US 2833241 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 6, 1953 G. c. CROWLEY ET AL 2,833,241
MACHINE FOR COATING SPHERICAL OBJECTS Filed April 18, 1955 I INVENTOR.
GEORGE C. CROWLEY 8 ROBERT J. SERTL TH EIR ATTORNEY United States Patent i 2,833,241 MACHINE FOR COATING SPHERICAL OBJECTS George C. Crowley, Asheboro, N. C., and Robert J. Sertl, Schenectady, N. Y.
Application April 18, 1955, Serial No. 501,848 9 Claims. (Cl. 118-62) Our invention relates to apparatus for coating spherical objects, and inv particular to a machine for automatically painting golf balls.
In use, golf balls become stained and marked, and soon become difiicult to locate. Washing devices are only partially satisfactory for restoring a ball to its original condition; and after a short period of usage, repainting is necessary if maximum visibility is to be maintained. In repainting, it is essential that a thin tough film be evenly applied so that the original close limits of size and weight are maintained, and so that the ball will remain in perfect balance.
correspondingly, a primary object of our invention is to provide a machine for painting and. repainting or otherwise coating spherical objects, such as golf balls, with athin, uniform coat.
More specifically, it is an object of this invention to provide apparatus for automatically coating or'repaintin g golf balls and the like, in the form of a small compact device which may be located adjacent the first tee or in the clubhouse of a golf course.
It is also an object. of this invention toprorvide such a machine which requires no technical skill for operation, is easy to maintain, and which lendsitselfto an application as coin controlled apparatus. I
In accordance with one aspect of ourinvention, a blower is provided for producing a high velocity air streamydirected upwardly, upon which the, object to be painted is suspended. An inclined ramp. or track may be provided for admitting the. ball into the machine and directing it intothe air stream. Spray means. directs an atomized" spray of coating material at the ball while it is suspend'edin the air stream, thus providing a uniform coat.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be better understood by a reference to the following descriptidntakenin connection with the accompanying drawing, and its scope will be pointed out .with particularity in the accompanying claims;
Referring to thedrawin-g, Figure l is a cross-sectional elevation of one form of machine embodying our invention; and Figure 2 is a schematic wiring diagram for the deviceasgsholwn by-Fig. l...
As shown byFig; l,v we have shown: our invention, by way, of example, ina formprincipallyintendedfor use as a. vending machine, which. can be placedt in'golf shops or at the tees of golf courses. It 'willbecome apparent, however, that; our invention has other applicationsrsuch as. asimplified-apparatus; for use-in the manufacture of golf balls,.for painting or coating other spherical objects, and for, other: purposes including; cleaning and dryingof round objects. In the particular form showm, the. device. is enclosed ijna housing; or casing consisting: of a. body portion 1', resting upona base 2. Preferablyl'this housing, substantially entirely encloses-themechanisni within, and
forms aldecorative cabinet suitable for location ona.
counter-or the like. Anappropri-ate airinlet 3ris provided at thebaseof the machine, with a screened air'exhaust outl'et l" at the top ofthe device. Screen 4 may be re- 2,833,241 Patented May 6, 1958 ice placed as necessary with a filter or separator to remove solvent or paint before discharge of the air from the machine.
An inclined ramp or track 5 extends through the hous ing, and is appropriately shaped to direct a ball from an entrance aperture 6 through the machine to an exit aperture 7 and delivery cup 8. Associated with this ramp is a gate or release device for controlling movement of a ball along the ramp. While various forms of such devices can be used within the scope of this invention, we have shown a solenoid 9 carried by a bracket 10 secured to the underside of the ramp, the solenoid operating an upwardly extending gate member 11. In accordance with the present embodiment, it is contemplated that the gate member.
11 is biased upwardly, so that in its normal position, movement of the ball down the ramp is prevented. Upon energization of the solenoid, the gate is pulled downwardly,
object to be painted is suspended in a high velocity air stream. To provide such a high velocity air stream, any suitable type of blower may be employed, preferably driven by an electric motor. In the present instance, by way of example, We have shown a motor driven blower unit 13 of the type used for the so-called tank-type vacuum.
cleaners, which produces a relatively high velocity air' stream from its exhaust nozzle 14. Ramp Sis provided with a screened section 15 in alignment with nozzle 14 :so that the air blast may pass upwardly through the ramp. As shown, the. motor driven blower unit may be secured in position within the housing by means such as the clamping bands 16 and 17. With this arrangemenhasthe ball rolls down the ramp it is picked up in the high velocity air stream from the blower and suspended in the air. In practice, we have found that a conventional tank-type vacuum cleaner. blower may be mounted generally as shown in Fig. 1, with its longitudinal axis at an angle of 15 degrees to the vertical, and that such an arrangement is elfective for suspending a golf ball one to two inches. in the air.
