US 3223344 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
G. J. wEYMouTH 3,223,344
COILED STOCK CRADLE FEEDERS 5 sheets-sheet 1 Dec. 14, 1965 Filed oct. 22, 1965 Dec. 14, 1965 G. J. wEYMoUTH 3,223,344
COILED STOCK CRADLE FEEDERS Filed 0G12. 22, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR G50/maj Maf/70u r/f HMM/4.4%@
ATTORNEIYI Dec. 14, 1965 G, J. WEYMQUTH 3,223,344
COILED STOCK CRADLE FEEDERS Fied Oct. 22. 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR GL-"OEGfc/h/f yMaur/f ATTORNE Y Dec. 14, 1965 G. J. wEYMouTH COILED STOCK CRADLE FEEDERS Filed Oct. 22, 1963 A TTOF/VY INVENTOR. afa/@fd M/fyMaz/rf/ BY @JA/9&2@
Dec. 14, 1965 G. J. WEYMOUTH COILED STOCK CRADLE FEEDERS Filed Oct. 22, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR.
Y mfr/44%@ ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,223,344 COILED STOCK CRADLE FEEDERS George l'. Weymouth, Fairfield, Conn., assigner to Cooper-Weymouth, Inc., Stratford, Conn., a corporation of Connecticut Filed Oct. 22, 1963, Ser. No. 318,606 Claims. (Cl. 242-785) This invention relates to cradle feeders for coiled ruaterial, such as coiled metal strip. These cradle feeders are adapted to supply a slack loop of material from a coil to feed stamping presses or similar machines, More particularly, the cradle feeders of this invention incorporate a novel pinch roll assembly which is safely and easily disengaged for convenient loading of new stock coils, and easily re-closed. The opening and closing of the pinch roll assembly is achieved by pivoting movement of the upper pinch roll, preferably about an axis substantially parallel to the pinch rolls. When reclosed, the pinch rolls are preferably in resilient driving engagement with the uncoiling material, feeding it intermittently and automatically into an arcuate slack loop for delivery to subsequent manufacturing operations.
'Ihe cradle feeders of this invention automatically maintain the length of the slack loop between predetermined limits, and also retain the intermittently revolving coil of stock against oscillation which might cause it to jump from the cradle.
Additional features of the invention are several alternative mechanisms for applying resilient biasing force to urge the pinch rolls together, with separate biasing loads being applied to each end of the pinch rolls to grip and feed strip stock of different widths or thicknesses without adjustment.
Prior art cradle feeders have employed paired pinch rolls which were both swung aside as a unit, pivoting about a perpendicular axis, to permit loading of new coils of stock. This required the operator to swing the pinch rolls back into position and then to feed the end of the new coil by hand between the pinch rolls, before re-loading was completed. The operator jockeyed the coil by intermittent manual starting and stopping of the driving mechanism while guiding the strip by hand, -running considerable risk of injury by the pinch rolls.
Alternatively, cradle feeders have been made with the upper pinch roll entirely removable to permit loading of the device with a fresh coil of stock. In such devices, the upper pinch roll must be reinstalled and adjusted carefully before such cradle feeders are again ready to dispense the coiled strip.
Accordingly, a principal object of the invention is to provide cradle feeders for coiled material which are easily and conveniently opened for reloading.
A further object of the invention is to provide cradle feeders for coiled material in which one of the pinch -rolls is conveniently disengageable by pivoting away from the other pinch roll for loading and threading of a new coil of material into the device.
Another object of the invention is to provide cradle feeders for intermittent feeding of coiled strip material incorporating means for retaining the coil against oscillation, induced by its intermittent rotation, which might cause it to jump from the device.
A further object of the invention is to provide cradle feeders for coiled strip material in which the pinch rolls are resiliently biased toward each other, to clamp the strip material therebetween, while being easily disengagea'ble for reloading.
Still another object of the invention is to provide coil cradle feeders in which the opposite ends of the opposed 3,223,344 Patented Dec. i4, i965 pinch rolls are separately biased toward each other to produce clamping action at both edges of wide strip material, thus providing driving pinch roll engagement with the strip regardless of variations in its thickness, while still affording easy disengageability of the pinch roll assembly by pivoting Withdrawal of one pinch roll.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the constructions hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE l is a front perspective view of a cradle feeder incorporating the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional front elevation view of the cradle feeder of FIGURE l, showing the drive mechanism and the path of strip stock passing through the device.
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary rear sectional elevation view of the pinch roll assembly of the cradle feeder shown in FIGURES l and 2.
