US 2228672 A
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C. G. OLSON MACHINE FOR PLATING AR'ricLEs Jan. 14, 1941.
Filed Dec. 4, 1937 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Nmvi W Jan. 14, 1941. V c. G. OLSON 2,228,672
MACHINE FOR PLATING ARTICLES Filed Dec. 4, 1,937 2 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 8 4 (fa/J45 65 051507?) Jan. 14, 1941. Q QL'SQN MACHINE FOR PLATING ARTICLES Filed Dec. 4, 1937 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 1791/6 7231'? Car a 0J6? @J- Jan. 14, 1941. c, G, OLSON MACHINE FOR rmuue mmcmas Filed Dec. 4, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 QJTzUZnZZr Car'l/ G. OLSON) -(Q0;Z max,
98 as 94 90 J54 Patented .Ian. 14, 1941 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE MACHINE FOR. PLATIN G ARTICLES Carl G. Olson, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Illinois Tool Works, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Application December 4, 1937, Serial No. 178,054
7 Claims. (c1.2o4 19e) The present invention relates to an apparatus electrical current after plating has been accomfor plating articles and more particularly to a 'plished; to provide a relatively simple, improved device, as well as process of operation, for conmeans for carrying out the above plating method tinuously applying a predetermined thin coating which is formed of a relatively small number of to preformed articles. parts arranged so as to be reliable in operation It is an object of the present invention to proand provide infrequent necessity for repair and vide a machine forapplying a plated coating to adjustment; and to provide a machine for continpreselected sections only, of preformed articles uously immersing thread-forming fasteners in an The present invention more particularly comelectro-plating bath for depositing an electroprehends the provision of an improved apparatus plated coating on a predetermined portion of the for applying a coating, such as a plating-of dislength thereof only wherein the level of the bath 10 similar metal, to a selected portion of the surface is at all times maintained substantially constant. of an article. N Numerous other objects and advantages will One article of manufacture, the production of more fully appear during the course and progress which may be greatly facilitated as the result of of the following specification. 15 a practical application of the present invention, Figure 1 is a plan view of a machine conis disclosed in my co-pending application, Serial structed in accordance with the present inven- No. 110,523, filed October 12, 1936, and comprises tion.
a thread cutting or tapping fastener, the enter- Figure 2 is a sectional elevation taken onthe ing end only of which is provided with a coating line 2-2 in Figure 1. 20 of a material dissimilar to the material forming Figure 3 is a detail sectional elevation taken on the body of the fastener in order to facilitate apthe line 3-3 in Figure 1. plication thereof to the work. It is normally de- Figure 4 is a detail plan view taken on the line sirable that the exposed portions of such fasten- 4-4 in Figure 3. g
ers retain their unchanged character and ap- Figure 5 .is a sectional elevation taken on the 25 'pearance after being coated so as to provide the line 5-5 in Figure 3. desired uniform exterior effect in combination i r 6 s a s ct l l v n taken n the with the work material, and for this and other line 6-6 in Figure 1. reasons it is important that no plating be applied Figure 7 is a perspective view of the screw adjacent the head portions. ejector. 30
It is, accordingly, an important object of the Figure 8 is a perspective View Of n anode present invention to provide a machine for conbasket. tinuously arranging fasteners, as well as like arti Figure 9 is a sectional elevation taken on the cles, in proper relationship with respect to the line 99 in Figure 4.
