US 2659406 A
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Nov. 17, 1953 L. P. LOCKE APPARATUS FOR FORMING AND ASSEMBLING ELECTRICAL TERMINALS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed June 1947 U L iwenr louzls Fl k:
NOV. 17, 1953 ocK 2,659,406
APPARATUS FOR FORMING AND ASSEMBLING ELECTRICAL TERMINALS Original Filed June 10, 1947 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 &
l ouzls RI 00112 Patented Nov. 17, 1953 UNITED PATENT OFFICE uly so, rage, se ame. 107,791
1 The present inventionrelates to apparatus for forming and assembling electrical terminals 'or connectors such as are used in making'connections of electric wires in various kinds ofelectrical apparatus. L
Such electrical terminals or connectors commonly comprise a strip of insulatingj 'material, such as fibrous material or resinous o'r plastic material, andone or 'more metallic'me'mber's mounted on the strip of insulating material. Usually at least two metallic members; and frequently a considerably" larger number; arc mounted'on the same strip of insulating ma.- terial. It hasheretofore been common practice to form the metallic members in one operation or series of operations-such as on a punch press, and then laterto'place the formed metallic members by hand inthe proper locations on the strip of insulating material and fasten them thereto. An object of the present invention is the provision of generally improved and more satisfactory apparatus by'which the metallic terminal members are'automatically formed and concomitantly assembled or placed and fastened on the insulating strip, without requiring 'hand placement.
Another object is the provision of apparatus for'use with a punch press or the like, so designed as to place the metallic member on the insulating strip and fasten it thereto in'the same stroke of the press which performs the forming operation on the'metallic member, or which performs the last of the series of forming operations if there is more than one such operation.
Still another object is the provision of apparatus of the character above mentioned, so designed and constructed that the forming part of the apparatus will not interfere with the properlongitudinal movements of the insulating strip, either before or after the metallic terminal members are fastened onto the insulating strip. A further object is the provision of combined forming and assembling mechanism so designed and constructed as to form and concomitantly assemble on the insulating strip, an electrical terminal of a type which may have one'fcut edge overlying the insulating strip, or which have one cut edge or end projecting beyond an edge of the insulating strip; or which may have both of such features; A still further object is the provision of combined forming and assembling mechanism so'designed and constructed as to form and concomitantly assemble on a flatinsulatlng strip, elec- 4 Claims. (Cl. 15 3-1) trical terminals formed from successive portions or a" long-- sheet metal strip, each such terminal havingone end bent angularly in upstanding 're lation to the flat'face of the insulatingxstrip on which itis mounted. 1 These and other desirable objects are accomplished by'the construction disclosed as an 1 m, trative embodiment of the invention in the fo1- lowin'g description and in the accompanying drawings forming apart hereof, m which:
Fig. 1 is adiagrammatic plan of a metallic strip being fed in one direction; the metallic electrical terminal being formed from 'su'ch'strip, and an insulating strip being fed in anotherdirection, the formedmetallicterminal being mounted" on such insulating strip;
Fig; 2" is a'diagrammatic vertical section taken longitudinally along" the metallic' strip, showing also the punches and dies constituting an embodimentof the present invention;
' 'ljig. 3 is ahorizontal section taken substantial'ly on the line 3-3 of Fig; 2; Fig. 4'is a vertical section through one form of electrical terminal which maybe formed and assembled according to the present invention; Fig. ,5,"isa,f ront' elevation cf'the same with parts. broken away; ""Fig. ,6 is a view similar to Fig. 4 showing a modine'dform of construction;
Fig. '7 is a front levation of the construction shown in Fig. 6 with parts broken away; i Fig. "8 is a diagrammatic vertical section through a, modified form of punch and die used in manufacturing the terminal construction shownin Fig's. 6 and'lfand Fig. 9, a diagrammatic plan of in Fig. 2,'and associated parts.
The same reference numerals throughout the several views indic'ate the same parts.