While various types of spray apparatus can be used, it will be found convenient in the application of this apparatus for golf courses to use a paint spray bomb of a type now readily available on the market. Such bombs. contain a quantity of paint and a pressurized. gas ina disposable can. Such a pressurized paint canis shown at 18 in Fig. 1, supported on a shelf 19, secured 'at 20 to the side wall of the housing 1. The can may be further" stabilized by employment of an upper bracket 21. The
paint spray nozzle 22' is shown oriented to direct the paint spray toward the position occupied by the ball when suspended in the air stream. However, it is also feasible to inject the coating material or paint into the air stream, so that it impinges on the ball spinning in its suspended position. While We have shown herein the paint source as a pressurized paint bomb, it is to be clearly understood that other types of spray apparatus may be used, such as motor driven paint sprayers, and the like.
Actual paint spray occurs with the apparatus shown by depressing the button 23 forming part of the top. of the cam. To make the apparatus entirely automatic, a solenoid 24 carried by a bracket 25 is arranged so that itsv plunger 26 engages button 23. Thus, when the solenoidis energized, the plunger is forced downwardly to depress the button for spraying the paint.
This device is best operated automatically by means'of a timer driven sequence control, such as the sequence control assembly indicated at 27 in Fig. l; the nature of this sequence control becoming apparent by an examination of Fig. 2, and the following description.
Referring .now to Fig. 2, we have shown power supply lines for-the device at 28 and 29, which lines may be incorporated in a standard electric power cable-with a terminal plug 30 (Fig. 1). In power line 28 is shown a switch 31, such as a switch which might be controlled manually, or by a suitable coin controlled means as mentioned above. When switch 31 is closed, power is supplied to a line 32. A timer drive motor 33 is connected between power lines 32 and 29 so that it operates whenever switch 31 is closed. Timer motor 33, forming a part of the sequence control, drives a rotary contactor assembly consisting of a contacting arm 34 of conducting material, cooperatively associated with a conducting strip and a plurality of contacts 36, 37, 38, and 39. It is contemplated that timer motor 33 will drive rotary arm 34 in aclockwise direction. As shown rotary arm 34 is electrically connected to the power line 29. Contact strip 35 supplies power to a motor forming part of the motor driven blower assembly 13, shown by Fig. 1. Engagement of contact arm 34 with contact 36 completes a circuit to solenoid 9 for operating gate 11, as previously described; while contacts 37,38, and 39 each function to complete a circuit in sequence to solenoid 24 for actuating the paint spray apparatus.
-In the present embodiment, we have shown three contacts for actuating the paint sprayer, with intervals between each contact. Thus, three separate coats of .paint are applied, with a short drying time allowed between each coat. If desired, a heatermight be placed in the air stream, or a paint baking lamp might be arranged to direct its heat on the suspended ball to hasten drying. The air stream issuingfrom blower 13 is heated somewhat due to heat of compression, and this of course facilitates drying. Obviously, a greater or smaller number of coats of paint might be applied within the scope of this invention. It is. desirable, however, that multiple thin coats be applied, rather than one heavy coat.
In operation, the ball to be coated is inserted in the entrance opening 6 'in the housing, whereupon it rolls down the ramp 5, until arrested by the gate barrier 11. If now the line switch 31 is closed by any suitable means, as suggested above, power is supplied to the timer motor 33 of the sequence control, thereafter, all operations are automatically controlled by the sequence control.
As shownby Fig. 2, motor 40 for the blower is energized first, so that it is in operation prior to release of gate 11. When rotary contactor 34 subsequently contacts 36,. solenoid 9 is energized momentarily to retract the gate, allowing the ball to roll down the ramp until picked up in the high velocity air stream issuing from the blower unit. Thereafter, the ball is suspended in the air stream, as long as the blower is operating. If the ball tends to move out of the air stream, a pressure difierential is provided between contacts 37 and 38, contact 38 pro.
viding the'ne xt short paint spray. A third coat may be provided when the rotary contact arm sweeps over contact 39. Coating materials, other than paints could be used as desired. Similarly solvents and cleaning'agents could be applied, as a part of the coating process or otherwise.
Preferably, contact strip 35 is suificiently long to, provide a final drying period after the last coat has been sprayed. The drying occurs, of course, while the ball is still suspended in the air. Finally, the rotary contact arm completes its sweep, the sequence of operations is completed, and the machine shuts itself off. Thereupon, the ball falls back onto the ramp, and continues its descent out through the exit aperture 7 into the delivery cup 8.