plating agency to cause plating to take place on Figure 10 is a view the same as Figure but 35 a predetermined portion thereof, and to cause showing the et od of positioning a S y said articles to be so maintained for a controlled f t yp o fastenerperiod of time and under the proper conditions to e c e, S n in t e d aw s for t e produce a coating or plating of the desired extent purpose of illustrating the present invention,
40 and character. comprises generally a frame Ill on which is 40 An additional object of the present invention is m unted a S w eed p r "w c s pto provide an improved. apparatus for electroplies the ncl n d Conveyor or chute l4, and a plating fastenersuniformly on the entering end rotary carrier It for supporting and positioning thereof without varying the character or appearthe thread-forming fasteners with proper respect ance of the head portions. to the plating bath l8 so that the ends thereof 45 Other objects are to provide an apparatus will be given. the desired metallic coating. The adapted for continuously suspending fasteners screws or fasteners are dumped into the hopper with their entering portions only in plating relal2 fromwhich they are moved or' fed down the tionship to an electro-plating bath and moving conveyor'or guide chute M, at the end of which 5 them in a predetermined path through the platthey are individually deposited in spaces provided ing bath while applying an electric current for therefor about the periphery of the rotatable carcausing a deposition of the coating on the im rier Hi. The rotatable carrier grasps theindimersed parts, the operation taking place in timed vidual screws with a means which I electrically relationship to the distance travelled and the fasconnects them in the el-ectro-plating circuit and teners being disconnected automatically from the supports the lower portions thereof in proper re- 55 are, accordingly,
stantially timed relation to the distance travelled in each rotation to convey the screws through the .bath. Substantially at the termination of one cycle of rotation, the plated articles are automatically ejected from the carrier and subsequently retrieved in the finished form.
More specifically, the supporting frame of the machine, as shown in the drawings, comprises four legs 20 formed of angle iron spaced transversely by the frame members 22 and longitudinally by the upper frame members 24 and 25 and the lower frame members 28. The frame may be provided witha plurality of foot portions, preferably formed by short sections 28 of angle iron, to assist in supporting and positioning the as sembly. The forward, longitudinally extending frame member 25, as viewed in Figure 2, is divided adjacent its central portion by downwardly extending are secured to the angle member 84..
adjacent bottom ends by the This longitudinally extending frame member is thus relieved'downwardly to form a U-shaped support for a portion of the plating bath, as will hereinafter appear.
As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the screw-feeding mechanism and hopper for the fasteners to be plated is rigidly mounted between the longitudinally extending frame members 24 and 25 adjacent one end of the structure and comprises a hopper 88 having an opening at the top into which the fasteners are initially introduced. Slidably mounted in suitable guideways formed in the hopper feeding device is a reciprocating plate 88 which, as it moves upwardly, picks up the fasteners from the mass thereof in the hopper and tends to drop and arrange them with proper respect to the conveyor or chute l4.
Vertical reciprocation of the plate 38 is maintained by means of the link 48 which is pivotally connected thereto and to an eccentric portion of the rotating crank member 42 driven by means which will hereinafter be described more in detail. This latter member comprises more particularly a pair of spaced bars 44 and 46. The bar 48 is mounted in brackets (not shown) which are a part of the hopper 36. The bar 44 is also mounted upon the same supporting brackets in any, conventional manner to permit adjustment towardand from the bar 46 to accommodate screws having shanks of various sizes. A cover plate 48 overlies the space formed between the bars 44 and 48 and is secured thereto by means of the straps 58 in any convenient manner to permit a vertical adjustment to accommodate screws having heads of difl'erent height. The screws fed in the hopper arranged between the bars 44 and 48, as clearly shown in Figures 2, 3 and 4, with the lower face of the head portion residing upon the top face of the two aforementioned bars and, in this position, they are permitted to slide down the inclined plane formed thereby in a continuous line to a point or station opposite the periphery of the rotatable carrier IS.
The electro-plating bath l8 comprises a tank, more completely shown in Figures 1 and 2, and
' throughout its main portion being of substantially annular form and being defined by outer and inner, annular wall sections 52 and 54, respectivelyyclosed by the bottom wall 56.- Attention is directed to the fact that the tank is distorted or enlarged outwardly adjacent the front and righthand portions, as viewedin Figure 2, and this angle members 88 and 32 which" section is further provided with a deepened or well section for accumulating and retrieving the plated articles. This enlarged portion of the tank is definedby upstanding walls 58 and 88 which are integral with the extended sides of the wall 52. The bottom wall 58, extended to form a bottom for this enlarged portion of the tank, is interrupted by the deepened or well portion 52. This deepened or well portion, closed at the bottom by the lower wall 84, is, in' the embodiment shown, rectangular in shape although it will be obvious from the instant disclosure that the form thereof may be varied considerably within wide and supported by means of an angle member 88 which is bent to conform with and to completely embrace the outer periphery thereof, as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The purpose of this tank being to contain the electrolyte or plating solution from which the electro-plating of the fasteners is carried out, means is provided for adding and withdrawing the solution therefrom, as well as for circulating the solution, if desired, and maintaining at all times a preferred level of liquid therein. This means comprises a drain cock 88 mounted in the lower wall 54 of the well portion 82. An auxiliary supply tank 18 is further connected to the plating return conduit 12 and the pump 14. The pump may be driven by means which will be'hereinafter defined in detail and may be arranged to continuously supply liquid from the tank 18 to the bath.
