US 3039767 A
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June 19, 1962 A. J. STAINES 3,039,767
SHEET LIFTING DEVICE Filed March 7, 1961 INVENTOR. ALFRED J. STA/-55 A T TORNE v.5
United States Patent Cilice 3,039,767 Patented June 19, 1962 3,039,767 SHEET LIFIING DEVICE Alfred J. Staines, Cleveland, Ohio, assignor to Harris- Intertype Corporation, Cieveland, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 7, 1961, Ser. No. 93,966 Claims. (Cl. 271-26) The present invention relates to a sheet-gripping and lifting device having a sucker of the vacuum type which is adapted to grip a sheet and then be moved in a direction away from the plane of the sheet and to be tilted as it is moved to change its angular orientation in space.
An important object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved sheet-gripping device of simplified structure which does not have sliding parts and is reliable in operation and in which the sheet is gripped by a sucker which, after the gripping of the sheet, is moved in a direction away from the plane of the sheet, as well as angularly with respect thereto, to tilt the sucker and bend the sheet from its plane.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved sheet-gripping mechanism in which a bellows actuates a sheet-gripping sucker to move the sucker in a direction away from and angularly with respect to the plane of the sheet after the sucker grips the sheet to effect a tilting of the sucker as it is translated away from the sheet position at the time of gripping.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved sheet-gripping device in which a bellows is provided for actuating a sucker for gripping the sheet to move the sucker in a direction away from the plane of a sheet with the bellows being formed integrally with the sucker support, the device preferably also having a heel about which the sheet is bent as the sucker is moved away by the bellows and which is integral with said bellows.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved sheet-gripping mechanism in which a bellows is used to actuate the sucker in a direction away from the sheet after the sucker has gripped the sheet, and in which the bellows is formed or constructed so that it inherently is urged to an expanded condition and wherein the bellows is contracted to actuate the sucker by vacuum applied to a chamber formed by the bellows.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a molded sucker support formed of rubberlike material and including a bellows for actuating the sucker support in a direction away from a sheet to be gripped with the part of the support which mounts the sucker being connected to the remainder of the support by a rubber hinge provided by the rubberlike material of the support.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment thereof, made with reference to the accompanying drawings, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a sheet-gripping device embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view through the device of FIG. 1 and showing the device associated with a sheet pile;
FIG. 3 is a view corresponding to FIG. 2 but showing certain parts thereof in a different position;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken approximately along line 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view, with parts cut away, of a sheet-gripping device difierent in construction from FIGS. 1-4 but embodying the present invention; and
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 5.
The present invention is susceptible of various constructions and arrangements and of use with various mechanisms wherein a sheet is to be gripped and moved by a sucker with the sucker being moved in a direction away from the sheet gripped thereby and angularly with respect thereto after the sucker grips the sheet and is particularly useful in a pile feeder as a separating sucker for picking up the top sheet from a pile of sheets to be fed.
The present invention is illustrated as being used to actuate a sheet pickup or separating sucker which is adapted to be moved into engagement with the top sheet of a pile adjacent the rear edge thereof, to grip the sheet, and to move the gripped portion of the sheet away from the pile. The sucker may be a separating sucker only or may be both a separating sucker and a sheet-forwarding sucker. Referring to the drawing, a sheet-gripping and separating device 10 is disposed above a pile 11 adjacent the rear edge thereof and is adapted to be bodily moved toward and away from the top sheet of the pile. The mechanism for moving the sheet-separating and gripping device 16 toward and away from the pile 11 may comprise any suitable conventional mechanism for accomplishing this purpose, such as the mechanism shown in Patent No. 2,108,702, to H. T. Backhouse.
The sheet-separating and gripping device 10 includes a sucker 12, preferably formed of soft rubber, which is adapted to have a vacuum applied thereto and to grip the sheet to be picked up or separated by the unit. The sucker 12 has a side 12a which is adapted to engage the sheet to be gripped and which is dish-shaped, as shown in the drawing, and the sucker has a central tubular portion 14 with a central opening 15 that extends therethrough and opens into the side 12a. A vacuum is applied to the opening 12a and when the sucker is moved into close proximity or into engagement with a sheet, the vacuum will cause the sucker to grip the sheet.
