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Publication numberUS3025890 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 20, 1962
Filing dateApr 18, 1960
Priority dateDec 27, 1957
Publication numberUS 3025890 A, US 3025890A, US-A-3025890, US3025890 A, US3025890A
InventorsMurray G Clay
Original AssigneeBaird Machine Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of shaping wire stock
US 3025890 A
Abstract  available in
Images(8)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 20, 1962 M. G. CLAY METHOD OF SHAPING WIRE STOCK Original Filed Dec. 27, 1957 8 Sheets-Sheet 1 lNvENToR MURRAY G.CLAY

ATTY.

March 20, 1962 CLAY METHOD OF SHAPING WIRE STOCK Original Filed Dec. 27, 1957 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 vow INVQNTOR MURRAY G. CLAY ATTY.

March 20, 1962 M. G. CLAY METHOD OF SHAPING WIRE STOCK Original Filed Dec. 27, 1957 8 Sheets-Sheet 3 WWW W mm A u 7 M BY 104 W March 20, 1962 M. G. CLAY 3,025,890

METHOD OF SHAPING WIRE STOCK Original Filed Dec. 27, 1957 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 INvENToR MURRAY G. CLAY AT TY.

March 20, 1962 M. G. CLAY 3,025,890

METHOD OF SHAPING WIRE STOCK Original Filed Dec. 27, 1957 8 Sheets-Sheet 5 322 g! a 7/) t% ii 30. @7" i i: I I! it ii lNVENTOR. MURRAY G.C| AY ATTY.

March 20, 1962 M. G. CLAY METHOD OF SHAPING WIRE STOCK 8 Sheets-Sheet 6 Original Filed Dec. 27, 1957 INVENTOR. MURRAY G-CLAY M ATTY,

March 20, 1962 M. G. CLAY METHOD OF SHAPING WIRE STOCK Original Filed Dec. 27, 1957 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 ATTY.

8 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTOR MURRAY G.CLAY

ATTY.

M. G. CLAY March 20, 1962 METHOD OF SHAPING WIRE STOCK Original Filed Dec. 27, 1957 E Q m. Q h w m w n N o as w :5 3 3 6 a9 a ww a l 095 .E. a: Q a 8n :5 w l x M r NmN Non 0 v a J m 'T n3 :5 a. z M. I \I\ uni/M 5 .4 Quad pa 3,925,890 METHOD OF SHAPING W STQCK Murray G. Clay, Evanstcn, ill, assignor to The Baird Machine Company, Stratford, Conn, a corporation of Connecticut Griginal application Dec. 27, 1957, Ser. No. 705,522.

Divided and this application Apr. 18, 1960, Ser. No.

Claims. (Cl. 140-71) This application is a division of my copending patent application Serial No. 705,522, filed on December 27, 1957 and entitled Wire Forming Mechanism with Selectively Operable Forming Tools.

The present invention relates to spring forming machines of the type wherein predetermined lengths of wire are fed successively and longitudinally from a length of continuous spring wire stock into coaction with a hardened steel tool adjustably mounted in the path of wire feed so as to be capable of assuming various compound angles relatively to the direction of feed at a wire shaping station for coiling, bending or otherwise shaping the wire into springs of different forms, the completed springs being severed in the intervals between successive operations of the feeding mechanism.

Spring forming machines of this general character are commonly referred to as universal coilers by virtue of their ability to produce springs which vary widely in their form or shape. Universal coilers of this type were originally designed to produce springs having either open or closed convolutions of barrel or cone shape, or with longitudinal portions thereof having different diameters, all of such springs being uniformly circular in cross section and having their end convolutions cut off on the circumference of the last formed coil. Springs of this nature are generally termed tension or compression springs, depending upon the use to which they are to be put. More recently, universal coiling machines have been designed whereby the machine is capable of producing not only tension and compression springs of various forms, but also what is generally referred to as torsion springs and which are characterized by uncoiled terminal ends extending in the manner of a tangent at an angle to the spring axis for purposes of attaching the spring in a desired manner.

Subsequent innovations in spring coiling machinery have led to the production of a universal coiler which, by providing for certain automatic adjustments of the wire shaping tool, can produce coiled springs which are non-circular in transverse cross section and in which each convolution of the spring includes a series of curved cold worked increments connected together by a series of intervening straight unworked increments. In this manner, it is possible to make coiled tension, compression or torsion springs which are of flattened cylindrical configuration with two flattened sides, or which are roughly rectangular in transverse cross section, or which possess irregular contours which are within the forming ability of a single wire deflecting and bending tool associated with any given machine.

Present day universal coiling spring forming machines vary in their ability to produce diversified spring shapes solely by virtue of the nature of the adjustments which may be made to the wire forming tool during spring feeding operations. In other words, the more varied the compound angles which the tool is capable of assuming relative to the direction of Wire feed, and the greater the rapidity with which the tool may be shifted between its various adjusted positions, the more diversified will be the character of the springs which are capable of being produced by the machine. Furthermore, such present day universal coiling machines, being predicated upon the use of a single forming tool, are limited to the pro- 3,025,890 Patented Mar. 20, 1962 duction of springs which are unidirectionally curvilinear. In other words, although such machines make provision for projecting the tool into the path of movement of the wire undergoing feeding at any desired distance from the point of feed and for holding the thus projected tool stationary while a predetermined length of wire is fed to produce a given coiled section, or withdrawn from such path of movement while the wire is being fed to produce a given straight section, the fact that the tool, within very small limits, maintains its same general radial position relatively to the longitudinal direction of wire feed, limits the wire bending or shaping operation of which the tool is capable, to the production of springs in which all the curved increments thereof are either with hand curves or bends extending in a counterclockwise direction or left hand bends extending in a clockwise direction, depending, of course, upon the initial mounting of the tool in the machine at the spring forming or shaping station. Actual forming operations thus take place not only in a single plane but they also take place within that plane in one direction only. Such machines are incapable of producing spring shapes having medial right or left hand lateral offset portions, reverse bends, reentrant portions and other sectional spring shapes which require universal projection of the spring in any direction from the point of wire feed, except insofar as the automatic operation of the machine may be modified by manual operations of the character that usually requirestopping of the machine in its mid-cycle.

The present invention is designed to overcome the above-noted limitations that are attendant upon the use of conventional universal coiling machines, and, toward this end, it contemplates the provision of a novel method of shaping spring wire stock by means of which not only all of the spring shapes capable of being produced by conventional machines, as outlined above, may be formed, and by means of which a large variety of spring shapes incapable of being produced by such machines may also be formed. The method of the present invention, for example, contemplates the deflection of the wire stock from the wire feeding mechanism in an infinite number of directions to produce spring forms having curvilinear sections of uniformly large, uniformly small of varying radii of curvature, curvilinear sections which consists of either right or left hand curves, curved or straight sections which are connected together by abrupt or gradual bends, acute or obtuse sharply defined bends, loops, coils, spirals, curls, whorls, reentrant portions, and any combination of such sectional shapes connected in end-to-end relationship at various angles to each other. Spring shapes of this character cannot be manu factured by conventional spring forming machines, at least not without stopping the operation of the machines and resorting to special non-automatic wire bending operations, usually involving the use of wrap-around mandrels.

It is among the principal objects of the present invention to provide a method of shaping continuous spring wire stock into an article of predetermined length and configuration which involves the steps of continuously feeding sections of such stock axially outwardly from" a discharge orifice, and subjecting the stock emerging from the orifice successively to lateral bending and deflection with respect to different portions of the periphery of the orifice and in different radii or curvature.