The means for maintaining a constant level oif liquid in the bath comprises an upstanding overflow pipe 18 disclosed in Figures 1 and 2, and provided with athreadedly mounted sleeve 18 "so that, the effective overflow height of this member may be readily adjusted at any time to maintain the preferred level of plating solution in the bath. Attention is directed to the fact that the overflow pipe 16 discharges into the reserve tank 18 whereupon constant recirculation of the liquid may be maintained through the agency of the return. conduit 12 and the pump 14.
bath by means of the 2 upon the vertically extending bearing column, 80,
as shown in Figure 2, which is rigidly mounted upon the plate 82 and is in turn bolted to the transverse frame members 84 with respect to which it is preferably insulatingly supported. The rotatable carrier member has a central bearing portion 86, as well as a radially, outwardly extending portion terminating in' the annular, horizontal flange 88. Attention is directed to the fact that the flange 88 is positioned over the plating bath. An annular supporting plate 98 resides directly upon the top surface of the flange 88 and has its peripheral portions extending outwardly beyond the said flange and provided with spaced slots 92 of theproper-size to accommodate the fasteners delivered by the inclined chute member [4. An annular contact spring holder 94 overlies the supporting plate and is peripherally co-extensive therewith. The members 98 and 94, spaced by an annular plate 96, are fastened securely to the horizontal flange 88 by means of a plurality of machine screws 98. The annular contact spring holder 94 is peripherally cut, as shown in Figures 3, 9 and .10, and is provided with a plurality of contact springs Hill which are bolted thereto by means of the machine screws I02 and are positioned so that the curved end portions I04 reside directly above the slots 92.
by any convenient means.
Means is provided to individually introduce the progression of fasteners delivered by the inclined chute into supporting relationship with the peripheral slots 92 and in contacting relationship with the contact springs I00. This means comprises an ejector cam, shown in Figures 4 and 7, and having a horizontally extending arm I06 terminating at one edge in the bracket I08 which is rigidly fastened to the bar 44. A bent finger member I I0 is secured to the upper surface of the arm I06. Attention is directed to the fact that the finger member IIO extends slightly inwardly beyond the ends of the spring contact fingers I00. Accordingly, rotation of the carrier, in the direction indicated by the arrow in Figure 4, causes the spring fingers to ride up the curve of the finger member IIO. In this position these spring fingers will be upwardly positioned, as shown in Figure 5, and, when one of the adjacent slots 92 comes opposite the line of fasteners in the conveying chute I4, the end fastener will freely slide Upon further subsequent rotation, the spring contact finger associated with this respective slot will be released by the end of the curved finger member I I0 and will immediately snap into the position shown in Figure 9.
Movement of the carrier is effected through the agency of ,a ratchet II2 rigidly secured thereto and driven in progressive step by step rotational movement through the agency of the springpressed pawl I I4 which is mounted upon the arm I I6. It will be noted that the arm I I6 is rotatably mounted with respect to the bearing portion 86 of the carrier and is adapted to be reciprocated by means of the connecting rod I I8 which is in turn pivoted at its other end to the eccentric I20 by means of a pivot which is eccentrically adjustable The eccentric member is driven in a manner which will be hereinafter described to cause the pawl II4 to reciprocate and repeatedly engage the ratchet for driving the carrier in step by step rotation in the direction shown in Figure 4. It will be understood, from the above disclosure, that the rotational movement produced at each step will preferably correspond to the rotational distance necessary to bring each successive slot 92 in registration with the progressive line of fasteners being supplied by the inclined chute I4 although under other preferred conditions the fasteners may be fed to the slots 92 without stopping the rotational movement of the carrier.
