US 2853333 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept 23 1958v F. M. LITTELL. 2,853,333
' VACUUM CUP Original Filed Sept. 7, 1955 ll I I I l K l ,.21
VACUUM CUP Frederick M. Littell, Winnetka, Ill., assignorto F. J. Littell Machine Company, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Original application September 7, 1955, Serial lNo.
532,817. Serial No. 569,030
2 Claims. (Cl. 294-64) The invention relates to material handling apparatus and has reference more particularly to improvements in suction cups for gripping a metal sheet or the like as a preliminary step to lifting the sheet and transporting the same from place to place within the shop. v
' In the manufacture of apparatus for handling large aluminum sheets, such as may form the wing of an airplane, it is desirable to provide suction cups for the most satisfactory gripping of the aluminum sheets and quick release of the same. One type of such apparatus incorporates suction cups for gripping the smooth top surface of the metal sheet so that the same may be lifted by the cups and rotated for turning the metal sheet over, whereby the sheet will rest on the top of the cups and can therefore be safely transported.
Accordingly, an object of the invention is to provide Divided and this application March 2, 1956,
suction cups for the purposes described, which will incorporate anti-friction means for improving the suction grip of the cups on the metal sheets, whereby the cups will securely grip and hold a sheet so as to prevent slippage thereof during the turnover operation.
Another object is to provide a suction cup for industrial use such as described and which will have a exible lip of substantially circular contour whereby the area within the cup will be effectively sealed when the cup is caused to contact the surface of a metal sheet.
A more specilc object is to provide a suction cup having anti-friction means and also having a metal plate for a backing member and wherein the anti-friction means will consist of ribs having a zig-zag formation.
Another object of the invention is to provide a suction cup having anti-friction ribs located within an encircling flexible lip and wherein the ribs and the liexible lip are both backed by a metal backing plate. A conduit has connection with the backing plate so as to extend through the same and into communicating relation with the grooves between the ribs for subjecting the area within the exible lip to sub-atmospheric pressure.
With these and various other objects in View the invention may consist of certain novel features of construction and operation as will be more fully described and particularly pointed out in the specification, drawings and claims appended hereto.
In the drawings, which illustrate an embodiment of the invention, and wherein like reference characters are used to `designate like parts- Figure 1 is a sectional view, taken substantially along line 1-1 of Figure 2, of a suction cup having articulated relation with a supporting arm, the said cup embodying the improvements of the invention; and
Figure 2 is a plan view of the bottom surface of the cup. v
In the illustrated embodiment of suction cup as shown in Figure l, the carriage for supporting the cup is indicated in its entirety by numeral 10. At both ends of said carriage 10 the same has articulated relation with a suction cup by means of structure including a-stud Such as 11, suitably welded to the undersurface of the carriage 10 adjacent the end and depending therefrom. The stud 11'is apertured at 12 for receiving the support pin 13 by means of which the yoke 14 is pivotally connectedv to the carriage. Set screws (not shown) may be provided for locking the yoke 14 in the desired rotative position on pin 13 and the degree of swinging movement of the yoke 14 about said pin as an axis can be controlled by the addition of other screws 15.
For a more detailed description of the yoke and care' riage reference is made to the copending application vof Frederick M. Littell, Serial No. 532,817, led September 7, 1955, and entitled Vacuum Pickup and Turnover Device.
Whereas the support pin 13 extends transversely'of the carriage 10 the pins identified by numerals 16 and 17 extend in a longitudinal direction as regards the,v
carriage. The said longitudinal pins project outwardly from the respective sides of the yoke 14 and each pin is xed or locked to the yoke by means of a set screw such as 18. The projecting outer ends of the pins 16 and l17 have a pivotall mounting in studs '20 and 21, respectively, which project upwardly from the metal backing plate 22 of the suction cup indicated in its entiretyl by numeral 24. Said suction cup is accordingly supported on an axis formed by the pins 16 and 17 which allows for pivotal movement of thesuction cup about said axis.y Additional pivotal movement of thesuction cup and its` yoke 14 as a`unit is permitted -by means of the support pin 13 which is horizontally aligned with the pivot pins y16 and 17 but which is disposed at right angles thereto.