Th'is'application is a division of the patent application of Louis P.;Locke, Serial No; 153,678, filed June 10, i947, now'Patent No. 2,610,390, issued September 1 6, 1952, for Electrical Terminal and Method and Apparatus for Making the Same. I In electrical terminals or connectors of th type here dealt with,comprising as above indicateda strip of insulatingmaterial and at least one and usually two or more metallic terminal the die shown members mounted on such strip of insulating material, the problem involved is to assemble the metallic members in the required number and at the required spacing on the insulating member or 'Stii withfthe greatest possible economy'of separate stepsin the manufacturing operation of forming the metallic members and placing them on the insulating material, while at the same time anchoring the metallic member firmly to the insulating material so that it will not later come loose and so that it will provide easy and convenient attachment for the wire or wires which are to be connected to the metallic member.
According to one form of the present invention, as illustrated particularly in Figs. 1 to 5 and 9, there is provided a strip 2| of insulating material such as fiber. resin, plastic, etc., which, in any suitable manner, is provided at proper intervals with a series of notches 22 and openings 23, one of the openings being opposite each notch 22, as seen in Fig. 1. The strip 2|, thus notched and perforated, is fed intermittently or step by step into a punch press, the feeding being in the direction of the arrow 25.
A strip of suitable sheet metal, such as copper,
is indicated at 3| and is fed into the press in the direction of the arrow 32, in overlying relation to the insulating strip 2| and substantially at a right angle thereto. The metal strip 3| is subjected, as it travels intermittently step by step, to the action of certain punches and dies mounted in the punch press. On the bed of the press is a compound die indicated in general by the numeral 35, and a series of punches are held in the punch holder 36 mounted on the platen 3'! of the press. A stripper plate 33 may be employed to strip the metal from the punches after each punching operation. Any suitable feeding means is employed, indicated diagrammatically by the feeding rollers 39.
Taking up the successive operations performed on the metal strip in order, the first operation is the making of a shallow draw 4| in the metal strip by means of the draw punch 42 moving into the die opening 43. Then the strip of metal is fed forward one step, so that the shallow drawn part 4| is alined with the next punch, and a deeper draw 46 is formed by the punch 41 entering the opening 43 in the die. Next, the metal strip is advanced one more step so that the deeply drawn part 46 is alined with the punch 5| which comes down through the deep draw into the die space 52 and cuts out the bottom of the deep draw, to form a tubular boss or eyelet portion 53. Simultaneously therewith, the punch 54 enters the opening 55 in the die and punches out the small slot or hole 56 in the metal strip.
Then the strip 3| is fed forward one more step, whereupon the tubular boss 53 enters the opening 6| in the die, and the punch 62 cuts the curved end of the tab 63 to the left of the boss 53, while the punch 65 cuts the tab 66 around the hole 56 and turns this tab partly downwardly. The tabs 63 and 66 are not severed from the main body of the strip.
Then the metal strip is fed forwardly one more step to its final position in which it rests on what may be called an overhanging die or undercut die, having overhanging portions or ledges II which support the metal strip, and a lateral or crosswise opening 12 through the die below the level of the metal strip, in which opening 12 the insulating strip 2| lies crosswise of the metal strip. A punch 15, having the special shape best shown in Fig. 3, comes down into the overhanging die and severs the individual terminal from the main body of the metal strip 3| along the right hand set of arcuate lines 3| and the straight lines 62 shown in Fig. 1, at
the same time severing a scrap piece from the terminal along the left hand set of arcuate lines 3|a. A lateral and longitudinal extension 33 on the punch 15 first hits the tab portion 66 of the terminal just before the terminal is cut loose from the main body of the metal strip, and bends this tab portion downwardly at a right angle, as seen in Fig. 2. Then, just about the time that the downward bending of this tab 66 is completed. the main body of the punch 15 severs the terminal from the rest of the strip 3| along the cutting lines 3| and 32 and pushes it downwardly through the overhanging die, and during this downward pushing of the terminal, the tab 63 is forced by the overhanging part of the die to bend upwardly to a vertical position, and it slides down past the surface 35 of the die while maintaining its upstanding or vertical position. At the time that the punch 15 comes down, the insulating strip 2| is positioned in the opening 12 of the die in such position that one of the notches 22 and one of the holes 23 are directly below the punch. The punch carries the now severed terminal downwardly onto the insulating strip 2| in such position that the downturned tab 66 of the terminal enters the notch 22 and simultaneously therewith the boss or eyelet portion 53 enters the hole 23 of the insulating strip. As the punch continues its downward movement it forces the lower end of the boss 53 against the clinching anvil 3| which curls the bottom edge of the boss or eyelet 53 outwardly to clinch it over the lower surface of the insulating material 2|, as seen at 32 in Figs. 2 and 4.