Attention is directed to the fact that the arm I06 of the ejector member, being positioned below the supporting plate 90, engages behind the fasteners as they complete the cycle of rotation and ejects them radially outwardly at a point directly above the deepened or well portion 62' of the plating tank from whence they drop into the bath. The ejected fasteners fall into and are caught by a removable basket or cage I22, shown in Figures 1 and 2, and which is positioned in the aforesaid well portion 62.
The current for electro-plating is conducted to.
detail in Figures 1 and 6. This assembly is considerably connected to the other terminalof the aforementioned source of direct current and supports a plurality of wire baskets I34 which are rigidly fastened to and supported by conducting hook members I36 having an end adapted to embrace the conductor bars I20. The wire baskets or cages I34, as is apparent from Figure 6, are provided to support the pieces of substance to be plated and to support the pieces of anode material and to continually maintain them in electrical circuit whereby to permit electro-plating of the material thereof upon the fasteners. The preferred embodiment disclosed herein for purposes of illustration, is particularly adapted for the production of articles plated with cadmium or like metal and, accordingly, the chunks I of material 34 may be pieces of cadmium.
The hopper mechanism, as well as the carrier and pump, are all driven through the agency of the motor I38, the drive belt I40 and suitable pulleys which rotate the counter-shaft I42. The crank member 42 of the hopper mechanism is driven from the countershaft I42 by means of the drive fan I44 engaging with suitable fan sprockets. The pump is driven directly by means of the drive belt I46 while the drive belt I40, mounted upon suitable pulleys, rotates the eccentric I20 for reciprocating the connecting rod H8 and rotating the carrier.
In operation, the fasteners fed in the hopper and arranged in the inclined chute or conveyor I4 slide downwardly by their own weight until they reach the bottom of the chute. The continuous line of fasteners is then individually and inseriatim order arranged in the peripheral slots 92 upon the rotating carrier as it is caused to move through a step by step rotation by the agency of the aforementioned pawl and ratchet mechanism. Attention is directed to the fact that the relative positioning of the fasteners and through the spring contact I 24 and the spring contact fingers I00 to the fasteners, each of these members becomes a cathode and electro-plating of the immersed portions commences. It will be appreciated that the carrier may be operated in timed relationship to the distance of rotation by control of the speed of the motor I38. Accordingly, the character of the coating produced upon the articles may be thus. accurately controlled. As the fasteners have substantially completed their cycle of rotation with the carrier they are automatically ejected from the slots 92 by the member I06. It willbe evident that at this time the electrical circuit is broken whereupon plating immediately ceases. When the basket or cage I22 has been filled with the plated articles, it may be removed from the well 62 by sliding it to the dotted line position shown in Figure 1, from whence it may be readily lifted upwardly and outwardly and another replaced in its stead. Preferably the portions of the carrier I4 and the end of the inclined chute or conveyor I6 which are likely to become immersed in the plating solution are given a coat of insulating varnish I50 methodfor rapidly and continuously plating great numbers of articles of a carefully controlled portion of the surface thereof only and under controlled conditions of plating. Moreover, while it has been found convenient to discharge the plated articles directly into the bath at the termination of the plating step, the present invention comprehends application of any suitable mechanism for continuously removing the screws from the solution at this point.
It is thought that the invention and numerous of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it is obvious that numerous changes may be made in the form,.construction and arrangement of the several parts without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention, or sacrificing any of its attendant advantages, the form herein described being a preferred embodiment for the purpose of illustrating the invention.
The invention is hereby claimed as follows:
1. A plating machine for fasteners comprising a plating bath, a carrier arranged above the bath,
'movable in a closed horizontal path, fastener supporting means arranged on the carrier and being located over the bath throughout the path,
said bath and supporting means being connected to a source of electric current for electroplating, means to secure fasteners to the supporting means with a preselected portion only, immersed in the plating bath, means to move said carrier through said path while maintaining the fasteners so immersed, and means adjacent the end of said path to release the fasteners from securement with the carrier whereby to permit the fasteners to drop into the bath, and means in the bath for receiving the fastener so released from the supporting means.
a 2. A plating machine for plating fasteners on a predetermined portion of the surface thereof only comprising a fastener feeding device, carrier means for continuously engaging said fasteners for support thereof, said carrier means being ro-. tatable in a horizontal plane above the bath to convey the fasteners in a rotational path while maintaining them at a fixed elevational position with respect to a plating bath, an anode in said bath, said last-named means being operatively I mounted with said engaging means above the bath throughout its path of travel electrical means connected to said anode and said carrier for causing electro-plating of said immersed portions, means for discharging said fasteners from the carrier after plating has been completed, and
means in the bath for receiving the discharged fasteners.
