US 3101528 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 27,A 1963 H. ERDMANN 3,101,528
DISPENSER FOR RETAINING RINGS Filed Nov. 15, 1960 5 sheets-sheet 1 HANS E HUMA/VN WMM ATTORNEY H. ERDMANN DISPENSER FOR RETAINING RINGS Aug. 27, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed NOV. 15, 1960 FIG. 3
INVENTOR HANS E ROMAN/V ATTORNEY 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed NOV. 15, 1960 Aug. 27,` 1963 H. ERDMANN 3,101,528
DISPENSER FOR RETAINING RINGS Filed NOV. 15, 1960 5 Shee'bS-Sheel', 4
INVENTOR HANS El? MANN BY// E ATTORNEY Aug. 27, 1963 H. ERDMANN 3,101,528
DISPENSER FOR RETAINING RINGS Filed Nov. 15, 1960 5 sheets-sheet 5 AT NEY INVENTOR United States Patent O Filed Nov. 15, 196@ Ser. No. 69,475 Claims. (Cl. 29-2ll) This invention relates to improvements in dispensers for spring retaining rings, and more particularly to an improved :magazineetype dispenser for the soecalled external split or nearly-closed retaining rings which are adapted, when spring-seated in the groove of. a shaft, pm or the like, to Iform thereon an artificial locating shoulder for a ymachine part such as a pinion, bearing race and the like. v
As is well known, the external split retaining ring, because of the small width of the gap between its open ends, is required to be assembled to its shaft or pin by first spreading it over an end thereof (usually the end of the shaft nearest the groove) and thereupon shifting said ring axially along the shaft until it reaches the plane of the groove, whereupon it snaps into same. Thus, as compared to dispensers for the so-called open retaining rings which also incorporate or are designed to be used in combination with special ring-to-shaft applying means, the prior-split-ring dispensers similarly incorporating or designed for use in combination with ring-applying means have involved relatively cumbersome and expensive construction, quite out of keeping with the large-scale use of such rings and the demand for a readily available supply thereof, which exists in practicl'fillyV all branches of industry.
Stated broadly, a main object of the present invention is to provide a magazinedtype dispenser and applicator for external split retaining rings which is simple in construction and inexpensive to manufacture, yet thoroughly dependable and efficient in operation.
Another object of `the invention is the provision of a magazine-type dispenser and applicator for external split retaining means which incorporates simple yet highly effective means for automatically effecting one-by-one withdrawal of the rings to be assembled from a stack or column of such rings, and the controlled delivery of the so-withdrawn rings to combined or associated ring-applying means.
Yet another object of the invention is the provision of a magazine-type dispenser and applicator for external split retaining rings which is characterized by practical and dependable power-operated means for yeffecting oneby-one withdrawal of the rings to be assembled from a stack or column thereof and delivery thereof to combined or associated ring-applying means.
A more particular object of the invention is the provision of a form of dispenser and applicator for split external retaining rings wherein a plurality of split external retaining rings to be dispensed are arranged in stack or column formation on a plate or shelf-like member, charkfor shifting the lowermost ring of thecolumn laterally to a position in which it aligns with and thereupon proceeds to drop through said opening.r In one desi-gn of dispenser yand applicator incorporating the aforesaid ring dropthrough feature, the ring lfalling through said plateor shelf-opening drops on to a preferably rail-type chute which directs the ring on to the upper, smaller-diameter end of a frusta-conical mandrel (-Whose lower end has diameter corresponding to that of the shaft on which the ring is to be assembled) of anassociated ring-applying means, whereupon the ring is forced downwardly along the mandrel by a power-operated plunger acting as a ring push head, thereby to effect spreading of the ring to a diameter such that it may readily be applied over the end of said shaft which it is contemplated will be mounted in a fixture disposed immediately below said mandrel and thus in a lposition to receive the ring.
A further object of the invention is the provision of yet another form of power-operated dispenser and applicator operating generally as last aforesaid but which does away with the ring chute and thereby simplifies the overall construction.