FIGURE 4 is a similar fragmentary enlarged rear elevation view, partially cut away, showing the same pinch roll assembly in its disengaged condition.
FIGURE 5 is a reduced top plan sectional view of the assembly shown in FIGURE 4, taken along line 5 5 in FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary schematic front view showing the resilient biasing of the lower pinch roll toward the upper pinch roll in the devices shown in FIG- URES 1-5.
FIGURES 7, 8 and 9 are similar fragmentary schematic front views, showing alternative resilient biasing arrangements for the pinch rolls of this cradle feeder device, and FIGURE 9A is a fragmentary schematic end elevation view, partially in section, of the device shown in FIGURE 9,
FIGURE l0 is a fragmentary front perspective view, partially cut away, of the pinch roll assembly in a moditied embodiment of the invention,
FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary schematic front view of another embodiment of the invention, modified for heavy duty operation,
FIGURE 12 is a fragmentary schematic front view showing a further alternative biasing arrangement for the pinch rolls in another embodiment of the invention, and
FIGURE 12A is a fragmentary schematic end elevation view, partially in section, of the device shown in FIGURE 12.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts in each view of the drawings.
FIGURE l shows an overall perspective view of a cradle feeder incorporating the novel features of the present invention. The cradle feeder there shown includes a main frame 20 having a front plate 22 and a rear plate 23 spaced apart and held in position by Welded end plates 24 (FIGURES l and 2).
Positioned between front plate 22 and rear plate 23 are a pair of spaced separator plates 26, shown in FIG- URES 1 and 2. The separator plates are independently adjustable sidewise, being mounted on a series of threaded studs 27 ganged together for simultaneous adjustment by a chain-and-sprocket drive assembly 29 (FIGURES 2 and 5), and plates 26 may thus he moved apart and brought together so that opposed guide rollers 28 and 30 mounted on each of the separator plates 26 bear against the sides `powered by a motor 38 acting through a reduction gear box 40 (FIGURE 1) to turn al drive shaft 42 (FIGURE 2). The motor 38 and reduction gear box 40 are both mounted on the front plate 22 shown in FIGURE l.
Free loop supply mechanism A pair of driven rotatable pinch rolls 44 and 46 span lthe foreground ends of the plates 22 and 23, as shown in FIGURE 1, to provide positive driving force propelling the strip 33 forward, to draw it from the coil 32 and supply it as required to subsequent manufacturing operations. The pinch rolls 44 and 46 are also powered by the drive mechanism 36.
The upper pinch roll 44 and the lower pinch roll 46 are shown in their engaged position in FIGURES 2 and 3, clamping the strip 33 between themselves. The upper pinch roll 44 is shown pivoted forward out of engagement with lower pinch roll 46 in FIGURES l and 4.
The strip 33 issuing from between the pinch rolls 44 and 46 forms a free slack loop 33a displaced outwardly around coil 32 and passing back above coil 32 and between the separator plates 26 toward subsequent manufacturing operations. The amount of strip 33 maintained as slack in this free loop 33a is governed by a free loop arm 48 supported on a pivot 52 on rear plate 23, and carrying a long, articulated rod 112 supporting at its end a terminal sensing roll 50. Arm 48 is balanced so that the terminal roll 50 tends to move outward, contacting the inside of free loop 33a, as indicated in FIG- URE 1.
As the loop 33a is reduced in size while being drawn forward by later processing machines, the diminishing radius of the loop 33a draws roll 50 toward coil 32, pivoting the arm 48 about its pivot point 52. This pivoting movement of arm 48 operates a switch 54 through a mechanism described in detail hereafter, starting the main drive motor 38 to feed strip 33 forward from between pinch rolls 44 and 46. rIhe free loop 33a is thus enlarged until arm 48 pivots outwardly, opening the switch 54 and stopping motor 38. The upward height of free loop 33a may be limited by a support rod 56 spanning the space between the separator plates 26 above the loop 33a, as indicated in FIGURE 2; alternatively, thin light strip material may pass over the support rod 56, to be supported by the rod.
Coil loading The pinch rolls 44 and 46 are resiliently biased toward each other, providing resilient clamping of the strip stock 33 between themselves to assure driving engagement of the strip by the pinch rolls. However, the upper pinch roll 44 is easily disengaged from the lower pinch roll 46 by pivoting movement of its supporting pinch roll frame, generally indicated at 58 in FIGURE l, pivoted about the axis of an axle shaft 60 spanning the cradle feeder between plates 22 and 23.
