US 2994458 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1951 w. E. RISE ET AL 2,994,458
MAGAZINE ALIGNMENT AND FEED MECHANISM AND METHOD Filed May 18, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.
Zl/zZlz'am 6 F136 BY f/fezme'f/z Jecunda ATTORNEY Aug. 1, 1961 w. E. RISE ET AL 2,994,458
MAGAZINE ALIGNMENT AND FEED MECHANISM AND METHOD Filed May 18, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
21mm 5 i536 BY 6 fimaffi Jew/77022 ATTORNEY l United States 2,994,458 MAGAZINE ALIGNMENT AND FEED MECHA- NISM AND METHOD William E. Rise and Kenneth Secunda, Detroit, Mich., assignors to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 18, 1959, Ser. No. 814,054 11 Claims. (Cl. 2211) The invention relates to mechanisms and a method of feeding parts to a work station such as a press. The mechanisms and method are especially useful when the parts to be fed are generally annular in shape. They are also particularly applicable when the parts being provided at the work station must first be circumferentially aligned.
The mechanisms embodying the invention contemplate the use of a floating arbor or mandrel which is held in position in a parts-receiving magazine by the parts being aligned and fed. A shuttle feed mechanism is also provided for feeding the parts in the desired sequential order to the work station. The use of a floating mandrel permits easy distribution of the parts into the magazine and will provide for the alignment of the parts relative to the shuttle if desired. The mandrel is preferably agitated by the removal action of the shuttle so as to maintain the parts within the magazine in a fiowable state so that they do not readly become jammed in the magazine.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a mechanism embodying the invention and having parts broken away and in section.
FIGURE 2 is a cross section view of the magazine and shuttle portion of the mechanism of FIGURE 1 and has parts broken away and in section.
FIGURE 3 is a cross section view of the mechanism taken in a direction of arrows 33 of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 and illustrates a modification of the mechanism of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 5 is a cross section view taken in the direction of arrows 55 of FIGURE 4 and having parts broken away.
The mechanism embodying the invention, as illustrated in FIGURE 1, is one of the mechanisms by which the method comprising the invention may be practiced. It includes a shuttle base in which is mounted a stripper or shuttle 12 for reciprocating movement between shuttle guides 14 and 16. The shuttle 12 is attached by any suitable means 18 to a cylinder and piston assembly 2!) which may be caused to axially reciprocate the shuttle 12 between the shuttle guides.
A magazine 22 is attached to the shuttle base 10 and may also be secured to the centrally positioned ends of the shuttle guides 14 and 16. As shown in FIGURES 2, a magazine unloading slot 24 is formed in the lower end of the magazine to extend in a direction transverse to the magazine and is somewhat deeper than the thickness of the shuttle 12. The magazine is therefore provided with mounting extension 26 on either side adjacent the shuttle guides by which the magazine is attached to the base 10. The shuttle 12 is mounted underneath the lower end of the magazine so that it may reciprocate through the slot 24.
A floating arbor or mandrel 28 is received within the bore 30 of the magazine 22. It extends from the lower end of the magazine upwardly and out of the upper end thereof. Mandrel 28 has its upper end 32 suitably tapered as illustrated. The mandrel of FIGURE 1 is bent at 34 so that it extends in a direction generally transverse to the axis of the magazine. It is preferable that the angle of the bend 34 be somewhat less than 90 in order to provide for easy feeding of the parts as will be described. The lower end of the mandrel is adjacent the upper sur- Patented Aug. 1, 1961 face 36 of the shuttle 12 and the weight of the mandrel is supported by the shuttle.
A feeder chute 38 is provided to feed parts 40 to the mandrel 28 and magazine 22. The chute may lead from any suitable storage means for the parts. A discharge conduit 42 is provided at the lower end of chute 38 in order to convey the parts 40 from the chute to the mandrel 28. The tapered end 32 of the mandrel extends into the conduit 42 a suificient amount to prevent the parts 40 from leaving the conduit 42 without being received from the mandrel 28. Air lines 44 may be provided in the end of chute 38 opposite conduit 42 to assure quick and positive movement of the parts 48 from the chute through the conduit and onto the mandrel 28. It is preferable that the tapered end 32 of the mandrel extend above the horizontal a suflicient amount to provide a sliding action of the parts 40 as they engage the mandrel so that they will readily follow the slope of the mandrel upper end toward the magazine.
While the parts illustrated in FIGURE 1 are generally annular in formation and are provided with a plurality of outwardly extending tabs 46 and inwardly extending tabs 48, it is understood that parts having other conformations may employ the mechanisms and method. Such parts could be elliptical or polygonal for example. They need not extend throughout an entire circumferential are but may be somewhat horseshoe shaped and extend only part way through the entire circumference, as do many snap rings. The mandrel 28 and the magazine 22 may be read ily provided to correspond to the general outline of the parts being fed to the work station.