The invention contemplates and has `for its object the provision of another very simple form of dispenser incorporating the ring drop-through yfeature as explained above, wherein a frusto-conical ring-spreading mandrel is itself employed as the means for moving the endmost ring of the column thereof to a position in which it directly overlies the offset drop-through opening, where-v upon the vring drops through said opening on to the smaller-diameter end of the mandrel.
such a tool may also serve the additional Ifunctions of acterized by a ring drop-through opening of size and contransferring the ring dropping through the plate or shelf opening of the dispenser to the workpiece, i.e. the grooved shaft or the like on which it is to be assembled,` and thereupon of spreading the ring and shifting it over the end of said shaft to the plane of its groove.
Still another object of the invention is the provision of an improved split-ring`spreading mandrel Ifor use as" the mandrel of -any one of the aforesaid generally described forms of split-ring dispenser and/or applicator, the construction and configuration of which are such as to prevent over-stressing of the ring as it is being spread from its normally unstressed diameter to that of the shaft over which it must be spread and shifted in moving to v the plane of its groove.
The above and other objects `and features of advantage of a split external retaining ring dispenser taken alone and in combination with automatic ring-applying means according to the present invention, will appear from they following detailed description, in which reference is had to thev accompanying drawings illustrating both the automatic and hand-operated forms of the dispenser as herein contemplated, in Whichl FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 are side elevational views, partly in section, of one form of an automatic-type ring dispensing and applying tool according to the invention, said views illustrating the parts of the dispenser and applying means in the vthe various positions which they assume in the successive stages of a ring assembly operation;
Such mandrel mayv be mechanically motivated, but by preference it comprises FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the dispensing and applying tool shown in the preceding iigures, with the parts thereof in the position of FIG. 2;
FIGS. 5 and 6 `are transverse sections taken on lines 5 5 of FIG. 2 and 6--6 of FIG. 3, respectively;
FIGS. 7 and `8 are views corresponding generally to FIGS. 1 and 2 bu-t illustrating a modified form of poweroperated dispenser and applicator which does not require the ring-chute between the dispenser proper and the applicator which characterizes the FIGS. 1-6 device, and thus results in `simplified construction as compared thereto;
FIG. 9 is a section taken generally on line 9-9 of FIG. 8;
FIGS. 10 and 11 are sections taken on lines lll- Id and 11-j111 respectively of FIG. 9;
FIG. 12 is an end view looking on to the mandrel end of FIG. 11;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged perspective view illustrating the ring slideway and the particularized mandrel construction employed in the FIGS. 7 and 8 modication;
FIG. 14 is a side elevation, partly in section, of a handyoperated form of dispenser for split external spring rings according to the invention;
FIG. 15 is a view similar .to FIG. 14 illustrating the dispenser with a ring spreading mandrel initially cooperated therewith;
FIGS. 16 and 17 are detail views which illustrate the operation of said mandrel in freeingthe endmost ring of the column thereof from the dispenser stack rod and the manner in which the ring drops on to said mandrel, respectively; and
FIGS. 18-21, inclusive, are a series of views illustrating a new construction and configuration of a ring-spreading mandrel designed to prevent over-stressing of external split retaining rings when pushed axially therealong.
Referring to the drawings in detail, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-6, inclusive, illustrating one form of a power-operated `combined split external ring dispenser and applying means (also `sometimes called a power-operated magazine-type applicator) according to the invention which incorporates the ring drop-through design feature which was generally described in the foregoing, reference numeral 'l0 designates an upright `supporting plate or frame member to which the dispenser and the power `operating means therefor isatiixed, the latter comprising a double-acting air (or hydraulic) cylinder Il, to whose opposite ends pressure iluid from a suitable source thereof is alternately supplied and exhausted via inlet and exhaust ports designated l2, 13, under the control ot a conventional four-way valve (not shown). Reciprocable within the cylinder is a piston y14 operating a piston rod I5 whose lower end is laliixed `(as by screw-threading) to the upper end of a coaxial-ly related plunger 16 guided in its reciprocatory movement in a guide block ll. Illustratively, the lower end of the plunger 16 is formed as a hollow tube 1.8 having wall thickness corresponding substantially to the radial Iwidth of the retaining rings to be assembled and inner diameter corresponding to or only slightly exceeding the inner edge diameter of said rings, and thus the lower end-edge of the plunger is enabled to make face engagement with a retaining ring disposed in the path of its lowering movement, as will be hereinafter described.