With the above described arrangement, a very simple and eflicient spraying apparatus is provided for coating spherical objects, such as golf balls. When the paint supply is exhausted, a new can may be inserted very easily; or in the event that a high production device is required, a motor driven paint sprayer can be substituted for the pressurized can illustrated. This apparatus may be made very compact for use on golf courses, and lends itself to use by coin controlled means of any suitable type.
While the present invention has been described with reference to a particular embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all equivalent modifications coming within the true scope thereof.
What we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is: t
1. In a machine for coating a spherical object such as a golf ball or the like, an air blower for producing a high velocity air stream directed in an upwardly direction, thereby to lift the object being painted and suspend and confine it in the air stream, and coating spraymeans directed toward the position occupied by the object being coated for coating said object.
2. In a machine for painting a spherical object such as a golf ball or the like, an inclined ramp, an air blower for producing a high velocity air stream directed in an upwardly direction, thereby to lift theobject being painted from the ramp and suspend it and confine it in the air stream, and paint spray means directed toward the positionnormally occupied by the object suspended in the air stream for coating said object.
3. In a machine for coating a spherical object such as a golf ball or the like, an air blower for producing a high velocity air stream directed in an-upwardly direction, electrically controlled means for guiding an object tobe coated into the air stream, the object thereafter being supported on the air stream and being confined within the air stream by air flow over the spherical surface of the object, and spray means for the coating material directed to deposit such coating material on the object while supported on the air stream.
4. A machine for spray coating a spherical object co prising, an inclined ramp, means controlling motion of an object along said ramp, air impelling means associated with said ramp to produce a high velocity air jet directed upwardly transversely across said ramp, said air jet lifting the object to be coated from said ramp and confining and suspending" it within the path of the air stream, and spraying means directing the coating material toward the position occupied by an object suspended in the air stream for coating said object.
5. A machine for automatically spray coating a spherical object comprising, an inclined ramp, a gate controlling movement of an object to be coated along said ramp, a perforate section in said ramp, air impelling means associated with said perforate section to produce a high velocity jet of air to lift the object from the ramp and maintain it suspended in the air jet solely by air flow over the spherical surface of the object, coating material spraying means directed toward the position occupied by a suspended object for coating said object, and means energizing said paint spraying means while the object is suspended in the air jet. 1
6. In a machine for liquid coating a spherical object such as golf balls and the like, a ramp inclined from the horizontal along which an object to be painted may roll,
an air blower producing a high velocity air jet transversely and upwardly across said ramp, therebyto lift the object from the ramp and support it within the air stream solely by forces resulting from air flow by the spherical surface of the object, and liquid coating spray means directed toward the position occupied by an object thus supported in the air stream for coating said object.
7. In a machine for painting a spherical object such as a golf ball or the like, a ramp along which the object to be painted may roll, electrically controlled means for releasing the object for movement along said ramp, an air blower for providing a high velocity air stream across said ramp, thereby to lift, confine and support the object in the air stream, paint spray means directed toward the normal position of the object thus supported for coating said object, and an electrical control system for energizing said air blower, and release means, and said paint spray means in sequence.
8. A machine for painting round a spherical object such as a golf ball or the like comprising, an enclosure having an entrance aperture and an exit aperture, a ramp extending through said enclosure and inclined downwardly from said entrance aperture to said exit aperture, electrically controlled gate means controlling movement of an object to be painted along said ramp, means providing a high velocity air stream in an upwardly direction into which the object to be painted passes as it moves down said ramp, the article thereby being suspended in the air stream, paint spray means directed toward the position occupied by the object when suspended in the air stream for coating said object, electrical actuating means for rendering said paint spray means effective, and a timer driven sequence control for opening said gate and for operating said paint spray means in sequence during operation of the air stream producing means.
9. A machine for painting a spherical object such as a golf ball or the like comprising, an enclosure having an entrance and an exit, a track along which the object to be painted rolls from said entrance to said exit, electrically controlled gate means released to permit movement of the object along said track, an air blower for providing a high velocity air stream in an upwardly direction and directed toward said track thereby to lift the object from said track and suspend it in the air stream, paint spray means directed toward the position occupied by the object while suspended in said air stream for coating said object, electrical actuating means for said paint spray means, and a sequence control operating said blower and then releasing said gate and operating said paint spray means in sequence, whereby the object is painted while suspended in the air stream, dried, and released for movement along said track to said exit.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,334,017 Cooley Mar. 16, 1920 2,114,377 Goss Apr. 19, 1938 2,270,341 Ransburg Ian. 20, 1942 2,586,818 Harms Feb. 26, 1952 2,648,609 Wurster Aug. 11, 1953 2,685,537 Dunmire Aug. 3, 1954