Those skilled in the art will readily understand from the foregoing description that although several stages or steps are necessary in the production of the electrical terminal, they are all performed in unison by one stroke of the press, upon successive portions of the metal strip 3|, so that there is, in effect, only a single step or operation in manufacturing the terminal from the metal strip. After once the press has been set into operation and the advancing end of the metal strip 3| has been fed forwardly past the successive punches, each cycle of operation or stroke of the press thereafter completes the manufacture of one of the electrical terminals and the placing or anchoring thereof on the insulating strip. In other words, the punch 42 is performing the first operation on one part of the metal strip 3| at the same time that the punch 41 is performing the second operation on another part of the strip, and at the same time the punches 5| and 54 are performing the third operation on another part of the same strip, and at the same time the punches 62 and 65 are performing the fourth operation on another part of the same strip which has previously had the first,
second, and third operations performed thereon,
and all this occurs at the same time that the punch 15 is performing the fifth or final operation on still another part of the same strip, which other part has previously had the other four operations performed on it.
The notch 22 in the insulating strip 2| is just wide enough to receive snugly the downturned end of the tab 66. Hence the engagement of this tab or ear 66 in the notch 22 will prevent the terminal from turning on the insulating strip, notwithstanding the fact that the terminal is actually fastened to the strip only at one point rather than at two spaced points. Thus the clinching or riveting of the tubular part 53 of the terminal, .as indicated at 82, is entirely adequate .to anchor the terminal firmly on the insulating strip, in view of the engagement of the part 66 in the notch 22.
The fact that the tab 66 is turned down substantially simultaneously with the riveting .or clinching of the terminal onto the insulating material, is one of the noteworthy features of this invention. In the comparable terminals of the prior art, it has usually been necessary to turn down any tab'similar to thetab 5'6, as a separate and distinct operation after the metal member has been fastened to the insulating member. This separate operation isentirely avoided according to the present invention, due in :large part to the special construction of the overhanging .die and the special punch which turns .the tab down simultaneously with the severing of the Terminal from the metal strip of which itis made, and which, in a subsequent part of the same stroke of the press, rivets or clinches the terminal onto the insulating strip.
Production of these terminals is extremely rapid, for all that is necessary is to feed strip 3| of raw metal stock into-the machine through the feedingmeohanism 39, in one direction, and to feed the strip 2| of insulating material, previously punched and notched at proper intervals, into the machine in another direction at right angle to the feed of the metal strip, and it is even possible, if desired, to form the notches 22 and holes 23 on the same press, concomitantly with the formation of the metal parts. There issues from the machine a long strip of the insulating material with a series of electrical terminals fastened properly thereto, one at each hole 23 and notch 22. The completed strip of insulating material with terminals thereon may then be cut at appropriate intervals to provide 1 insulating strips of the desired length with the desired number of terminals for any desired use. The special overhanging or undercut nature of the die used in the seating operation, enables the insulating strip to be located at an elevation materially below the elevation of the unsevered part of the metal strip, andalso enables 13118111511131".- ing strip with the metal terminals anchored thereon to feed smoothly through the press. The undercutting of the die is especially useful in facilitating feeding of the strip if the end, of the metal terminal, instead of being bent down as in Figs. Zand l, is allowed to remain in a position projecting beyond the lateral edges of the insulating strip.
The terminal shown in Figs. 4 and 5, the manufacture of which has been described in detail above, is a terminal of great utility and satisfies most requirements. If three wires, for example, are to be connected together, one of them may have its end pushed through the hole 56, to hold the wire temporarily until it is soldered to the terminal; the second wire may have its end pushed through the eyelet 53, to hold it for soldering; and the third wire may have its end twisted one turn around the upstanding lug 63, to hold it, for soldering. is preferred to have a terminal provided with screw threads for receiving a screw so that the end of a wire may be clamped under the head of a screw. If such a terminal is desired, it is a comparatively easy matter, after the terminal has been anchored onto theinsulating strip, to thread the eyelet or boss 53 byasuitable threading die, suchthread being indicatedat 95 in Fig.
However, in some instances, it.
6 6. The desired screw may then be screwed into the thread 95.