Also secured to the frame member It? in laterally spaced, parallel relation to the coaxially related cylinder '11 and plunger d8, as by means of an angled bracket 19a, is a stack rod 19 carrying throughout lsubstantially its entire axial length a thin, radially projecting blade 2t) which is adapted to extend outwardly through the gap between the free ends of the plurality of retaining rings mounted on the stack rod. Thus, said st-ack rod and its blade 29 is adapted to mount a plurality `of split external retaining rings R to be dispensed in a vertical column whose rings are accurately aligned by said blade 2li.
Below the stack rod I9, the support plate il@ mounts a horizontal table or shelf member 21 across whose upper surface a slide 22 operating in a slideway 22a is mounted for reciprocatory travel. Slide 22 is held in its normal or retracted position as by means of a spring 23 reactive between the blind :inner end of a hole 24 provided therefor in the relatively outer side edge of said table and a downbent ange 25 on the free or outer end of the slide 22. The slide is further provided with a ring opening 26 sized and configured substantially to the size and conliguration of the outer edge of said retaining rings R. When the slide 22 `is in its retracted position, in which it is shown in FIG. l, `said `opening i6 directly underlies the stack rod I9, thus to accommodate the lowermost ring of `the ring column disposed on the stack rod. 'Io permit the slide to partake of its reciprocatory travel beneath the stack rod, the latter terminates yat its lower end at -a level which is just above the upper face line of said slide, and it will also be understood that the thickness of the slide corresponds substantially to Ithe axial thickness of a single one of the retaining rings R.
At its inner end, the slide 22 is provided with a pair of laterally spaced upright lugs 27, '28 which together in eect deline a socketin which is received the lower roughly v ball-shaped end 36in of the generally upright arm 30 of a double-armed or bellcrank lever 31 pivoted to the support plate 1li as at 32 for swinging movement relative thereto. The other arm 33 of said lever extends generally horizontally into the path of upward movement of the plunger .I6 and terminates in a finger 33a adapted to be engaged by the upper end of said plunger in the uppermost position of the latter, as is best seen in FIG. 2.
The aforesaid plate or shelf 2l mounting the slide 22 is provided with a ring drop-through opening 34, i.e. an opening of the size and configuration as will permit said lowermost ring of the ring column to drop through the same when said ring is aligned therewith. However, it is a feature of the invention that said drop-through opening 34 is offset a small distance laterally (to the right) trom the slide opening 26 in the normal position of the latter, and similarly from the lower end of the stack rod 19. Accordingly, assuming the `slide to be positioned in its normal or retracted position in which it is shown in FIG. 1, that portion ofthe upper surface of the table or shelf 2l (designated 35 in FIGS. 1 and 3) which bounds the drop-through opening `34 and is exposed by the slide opening 26 provides a supporting ledge on which a portion of the outer perimeter of thelowermost ring `of the column is envageable and thus the ledge supports said ring and hence the `entire ring column. However, when the slide 2-2 is `shifted in -rightwise direction the ramount such that its ring `open-ing 26 registers with the drop-through opening 34 in the table or shelf 2l, said lov/ermost ring is brought into registry with the drop-through opening, whereupon it is free to and will drop by gravity through said opening. This inward movement of the slide 22 also brings the slide to a position in which its ring opening 26 is now disposed out of register with the stack rod and the column of rings maintained thereon. Accordingly, in the inner position of the slide 22.' (see FIG. 2), the slide functions as a support `for the column of rings disposed on the stack rod i9.
Extending into the table opening 34 from beneath is the upper end of an inclined rail-form ring chute 36 having a ring crienting blade 37 correspond to the stack-rod blade 2t). Preferably, the chute 36 is supported in operative position (see FIG. 6) -by a block 38 secured in inclined relation to the support member 10 below the ring table 2l, the arrangement and disposition of the chute being such lt-hat it is operative to catch the ring dropping through the opening 34 and then to guide said ring in a downwardly inclined path on to the upper end of yan upright yfrusto-conical spreading head or mandrel 39 operatively connected to the lower end of said chute and being disposed coaxial with and in the path of movement of the lower end of the plunger end 18. Rather than being rigidly .connected to the lower end of the chute 36, the mandrel preferably has an axially yieldable connection therewith comprising :a rod or pin 40 ailixed to and extending downwardly :from the end of the chute and whose lower end projects axially through the mandrel which :asv seen in FIG. Z is formed with an elongated bore. At its lowermost end, said rod '40 mounts la springretainiug washer 41 and contained within the bore of the mandrel `and reactive between its blind end and said washer is a coil spring 42 normally maintained partly compresesd. Thus, the mandrel is normally held :against the lower end of the chute 36 as yin FIG. 2 but may move axially downwardly therefrom for a limited distance, as seen in FIGS. l .and 3. This axial contraction and expansion of the mandrel is of advantage in automatically adjusting the .tool to different lengths yof shafts and shaft fixtures used in securing the shafts in position to receive a retaining ring from the mandrel.