Another and important object of the invention is to provide a method of forming spring shapes by means of an elongated tool having a longitudinally extending wire stock-engaging and deflecting surface thereon and including the steps of continuously feeding the spring wire stock axially from a feed orifice, positioning the tool across the orifice so that the wire deflecting surface thereof opposes the orifice, and, while the wire stock is eing fed, moving the tool transversely of the direction of wire feed in such a manner that the distance between the orifice and wire deflecting surface change in magnitude to the end that the radius of curvature of the wiredeformation taking place varies accordingly.

In the accompanying eight sheets of drawings forming a part of this specification or disclosure, an exemplary form of spring coiling machine by means of which the present method may be carried out has been illustrated.

In these drawings:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view, schematic in its representation, of a spring forming apparatus for carrying out the method of the present invention and illustrating one of four complete power trains by means of which the movements of an associated wire shaping tool are automatically controlled during the formation of a predetermined spring shape;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a unitary assembly embodying the wire shaping mechanism;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail perspective view of a tool holder assembly associated with the wire shaping mechanism of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4a is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of one of a plurality of abutment tools utilized in connection with the apparatus;

FIG. 4b is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 4b-4b of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 55 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view, somewhat schematic in its representation, showing the wire shaping instrumentalities in the vicinity of the wire shapin station, together with certain adjustable cam-operated linkage mechanism by means of which the movements of the wire shaping tools are automatically controlled;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the wire feeding mechanism employed in the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of a wire cutoff mechanism associated with the wire shaping apparatus;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 1016 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an exemplary wire shape capable of being formed and cut from a continuous length of wire stock by the shaping apparatus of the present invention, the wire shape when produced, serving to bring into play all of the operative wire shaping tools associated with the mechanism;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another exemplary wire shape in the form of a helical coil having laterally projecting end extensions and likewise being capable of being formed by the wire shaping mechanism;

FIG. 13 is a tabular chart illustrating the relative di-' mensions of the various sections of the spring shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 14 is a diagrammatic view illustrating schematically the manner in which the various wire shaping tools cooperate with the wire feeding guide member or quill during formation of the wire shape of FIG. 11; and

FIG. 15 is a cam chart showing the operation of the various control cams employed in connection with the apparatus.

PRELIMINARY DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings in detail, and in particular to FIGS. 1, 3 and 6, the manufacture of springs or other wire forms, utilizing the exemplary apparatus shown herein, is predicated upon the positive forcing of a continuous length of, spring wire stock W through an elongated confining bore 16 provided in a guide member 12 while simultaneously driving the wire as it issues from the bore 1% against a series of wire forming tools or dies 14, 16, I8 and 2 which are selectively brought into forming register with the end of the bore 10 at appropriate times in the machine cycle to produce a predetermined spring form, and thereafter severing the completed spring form from the wire stock W by means of a cut-cit tool or knife 22, and repeating the cycle immediately after the severing operation without stopping the apparatus.

The spring forming apparatus is so designed that the selective positioning of the various wire forming tools 14, 16, 18 and 20 in register with the wire'confining bore 10 may be brought about in a controlled manner under the influence of automatically operable cam-controlled mechanisms, one for each die, each mechanism being designated in its entirety at 24 (see FIG. 6), whereby the angularity of the die surfaces against which the wire is driven relative to the longitudinal axis of the bore, as well as its lateral displacement or extent of offset from the bore axis, may be automatically adjusted within very fine limits to obtain desired variations in spring form. Additionally, means are provided whereby the position of each tool may be manually adjusted so that when the cam-controlled mechanism which controls its movement during the apparatus cycle is set into operation, precalculated positions of orientation of the tool will be compounded, so to speak, by virtue of the setting of the tool in its holder and by virtue of the subsequent path of movement which is applied to the holder by the cam actuated mechanism. Furthermore, the respective paths of movement of the various tools between their retracted positions wherein they are out of register with the wire confining bore and their advanced positions wherein they are in such register is at wide variance so that each tool, as it moves into register with the bore, will deflect the wire issuing from the bore in a different direction, and so that the tool, if maintained in such register during appreciable wire feeding operations, will deflect the wire for coiling purposes in a different direction.

The apparatus is completely cyclic and automatic in its operation and the various cams, subsequently to be described, which control the movements of the wire forming tools are initially cut, adjusted, or otherwise shaped so that during any given apparatus cycle the necessary movements of these various tools will take place in the proper sequence and in the proper manner to impart to the wire stock being fed to the tools the desired shape characteristics to produce a spring of a predetermined character.

The wire shaping apparatus or mechanism, including the previously mentioned wire forming tools or dies and cam-operating mechanisms therefor, is in the form of a novel assemblage of parts which have been illustrated in detail in FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, and which assembly has been designated in its entirety at 36). In the schematic representation of FIG. 1, this wire shaping mechanism has been enclosed in the broken line rectangle designated at 30. This wire shaping mechanism is adapted to be embodied as a complete unit in a machine assembly having driving mechanism capable of imparting to the various: operative moving parts thereof the necessary movements: Although a complete machine embodying the wire shaping mechanism or assembly 30 has not been illustrated in detail herein, it is understood that such a machine will em-- body a stationary framework including a base, upstand-- ing side members or plates, horizontal longitudinal and transverse frame members, struts, braces, supporting brackets and the like, all of which may be designed accor ing to engineering expediencies to constitute a support for the various driving instrumentalities, as well as for the wire shaping assembly 3! In FIG. 1, the assembly 30 is shown as being embodied in a suitable machine having such a stationary framework. A fragmentary portion of the base of such framework has been designated in its entirety at 32 and the remainder of the framework, wherever it appears, has been designated at 34.

Still referring to FIG. 1, all of the operative instrumentalities are adapted to be driven by an electric motor M suitably mounted on the machine base 32. The motor M is provided with a drive shaft 36 which is operatively connected to an idler shaft 38 by a conventional belt and pulley arrangement 40. The shaft 33 carries a pinion 42 which meshes with a relatively large gear 44 mounted on a shaft 46 which constitutes the driving shaft of the wire shaping assembly 30 of the present invention, as well as constituting the actuating shaft by means of which a feed roll drive mechanism designated in its entirety at 48 (see FIG. 1) is adapted to be driven. The shaft 46 is connected through a coupling 47 to a coaxial shaft 49 which constitutes the power input shaft for the mechanism 39.. The feed roll drive mechanism 48 is operatively associated with a pair of feed rolls including an upper roller 50 and a lower roller '52 (see also FIGS. 2 and 8), which rollers receive therebetween the wire stock W undergoing feeding and are adapted to be intermittently actuated, i.e., once during each apparatus cycle, to feed the wire stock into and through the bore it) provided in the guide member E2. The feed rollers 55 and 52 constitute elements of the spring shaping mechanism 30 of the present invention.

The shaft 49 has operatively disposed thereon a cam mechanism designated in its entirety at 54 (see FIGS. 1 and 9) which is operable through adjustable linkage mechanism 56 to actuate the cut-off knife 22, all in a manner that will be made clear subsequently.

The feed roll drive mechanism 48 has associated therewith an auxiliary one-way clutch device 58 (see FIGS. 1 and 8) operable, if desired, at the end of wire feeding operations to impart limited additional feeding movements to the feed rollers 50, 52 beyond that imparted to them by the feed mechanism proper 48 to produce a specific end configuration in the spring shape which otherwise could not be produced during normal wire feeding operations. The clutch 53 is operable under the control of a cam mechanism 60 operatively mounted on the shaft 49 and capable of adjustment under the control of an adjustable linkage mechanism 62 as will likewise be described in greater detail presently.