The pinch roll frame 58 includes a pair of side members 62 shown in more detail in FIGURES 3 and 4. Side members 62 are respectively anchored to the opposite ends of the axle shaft 64) which has its ends respectively journalled for pivoting movement in plates 22 and 23. The upper pinch roll 44 and a bumper roll 64 both span the space between the two side members 62, and these rolls have their opposite ends rotatably mounted in bearings supported by the side members 62.
In the embodiment shown in FIGURES l through 5, a long crank handle 66 is anchored to the protruding end of axle shaft 60 in front of the plate 22, and this handle 66 may thus be moved about the axis of shaft 60 from the open or disengaged position shown in solid lines in FIGURE l to the closed position shown in dashed lines 66a 4in the same figure. This pivoting movement of the handle 66 correspondingly moves the pinch roll frame 58 from the solid-line, disengaged position shown in FIG- URE l, in which a new coil 32 can easily be rolled past the pinch rolls onto cradle -rolls 34, to a dashed-line position 58a, thus engaging pinch rolls 44 and 46 with the strip 33 clampe-d therebetween. The handle 66 is held in its closed or engaged position 66a by an adjustable latch 68 mounted on front plate 22, securing the pinch roll frame 58 in its engaged position 58a.
Pivotng pinch roll frame The pinch roll frame 58 is free to move pivotally about the axis of axle shaft 60 between its two terminal positions shown in contrasting FIGURES 3 and 4. In the closed or engaged position 58a of frame S8, shown in FIGURE 3, the upper pinch roll 44 is shown engaged with the lower pinch roll 46, clamping the strip stock 33 between them. In this closed position, a drive gear 70 keyed to the shaft of the upper pinch roll 44 is enmeshed with the drive gear 72 keyed to the shaft of the ylower pinch roll 46, as shown in FIGURE 3. As shown in FIGURES l, 4 and 5, the shaft of the lower pinch roll 46 has its ends rotatably mounted in a pair of tension arms 74 and 76. The arms are pivotally supported on axle shaft 60 and urged upwardly by individual adjustable pressure springs 78 and 80 respectively coacting with flanges S2 and 84 protruding outward from plates 22 and 23 and supporting respective spring-compression studs 88 and 94). A sprocket wheel 86, keyed to the shaft of lower pinch roll 46, is engaged by the main chain drive 36 which supplies driving power to the coilsupporting cradle rolls 34, as shown in FIGURES 2, 5 and 10. The drive gear 72 is aligned with gear 70 and keyed to the end of the shaft of pinch roll 46, just inside the bearing mounted on rear tension arm 76, and spaced to rotate inside and clear of rear plate 23.
In the closed, engaged position of the pinch roll frame 58, with drive gear 70 enmeshed with drive gear 72, the motor 38 turning the cradle supporting rolls 34 also drives 'both pinch rolls 44 and 46, urging the strip 33 forwardly away from the coil 32 to supply the length of strip 33 required to provide the desired free loop 33a.
Resilient clamping In this engaged position 58a of the pinch roll frame 58, the bumper roll 64 is in position to help guide and support the coil 32 in co-operation with the coil supporting cradle rolls 34, as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3 and in the dashed lines of FIGURE 1. The intermittent operation of the drive mechanism 36 turning rolls 34, 44 and 46 produces intermittent revolution of coil 32, with abrupt starts and stops. Loosely coiled turns within coil 32 may be set in quivering, vibrating oscillation by such starts and stops, tending to cause coil 32 to jump from the cradle feeder. Bumper roll 64 blocks any such bouncing or jumping tendency by forming with the cradle rolls 34 a deeply recessed concave support for coil 32, and roll 64 is high enough to act as a barrier, preventing coil 32 from leaving the cradle feeder unexpectedly.
In the embodiment of the cradle feeder of this invention shown in FIGURES 1-6, the resilient clamping action of the pinch rolls 44 and 46 upon the driven strip 33 is produced by resilient mounting of the lower pinch roll 46, and the arrow R in FIGURE 6 schematically shows this resilient force applied to the shaft of the lower pinch roll 46. As shown in `the rear view of FIGURE 4, the resilient force R is produced by the action of the coil spring 80, which is compressively deformed between the tension arm 76 and the head of the stud 88 mounted in threaded engagement in the protruding Harige 84. As shown in the front View of FIGURE l, the corresponding helical coil spring 78 is compressed between the corresponding stud 90 threadedly engaged in the protruding ange 82 on the front of the device. The compressive deformation of the springs 78 and 80 urges the tension arms 74 and 76 upwardly, forcing the lower pinch roll 46 resiliently upward against upper pinch roll 44 in the closed or engaged position shown in FIGURE 3, and resulting in clamping engagement of strip 33 between the two pinch rolls 44 and 46.