The suction cup 24 is formed of relatively soft rubber or other suitable resilient material and the same is characterized by an annular exible lip 25 which has encircling relation with an interior face composed of a plurality of ribs 26 alternating with grooves 28. The exible lip 25 extends a short distance below the interior face of the suction cup and'said lip is directed outwardly in a diagonal direction so that when the cup is caused to contact the surface of a metal plate the lip will auto-` matically have sealing engagement with the plate so that a vacuum or suction can be produced within the space encompassed by the exible lip to thus cause the cup to adhere to the plate. The annular rib 30 surrounds the interior face of the cup and accordingly the rib 30 defines the said interior face. Immediately adjacent the inside edge of the annular rib 30 a relatively deep groove 31 is provided which is also annular in extent and which is in communicating relation with the grooves 28 extending between the ribs 26.
In accordance with the invention the ribs 26 have a zig-zag formation and as a result thereof their grip on the metal plate is increased and they additionally function as anti-friction means whereby to prevent slippage of the metal plate during the turning-over operation. Of course, the grooves 28 between the zig-raz ribs have communicating relation with each other both centrally of the interior surface, due to the central cavity 32, as well as circumferentially, due to the annular groove 31. A nozzle 33 extends through the backing plate 22, the same having threaded relation with the lug- 34 provided for the purpose. The nozzle in turn connects with a llexible hose 35 and by means of said hose the interior of the suction cup can be subjected to a sub-atmospheric pressure. Due to the extremely flexible lip 25 the cup automatically seals with the metal plate upon contacting the same and when the operator connects the cup with the source of subatmospheric pressure, the vacuum created within the shallow cup securely grips the cup to the plate and the grip is maintained as long as the vacuum is maintained on the cup.
The cup 24 is relatively shallow so as to reduce the space which must be evacuated to produce the vacuum for ladhering-'the vcup to the plate and which is thus gripped thereby. The grooves 28 between the ribs 26 form passageways having connection with each other and thus Aall the passageways communicate with the nozzle 33. Accordingly, the interiorfof the-cup1is evacuated very quickly after the llexible lip has been placed in contact with the `surface oftthe 4plate eto lbe gripped. The suction lrmly grips the cup to the plate andthe ribs'are thus caused to Contact the surface of the plate. The ribs form anti-friction means and thus improve the grip of the cup with-the plate. However, even a better grip is elected by forming the ribs-in Ithe shape of connected Vs or what is best described vas a `Zig-zag for mation.
This is a divisional application Vofthe copending `application'Serial No. 532,817, led September 7, 1955, in the name of Frederick M. Littell as inventor and entitled Vacuum Pickup yand Turnover Device.
The invention is .not to be limited to or by ldetails of construction of the particular embodiment .thereof illusto the Vunder-surface of the backing member so -as t0 r,
depend therefrom, said cup member including an vannular lip portion and an interiorface portion disposed within and encircled by saidannular lip portion, the annular lip portion depending diagonally youtward to below the exposed surface of the interior face'portion, thesurface of said interior face portion being at throughout and being substantially'parallel to the plane of the annular lip portion, said interior face portion comprising ribs 0f zigzag formation and which are separated from each other by grooves, and a nozzle in connected relation with the backing member and extending into the grooves of the cup member so as to communicate therewith.
2. In a suction cup of the character described, the combination lwith a metal backing member, of a cup member formed of resilient rubber and having a secured relation to the undersurface of the backing member so as to depend therefrom, said cup member including an annular lip portion and an interior faceportion disposed within and encircled by said annular lip portion, the annular lip portion depending diagonally outward to below the exposed surface of, the interior face portion, the surface of said interior face portion being flat throughout and being substantially parallel to the plane of the .annular lip portion, said interior kface portion comprising ribs of zig-zag formation and which are separated from each other by grooves, an annular rib spacedlinwardly vfrom the lip portion, an annulargroove adjacent the inside edge of the annular `rib and which has communicating relation with the rst mentioned grooves, and a nozzle in connected relation with the backing member `and eX- tending into the grooves of the cup member soas-to connect therewith.
YReferences Cited in the tile of this patent 'UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,062,579 Aylsworth May 27, 1913 1,296,079 Hitchcock et al. Mar. 4, 1919 1,514,036 Debaecker Nov. 4, 1924