THE WIRE FEEDING MECHANISM As best seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 8, the lower feed roller 52 is mounted on one end of a horizontal shaft 64 rotatably journalled in the framework of the assembly 30. The shaft 64 carries a gear 66 which meshes with a similar gear 68 provided on a shaft 70, the latter shaft carrying the upper feed roll 50. The shaft 64 extends through the auxiliary clutch device 53 and is operatively connected through a coupling device 74 to a feed roll drive shaft 76. The shaft 76 extends through a one-way or indexing clutch 78 having associated therewith a driving sleeve 80 carrying a pinion $2 thereon. The nature of the indexing clutch 73 is such that when the pinion 82 is rotated in one direction, the clutch will become engaged and the sleeve 80 will impart rotational movement to the shaft 76 in a direction to cause the feed rolls 50 and 52 to feed the wire stock W to the bore in the guide member 12. When the pinion 82 is rotated in the other direction, the sleeve 80 is inoperative to engage the shaft 76 so that the clutch 78 overruns the shaft 76 and the feed rolls remain stationary. The clutch '78 is similar in its construction and operation to the clutch 58 and normally this latter clutch allows the shaft to rotate freely under the influence of the clutch 78. However, at the end of wire feeding operations when the shaft 64 is at a standstill, the cam mechanism 60 may be brought into operation to impart an additional displacement of the linkage mechanism 62 to, in turn, impart a limited amount of additional driving motion to the shaft 64 in a manner and for a purpose that will be made clear presently.

The pinion 82 meshes with a gear 84 provided on an idler shaft 86 mounted in the apparatus framework. The gear 84 remains in constant mesh with an arcuate gear segment 90 carried at the distal end of an oscillatory segment arm 92, the proximal end of the arm being mounted on a rock shaft 94-. The arm is provided with a longitudinally extending guideway 95 into which projects a crank pin 96 having an anti-friction roller 98 thereon. The crank pin 96 is eccentrically mounted on a drive wheel 1% carried on the shaft 46. The radial displacement of the crank pin 96 from the axis of rotation of the wheel 100 is adapted to be varied by conventional screw and block adjusting mechanism designated in its entirety at 106 in FIG. 8.

From the above description it will be seen that when the machine is in operation with the motor M running, an operative power train will be established from the motor shaft 36 through the belt and pulley arrangement 4%, idler shaft 38, gears 42 and 44, and shaft 46 to the drive wheel 1%. Continuous rotation of the drive wheel 10%, will, through the media of the crank pin assembly 96, 98, and the guideway 95, cause oscillation of the arm 92, such oscillation, in turn, causing the idler shaft and gear 84 to oscillate. Oscillation of the gear 84is transmitted to the gear 82 associated with the indexing clutch 78 and, as previously described, the oscillatory movements of the gear 32 in one direction are transmitted by the clutch assembly 78 to the shaft 76, while oscillatory movements of the gear 82 in the opposite direction are ineffective to rotate the shaft 76. The shaft 76 is thus intermittently rotated in one direction and such intermittent rotation is imparted through the coupling member 74 to the shaft 64 which in turn normally transmits its motion to the shaft 70 which carries the upper feed roller 56. The gears 66 and 63 are identical in diameter and, therefore, the shafts 64 and 70, and consequently, the feed rolls 52 and 56, are intermittently rotated in opposite directions at the same speed.

The wire stock W, a fragmentary portion of which has been shown in FIG. 2, is fed from a suitable source, as, for example, a conventional rotatable wire feding reel (not shown), to the feed rolls 5t) and 52, the wire being threaded through the assembly 30 in any suitable manner so as to avoid contact with the operative parts of the apparatus. The wire is gripped between the two rollers by the opposed pressure exerted thereon, and thus, when the rolls are rotated in a feeding direction during each apparatus cycle, a predetermined length of the Wire stock W is forced into and through the guide member 12 in a manner that will be set forth presently.

The adjustment of the radial position of the crank pin 96 on the drive wheel 16% provides a wide range of wire feed increments, and furthermore, this range of feed may be increased by changing the ratio of the various gears which comprise the power train leading from the motor M to the gear 82, it being merely necessary that the choice of gears be made so that the power required to force the wire to and through the guide member 12 is within the rating of the driving motor M.

The arrangement of parts thus far described in connection with the wire feed mechanism is more or less conventional except insofar as it may have a novel association with the instrumentalities which comprise the wire shaping mechanism 30 and it will be understood that other forms of wire feeding mechanism may be employed, it being merely necessary that they embody means for actuating the feed rolls 50, 52 in the same manner as the illustrated form of wire feed mechanism, and that suitable means be provided for establishing a power train from the motor M to the input shaft 49 of the mechanism 30.

THE WIRE SHAPING MECHANISM 30 Frame Structure and General Considerations Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, the operative instrumentalities of the wire shaping mechanism 30 are operatively mounted in a cage-like rectangular structure. The cage-like structure is fixedly supported in an appropriate position of orientation in the framework 34 and, when operatively assembly in the apparatus, it may be regarded as a portion of such framework. The frame structure includes front and rear plates 194 and 1%, respectively, upper and lower horizontal side rails 114 and 116, respectively, vertical side plates 118 and 120 adjacent to the rear end of the apparatus, and horizontal medially disposed upper and lower plates 122 and 124 which extend across the side rails 114 and 116, respectively. At the front end of the machine, the plate 104 has fixedly mounted thereon a pair of forwardly extending generally triangular supporting members or standards 128 which provide a pivotal support for a cut-off knife assembly which has been designated in its entirety at 130 (see FIG. 2), and the nature and function of which will be set forth in detail subsequently. The various structural members thus far described and which comprise the frame structure for the assembly 30 are secured together in any suitable manner, as, for example, by clamping bolts 132 or the like.

Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, the space which exists immediately forwardly of the central region of the front plate 104 constitutes what is hereinafter referred to as the wire-forming sation, this station being designated generally at S. The previously mentioned wire guide 12 discharges the spring wire stock W which is forced therethrough into this region and the various wire forming tools 14, 16, 18 and 20, as well as the cut-off knife 22, perform their respective wire forming and cutting operations at this Station S.

The Wire Guide Means As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the spring wire stock W issuing from the feed rolls, t 52 is conducted from the rolls to the forming station S in the form of a rigid moving column of wire which passes first through a composite guide structure 140 and thereafter through the guide member 12 which constitutes a final guide for the wire. If desired, a preliminary guide member 142 may be employed to conduct the wire stock W to the feed rolls. To avoid confusion, in the following description, the composite guide 140 will be referred to as such while the guide member 12 will be referred to as the guide quill inasmuch as it is in the form of a hollow pencil-like structure, the forward end of which is tapered as at 145 so that the unit is generally of quill-shape design.

The composite guide 140 is in the form of a pair of cooperating guide blocks 144 which are fixedly and re movably secured by screws 146 to a stationary part of the frame structureand which are arranged in edge-t0- edge relationship, the opposing edges being longitudinally grooved so that they define therebetween a cylindrical bore 149, the diameter of which is slightly greater than the diameter of the wire undergoing feeding. The blocks 144 bridge the distance between the feed rolls 50, 52 and the rear face of the plate 104 and the rear edges of the blocks are curved as at 150 in conformity with the curvature or periphery of the individual feed rollers 50 and 52 so that the spring wire stock W enters the bore 149 at substantially the point where it leaves the feed rolls. The frontplate 104 is provided with a central opening 152 therethrough into which opening the rear end of the quill 12 extends.