As shown in FIGURE 4, an enlarged aperture 92 is formed in plates 22 and 23 accomodating the shaft of lower pinch roll 46, both ends of which extend through these apertures 92 and are supported outside the respective housing plates 22 and 23 in roller bearings mounted in tension arms 74 and 76 respectively. The apertures 92 thus allow considerable leeway for vertical movement of the lower pinch roll 46 as the tension arms 74 and 76 move pivotally about axle shaft 60. This independent suspension of the tension arms 74 and 76 by their respective compressed coil springs 78 and 80 produces independent resilient upward urging of each end of lower pinc-h roll 46 toward upper pinch roll 44, thus compensating for any variations in thickness of strip 33 across its width, and assuring optimum driving engagement of the pinch rolls across the width of the strip 33.
The resilient biasing of pinch rolls 44 and 46 provides another advantage during re-closing of the pinch rolls. If gears 70 and 72 should happen to Imeet with the top lands of their teeth squarely juxtaposed, frame 5S will nevertheless move to its re-closed position 58a, with the resilient biasing of the pinch rolls absorbing the displacement produced by the un-meshed gears 70 and 72. Upon actuation of drive motor 3S, gear 72 will rotate, and the resilient biasing will promptly mesh gears 70 and 72.
Similar resilient biasing of the pinch rolls 44 and 46 toward each other to assure optimum clamping engagement of the strip 33 between the pinch rolls may be produced by the alternative resilient mounting arrangements illustrated schematically in FIGURES 7, 8, 9, 9A, l2 and 12A. In FIGURE 7, a resilient force S is shown acting upon the axle of the upper pinch roll 44 to urge it toward the lower pinch roll 46. Such a resilient force S may be supplied by a suitable resilient mounting 45 of the opposite ends or" the upper pinch roll 44 in the respective side members 62 of the pivoting pinch roll frame 58. If desired, as shown in FIGURE 7, such a resilient mounting mechanism incorporates compressed coil springs similar to the springs 7S and 80 in the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGURES 1 6.
A second alternative resilient biasing arrangement is shown in FIGURE 8, where a resilient force H acts on the handle 66, tending to urge the handle counterclockwise about axle shaft 60 and producing resilient biasing pressure between the two pinch rolls 44 and 46 as a result. Such a resilient force H 1may be applied for example by a resilient mounting 69 of the latch 68, thus acting upon handle 66 in its latched condition.
Alternatively, as indicated in FIGURE 9, and FIGURE 9A, the handle de may be secured to the axle 60 by a resilient fitting 93, allowing resilient angular displacement of the handle 66 relative to the axle 6i?. In such a mechanism, the handle may be held iirmly in position lby an immovable latch member 63, wit-h the resilience of the connecting tting 93--such as a heavy coil spring similar to a clocks main spring-supplying the resilient torque acting about axle 6i! to urge the pinch roll frame S8 counterclockwise as viewed in FIGURE 9, producing resilient biasing of upper pinch roll 44 toward lower pinch roll 46, as indicated by the arrow T in FIGURE 9.
:Another alternative embodiment is hsown schematically in FIGURES l2 and 12A, where the axle dit is resiliently biased by a compression coil spring 95, urging pinch roll 44 toward roll 46 for resilient clamping action.
6 Central clamping torque In the resilient biasing arrangements of FIGURES 8, 9 and 9A supplying a resilient force to the handle 66 or employing a single resilient clockspring-like fitting 93 between the handle 66 and the axle shaft 60, the torque acting resiliently upon the pinch roll frame 58 is applied near front plate 22 or near plate 23. With wide cradle feeders adapted to support and feed wide strip material, the width of the pivoting pinch roll frame 58 might produce undesirable twisting distortion of the frame, which would apply the resilient biasing force of pinch roll 44 toward pinch roll 46 more firmly at the side of frame 58 nearest the handle 66, with a resulting loss of driving engagement at the opposite side of strip 33.