As best seen in FIGS. -l and 2, the ring-spreading mandrel 39 has `an upper-end diameter which is somewhat less than the unstressed inner-edge diameter of the rings to be assembled and a lower-end diameter substantially equaling that of the shafts or pins on which the rin-gs are to be assembled. Thus, a ring dropping on to the upper end of the spreading mandrel from the chute 36 is positioned thereon in readiness to be spread by its axial movement along said mandrel to an inner diameter enabling it to be readily shifted over the end of the grooved shaft on which i-t is to be -assembled and thereupon pushed axially along said shaft to the plane of its groove, whereupon it will spring-seat itself in said groove. As will hereinafter appear, progressive axial movement of the ring along the mandrel and shaft end -is effected by the tubular end 18 (acting `as a push head) of the plunger 16 being actuated downwardly over the mandrel, as seen in FIGS. 3 and l, respectively. To permit of :this pushhead lmovement which would otherwise be i-mpeded by the chute 36, the tubular push head is provided with an axial slot 18a in its side wall portion in line with said chute, the action thereof in accommodating the chute being also seen in FIGS. l `and 3.
While it is believed that the functioning of the combined power operated ring dispenser and applying tool or apparatus as aforesaid will -be clear to those skilled in the art, such is briefly summarized as follows: Assuming that the tool parts are in their FIG. l position, in which piston 14 has just completed its downward or working stroke and the push head end 18 o-f the plunger 16 has just completed a ring-assembly operation and that accordingly the next cycle of tool operation is about to start, it will be seen that lthe slide 22 is in its normal or retracted position consequent to the upper end of the plunger 16 having fallen away from the finger 33` of the bellcrank lever 31, and that the ring column is being temporarily supported on the ledge surface 35 of the plate or table 21 which surrounds the drop-through opening 34 thereof.
spreading mandrel 39, the ring moves a small distance downwardly therealong, as in FIG. 2, consequent to the mandrel upper end having appreciably smaller diameter than that of the inner edge of said ring.
Y Upon the piston 14 reaching the uppermost end of its stroke, air supply tothe cylinder 11 is reversed, whereupon the piston moves downwardly and imparts corresponding downward movement to the plunger 16. Just prior to the air supply being reversed las aforesaid and in any case before such plunger movement having taken place to an appreciable extent, a grooved shaft S' supported yfor example in a fixture F and in whose groove G the ring now disposed on the' upper end `of the spreading mandrel is to be assembled, will have been moved into place beneath the mandrel 39, as is also shown in FIG. 2. During the early portion ofthe downward movement of the piston 14 and its plunger 16, the latter moves away fromthe linger 33a of the bellcrank whereupon the slide 22 returns to its normal retracted position under the bias of spring Z3. Such brings the slide opening 26 in registry with the ring of the column next above and said lowermost ring which has just previously moved on to the mandrel 39, whereupon said next-above ring drops through Upon pressure air being admitted to the lower end of the power cylinder 11 through the inlet port 13y thereof, the piston 14 is actuated to its uppermost position shown in FIG. 2. During the cou-rse of this movement, the plunger 1S retracts from the spreading mandrel 39, and also the nger 33a of the bellcrank lever 33 has been engaged by the upper end of said plunger, as results in counter-clockwise movement being imparted to the bellcrank lever as in turn causes the slide 22 to move to the right. Such slide movement results in the lowermost ring of the ring column which has previously been supported on the ledge surface 35 as aforesaid moving laterally until it directly registers with the drop-through opening 34 of the plate or shelf 21, whereupon said ring drops through said openin-g and thence on to the upper end of the rail-form chute 36, by which it is directed on to the upper end of the spreading mandrel 39 now fully axially contracted with respect to the pint()` by which it is connected to said chute. Inasmuch as the plunger 16 is now in its fully raised position, the aforesaid ring is free Ito slide down the chute 36 without such movement being interfered With by the lower end of the plunger. Upon reaching the upper end of the said opening on to the ledge 35 of Ithe plate or shelf member 21, and together with all rings