3. In a plating machine for plating fasteners, a plating bath, a rotatable carrier arranged above the bath, said carrier being mounted for rotation about a substantially vertical axis and having a pluralityof fastener supporting means arranged thereon, comprising a supporting surface with a laterally facing recess therein for receiving a headed screw shank, while said supporting surface engages in supporting relationship beneath the head portion and yieldable grasping means on the supporting means extendingin operative relationship to said recess, a fastener feed means positioned at a point adjacent the rotational path of travel of said carrier, means to move said carrier through said rotational path, means to continuously transfer fasteners from said feed means to the supporting means at said point comprising releasing means for said yieldable grasping means, means to automatically discharge the fasteners from the. supports at another point adjacent said transfer means, anode means in said bath, and electrical means connected to said anode and said yieldable grasping means whereby to supply a plating current to the fasteners when they are supported'by said supporting means.
4. A plating machine for fasteners comprising a plating bath, a carrier arranged above the bath movable in a closed horizontal path, fastener suppo ing means arranged on the carrier and being located over the bath substantially throughout its path, means for connecting said bath and supporting means to a source of electric current for electroplating, means to secure fasteners to the supporting means with a preselected portion only immersed in the plating bath, means to move said carrier in said path while maintaining the fasteners so immersed, means adjacent the end of said path to release the fasteners from securement with the carrier, and means in the bath for reing removable from the bath for facilitating recovery "of the plated fasteners.
'5. A plating machine for fasteners comprising a plating bath, a carrier arranged above the bath movable in a closed horizontal path, fastener supporting means arranged on the carrier and being located over the bath substantially throughout its path, means for connecting said bath and supporting means to a source of electric current for electroplating, means to secure fasteners to the supporting means with a. preselected portion only immersed in the plating bath, means to move said carrier in said path while maintaining the fasteners so immersed, means adjacent the end of said path to release the fasteners from securement with the carrier, means in the bath for receiving the fasteners so released from the supporting means, said supporting means comprising a horizontal annular plate having an annular-- 6. A plating machine for fasteners comprisinga plating bath, a carrier arranged above the bath movable in a closed horizontal path, fastener supporting means arranged on the carrier and being located over the bath substantially throughout its path, means for connecting said bath and supporting means to a source of electric current for electroplating, means to secure fasteners to the supporting means with a preselected portion only immersed in the plating bath, means to move said. carrier in said path while maintaining the fastenersso immersed, means adjacent the end of saidpathto release the fasteners from securement with the carrier, said supporting means comprisinga horizontal plate having a marginal peripheral edge annularly disposed, said plate being provided with'slots extending radially. inwardly from said annular marginal periphery and opening radially outwardly, means on said carrier above said recesses and resiliently urged downwardly toward the plane of said plate for yieldably engaging the head of a fastener received within said slot, and fixed means at a predetermined point opposite said annular marginal periphery operative to urge said resilient means upwardly away from the plane of said plate for releasing said head portion.
7; A plating machine 'forfasteners' comprising a plating bath a carrier arranged above the bath 2,228,672 movable in a rotational path, fastener supporting 7 means arranged on the carrier and being located over the bath substantially throughout its path, means for connecting said bath and "supporting means to a source of electric current for electroplating, means to secure fasteners to the supporting means with a preselected portion only immersed in the plating bath, means to move said carrier in said path while maintaining the fasteners so immersed, means adjacent the end of said path to release the fasteners from securement with the can'ie said supporting means comprising a horizontal plate having a marginal peripheral edge annularly disposed coaxially with said rotational path, said plate being provided with slots extending radially inwardly from said annular marginal periphery and opening radially ouwtardly, means on said carrier above said recesses and resiliently urged downwardly toward the plane of said plate for yieldably engaging the head of a fastener received within said slot, and fixed means at a predetermined point opposite said annular marginal periphery operative to urge said resilient means upwardly away from the plane of said plate for releasing said head portion.
' CARL G. OLSON.