Accordingly, modied embodiments of the resilient biasing mechanism are shown in FIGURES 10 and 1l which are designed to obv-iate any such dificulty. In the modied embodiment of FIGURE l0, a power cylinder 94 is mounted on front plate 22, and its piston rod 96 is operatively connected to a force transmitting mechanism such as a chain-and-sprocket, a gear drive or the rack-and-pinion assembly 98 shown in FIGURE 10. In this assembly, the rack 100 drives the pinion I02 in a counterclockwise direction when the piston rod 96 is drawn telescopingly within the power cylinder 94, actuated by suitable valves (not shown). The pinion 102 is keyed to a rotatable shaft 104 spanning the space between the plates 22 and 23, with its ends journalled in each plate, and a sprocket wheel 106 is keyed near the center of shaft 104 and connected by a chain 10S with a corresponding sprocket wheel 110 keyed to the axle shaft 60 of fra-me 58. Actuation of power cylinder 94 to draw piston shaft 96 telescopingly within the cylinder 94 thus produces counterclockwise rotation of pinion 102, driving axle shaft 60 in a corresponding counterclockwise direction through the drive chain 108, and thus producing pivoting movement of the pinch roll frame 58 from the open position shown in FIGURE 4 to the closed, engaged position shown in FIGURE 3.
Opposite actuation of the power cylinder 94 to drive the piston rod 96 outward away from the cylinder 94 produces the opposite, clockwise rotation of pinion 102 and axle shaft 60, swinging the pivoting pinch roll frame 58 outward, away from lower pinch roll 46, to its open position shown in FIGURE 4.
In this modied embodiment of the invention, the torque applied to open or close the pinch roll frame 58 is applied near the middle of axle shaft 60, symmetrically balancing the torque loading upon the pinch roll frame S8, and avoiding twisting or warping of the frame and uneven clamping action of the pinch rolls 44 and 46 on the strip 33. With this modified embodiment, any one of the resilient biasing arrangements shown schematically in FIGURES 6, 7, 8 and 9 may be employed. In this embodiment, the power cylinder 94 may be actuated by hydraulic or pneumatic pressure, and a pneumatic power cylinder 94 may be employed to produce the resilient biasing force acting upon the pivoting pinch roll frame 53 if desired.
In the modified embodiment shown schematically in FIGURE 11, the same central application of opening and closing torque is provided by the same chain-and-sprocket assembly 106-I08-110 connecting shafts 104 and 60. Here the shaft 104 is driven through another roller chainand-sprocket assembly 328, powered by a reversible rightangle gear motor anchored to front plate 22,
Motor 130 is started by depressing an open start button 131 mounted on plate 22, and a limit switch 132 actuated by the arrival of pinch roller frame 58 disconnects motor 130 when the frame reaches its open position shown in dashed lines in FIGURE 1l. After re-loading, a close start button 133 is depressed, starting motor 130 in the opposite direction, and moving frame 58 to the solid-line closed position 58a shown in FIGURE 11, where it actuates a second limit switch 134, stopping motor 130. The stopping rotation of motor 136i caused by its angular momentum during deceleration is compensated by the positioning, adjustment or play in the switches 132 and 134.
Reloading operatic/1 It will be evident from the foregoing description that reloading the cradle feeders of this invention is a simple operation, and this is exemplified by the embodiment illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 6. There, the articulated rod 112 is straightened to the solid-line position shown in FIGURE 1, and the pivoting pinch roll frame 58 is moved from its engaged, closed position to its open position simply by unlatching handle 66 from the latch 68 and moving the handle from its latched position 66a clockwise to its open position 66 as shown in FIGURE 1, producing the pivoting, opening movement of pinch roll frame 5S and bringing the bumper roll 64 from its engaged position to its open position near the oor, as shown in FIGURES l and 4. A new coil 32 may then be rolled up to the cradle feeder 20 and into the device by rolling it up over bumper roll 64, pinch roll 44, axle shaft 61B, and pinch roll 46 to the cradle drive rolls 34, bringing coil 32 into the position shown in FIGURE 2.
The coil 32 is then rotated in short angular increments by powering motor 38 in brief spurts until the strip end 114 uncoils and moves forward from the underside of the-coil 32, as indicated in FIGURE 1. Further jockeying rotation of the coil 32 by intermittent actuation of the arm 112 moves the strip end 114 forward to the position shown in FIGURE l, just past axle shaft 60 and short of pinch roll 44 in its open position. The pivoting disengagement of pinch roll 44 about axle 60, spaced away from pinch roll 46, leaves ample space between the disengaged pinch rolls, so that strip end 114 may be stopped over a wide range of positions without impeding the re-closing of pinch roll frame 58. Pivoting movement of handle 66 counterclockwise to `its closed position 66a correspondingly pivots upper pinch roll 44, clearing the free end of strip 114 and bringing upper pinch roll 44 into its engaged position shown in FIGURE 3, clamping strip 33 between the two pinch rolls 44 and 46, and also bringing the bumper roll 64 into its engaged position, wh-ere it can help to support coil 32 and block oscillating movement of coil 32 which might carry it out of the cradle feeder.