7 The quill 12 is generally of pencil-shaped cylindrical design and when in position on the plate 104, the rear end of the central bore which extends therethrough is in register with the bore 149 in the composite guide 140. The tapered forward portion 145 of the quill 12 comes substantially to a point in the vicinity of the discharge orifice where the wire stock W issues from the bore 10 and is projected into the forming station S. The specific shape of the forward end of the quill 12 may be varied to accommodate different forming operations on varying types of springs. The conical tapered end illustrated herein is purely exemplary and such an end shape may be found useful in connection with the formation of certain types of springs which require the use of all four of the forming tools 14, 16, 18 and 29. In the manufacture of a particular spring, the forward end of the quill may be modified. For example, where a given spring shape requires the uSe of but two opposed forming tools, it may be found expedient to form the end of the quill so that it is flat-sided and of wedge shape configuration. Numerous other shapes for the end of the quill 12 are contemplated and among these are various vertical and oblique cones and pyramids as well as special shapes having relief areas.

The Quill Mounting Means Still referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the guide member or quill 12 is adapted to be removably retained in a spider-like fixture block 161) having four radially disposed arms 162. A quill holder proper in the form of a collet 164 is press-fitted within a central opening 166 in the block 160, and a clamping nut 168, threadedly received on the collet arms, serves to clamp the latter firmly around the body portion of the quill 12. It will be seen, therefore, that the quill 12 is readily removable from the collet 164 simply by loosening the not 168 so that quills having different diameter bores 10 designed for use with diiferent gauge wire, or quills having different end shapes, may be selectively substituted in the fixture block 160. Similarly, the screws 146 enable the guide blocks 144 to be interchanged in the apparatus. The fixture block is fixedly secured to the front face of the plate 104 by means of anchoring screws 170 which extend through the block and are threadedly received in the plate 104.

The Wire-Shaping Tools and the Movable Mounting Means Therefor Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 6, the four wire shaping or coiling tools 14, 16, 18 and 20, as well as the means whereby they are individually movably mounted on the framework of the assembly 30 for selective movement into and out of register with the quill orifice, are substantially identical in construction and it is deemed, therefore, that a description of one tool and its mounting means will suifice for the other tools and their respective mounting means.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 4a the wire shaping or coiling tool 14 is in the form of an elongated bar of hardened steel and which is provided with a body portion 172 which is preferably, but not necessarily, rectangular in cross section. The forward operative end of the bar may be given any desired shape to conform with the requirements of use but in the illustrated form of FIG. 4a the forward end of the body portion 172 is reduced in width as at 174 and has an underneath or inside slanting surface 176 adapted to oppose the discharge orifice of the quill 12 when the tool 14 is in operative wireforming or shaping register with the latter. The surface 176 has formed therein a narrow groove 178 which constitutes the wire-shaping element proper and into which groove the wire stock W issuing from the orifice of the quill 12 is adapted to be forcibly driven under the influence of the feed rolls 50 and 52. Although the groove 178 has, for exemplary purposes been shown herein as being formed directly in the metal of the tool 14, it is contemplated that if desired the groove may be provided in a sapphire, ceramic or other stone insert. The wire-shaping tool 14 is incapable of removing metal from the wire stock W and is not intended for such purpose.

Each tool is adjustably mounted in a pivoted tool holder assembly designated in its entirety at 180 in FIGS. 2, 4 and 6 wherein the various tool holder assemblies are best illustrated. Each tool holder assembly is comprised of an irregularly shaped lever 182, a tool fixture 184 and a spring attachment bracket 186. The lever 182 includes a mediail boss-like hub 188 having formed therein a central bore 1% adapted to receive therethrough a supporting spindle 191 by means of which the lever is pivotally and adjustably supported on the fixture block 160 in a manner that will be described hereafter. Extending radially from the hub 188 in one direction is a lever arm 192 which, as shown in FIG. 4, is provided with an upturned portion 194 provided at its upper or distal end with an enlarged head 1%. Extending laterally from the head 196 in a direction parallel to the axis of the bore 1% is a cylindrical rod 188 having formed thereon at its outer end a fixture head 200 presenting a downwardly facing groove 282 adapted to receive therein the spring-forming tool 14, 16, 18 or 20 as the case may be. A split clamping bolt and nut assembly 284 serves adjustably to retain the tool within the groove 282 in any desired position of longitudinal adjustment therein with the tool extending in the general direction of the lever 182. The rod 198 is adapted to be adjustably clamped in the head 196 for rotational adjustment therein in order that the tool which is car ried by the fixture 184 may be adjusted relatively to the quill 12 which it overlies when the tool is in its advanced position as shown in FIG. 4. The means for thus adjusting the rod 198 constitutes one of the features of the present invention and will be described in detail presently.

It is to be noted that in FIGS. 4 and 6, the tool holder assembly 181) is shown as being applied to the tool 14 and that in these two figures of the drawings the quill 12 is illustrated as being disposed vertically. Thus, in connection with the description of the assembly 180, reference to vertical and horizontal directions is made with respect to the particular illustrations (FIGS. 4 and 6), although the quill, as actually mounted in the illustrated form of the machine as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, extends in a fore and aft horizontal direction. In FIG. 2, the completely illustrated tool holder assembly 188 is shown as being applied to the tool 18 while in FIG. 3, the completely illustrated assembly 180 is shown as being applied to the tool 20. It will be understood, of course, that a similar assembly 180, not fully illustrated herein, is applied to the tool 16. Projecting radially outwardly from the hub 188 and in substantial alignment with the lever 192 is a second arm 206, the distal end of which is bifurcated to provide a pair of spaced cars 2618 through which there extends a shaft 211) having a transverse threaded bore 212 therein in which there is received the upper threaded portion 214 of an adjusting link 216, the link constituting an element of the previously mentioned cam-controlled mechanism 24 (see FIG. 1 in addition to FIG. 4), yet to be described, and by means of which automatic rocking movements are imparted to the movabie tool holder assemlby 188.

The shaft 210 extends outwardly on one side of the bifurcated end of the lever arm 206 and is formed with a threaded bore 218 through which there is threadedly received an adjustable limit stop screw 22% having a knurled manipulating head 222. The lower end of the stop screw 220 projects below the shaft 210 and is designed for engagement with the front face of the front plate 104 to limit the extent of swinging movement in one direction of the tool holder assembly 181) for a purpose that will become clear presently. A knurled lock nut 224 is received on the stop screw 220 and cooperates with the upper face of the shaft 211) to lock the stop screw in any longitudinal adjustment thereof. The attachment bracket 186 is in the form of a thin metal strip, one end of which is secured by bolts 227 to the lever arm 206. The other end of the bracket 186 overlies the bifurcated portion of the lever arm 266 and is itself bifurcated as at 226, the bifurcation cooperating with a cross pin 228 by means of which one end of a coil spring 2311 may be removably secured to the bracket. The other end of the spring 231) is adapted to be anchored as at 231 to a stationary portion of the framework of the apparatus in order normally to bias the entire assembly 180 in a direction tending to move the tool 14 into its fully advanced operative position of register with the quill 12,

Referring now to FIG. 3, it will be seen that the movable tool holder assembly 180 which carries the tool 20 is supported on a spindle 191 which projects downwardly from the left hand radial arm 162 of the fixture block and lies in the general plane of the fixture block. Similarly, the assembly which carries the tool 18 is mounted on a spindle 191 which projects to the right from the lowermost radial arm 162. The assembly 180 which carries the tool 18 is pivotally mounted on a spindle 191 which projects from the right hand radial arm 162. Finally, the spindle 191 for the assembly 180 which carries the tool 14 projects to the left from the uppermost radial arm 162 of the fixture block 160. By such an arrangement, the four assemblies 180, for the respective tools 14, 16, 18 and 20, are conveniently nested in a generally square pattern around the periphery of the fixture block 168 and these four assemblies are so designed that they are individually possessed of freedom of movement without interfering with one another.