The sheet-gripping and separating device 10, also includes a depending heel portion 16 which leads the device and which is adapted to engage the top of the pile 10 to properly position the sheet-gripping sucker 12 with respect to the top of the pile when a sheet is to be gripped. The sucker mechanism is lowered by conventional operating mechanism which allows the sucker mechanism to be stopped by engagement with the pile at any point during its lowering stroke. Conventionally, the sheet-separating and gripping device 10 is biased toward the sheet pile and is raised against the bias by a cam and is lowered under the control of the cam when a sheet is to be picked up.
As is apparent from the drawing, in the preferred and illustrated embodiment, the sheet-gripping and separating device 10 comprises a one-piece molded unit made of rubberlike material and which includes a bellows 18, of the pleated type, for moving the sucker 12 away from the sheet pile and angularly with respect to the top of the pile after the sucker grips the sheet. Referring to the drawings, the molded unit comprises a horizontal elongated portion 19 which is generally oval in cross section and which has a platelike portion 26 that extends laterally therefrom in a horizontal plane so as to be generally parallel to the top of the pile. The platelike portion 20 has an opening 21 therein in which the sucker 12 is mounted. The opening 21 is enlarged at its inner end' ter is moved toward the pile 11 and functions to limit the downward movement of the device toward the pile to properly position the sucker 12. The heel 16 may be covered by a metal cap 24. The molded unit further includes a platelike portion 27 which extends laterally in an upward direction from the top of the elongated portion 19 and angularly with respect to the plate like portion 20, defining an acute angle therewith of, in the illustrated embodiment, approximately 45 when the platelike portions 20, 27 are in their normal positions shown in FIG. 2. The elongated portion 19 joins the portions 20, 27 along one side of each and the portions are joined along their other sides by a wall 28 which is of generally U- shaped configuration and, as viewed in FIG. 2, has a height which decreases proceeding inwardly from the outer ends of the portions 2%, 27 toward the elongated portion 19 and which has folds or creases 29 therein providing fold sections 29a which form the pleated bellows 18. The wall 28 forming the bellows 18 will fold if the platelike portion is swung toward the portion 27 with the part of the portion 20 at the elongated portion 19 acting as a rubber hinge. The folds 29 lie in planes which diverge'from the elongated portion 19, as the device is shown in FIG. 2, and each fold section increases in width proceeding outwardly from the elongated portion 19. The space between the platelike portions 20, 27 is closed by the pleated bellows 18 which is integral with the platelike portions 20, 27, and the pleated bellows 18 and the platclike portions 20, 27 define a closed pressure-responsive chamber which can be contracted to move the sucker 12 away from the pile of sheets and to actuate the sucker 12 relative to the main body portion of the unit and the heel 16.
The platelilce portion 27 has a molded boss 3 extending upwardly from the top side of the piatelike portion 27 and the boss 36 has a vertical passage 31 opening into the top thereof and communicating with a generally horizontal cross passage 32 in the boss which opens into the chamber formed by the pleated wall 23. A pipe 33 is received in the opening 31 and has a tight fit therewith so that the unit is connected to the pipe for movement therewith. The pipe 33 is connected to a vacuum and may also provide the mechanical connection for raising and lowering the sheet-separating and gripping device 10.
In operation, the sheet-separating and gripping device 10 is lowered until the heel 1o engages the top of the pile and the vacuum which is applied to the sucker through the pipe 33, the passage 32, and the pleated bellows 18 will cause the sucker to grip the sheet. When the top sheet of the pile is gripped by the sucker, the vacuum drawn in the chamber of the bellows 18 causes the bellows to collapse and the platelike portion 29, together with the sucker 12, to be pulled upwardly away from the top of the pile and tilted as the platelike portion 20 is moved toward the platelike portion 27. The lefthand end or the platelike portion Ztlis formed of a reduced cross section, as indicatcd in the drawing, to facilitate the hinging or swinging movement of the platelike portion 2%. As the bellows 13 collapses, the platelike portion 20 and the sucker 12 are moved angularly with respect to the top of the pile and the platelike portion 27 to tilt the sucker 12 as it moves away from the top of the pile and to bend the gripped sheet about'the heel 16. The gripping device 10, after gripping the sheet, may be moved bodily upwardly to lift the gripped sheet from the top of the pile to further separate or forward the sheet, or separate forwarding suckers may be provided. When the vacuum is released or disposed between the hinged plates as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Furthermore, the sucker 12 may be formed integrally with the platelike portion 29.
Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the sheet-gripping and lifting device shown in these figures comprises a metal plate 40 which mounts a sucker 41 with the sucker 41 extending to one side of the plate 40. The plate 4-6 has a deflected portion 42 along one side edge thereof which is deflected to the side of the plate from which the sucker extends. The deflected portion 42 is adapted to engage the top of the pile and limit movement of the device toward the pile in the same manner as the heel portion 16 of the previously described embodiment. A plate 45 extends upwardly from the deflected portion 42 and is bent along a generally horizontal line intermediate its upper and lower ends to provide a plate portion 45a which extends both upwardly and laterally from the bend so as to extend over the plate 49. The deflected portion 42 is hinged to the plate 45 along its lower end by a hinge pin 46, the plate 45 and deflected portion 42 having interdigitated portions 47 bent around the hinge pin 46. The plates 40, 45 and binge pin 46 actually constitute a conventional strap hinge as is commonly used for swinging doors but with the straps of the hinge deflected as described.
A bellows 48 is connected between the plate 40 and the plate portion 45a to swing the plate 46 and sucker 2-3. about the hinge pin 46 when a vacuum is applied to the interior of the bellows 48. The bellows is made from a resilient plastic, for example rubber or polyurethane plastic, and has outer end walls 50, 51 which have openings 52, 53, respec ively, therein which communicate with the interior of the bellows. The end wall 5% has an annular collar 54 which extends around the opening 52 therein and which extends outwardly of the end wall to be received in a receiving opening 55 in the plate 49, the collar being of slightly larger outside diameter than the diameter of the receiving opening and having a groove 55 therein which receives the thickness of the plate when the collar is pressed into the receiving opening. The bellows may, therefore, be snapped into or out of the receiving opening 55. Preferably, the sucker 41 is formed with a central portion 58 which is adapted to be received in the opening 52 in the end wall 51 and which has a groove 59 therein adapted to receive the thickness of the wall forming the opening 52 in the bellows. The sucker 41 may be snapped into or out of the end wall of the bellows.
.The upper end wall 51 of the bellows is adapted to be forced over a flared connecting member 60 having a reduced circular portion 66a extending through the opening 53 in the end wall and a flared portion 66b inside the bellows. The circular portion 6% extends through a receiving opening in the plate portion 45:: and the flared member has a central opening therethrough which receives a pipe 61 for applying a vacuum to the internal chamber or" the bellows. The flared connecting member may be brazed or soldered to the plate portion 45a and the pipe may, in turn, be soldered or brazed to the flared connecting member.
The natural condition of the bellows will cause the plates 49, 45 to assume the'position shown in FIG. 5;
i and, when a vacuum is applied to the interior of the broken in the bellows, the resiliency of the rubber will 7 cause the platelike portion 2% to return to the position of FIG. 2 and the grip on'the sheet is released.
While the preferred embodiment of -the present invention utilizes an integrally molded unit to provide both the for example, metal plates, which are hinged together adjacent the portion 19 and a conventional type bellows V sucker support and the bellows, it will be understoodfthat jthe platelike portions 20, 27 might be formed of plates,
bellow through the pipe 61 and the sucker seals against a sheet, the bellows will collapse to swing the plate 49 about the hinge pin 46 to tilt the sucker 41 as it moves in a direction away from the original plane. of the sheet. When the vacuum applied to the pipe 61 is broken, the sucker will release the sheet and the inherent resiliency of the bellows will cause the plates to return to the position shown in FIG. 5. It will be understood that the sheet-separating and lifting device may be bodily moved to and from the position shown in FIG. 5 by conven tional mechanism and that bodily translation of the device may take place while vacuum isapplied to the pipe 61 and the bellows collapsed.