The vertical section 50 of mandrel 28, which extends through the bore 30 of the magazine 22, substantially corresponds to the inner annulus of the part 40 so as to guide the part against extreme lateral movement during its progress from the mandrel tip 32 into the bore of the magazine. A key 52 is also provided on mandrel vertical section 50 and extends along the length thereof. The key is preferably tapered to a narrow cross section at its upper end 54 and gradually increases in cross section along a substantial portion of the key length. When parts 48 move beyond the bend 34, one of the spaces between the adjacent inner tabs 48 is readily engaged by the key 52 and the part is therefore guided into the magazine while being circumferentially aligned with the mandrel.
The internal surface of the magazine bore 30 may also be provided with a key 56 which is engaged in one of the spaces between adjacent outer tabs 46 of the part so that the parts are circumferentially aligned relative to the magazine as they move through the magazine bore 30. The key 56 may be tapered in a manner similar to that of the key 52. It will be readily seen that when parts 40 progress to the bottom of the magazine 22, they will be circumferentially and axially aligned so that they may be readily moved to the work station in the proper position.
Although the lower end of mandrel 28 may be spherically formed if desired, it is preferable to provide a rolling member mounted within the lower end of the mandrel which will support the mandrel a short distance above the surface 36 of shuttle 12. The structure illustrated in FIGURES l, 2, and 3 utilizes a roller 58 mounted on a shaft 69 extending transversely of the mandrel lower end. Roller 58 is received within a recess 62 formed in the mandrel so that an arcuate portion of the roller extends below the mandrel end. The mandrel is thus supported on the roller 58 which in turn engages surface 36 of the shuttle 12. The roller is rotated during reciprocable movement of the shuttle 12 so as to minimize friction at this point.
The surface 36 of shuttle 12 is formed in two sections 64 and 66 which are separated by an abutment 68 extending from the upper surface section 64 to the lower surface section 66. The height of this abutment is preferably no greater than the thickness of one of the parts 49, if one part is to be fed to the work station on each stroke of the shuttle. If two or more parts are to be fed into the work station for each shuttle stroke, the height of the abutment 68 should be no greater than the thickness of the combined parts to be removed from the magazine at one time.
When the machine is in the loaded position, shuttle 12 is positioned so that the lowermost of the parts 40 within the magazine rests upon shuttle surface 66. This may be at a point where the abutment 68 is just clear of the magazine bore 30. As the shuttle moves in the first portion of its reciprocating stroke, abutment 68 engages the side surface of part 4-0 and continued movement of the shuttle removes the lowermost part of parts from the magazine 22 to the position illustrated in FIGURE 1. As the part 40 and abutment 68 move underneath mandrel roller 58, the roller rolls over a portion of the part 40 being removed, and then over the abutment 68, so as to be in engagement with the upper shuttle surface 64. This results in an axial reciprocating motion of the mandrel 28 which agitates the parts in engagement with the mandrel whether they be within the magazine 22, at the tapered end 32 of the mandrel, or at any point therebetween. Upon the return stroke of the shuttle, roller 58 moves downwardly over abutment 68 to engage lower surface 66, thus causing another agitating movement of the mandrel and the parts along its entire length. The lowest of the parts then within the magazine will move downwardly to engage the shuttle and will be in a position to be removed from the magazine when the shuttle is again reciprocated.
The circumferential alignment of the mandrel 28 with the conduit 42 is maintained by the parts within magazine 22 which will engage the mandrel key 52 and magazine key 56. The mandrel need not he externally supported at any point so long as sufficient parts are maintained within the magazine to support the mandrel against lateral movement. The supply of parts within the magazine may be readily ascertained by the operator through the inspection port 7 0. This may extend through the side of magazine 22 along a major portion of its length.
The modification shown in FIGURES 4 and show a mechanism which is especially adapted to be used on annular parts 140 such as washers. In such instances, no circumferential alignment is necessary and the mandrel 128 may be cylindrical in form. The mandrel is provided with a tapered upper end 132. In this instance it is illustrated as extending directly above the mandrel section 151) which is within the magazine 122. The feeder conduit 142 extends over the end of the tapered mandrel section 132 to keep the parts 140 either within the conduit 142 or about the mandrel 128. In this instance a supply of parts may be provided from the hopper 172.
The magazine and shuttle mechanism have a construction similar to that of FIGURES 1, 2, and 3 and operate in the same manner. A modified mandrel lower end is illustrated in this instance, however. A socket 174 in the mandrel lower end has a spherical upper end in which a ball 176 having a diameter almost as large as the diameter of the mandrel is received. A portion of the ball extends slightly below the mandrel and the ball functions in the same manner as does roller 58 of the first described mechanism.
Two modifications of mechanism for aligning and feeding parts have thus been provided and a method of aligning and feeding parts to a work station has been disclosed. Mechanisms and method embodying the invention will permit a simplified arrangement for the control of substantially annular parts whereby the rate of production useage of such parts may be substantially increased without relying upon manual labor for alignment and feeding of the parts.