Bearing the above considerations of the nesting of the various tool holder assemblies 180 in mind, and referring now to FIG. 4 wherein the quill 12 is shown as being disposed so that its longitudinal axis extends vertically, it will be seen that as the lever 182 of the assembly 180 which carries the tool 14 rocks in a clockwise direction about the axis of the spindle 191, the groove 178 which constitutes the wire-shaping abutment proper will be constrained to move in an arcuate path from a retracted position wherein it lies below the level of the quill orifice, to an advanced position where it is in register with and overlies the orifice. In the retracted position of the tool 14, the tool will be inclined forwardly and upwardly in its direction of advancing motion and, as it approaches its fully advanced position, it will tend to assume the horizontal position wherein it is illustrated in FIG. 4. Considering all four of the tools 14, 16, 18 and 20, collectively, it will be understood that these tools are all similarly movable in respective arcuate paths and that when they are retracted they will assume inclined positions circumferentialiy spaced about the axis of the quill 12 and that any particular tool which is selected for operation during the apparatus cycle will, as it moves to its advanced position, travel in an arcuate path radially inwardly and upwardly about the axis of the spindle 191 which is associated therewith until it assumes an operative position with the groove 1'78 overlying and in register with the quill orifice. The arcuate paths of movement which the various tools 14, 16, 18 and 29 are constrained to follow constitutes one of the principal features of the present invention in that by such an arrangement as has been described above, the retracted tools assume a position wherein they are removed from any lateral motion, sweeping movements, or other gyrations of the spring wire stock W which is progressively undergoing forming at the forming station S and remains in attached relation with the quill until such time as it is severed therefrom at the end of the apparatus cycle. Reference to the schematic disclosure of FIG. 14 and in particular to such views as have been indicated at f, h, i, and jwill reveal lateral swinging movements of the spring wire stock during formation of a specific spring shape which ordinarily would interfere with tool operation except for the provisions of the present invention wherein the tools are retracted through an arcuate path to an entirely out-of-way position wherein they are out of the path of movement of the spring wire stock dur- 1 l ing formation of a large variety of contemplated spring shapes.

As best shown in FIGS. 4 and 4a of the drawings, the inside surface 176 of the tool 14 is so slanted or angled that when the tool is in its advanced position wherein it operates laterally to bend and deflect in a curved fashion, the spring wire stock emerging from the discharge orifice of the guide member or quill 12, such surface is disposed at an acute angle with respect to a plane at right angles to the bore or feed channel in the guide member or quill. Because of such angularity of the wire-engaging and deflecting surface 176, the distance between the surface and the discharge orifice progressively decreases as the tool 14 moves into its advanced position and progressively increases as the tool 14 moves out of its advanced position. By reason of the fact that the space between the surface 176 and the discharge orifice progressively decreases as the tool 14 moves into its advanced position, the radius of curvature of the laterally bent and deflected wire stock emerging from the orifice progressively decreases as the tool 14 moves fully into its advanced position. By reason of the fact that the space between the surface 176 and the discharge orifice progressively increase as the tool 14 moves out of its advanced position, the radius of curvature of the laterally bent and deflected wire stock emerging from the orifice progressively increases as the tool 14 moves away from the orifice. In view of the fact that the tools 16, 18 and 2d are the same in construction and design as the tool 14, as heretofore described, the inside slanting surfaces 176 of such tools 16, 18 and 20 function in the same manner as the surface of the tool 14.

Angular Adjustment of the Tools in the Longitudinal Plane of the Wire Guide Means are provided whereby each tool 14, 16, 18 or 20, as the case may be, may be manually adjusted to alter its angular position in the longitudinal plane of the quill when the tool is in complete register with the quill orifice so that the movements imparted to the tool will produce partial or full spring coils in the wire stock W of either increased or decreased diameter at any given time during shaping of the wire stock. Accordingly, the enlarged head 1% at the upper end of the upturned portion 194 of the arm 192 is slotted inwardly as at 249 to provide three adjacent block-like sections including a medial section 242 and two outside split block type sections 244. The head 196 is drilled laterally to provide a transverse bore 246 for reception of the fixture rod 198 which extends completely through the three sections. The medial section 242 is provided with a vertical bore 248 which is elongated in horizontal cross section and through which extends an adjusting finger 250, the lower end of which is threadedly received in the rod 198 and the upper end of which projects slightly upwardly 'above the uppermost level of the section 242 where it is available for manual manipulation. It will be seen, therefore, that by moving the upper end of the adjusting finger 250 in one direction or the other, slight angular adjustments of the rod 198 in a direction to tilt the tool 14 toward or away from the quill orifice may be effected. After a particular adjustment has been made, the rod 1% may be firmly clamped in its adjusted position by means of clamping screws 252 which clamp the split block sections 244 around the rod 198.

Angular Adjustment of the Tools Across the Quill Axis Still referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, means are provided whereby each tool may be turned in a transverse plane of the quill axis so that when the tool is in register with the orifice, the wire issuing from the latter may be deflected in slightly different radial directions. Accordingly, as best seen in FIGS. 41;, the previously mentioned clamping bolt and nut assembly 2% includes a clamping bolt 260 having a threaded shank portion 262 which extends through a vertical smooth bore 254 in the enlarged head 290' of the rod 198 with the bolt head 265 nested within an undercut portion 265 in the head. The shank 262 is formed with a transverse slot 268 which is rectangular in cross section. The previously mentioned groove 202 in the underneath side of the head 2% (see also FIG. 4) is adapted to register in the slot 268 when the parts (266, 2%) are assembled. The depth of the groove 262 is slightly less than the thickness of the tool 14 in a vertical direction, and the vertical extent of the bore 264 is greater than the thickness of the tool 14. A clamping nut 279 is threadedly received on the end of the shank 262. It forms a part of the assembly 204 and serves, when tightened against the upper face of the head 2%, to draw the bottom wall of the slot 268 upwardly against the tool 14 and clamp the against the top wall of the groove 202 in any desired position of adjustment. The extent of the slot 268 in both vertical and horizontal directions as seen in FIG. 4b is greater than the overall thickness of the tool 14 in either of these directions and, therefore, when the nut 270 is loosened, angular adjustment of the tool 14 in a horizontal plane in any direction may be resorted to. Furthermore, longitudinal sliding adjustment of the tool through the slot 268 and groove 262 may be effected when the nut 270 is loosened.