It can now be seen that the previously enumerated objects and others have been accomplished and that a new and improved sheet-gripping and lifting mechanism has been provided wherein the sucker grips the sheet and is then moved away from and angularly with respect to the original plane of the sheet to tilt the axis of the sucker, and that the device is a simplified device and does not have sliding parts which might be jammed by dust, etc.
Further constructions, modifications and arrangements of the present invention will occur to those skilled in the art and it is hereby my intention to cover all such constructions, modifications and arrangements which fall within the ability of those skilled in the art and within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
Having described my invention, what I claim is:
1. A sheet-gripping device comprising first and second parts, hinge means interconnecting said parts for swinging movement of said first part toward and away from said second part whereby the angular orientation of said first part changes as it is moved, actuating means connected between said parts to move said first part toward said second part and providing a pressure-responsive chamber which contracts and expands as said first part is moved in opposite directions and which comprises a pleated bellows, and a sheet-gripping sucker supported by said first part and extending outwardly therefrom to grip a sheet, and means for applying a vacuum to said chamber and to said sucker.
2. A sheet-gripping device as defined in claim 1 wherein said bellows is resilient and assumes an expanded position when atmospheric pressure is in said chamber.
3. A sheet-gripping device as defined in claim 1 wherein said parts are platelike parts which extend angularly with respect to each other and which are connected along corresponding sides for relative swinging movement.
4. A sheet-gripping device as defined in claim 3 wherein said bellows is resilient and assumes an expanded position when atmospheric pressure is present in Said chamber.
5. A sheet-gripping device comprising an integral unit of rubberlike material having an elongated portion and angularly related first and second parts extending laterally from one side of said portion with the rubberlike material of said unit yielding to accommodate angular movement of said first part toward said second part, said unit further comprising a pleated wall extending between said parts and providing with said parts and portion a closed pressure-responsive contractible chamber, a sucker supported by said first part and extending from the side thereof away from said second part and having a sheet engaging side and an opening therein which opens into said side and which is in communication with said chamber, and means for connecting said chamber to a vacuum source.
6. A gripping device as defined in claim 5 wherein said first and second parts are platelike and said unit is moved along a line generally perpendicular to the plane of said first part to move said sucker to sheet-gripper position and said elongated portion extends outwardly from said first part in the direction of movement to engage a sheet to be picked up by said sucker and to properly position said sucker relative thereto.
7. A sheet-gripping sucker as defined in claim 5 wherein said parts are platelike parts which extend laterally in diverging directions from said elongated portion and said pleated wall is comprised of fold sections which increase in width proceeding outwardly from said elongated portion.
8. A sheet-gn'pping device comprising a pair of plates, means comprising a hinge pin connecting said plates together along corresponding sides of each plate and supporting said plates for relative swinging movement, a collapsible bellows connected between said plates, said bellows having an end wall adjacent each plate, vacuum means communicating with the interior of said bellows through an opening in one of said piates and through an opening in the adjacent end wall of the bellows, and a sucker supported by the other of said plates and having a sheet-gripping portion disposed adjacent the side of said other of said plates remote from said bellows and a central portion received in an opening in said other of said plates, said sucker having a central opening there-- through in communication with the interior of said bellows through an opening in the adjacent end Wall of the bellows.
9. A sheet-lifting device as defined in claim 8 wherein the end wall of said bellows adjacent said other of said plates has an annular collar detachably received in said opening in the said other of said plates with the collar being of greater diameter than the opening and being received with a forced fit in the opening and the central portion of said sucker is received with a forced fit in said annular collar whereby said bellows is detachable from said other of said plates and said sucker is detachable from said bellows and said other of said plates.
10. A sheet-lifting device as defined in claim 8 wherein means detachably connects said bellows to said plates and said sucker is detachably connected to said other of said plates.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,293,930 Steinmetz Nov. 7, 1916 1,929,361 Liljebladh Oct. 3, 1933 2,726,861 Wolff et a1. Dec. 13, 1955 2,745,665 Labombarde May 15, 1956 2.850.279 Sloothotf et a1. Sent. 2. 1958