above same is supported thereon. Continued lowering movement of the plunger and its cylindrical end `r18` acting as a push head brings the lower edge of the latter into engagement with the upper `face of the ring on the spreading mandrel. Assumingthe spring 42 to be -a relatively lightspring, such engagement first causes the spreading mandrel to lower on lto the upper end of the shaft S. However, upon the resistance ofthe spring having been overcome, final downward movement lof the plunger 16 and its push head end 18 pushes the ring downwardly over the now fixed spreading mandrel, as effects spreading thereof to an inner diameter corresponding to that of shaft diameter. By design, the stroke of the piston 1-4 and plunger 16 is such Ias to cause the lower edge of the push head to move axially along the shaft S until the ring reaches the plane of the shaft groove G whereupon it spring-seats itself in said groove. v'Thereupon the cycle is completed and a new cycle corresponding to that just described begins.
Referring now to the modilied embodiment of poweroperatd combination split retaining dispenser and applicator illustrated in FIGS. 7-13, such comprises a preferably handled frame 5t) mounting along one side thereof a double acting air (or hydraulic) cylinder 51 whose piston powers a tubular plunger 52 having a laterally projecting lug 53 and along the other side thereof a stack rod 54 carrying a thin, radially projecting -blade 55 adapted, by extending through the gap between the open ends of the rings R of a column thereof carried on said stack rod, to maintain said rings in accurate alignment, the aforementioned parts being generally -similar to the basic like-captioned parts of the prior described combination dispenser and applicator.
Preferably, the lower end of the stack rod S4 inclines toward the axial line of the cylinder 51 and its plunger 5-2 and terminates a small distance above the door or bottom of a slideway 56 formed in a horizontal table member 57 (corresponding generally to the table member 21 of the prior described embodiment). Said slideway extends towards said plunger line and is formed with a longitudinally extending, centrally disposed thin rib 58 whose relatively outer (left) end connects with the lower end of the aforesaid blade 55 and is thus adapted to enter the gap of the lowermost ring R of the inclined ring column and to support the middle portion of said ring slightly raised above the floor of the slideway, as is best shown in FIG. 1l.
Said lowermost ring of the ring column is pushed in rightwise direction along said slideway 5.6 by means of a slide 60 operating therein and actuable in one direction (to the right) by said plunger 52 through a pin and slot connection 62a, l62fb between a block 63 affixed to the outer (left) end of sai-d slide and an arm 64- of a double-arm pivoted 'lever 65 whose other arm dais positioned so as to be engaged by the aforesaid plunger lug 53 as the plunger moves towards its uppermost end position. Return movement of the slide is effected by a spring (not shown) functionally similar to the aforesaid spring 23. To accommodate for the aforesaid longitudinal rib 58, the slide is formed with a slot 67 opening through its right end.
In its innermost (rightmost) position, the `slide ed by its push movement thereagainst positions said previously lowenmost ring R directly beneath the plunger 52 (which is now raised) and directly above a mandrel 7l) whose connection to the table member 57 and vdetailed construction is best `shown in FIGS. lO-l3. More particularly, said mandrel, although being effectively tapered from its smaller diameter upper. end to its larger-diameter lower end as is the mandrel 39 of the prior described embodiment, is of iluted construction land comprises two aligned oppositely extending flutes 76a, 7Gb and a right angularly disposed intermediate ilute 70e (FIG. 13). Also, said mandrel is ixedly connected to the right end of the table 57 so as to depend downwardly therefrom by means of a connecting web 72, which by reference to `FIG. l is knifeor double-Wedge shape in that it has increasing thickness from its top edge 72a, which is actually a continuation of the laforesaid slideway rib 58, to its bottom end portion 72b which has thickness corresponding to that of the widened gap of a ring R when the latter has been spread to an inner-edge diarneter corresponding to that of the shaft or other workpiece S on which said ring is being assembled and which is generally shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. Illustratively, the mandrel 7d is secured to the under side of the table `S7 by means of a `supporting bracket 74 (FIGS. l1 and 13).