Lateral Adjustment of the Tools Again referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, means are provided whereby each of the entire tool holder assemblies may be shifted laterally to move the wire-forming groove 178 slightly out of register with the quill orifice to effect certain special forming operations whereby the spring Wire stock W issuing from the discharge orifice of the quill 12 will have imparted thereto increments of lateral deflection which are superimposed upon the wire undergoing formation in addition to the wire bending or coiling functions. Such lateral shifting of the assemblies 180 is effected by the expedient of axially shifting the position of the respective spindles 191 on which these assemblies are mounted. Accordingly, as shown in the exploded view of the spindle in FIG. 4, each spindle 191 is provided with a medial cylindrical section 280 having a frusto-conical bearing surface 282 adjacent one end thereof, and from which there extends axially a threaded end section 284. A similar threaded end section 28-6 extends axially from the medial section 280 at the end thereof that is remote from the bearing surface 282. The cylindrical section 280 of the spindle 191 is receivable through the bore of the boss 188 in the lever 182 so that the bearing surface 282 seats against a complementary bearing seat 288 at one end of the bore 190. A similar bearing seat 28h is provided at the other end of the bore 190 and is designed for cooperation with a hearing ring 2% having a frusto-conical bearing surface 292 thereon. The bearing ring 2% is adapted to be threadedly received on the threaded end section 2% of the spindle 191. It is formed with an outer portion 294 by means of which the ring may be turned by way of a suitable tool such as a wrench, thereby enabling the ring to be tightened against the hub 18-8 so that the bearing surface 292 thereon cooperates with the bearing surface 289. The outer extremity of the threaded end section 286 is flattened as at 296 to permit turning of the spindle 191 by a suitable tool. The threaded end section 284 of the spindle is adapted to be threadedly received in a threaded bore 298 in the adjacent radial arm 162 of the fixture block 164 The spindel 191 is adapted to be locked in any desired axial position of adjustment within the bore 293 by means of set screws 299 which extend into the fixture block 161? and communicate with the bore 298. From the above description, it will be seen that by manipulation of the bearing ring 290, the two frusto-conical bearing surfaces 2552 and 292 may be brought into close juxtaposition with their respective bearing seats 288 and 239 so that there will be no end play or lost motion of the hub 188 on the spindle 191. A lock nut 297 serves to hold the bearing ring 29%) in its adjusted position. By such an arrangement, the wire-forming tool 14 is positively held against lateral shifting movement in any desired adjusted position thereof during wire-forming operations. When it is desired to adjust the position of the tool laterally, the set screws 299 will be loosened and, utilizing a suitable wrench on the flattened portion 296 of the spindle 191, the spindle may be threaded to a small extent into or out of the fixture block 160 and the tool thus moved transversely of the quill 12. After axial adjustment of the spindle the set screws 299 will be again tightened in order to lock the spindle in its adjusted position.

Cam Actuating Mechanism for Efiecting Automatic Tool Movement Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, and in particular to FIG. 1, the input or power shaft 49 for the wireforming assembly 36 has mounted thereon two compound cam assemblies designated in their entirely by the reference numerals 3% and 302, respectively. The cam assembly 3% is designed, through suitable linkage mechanism subsequently to be described, to control the rocking movements of the tool holder assembly 180 for the tool 20. The cam assembly 362 is similarly designed to control the movements of the assembly 180 for the tool 18. The shaft 49 thus, in addition to constituting the power input shaft for the assembly 30, constitutes a cam shaft for imparting rotational movement to the cam assemblies 330 and 362. A second cam shaft 304 is disposed above the level of the shaft 49 and extends at right angles to said shaft 49. The shafts 49 and 304 are operatively connected together in driving relationship by gears 301 and 303, respectively. The cam shaft 304 has mounted thereon two compound cam assemblies 306 and 308, respectively (see FIG. 2). The cam assembly 3% is adapted to control the rocking movements of the tool holder assembly 180 for the tool 14. Similarly, the cam assembly 30 8 is adapted to control the rocking movements of the tool holder assembly 180 for the tool 16. The shafts 49 and 304 are rotatably journalled in the aforementioned framework, suitable anti-friction bearing assemblies 310 being provided for this purpose.

The various cam assemblies 300, 362, 306 and 398 are identical in construction except insofar as the cutting of the various cam surfaces thereon may be concerned. It is contemplated, according to the present method, that, if desired, single cam plates, each cut to a desired contour calculated to produce in the finished wire spring undergoing forming, may be employed. However, by the use of compound cam assemblies such as have been illustrated herein and which will be described in detail presently, it is possible, merely by effecting certain cam adjustments, to vary the efifective cam contour and produce springs or wire shapes of different configurations without necessitating cam assembly replacement. It is thought, therefore, that in view of the similarity of the various cam structures 3%, 302, 3% and 308, a description of one of these cam assemblies will sufiice for the others.

Referring now to FIG. 6, the cam control mechanism 24 illustrated therein involves the cam assembly 300 which controls the movements of the tool 20. The cam assembly 300 is operatively mounted on the shaft 45 and is of the well-known adjustable type wherein two cam plates 311 and 312 are circumferentially adjustable on the shaft 49 to produce a cam depression 313 on the periphery of the composite cam assembly. By circumferentially adjusting the position of the plates 311 and 312 relatively to each other, the character of the depression 313 may be varied as desired. The composite cam 300 has associated therewith a follower roller 316 mounted upon the primary follower arm 318 of a compound cam follower structure, including a secondary follower arm 320. The arms 318 and 320 are pivotally connected as at 322 and 324, respectively, to a fixed portion of the framework of the apparatus, and an adjustable slide and bearing member 326 is slidably mounted on the secondary follower arm 320 and is capable of being secured in any desired position of longitudinal adjustment thereon by means of a set screw 328. The lower end of the slide 326 is adapted to bear against the upper longitudinal edge of a hardened wear plate 330 (see also FlG. 7) spaced laterally from the arm 318 by means of spacer members 331 which are welded to the wear plate 330 and the arm 318. The compound follower assembly has a variable magnification factor which is dependent upon the setting of slide 326. It is obvious that as the slide is moved toward or away from the pivotal axis 324 of the arm 320, the magnification factor will be increased and decreased respectively so that the normal throw of the cam will be reflected by an increased displacement of the distal end of the arm 320. A compound follower assembly such as has been illustrated herein is well known in the art and no claim is made to any novelty associated with the same except insofar as its association with the tool supporting assembly 180, the movement of which it controls, may be concerned.

The distal end of the arm 320 is pivotally connected as at 329 to the previously mentioned link 216 by means of a socket member 332 which threadedly receives the lower threaded end 334 of the link 216. The threads on the upper threaded portion 214 of the link 216 are of opposite pitch from the threads on the lower threaded portion 334 so that turning movement of the rod 216 about its axis in one direction or the other will vary the effective length of the link 216 so that the initial position of the tool supporting assembly may be manually adjusted prior to or during apparatus operations. The upper end of the link 216 carries a knurled head 306, and a knurled lock nut 338 serves to maintain the link in any desired position of adjustment.

It is to be noted at this point that the limit stop screw 220 (see also FIG. 4) which is threadedly received through the outer end of the shaft 210, as previously described, is designed for engagement with the front plate 104 to limit the extent of clockwise rocking movement of the lever 182 and, consequently, to determine or fix the fully advanced position of the associated tool when the same moves into register with the orifice of the quill 12. The knurled manipulating head 222 at the upper end of the stop screw 220 may thus be employed to regulate the position of the tool in its operating position either by presetting the limit stop screw 220 prior to apparatus operations or by adjusting the position of the screw 220 during spring forming operations, as, for example, to maintain spring forming operations uniform by empirical procedure when the formation of successive springs by the machine commences to deviate from a known standard due to wear of the machine parts, maladjustment thereof or for other reasons.