What is claimed is:
l. Mechanism for aligning and feeding a plurality of generally annular parts from a parts supply source to a Work station in sequential order, said mechanism comprising a magazine for storing parts and having a bore therein with a cross section generally corresponding to the outline of the parts being stored and an unloading slot formed at the lower end thereof, a mandrel freely received within said magazine bore and extending upwardly out of said bore and having its upper end formed with a tapering surface and its lower end terminating at said unloading slot, said upper end being connected with said par-ts supply source to circumjacently receive and guide parts therefrom into said magazine, shuttle means reciprocable within said magazine unloading slot transversely of said magazine bore and having a parts receiving surface and abutment means for engaging the most advanced part in said magazine, said mandrel lower end being supported by said shuttle means, power means to reciprocate said shuttle means whereby the most advanced of the parts in said magazine is unloaded through said magazine slot when said abutment means engages the advance part, bearing means provided on the lower end of said mandrel and being engageable with said shuttle and being movable upwardly by the advanced part during the reciprocating stroke of said shuttle means as the advanced part is removed through said unloading slot.
2. The mechanism of claim 1, said magazine having alignment means cooperative with a circumferential portion of the parts received therein whereby all of the parts received within said magazine are circumferentially oriented therein so that all of the parts are unloaded from the magazine in the same circumferentially oriented position.
3. The mechanism of claim 1, said mandrel having parts orienting means thereon cooperative with the parts received about said mandrel whereby all of the parts received about said mandrel are oriented with respect to the mandrel.
4. The mechanism of claim 1, said magazine and said mandrel each having parts orienting means cooperating with the parts received on said mandrel and in said magazine whereby all parts so received are circumferentially oriented with respect to said mandrel and said magazine.
5. Mechanism for farwarding a plurality of generally annular parts from a part supply source to a work station in sequential order, said mechanism comprising, tapered arbor means receiving said parts thereabout from said part supply source, temporary storage means for said parts extending circumferentially about said arbor means along a substantial portion of the length thereof and having an unloading slot formed in the end thereof opposite the tapered end of said arbor means, shuttle means reciprocating through said slot and including abutment means engageable during reciprocation of said shuttle means with at least one of said parts to remove said one of said parts from said temporary storage means, said arbor means having its lower end engaging said shuttle means and being agitated axially by the reciprocating action of said shuttle means and the engaged part so that all of the parts in said temporary storage means are agitated to prevent jamming andto advance said parts in said temporary storage means toward said slot after a part is removed therethrough.
6. The mechanism of claim 5, said arbor means having a rolling member in the end thereof adjacent said shuttle, said rolling member engaging said shuttle during the reciprocating movement thereof.
7. The mechanism of claim 6, said rolling member being a substantially spherical ball received in a socket formed in the lower end of said arbor means.
8. The mechanism of claim 6, said rolling member being a shaft-supported roller mounted for rotation in the lower end of said arbor means and having an armate portion thereof extending below the end of said arbor means.
9. A method of selectively feeding substantially annular parts in oriented relation, said method comprising the steps of aligning said parts in sequence and in generally coaxial relation on support means, moving said parts on the support means and causing alignment thereof in a more exact coaxial relation, radially aligning said parts in a predetermined circumferential relation on the support means, stacking said aligned parts in temporary storage on the support means, removing the most advanced of said parts from the support means, whereby the part removed is displaced in a desired circumferential alignment position, and agitating the parts in temporary storage to prevent parts from jamming and to advance all of said temporarily stored parts.
10. A method of selectively aligning and feeding generally annular parts in circumferentially oriented relation, said method comprising the steps of aligning said parts in sequence and in a generally coaxial relation on support means, moving said parts on said support means and causing alignment thereof in a more exact coaxial relation, radially aligning said pans in a predetermined circumferential relation on said support means, stacking said aligned parts in temporary storage on said support means, removing the most advanced of said temporarily stored parts from said support means whereby parts removed are displaced in a desired circumferential alignment position and simultaneously agitating the parts in temporary storage to prevent jamming of the parts therein 30 and to advance parts to the temporary storage, and again agitating said parts to advance all of the temporarily stored parts and position at least one of the temporarily stored parts for removal from temporary storage.
11. Mechanism for aligning and feeding a plurality of parts from a parts supply source to a work station, said mechanism comprising a magazine for storing parts and having an unloading slot formed at the lower end thereof, a parts support mandrel freely received Within said magazine and extending upwardly from within said magazine and having guide means formed on its upper end to receive said parts and its lower end terminating adjacent said unloading slot, said upper end being connected with said parts supply source to position said parts about said mandrel and guide parts from said parts supply source into said magazine, shuttle means movable within said magazine unloading slot to remove parts from said mandrel and said magazine, bearing means provided on the lower end of said mandrel and being engageable with said shuttle means and being movable upwardly during movement of said shuttle means to remove said parts through said unloading slot, and power means to move said shuttle means whereby parts are unloaded from said mandrel through said magazine slot.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,023,097 Robbins Apr. 9, 1912 1,476,224 Salfisberg Dec. 4, 1923 2,851,192 Mayo et a1. Sept. 9, 1958