The operation of the FGS. 7-l3 embodiment lis genenally similar to that described above for the FIGS. l-6 forms of `combination dispenser and applicator, except that the slide 6l? pushes the lowermost ring R from beneath the stack rod directly on to the smaller-diameter upper end of the mandrel 7i), rather than providing for the ring dropping on to the upper end of a ring chute which in turn ydirects same to a spreading mandrel. More particularly, Aas the piston and plunger move upwardly, the slide is actuated to the right by engagement of the plunger lug 53 with the upper armee of the swing lever 65, and moves the lower ring of the ring column along the slide- Way 56 (whereon the rib 53 `gives it a slightly inclined position) until yit moves over the upper end of the mandrel 79. On the downward stroke of the piston, the plunger `52 lowers on to said ring and forces it downwardly along the mandrel, during the course of which movement the ring is spread to a [diameter enabling its movement over the end of the shaft S and thence axially therea-long to the plane of the shaft groove. In its movement down said mandrel, its ends which define the ring gap move against the divergent side lfaces of the mandrel-connecting web 72 which are `sloped proportionally to the taper of the mandrel proper, said divergent side faces thus serving to spread the ring ends away from one another, the mandrel proper meanwhile stabilizing the ring as a whole during spreading and [also tending to prevent localized spreading and/'or over-spreading.
lt is noted that FIG. 8 shows both pair of side handles 75a, '751) aiixed to the `frame Sti whereby the device is rendered portable `and further generally shows the fourway valve 76 for reversing direction of air ow to the opposite ends of the cylinder l, to be push button controlled, as by the push button 77. It will be seen also that the tubular plunger `52 is slotted as at `52a to accommodate the mandrel-securing web 72 in the lower positions of said plunger.
'I'he aforesaid ring drop-through feature characterining the power-operated ring ldispensing and apply tool form according to FIGS. 1 6, inclusive, may also be incorporated into a simple hand-operated dispenser las well. Referring to FIGS. 14-17 illustrative of such a hand operated dispenser, numeral 8@ indicates Ian upright fname or bracket, extending from a base a (such corresponcling to the support plate l0 of the FIGS. 1 6 modification) said bnacket mounting along one side edge thereof a stack rod 8l provided with an axially extending, radially projecting blade 82 which, by extending through the narrow gap of the plurality of rings R maintained on the stack rod in column formation, accurately Orients said rings so that their gaps all face in exactly the .same direction. To the ybracket 80 adjacent the lower end of the stack rod `81 is aihxed an angled part 83 to whose generally horizontally disposed flange or plate member 84 is rallixed a somewhat similar but lower plate member 85, it being noted that both of said plate members extend in planes which intersect the axis of the stack rod and also that the respective levels of said plate members are such that the upper face of thel upper plate member is about on a line with the lower end of the stack rod and that the upper face of the lower plate member is spaced downwardly from said stack rod a distance equalling the axial thickness of a ring R.
Said upper plate 84 is provided with a forwardly opening cut-out 86 of size and configuration as to conform substantially to the outer-edge configuration of the rings R mounted on the stack rod 8l, such cut-out being furt rer coaxially aligned with said stack rod so as to be capable of receiving the lov/ermost ring of the column of rings R positioned thereon. The aforesaid lower plate 85 is provided with a similar cut-out designated S7 of external diameter and configuration corresponding to that of the rings R, but said latter cut-out is offset forwardly with respect to the cut-.out 86 of the upper plate 84 a distance such that its defining edge forms a ledge 88 which extends a small distance forwardly lbeneath said lowermost ring of the ring column, thereby providing a limited supporting surface for the entire ring column. Thus it will be seen that the aforesaid ring cut-outs 35 and 87 and the ring-supponting ledge 85 correspond igenerally to the ring openings Z6 and 34 and ring ledge 35 of the FIGS. l-6 embodiment.