In the modified form of construction shown in Figs. 6 and 7, the opening 56 in the tab is omitted, and the tab 65, after extending downwardly through the notch 22, is then bent through 180 as indicated at ill-l and extends upwardly again at N12 to an elevation above the top of the insulating strip 2|. A-wire may then be thrust endwisethrough the loop NH and underneath the bottom of the insulating strip 2|,aswillbe readily seen from Fig. 6. Another wire may :be wrapped around the upstanding end I02 of the lug, if desired. Still another wire may be clamped under the head of a screw, screwed into the thread 95, while a fourth wire may be wrapped around the upstanding lug or ear 63, to hold it preparatory to soldering. Hence this form of terminal construction is particularly advanta! geous where several different wires are to be attached to the same terminal or connector.
This form shown in Figs. 6 and '7 can be made (except for the cutting of the threads .95) on the same apparatus illustrated in Fig. 2 and with the same steps, except for a slight variation in the shape of the punches and dies. If the hole 55 is omitted, then, of course, the punch 54, which makes this hole, is likewiseomitted. The bending, of the ear or lug 56 as at llll can be accomplished simultaneously with the final operation, by altering the punch I5 and the overhanging diein the manner indicated diagrammatically in Fig. 8. The main portion of the punch 15 is the same as before, but the lateral extension which cooperates with the eart'fi is smaller, as indicated at ill, and has its bottom end curved, andthe overhanging ledge H3 forming part of the die comes up fairly close to the punch portion ll I, being separated from it only by thethickness of the metal of the strip 3 I. Hence, when the punch comes down, the low end of the extension HI willfirst bend the ear G6 downwardly and make the loop or curve It], leaving the end I02 extending upwardly because the portion H3 of the die will not allow the portion 12 to bend downwardly. Then, as the punch continues its down ward movement, the terminal portion with the ear 66 already bent into this form, will be severed from the rest of the metal strip 3| and will be carried down onto the insulating material and fastened thereto as before.
Certain specific forms of punches. and dies have been disclosed in connection with the formation and assembly of certain specific forms of electrical terminals. I But it should be understood that these specific forms are intended as illustrative examples only. Those skilled in the art will readil recognize that the same principles may be applied to the formation and assembly of various other shapes of electrical terminals. It is seen, for example, thatthe herein disclosed principle of using an overhanging or undercut die, enables the insulating strip to be fedthrough theapparatus even after the metallic terminals are seated or mounted thereon, without any parts of the die obstructing or interfering with the motion of the insulating strip and the mounted terminals. It is. also seen that the overhanging; or undercut die enables any desired cut to be made at any one or more of the end or side edges of the electric terminal, in a position directly over 7 lie terminal, may be made in the final forming stage, directly over the insulating strip, without resort to the cumbersome and often troublesome expedient of using horizontally retractable or movable die parts.
Likewise the use of an undercut or overhanging die permits one end of the terminal member to be bent up into upstanding relation to the insulating strip surface on which it is mounted,
in the final severing and seating stage of operation, and in a location spaced inwardly from the lateral edges of the insulating strip, as at 63 and I02. If the upturned end or lug is to be located outwardly beyond the lateral edge of the insulating strip, this may be done without necessarily having an undercut or overhang of the die, by employing the same principle herein disclosed of having on the die a shoulder or abutment 85 or ||3 which lies close to the punch at an elevation above the insulating strip, so that such shoulder or abutment contacts with the metal and bends the lug upwardly while the punch pushes the rest of the metal piece downwardly past the abutment and onto the insulating strip.
The overhanging or undercut nature of the die also permits one end of the metallic terminal to project beyond the side edge of the insulating strip, as would be the case, for example, if it were desired not to bend the portoin (Figs. 4
and 5) downwardly but to leave it projecting horizontally from the insulating strip, in a manner similar to the electrical terminals shown in Figs. 9 and 10 of the original drawings of the parent application of which the present applicabeyond the side edges or" the insulating strip, and
with or without cut edges or cut ends (cut in the final stage of the forming operation) directly overlying the face of the insulating strip on which the metallic terminal is seated. Yet with all this adaptability to various different shapes of terminals, it is apparent that the present apparatus may in each instance be used to assemble the metallic terminal in proper position on the insulating strip, concomitantly with the formation or shaping of the metallic terminal, and usually in the same stroke of the press which performs the final forming operation on the metallic terminal.