The Cut-O17 Knife and the Actuating Mechanism Therefor Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 9, the cut-off knife 22 is carried on a rock-shaft 350 and is adjustably clamped thereto by a clamping plate 352 which engages the knife 22 and clamps the same aganist the bottom of a groove 354 in the shaft 350. Clamping screws 355 serve to maintain the plate in its clamped position. The rockshaft 350 is rotatably journalled at its ends as at 356 in the standards 128 on the front plate 104 of the framework. A radially extending torque arm 358 on the shaft 350 is provided with a bifurcated distal end 360. The latter carries a cross pin 362 which threadedly receives the upper end of an adjustable link 364 forming a part of the adjustable linkage mechanism link 56 (FIG. 1) which is similar in its construction and operation to the various mechanisms 24 which control the adjustments of the various tools and which, therefore, need not be described in detail except to point out that it includes a knurled 1 adjusting head 366 and a lock nut 368 for the link 36-4, together with a threaded connection 370 at its lower end with the distal end of a cam follower arm 372 associated with the knife-actuating cam mechanism 54. The cam mechanism 54 includes a radially extending cam plate 374 on the shaft 49 and a cam follower roller 376 on the follower arm 372. The cam plate 374 has a cam surface 378 thereon, the high point 3% of which represents the actual cut-off point of the cut-off knife 22. A spring 382 urges the follower arm 372 in contact with a rest pin 384. When the follower arm 372 rests against the rest pin the roller 376 is in the path of movement of the cam plate 374.

The Auxiliary Clutch Mechanism The auxiliary clutch device 58 which coacts with the shaft 64, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 10, is operable under the control of the adjustable linkage mechanism 62 and is provided for the purpose of imparting additional increments of rotational movement to the shaft 64, and consequently to the feed rolls, before or after wire feeding movements under the control of the segment arm 92. The clutch device 58 is of conventional design and includes a sleeve 4% which surrounds the shaft 64 and which is provided with internal wedge surfaces 102. for wedging cooperation with a series of driving rollers 4113 in the usual manner so that relative rotation between the sleeve and shaft in one direction will cause the clutch to engage the shaft While relative rotation between these parts in the opposite direction will allow the shaft to overrun the sleeve. An ear 4&4 extends radially outwardly from the sleeve 40% and carries a swivelled boss 4% through which a threaded portion 498 on an adjusting link 41% is threadedly received. The link 41% constitutes an element of the previously mentioned adjustable linkage mechanism 62 and this mechanism is similar to the previously described mechanism 26, 56 and hence needs no further description except to point out that the lower end of the link is operatively connected as at 411 to a follower arm 412 forming an element of the cam mechanism 54. The follower arm is spring pressed as at 414 and carries a follower roller 416 which rides upon a cam 418 having a cam protuberance 420 designed to engage the roller 416 and rock the arm 412 in a counterclockwise direction, as seen in FIG. 10, to elevate the link 41% and rock the sleeve 4% in a clockwise direction and thus impart limited turning movement to the shaft 64 after the segment arm 2 has completed its effective wire-feeding stroke. Such additional turning movement of the shaft 64 will serve to eifect the feeding of a small terminal length of the wire stock W at the orifice of the quill 12 prior to severance of the wire by the cut-off knife. It is obvious that if a given spring shape does not call for the provision of such a terminal end, the cam 418 may be disabled.

EXEMPLARY SPRING SHAPES In FIG. 11 an eXamplary wire spring shape S1 has been illustrated, the shape being capable of manufacture by the apparatus of the present invention, and involving during the formation thereof, the use of all four of the illustrated forming tools 14, 16, 18 and 20, The shape S1 involves the formation of numerous right angle bends in the wire stock W from which the shape is formed and it also involves deflection of the wire to produce various curved regions but it does not involve the formation of complete helical coils. In FIG. 12, a second exemplary spring shape S2 has been illustrated, which, in addition to involving the various bends and curves of the shape S1, further involves a medial helical coil section.

The spring shape S1 of FIG. 11 is progressively generated at the end of the quill 12 at the forming station S from end to end, commencing with the right hand end of the structure S1 as shown in this view. Certain of the sections are connected to adjacent sections by right angle bends and certain other sections are curved sections which merge with adjacent straight linear sections. The various sections and bends of the spring shape S1 are alphabetically labelled reading from right to left from tr e letter a to the letter 0, the point at which the spring S1 has been severed from the quill 12 indicated by the letter P. The linear extent of each section is indicated in the table of FIG. 13 to avoid needless description regarding specific lengths. The values indicated in the table of FIG. 13 represent any convenient unit of length, for example, units of The two end sections a and 0 have a length of /2 unit each. The medial sections e and k have lengths of two units each, while all the remaining sections, both straight and curved have a length equal to one unit. As indicated in the table, of course, the points of wire bend indicated at b, d, l and n are devoid of length.

The spring shape S2 of FIG. 12 being similar in its design to the spring shape S1 of FIG. 11 has been similarly labelled. However, since the medial curved section It is not present in the shape S2 but has been replaced by a series of helical coils, these latter coils have been labelled h. No table of length is believed to be necessary to illustrate the nature of the shape S2.

THE OPERATION OF THE APPARATUS Wire Feed and Tool Movements at the Forming Station Referring now to FIG. 14 wherein the wire feeding and tool operations which take place at the forming station S during the formation of the spring S1 shown in FIG. 11 are schematically portrayed, the four tools 14, 16, 18 and 2t assume their retracted positions at the commencement of forming operations. The short spring section a is fed from the orifice early in the forming cycle as may be ascertained from an inspection of FIG. 15, the feeding thereof taking place while the segment arm 92 is at the commencement of its stroke so that the rate of wire feed is relatively slow. To create the bend b, the tool 14 moves into register with the orifice, thus engaging the protruding wire at its base and effecting the bend b as shown in view 14b. The tool is immediately withdrawn and the wire continues to be fed to create the straight section 0 as shown in view 14c. At this time, all of the tools remain retracted. Formation of the right angle bend d is illustrated in FIG. 14d, this bend being created by movement of the tool 20 into register with the orifice. After the tool 20 has been withdrawn as shown in view Me, the wire continues to feed to produce the relatively long section 2, and thereafter, as shown in view 14 the tool 16 is brought into register with the orifice and the wire is allowed to feed against the tool to create the curved section 1. After the tool 16 is retracted, the wire is fed as shown in view 14g to produce the relatively long straight section g. The tool 14 then moves into register with the orifice as shown in view 14h to produce the curve h of FIG. 11 with the tool being maintained slightly spaced from the orifice to produce the desired radius. It is to be noted at this point that the tool movement which takes place under the influence of its controlling cam assembly is not carried out to completion and the limit stop pin 220 of FIG. 4 does not engage the front plate 104 and the cam surfaces involved maintain the tool 14 slightly spaced from the orifice to give the desired radius to the curve h.

It is deemed unnecessary to continue with the description of the remaining forming operations since the previously described operations associated with the creat on of the right angle bends b and d and with the formation of the curved section 1 and h are exemplary of the operations that follow. Reference to views Hi to inclusive, of FIG. 14, illustrate these forming operations clearly.

The above description has been made with reference to single operation of the various tools 14, 16, 18 and 20 with the individual tools being selectively and successively moved into and out of their operative wire form ing positions. It is to be distinctly understood, however, that it is within the province or purview of the present invention to design control-cam shapes which will enable two or more tools to perform work on the wire stock at the same time to force the wire at resultant vectorial angles radially of the quill.

The Cut-Of} Operation In view 14p the cut-off operation, utilizing the knife 22 is clearly shown. At this time, the last section o has been fed from the quill orifice and the cam mechanism 54 is actuated, as previously described, and serves to swing the rock-shaft 350 and the knife 22 (see IGS. 1, 2 and 9) about their horizontal axis of swinging movement to the cutting position shown in view 14p to sever the completed spring S1 from the quill 12.