With a tool as just aforesaid, a ring-dispensing operation may be effected by simple movement of the smallerdiameter upper end of an upright lfnusto-conical mandrel or spreading 'head 9d (which end has diameter somewhat less than that of the inner diameter of the rin-gs R) into the cut-out 87 from the lower side thereof until it engages the lower end of the stack rod 81, followed by slight forward shift of said mandrel. In explanation, consequent to the lower end-face of the stack rod being spaced above the upper face of the lower plate member 8d on which the ring col-umn is supported a distance corresponding to the thickness of one ring only, movement of the mandrel gli against the lower end of the stack nod (as in FIG. l5) can result in but `only one ring, i.e. the lowermost ring of the ring column supported on the ledge 8S, being engaged thereby. Upon the mandrel 9i) being lshifted a small distance 4forwardly or to the left as aforesaid, as shown in FIG. 16, said lowermost ring is now moved laterally of the stack rod to a position in which it will directly overlie the cut-out 87 of the lower plate, whereupon it is ffree to drop through said out-out on to the upper `end of the mandrel 90, as is indicated in FIG. 17. rlhe mandrel @il may now be moved by band against the end of a grooved shaft corresponding to the previously described shaft S, and the ring which has dropped 'there-from may now be spread by forcing it axially along the mandrel, as by means of a tool having a spreading head consisting of a longitudinally slit hollow cylinder adapted to be telescoped over the mandrel, for example. Of course, instead of the mandrel 9d and the aforesaid ring spreading tool constituting physically dif- `ferent parts, they may be combined into a unitary ring spreading and applying ytool of the general type disclosed and claimed in my aforesaid application Serial No. 817,668, filed Jaune 2, `1959.
According to yet a further feature of the invention, there is provided a ring spreading mandrel for use in substitution of any of the aforesaid mandrels 39, 70 and 90 l(or otherwise) whose construction and design are such as to prevent over-stressing and thereby the possibility of the ring taking on a permanent set when being spread. In explanation, experience has shown that when an external split ring is spread :on a conventional tf-rustoconical mandrel having full circular section (as has the mandrels 39 and 90) or eflective circular section (as has the mandrel 70) there is a tendency :towards over-stressing of the ring to the extent that it takes on a permanent set, due apparently to the fact that when spread uniformly in radial direction, the more non-elastic portions of the ring, which are required to spread to about the same degree as the more elastic portions, tend Ito become overstressed. To avoid this danger the invention provides a ring spreading mandrel which effects what may properly be termed a non-circular spreading action orf the ring; that is, a spreading thereof in portions where the ring is most elastic and accordingly well able to take the deformation which it must take in moving axially along the mandrel to its larger diameter end.
Referring more particularly to FIGS. 20 and 21, the improved mandrel 100 is characterized by its larger-diameter end portion having flat sides designated 101, 102. In the case .of said langer-diameter end portion being formed hollow, as in FIGS. 18 and 19, as permits it to be telescoped over the end of a igrooved shaft S1 in whose groove G1 the ring being spread is to be assembled, said liiat sides are provided by millin Igrinding away or otherwise relieving opposite portions of its tubular wall, whereby the remaining opposite arcuate wall portions designated 103, 104 .form the langer-diameter spreading end of the mandrel.
'It is contemplated that a ring R to be spread will drop or be pushed on to a mandrel as aforesaid with the necessary relative orientation that one arcuate portion 103 of the mandrel will be effective onthe middle portion of the ring, whereas the opposite arcuate portion 4 will be effective ion free end portions of the ring, as is illustrated in HG. 211. The result of the aforesaid mandrel construction and ring disposition is that the ring R is deformed non-circularly, that is, its more elastic sides' or arms tend to elongate, whereas its lless elastic middle length portion and the usually -lugged or eared free end portions which are less sensitive to :distortion are only slightly deformed. Thus, by preventing over-stressing, the ring will inevitably return to its original circular shape when moving into .its lgroove, rather than being permanently set as might otherwise occur when spread by a conventional lfull or effectively circular mandrel.