It is also apparent to those skilled in the art that the construction and operation of the forming and assembling apparatus is not necessarily dependent upon the formation of the notches or holes 22 and 23 in the insulating strip. The same principles of punches and dies for forming and assembling the metallic terminals, ma be employed equally well when either the notches 22 or the holes 23', or both, are omitted from the insulating strip, and when the metallic terminal, as it is assembled onto the insulating strip, forms its own hole therein or therethrough, which is easily done when using relatively thin or soft insulating strips, although the pro-formed holes are preferred when the insulating strip is relatively thick or hard.
. It will be noted that definite tracks or guideways are provided both for the insulating strip 2| and the metal strip 3|, to insure proper lateral alinement of the respective strips as they are advanced toward crossing relation to each other. In the case of the insulating strip 2|, the track is provided by the upstanding vertical wall at the left edge of the strip 2| when viewed as in Fig. 2, which wall is substantially in contact with the left edge of the strip, and also is provided by the vertical wall which lies just to the left of the downturned end 66 of the electric terminal, so that as each terminal is attached or seated, it contacts with such vertical wall and helps to guide the insulating strip in its next advancing or feeding movement. Thus as the insulating strip is advanced, accurate alinement in a lateral direction is insured if the strip is gently urged laterally in a leftward direction when viewed as in Fig. 2, whereupon one or both of the vertical walls above mentioned will serve to guide the strip.
In the case of the metallic strip 3|, the track or guideway is provided by the engagement of the various formed protuberances 4|, 46, 53, etc., in their respective holes 43, 48, 6|, etc., of the die. Once the first draw 4| has been made in accurate position on the strip, all of the subsequent forming operations must be accurately positioned because of the engagement of the drawn part in the subsequent holes 48, 52, and 6| of the die. Between successive strokes of the press, the metal strip springs upwardly out of these holes, of course, so that it may be advanced, but the metal strip parts drop downwardly into the proper holes again at the next stroke of the press. In addition to the lateral guiding of the metal strip in this manner, side guides such as upstanding ledges or pins (not shown) may be employed if desired.
It is seen from the foregoing disclosure that the above mentioned objects of the invention are admirably fulfilled. It is to be understood that the foregoing disclosure is given by way of illustrative example only, rather than by way of limitation, and that without departing from the invention, the details may be varied within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for forming electrical terminals from a continuous metal strip and assembling them on an insulating strip, comprising, in combination, a support for holding an elongated insulating strip at one elevation in position so that it may be fed lengthwise, a die having a surface for supporting an elongated metal strip at an elevation above said insulating strip and in a direction in crossing relation to the length of said insulating strip in position to have successive portions of the metal strip fed step by step toward the insulating strip, a punch mounted for reciprocation upwardly and downwardly toward and away from said die, said punch and die having cooperating surfaces at one station for forming a securing boss on the under face of said metal strip in a location offset horizontally from said insulating strip, a clinching anvil mounted on said support for holding said insulating strip, said punch and die including a punch portion at a subsequent station directly over said clinching anvil and having shearing edges cooperating with shearing edges of said die for severing a portion of said metal strip containing a boss from the remainder of said metal strip while the boss of the severed portion is directly over said clinching anvil, said portion of said punch being so formed as to carry the severed portion 01' the metal strip downwardly and seat it upon the insulating strip with the securing boss on the severed portion extending through said insulating strip and alined with said clinching anvil to be clinched thereby upon exertion of downward pressure by said portion of said punch.
2. A construction as defined in claim 1, in which said shearing edges are directly over said insulating strip.
3. A construction as defined in claim 1, in which said punch and die have cooperating surfaces at said subsequent station for bending a portion of said metal strip upwardly at a substantial angle to said insulating strip, concomitantly with the severing and downward carrying of said severed portion of said metal strip.
4. A construction as defined in claim 1, in
10 which said punch and die have cooperating surfaces at said subsequent station for bending a portion of said metal strip downwardly past an edge of said insulating strip concomitantly with the downward carrying and seating of said severed portion of said metal strip on said insulating strip.
LOUIS PEER LOCKE.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,565,523 Stuart Dec. 15, 1925 2,043,919 Bengston June 9, 1936 2,049,915 Lewis Aug. 4, 1936 2,394,837 Barthelheim et a1. Feb. 12, 1946 2,409,147 Neuhaus et a1. Oct. 8, 1946