THE CAM CHART OF FIG. 15

As previously stated, the apparatus is cyclic in its nature. The effective operation of the various tool-controlling cam assemblies 300, 302, 306 and 308, and of the cut-off cam mechanism 54, takes place during approximately 270 of the mid-cycle of the apparatus. Similarly, the effective stroke of the segment arm 92 takes place during this portion of the mid-cycle. Accordingly, the cam chart of FIG. illustrates only this effective portion of the cycle. Since the segment arm 92 is actuated by the eccentric crank pin 96, approximate harmonic motion is imparted to the arm as has been indicated by superimposing a semi-circular are over the cam movement representation of the chart. The are has been divided into ten twenty-four degree sections. As previously set forth, spring S1 is 12 units in length and the linear feed of the wire has been indicated in unit lengths from 1 to 12 inclusive, along the bottom of the chart.

It will be noted from a consideration of the chart in connection with the table of lengths shown in FIG. 13, the spring illustration of FIG. 11, and the schematic illustration of FIG. 14, that at approximately 90 and at approximately 116 in the cycle of the apparatus where the cam assemblies 306 and 360 actuate the tools 14 and 20, respectively (FIG. 14b), the rate of wire feeding operations at approximately 242 and 270 in the cycle of operation where the cams 3&2 and 366 actuate the tools 18 and 14, respectively, the rate of wire feed is similarly relatively slow. This slow feed of the wire stock W takes place during formation of the bends b and (1 near one end of the spring S1 during formation of the bends l and 0 near the other end of the spring. It will also be noted that from approximately 142 to 164, and from approximately 172 to 188, and from approximately 192 to 212 in the cycle of operation where the three curved portions 1, h and j are set into the spring wire stock W, in the order named, by the two cam assemblies 306 and 368, the rate of wire feed is relatively fast.

These considerations are important inasmuch as they illustrate the adaption of the present method to the formation of. a wide variety of coiled springs having end regions which are laterally displaced from the coil helix, as, for example, where cross-overs, loops, and the like are formed at the end of helical springs. Thus, the bends which occur at the opposite ends of the spring may be the result of quick movements of the tools involved into and out of register with the quill orifice. Likewise, the medial coiled region of the spring is fed from the orifice at a relatively rapid rate so that the time necessary for the various tools to remain in register with the orifice is appreciably shortened. This results in a shortened operation cycle in terms of the time involved for the production of a given spring with aconsequent increase in spring production.

The invention is not to be understood as restricted to 18 the details of the method set forth since these may be modified within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Having thus described the invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. The method of progressively shaping longitudinally moving wire into articles having different portions of different predetermined shape, which comprises forcibly projecting lengths of wire longitudinally along a fixed path and outwardly through an orifice, selectively moving a plurality of wire deflecting tools, each of which is provided with a wire deflecting surface, along separate and different paths from retracted positions to advanced positions to position the deflecting surfaces of the tools across the axis of said fixed path to engage and deflect a portion of a moving wire length being forcibly projected through the orifice against said surfaces, each of said tools in its advanced position deflecting the wire in a direction different from that of each of the other tools, and selectively moving the tools in timed relationship with the projection of the wire lengths.

2. The method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the wire is drawn from a substantially continuous supply and the wire is severed adjacent the orifice upon completion of the shaping of each article.

3. The method of progressively shaping moving wire from a substantially continuous supply into articles having different portions of predetermined shape, which comprises intermittently feeding and forcibly projecting lengths of wire along a fixed path and outwardly and forwardly through an orifice, each length being sufficient for the formation of one of said articles, selectively moving each of a plurality of wire engaging and deflecting tools, each of which is provided with a wire deflecting surface, along a separate and different path from a retracted position to an advanced position to position its deflecting surface across the axis of said fixed path to engage and deflect a portion of a moving wire length being forcibly projected through the orifice against said surface, at least one of said portions of the wire length being deflected rearwardly of the orifice and spaced from said fixed path, moving said tools in timed relationship with the feeding of the wire lengths, and severing the wire adjacent the orifice following completion of each article.

4. The method of shaping wire from a substantially continuous supply into articles having at least three differently oriented portions, wherein the wire shaping operation is effected by forcibly impinging the wire against a deflecting surface and substantially all of the wire shaping energy is supplied by the impingement of the wire against such surface, which comprises intermittently feeding and forcibly projecting lengths of wire from the supply along a fixed path and outwardly through an orifice, moving a first tool, having a wire deflecting surface thereon, along a first path to position its deflecting surface across the axis of said fixed path to engage and deflect a leading portion of a wire length being projected through the orifice in one direction to form a first portion of the article, moving a second tool, having a wire deflecting surface thereon, along a second path different from said first path to position its deflecting surface across the axis of said fixed path to engage and deflect another portion of the wire length being projected through the orifice between said first portion and the orifice to form a second portion of the article, moving a third tool, having a wire deflecting surface thereon, along a third path different from said first and second paths to position its deflecting surface across the axis of said fixed path to engage and deflect the wire being projected through the orifice between said second portion of the article and the orifice to form a third portion of the article while bodily moving the previously formed portions about said fixed path, moving said tools along said separate paths into and out of engagement with the moving wire in timed sequence relative to the feeding of the wire, and severing the article 19 from the wire supply on completion of the formation of the article.

5. The method of forming Wire from a substantially continuous supply into completed coil springs of the type having a connecting portion at each end and a coil spring portion intermediate said connecting portions, said coil spring portion having a plurality of adjacent coils lying substantially in planes substantially at right angles to the planes of the connecting portions, which comprises feeding and forcibly projecting lengths of wire from the supply along a fixed path and outwardly through an orifice, moving a first connecting portion forming tool, having a wire deflecting surface thereon, along one path to position its deflecting surface across the axis of said fixed path to engage and deflect a leading portion of the moving wire length being forcibly projected through the orifice against said surface to form a first connecting portion and thereafter retracting said first tool, moving a coiling tool having a wire deflecting surface thereon, along a second path to position its deflecting surface across the axis of said fixed path to engage and deflect a following portion of the moving wire length being forcibly projected through the orifice against its deflecting surface to coil the wire to form the intermediate coil spring portion and thereafter retracting the coiling tool, and moving a second connecting portion forming tool along a third path to position its deflecting surface across the axis of said fixed path to engage and deflect a moving trailing portion of the wire length being forcibly projected through the orifice against its deflecting surface to form the other of said connecting portions and thereafter retracting said last named tool, severing the completed coil spring from the wire supply adjacent the orifice, and feeding the wire, moving the tools and severing the wire in timed relationship.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,250,252 Wadsworth Dec. 18, 1917 2,077,243 Leal Apr. 13, 1937 2,085,570 Blount et al June 29, 1937 2,160,020 Horton May 30, 1939 2,973,788 Reed Mar. 7, 1961

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3314453 *Jun 10, 1964Apr 18, 1967U S Baird CorpWire forming machines
US3331178 *Apr 15, 1963Jul 18, 1967 Wire mat
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Classifications
U.S. Classification140/71.00R, 72/421
International ClassificationB21F3/06, B21F35/02, B21F3/027
Cooperative ClassificationB21F3/027, B21F23/00, B21F45/00, B21F3/06, B21F35/02
European ClassificationB21F3/027, B21F35/02, B21F23/00, B21F3/06, B21F45/00