Without further analysis, it will be appreciated that combination split retaining ring dispenser and/ or applicator tools :of the invention, whether power or hand-operated, are relatively simple in construction Iand inexpensive to manufacture, yet at the same time they are thoroughly dependable, practical and fast in their operation. However, as many changes could be made in carrying out the Iabove constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
1. A power-operated combination dispenser and applicator for split external spring retaining rings comprising, in combination, an upright frame member, a table member mounted thereon, an generally upright stack rod aiiixed to the frame member @above the table member, a ring-slideway provided on and extending across the top surface of the table member beneath the stack rod, the lower end of the stack rod being spaced above the bottom 10 of said slideway a distance approximating the axial thickness lof one ring of a column of such rings mounted on the stack rod, a slide mounted for reciprocatory movement in said slideway and operative on its working stroke to push the lowermost ring of tlre column thereof disposed lon the stack rod in sideward direction along the slideway, power means operatively mounted on the frame member above the table member and in generally parallel relation to the stack rod, a tubular plunger coaxial with and reciprocable by said power means in va path traversing that of ring movement, a ring-spreading mandrel disposed below and in coaxial alignment with said plunger and thereby in position to receive the ring moved sidewardly as aforesaid rand to be telescoped by said plunger when the latter moves on its downward stroke, .and means responsive to plunger travel in upward direction for actuating the slide throughout its working stroke thereby to effect transfer of said lowermost ring to and its positioning on the upper end of the spreading mandrel, whereby said plunger on its return stroke will actuate said ring laxially downwardly along said spreading mandrel to effect spreading thereof, said spreading mandrel being positioned with its upper end in line with said slideway whereby the slide is adapted to push said lowermost ring directly onto the mandrel.
2. A combination dispenser and applicator for split external spring retaining rings according to claim 1, wherein said power means includes lan air cylinder disposed above and operatively connected to said plunger, and a mechanical connection between the plunger and the slide for actuating `the slide as aforesaid responsive to the return stroke of the plunger.
3. A combination dispenser Iand applicator for split external spring retaining rings according to claim 2, wherein said mechanical connection comprises a bellcrank lever mounted for rocking movement, the free end of one arm thereof Abeing operatively connected to the slide and the free end lof the other arm extending intothe path of motion of the `plunger. f
4. A power-operated combination dispenser .and applicator for split external spring retaining rings comprising, in combination, an upright frame member, a table member mounted thereon, a generally upright stack rod affixed to the frame member above the tab-le member, a ringslideway provided on and extending across the top surface of the table member beneath the stack rod, the lower end of the stack rod being spaced above the bottom of said slideway a distance approximating the axial thickness of one ring of a column of such rings mounted on the stack rod, a slide mounted for reciprocatory movement in said slideway and Ioperative on its working stroke to push the lowermost ring of the column lthereof disposed on the stack rod in sideward direction along the slideway, power means operatively mounted on the frame member above the table member and in generally parallel relation to the stack rod, `a tubular plunger coaxial with and reciprocable by said power means in a path traversing that of ring movement, a ring-spreading mandrel disposed below and in coaxial `alignment with said plunger and thereby in position .to receive the ring moved sidewardly as aforesaid and to be telescoped by said plunger when the latter moves on its downward stroke, a longitudinal web connecting said spreading mandrel to the table member adjacent the delivery end of the' slideway with its upper end at the level of the bottom of said slideway, and means responsive to plunger travel in upward direction for actuating the slide throughout its Working stroke thereby `to elfect transfer of said lowermost ring to and its positioning on the upper end of the spreading mandrel, whereby said plunger on its return stroke will move said ring axially downwardly along the mandrel to effect spreading thereof, said longitudinal web being positioned to extend through the gap of a ring moving axially along the mandrel as aforesaid.
5. A combination dispenser and applicator for split external spring retaining rings according to claim 4, whereln said spreading mandrel comprises a plurality of angularly related, progressively Widening utes and said longi- 2,814,858 Erdmann Dec. 3, 1957 tudinal connecting web has progressively increasing lthick- 2,814,859 Erdmann Dec. 3, 1957 ness downwardly which corresponds substantially to the 2,840,892 Erdmann n July 1, 1958 increasing Width of the ring gap as the ring isv spread by its 2,878,556 Hedergott Mar. 24, 1959 movement Valong the mandrel as aforesaid. 5 2,895,214 Erdmann July 21, 1959 2,900,107 =Erdmann Aug. 18, 1959 References (ined in the le of this patent 2,978,301 Erdmann Apr, 11, 1961 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,991,546 Erdmann July 11, 1961 '2,669,772 Hamler Feb. 23, 1954 2,807,078 Erdmann sept. 24, 1957 1