portion 708, as depicted in FIGS. 7A-B. It is understood that technology for roll forming is well known in the trade and that a roll former suitable for creating the bends as desired in the finished product may be manufactured by many different manufacturers with various modifications.
  • [0038]
    As the finished material leaves the roll former 110 it drops onto the collection table 112 where finished product is stacked. Optionally, the control module 114 can provide a signal and/or shut down the entire system after a prescribed number of parts are stacked, thereby providing time for manual packaging. It is also recognized that those skilled in the art may employ robotics controlled by the control module 114 to collect a prescribed number of parts and package them automatically. The control module 114 may also provide a confidential count of total parts produced for calculating royalties with or without automatic reporting features to an outside party. Those skilled in the art will recognize that presses larger or smaller than a two ton rating may be used to achieve the same results depending on the size of the tooling and number of apertures being formed by each tool and die without departing from the scope of this invention. Optionally, the components of the apparatus 100 as described above may be performed manually, without the need for the control module 114.
  • [0039]
    Optionally, both the press 106 and the press 108 shown in FIG. 1 may be replaced with a single press. For example, FIG. 2 depicts a schematic side view of a gutter cover forming apparatus 200. The apparatus 200 is similar to the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1 except that the press 106 and the press 108 are replaced by a single press 206.
  • [0040]
    As shown in FIG. 2, the press 206 is typically an approximately up to ten ton press containing a tool and die 214 and a retractable tool and die 216 encapsulated by connecting members 210 in one housing unit 212. The tool and die 214 is configured to form from one or more apertures with each stroke. The retractable tool and die 216 may consist of one or more independent sections that are configured to separate the parts and optionally to make any apertures or notches that may be specified to be located at the end of the parts. The independent sections of the retractable tool and die 216 may be disposed adjacent to each other or separated by other components. The retractable tool and die 216 may create both apertures and notches located at the end of the part of the material 220 being cut off and the beginning of the part of the material 220 being moved through the press 206.
  • [0041]
    Specifically, an end of feed signal from the feeder/straightener 104 causes the press 206 to complete a stroke. With each stroke of the press 206, the tool and die 214 is actuated to make apertures in the material 220. When a specified number of strokes is complete (e.g., one or more), a signal from control module 114 is sent to feeder/straightener 104 causing it to actuate either a gag feed (e.g., feed of a different length of material) to the press 206 at which time the retractable die 216 is also actuated in whole or part, or the retractable die 216 in whole or in part without the need for a gag feed.
  • [0042]
    It is recognized that those skilled in the art may choose to have the retractable die 216 as one integral unit or that it may be divided into two independently operated units to separate the material 220 into separate parts and accomplish the formation of apertures on the ends of the separated part.
  • [0043]
    After the press 206 completes its stroke, the retractable tool and die 216 is retracted for the next stroke or series of strokes by the press 206. Those skilled in the art will recognize that by altering the number of apertures formed by the tool and die 214, arrangement and activation of the retractable tool and die 216, and the gag feed (change in feed length) can be in any combination without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • [0044]
    From this point, the separated portion of the material 220 produced by the retracting tool and die 216 is guided into the roll former 110 as described above with respect to FIG. 1.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 3 depicts another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus 300. The apparatus 300 is similar to the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1 except that the press 108 is replaced with a flying shear 308. In this embodiment, as the material continuously moves through the press 106, the flying shear 308 is actuated by control module 114 as described above with respect to FIG. 1. When actuated, the flying shear 308 moves at the same speed of the material being fed through the apparatus 300 and causes the parts of the material to be sheared apart along with any prescribed apertures or notches as formed with the press 108 described above with respect to FIG. 1.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 4 depicts another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus 400. The apparatus 400 is similar to the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1 except that the press 106 is replaced with a sprocket former 406. In this embodiment, the feeder/straightener 104 is set to feed a full length of material that, when complete, actuates the press 108 to cut the material and form any apertures or notches as described above with respect to FIG. 1. The material is then passed from the press 108 to the sprocket former 406. As the material passes through the sprocket former 406, housing feed and guide rollers engage the material and a rotating sprocket forms apertures in the material similar to those formed by the press 106 as described above with respect to FIG. 1. The control module 114 controls the operation of the sprocket former 406 to cause the sprockets to be engaged and disengaged. It is recognized that those skilled in the art may choose to actuate the sprocket former 406 via other means such as micro switches. The material is then guided into the roll former 110 where the part is completed as described above with respect to FIG. 1.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 5 depicts another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus 500. The apparatus 500 is similar to the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1 except that the press 108 is replaced with a flying shear 508. In this embodiment, the flying shear 508 is located after the roll former 110 and otherwise is similar to the flying shear 308 described above with respect to FIG. 3. In operation, the flying shear 508 cuts the material to a desired length as well as forms the notches and apertures formed by the press 108 as described above with respect to FIG. 1.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 6 depicts another embodiment of a gutter cover forming apparatus 600. The apparatus 600 is similar to the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1 except that the press 106 is replaced by a sprocket former 606 and the press 108 is replaced by a flying shear 608. The flying shear 608 may be located after the roll former 110. Alternatively, the flying shear 608 may be located between the sprocket former 606 and the roll former 110.
  • [0049]
    It is contemplated that other variations to any of the embodiments of the above-disclosed apparatus may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, alternative material guidance systems may be utilized or incorporated into components of the apparatus that would eliminate the need for the feeder and/or the straightener. In one example, the sprocket former 606 of the embodiment disclosed in FIG. 6 could be devised to also function as a feeder/straightener, thereby eliminating the need for the feeder/straightener 104. Moreover, the material being worked upon may be fed into the apparatus in pre-cut lengths of flat stock, thereby eliminating the need for the uncoiler 102 and the straightener portion of the feeder/straightener 104. Other variants may further be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention.
  • [0050]
    Thus, a novel manufacturing apparatus and method are disclosed herein for fabricating articles having apertures from a flat feedstock. The present invention overcomes the disadvantages associated with the prior art. Specifically, the present invention includes equipment used for fabricating gutter covers which is light in weight as compared to the conventional equipment presently used. The inventive apparatus can easily be moved and installed with typical equipment used in warehousing, such as a fork lift.
  • [0051]
    While the foregoing is directed to embodiments of the present invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof may be determined by the following claims.
Patent Citations
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US3506413 *Oct 2, 1967Apr 14, 1970Fuji Iron & Steel Co LtdSurface treated steel sheet suitable for forming
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8069617May 19, 2009Dec 6, 2011Wootton Thomas ADebris deflection devices
US20110138696 *Jun 16, 2011Eastside Machine Co., Inc.Portable apparatus and method for making a gutter cover
USD615632Sep 15, 2009May 11, 2010Thomas A. WoottonRain gutter cover
USD621481Aug 10, 2010Wootton Thomas ARain gutter cover
USD621484Aug 10, 2010Wootton Thomas ARain gutter cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification72/43
International ClassificationB21B45/02
Cooperative ClassificationB21D35/00, B21D28/26
European ClassificationB21D28/26, B21D35/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 16, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: RK INDUSTRIES, NEW JERSEY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KUHNS, RICHARD L.;REEL/FRAME:019301/0766
Effective date: 20070514