Automatic intermittent feed The embodiment shown in FIGURES 1 through 6 illustrates the type of automatic intermittent feed mechanism employed in the cradle feeders of this invention. As best seen in FIGURE 4, this mechanism includes the free loop sensing arm 48-112 co-operating with the switch 54, both mounted on rear plate 23 near the pinch roll assembly.
After re-loading, rod-arm 112 is folded to the dashed line position 112a shown in FIGURE 1, and the re-loaded cradle feeder is again ready for intermittent feeding of strip end 114 to form the free loop 33a leading to subsequent manufacturing operations. Initially, the free loop 33a is passed around the sensing roll 50 positioned in its sensing position 50a. The drawing forward of the free loop 33a reduces its length and radius of curvature until it comes in contact with the sensing roll 50a, causing the arm 48-112 to pivot in a counterclockwise direction as shown in FIGURE 1, to actuate the switch generally indicated at 54 (FIGURES 1 and 4).
In the rear view of FIGURE 4, this pivoting movement is viewed as clockwise rotation of the sensing arm 48-112 about pivot point 52. The arm 48 is mounted for pivoting about the pivot 52 on a pivot bracket 116 having an ear 118 protruding between the arms of a separately journalled switching yoke 120. The yoke 120 is pivotally 8 mounted on an axis 124 and carries a mercury switch 126.
Both arms of yoke are provided with adjustable stops 122 flanking the end of ear 118. Adjustment of the stops 122 by threading them further into the arms of yoke 120 toward each other reduces the free space between their ends within which ear 11S may pivot before touching either stop. This mechanism 54 thus provides an adjustable toggle switch with variable play between its connect and its disconnect positions.
In FIGURE 4, the clockwise pivoting movement of arm 48 urged by the diminishing radius of loop 33a has moved ear 11S clockwise, tilting yoke 120 counterclockwise. In this counterclockwise-tilted position, mercury switch 126 connects drive motor 38 to the power line. When the resulting rotation of coil 32 and forward movement of strip 33 enlarges free loop 33a sufficiently to allow the sensing arm 48-112 to pivot outward, away from coil 32, ear 11S is correspondingly pivoted counterclockwise to tilt yoke 126 in its clockwise direction, disconnecting the mercury switch 126 to disconnect line power from drive motor 3S. Adjustment of the two variable stops 122 allows the operator to determine the size of free loop 33a and the frequency with which the machine will feed additional strip material to maintain the radius of free loop 33a within the desired limits.
When the coil 32 is exhausted, the cradle feeder is easily prepared to receive the next coil 32 merely by unlatching and pivoting the handle 66 down to the position shown in FIGURE l and folding the upper portion of articulated sensing arm 112 outwardly to bring sensing roll 50 to the solid-line position shown in FIGURE 1. The new coil 32 is then rolled over the rolls into the cradle feeder as described above, and the handle 66 is readily pivoted back to its latched position, engaged by the latch 68. After closing the pinch rolls, further feeding movement of the pinch rolls drives free strip end 114 forward, where it can be led around sensing roll 50 and then delivered to the stamping press or other subsequent apparatus. This convenient re-loading capability is thus combined with resilient clamping engagement of the pinch rolls with the strip, bumper roll retention of oscillating coils and readily variable automatic feed. The slack loop 33a is maintained within desired limits at all times and this provides dependable and efficient automatic operation, freeing the operator for other duties and requiring his attention only for reloading the cradle feeder.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are eciently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above 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.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specic features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
1. A cradle-feeder for coiled material comprising, in combination:
A. a housing having bottom surfaces designed to rest on a supporting floor,
B. cradle rolls rotatably mounted in the housing for supporting a coil of material,
C. a lower pinch roll rotatably supported in a loading end of the housing near the bottom surfaces,
D. drive means in the housing for rotating all of said rolls, and
E. an upper pinch roll rotatably supported by the housing and pivotally movable, about an axis parallel to the lower pinch roll positioned between the lower pinch roll and the loading end of the housing, from an engaged position, juxtaposed above the lower pinch roll, to a disengaged position, spaced away from the lower pinch roll in which a coil of material may be moved past the pinch rolls by rolling it over the disengaged upper pinch roll and then over the lower pinch roll toward the cradle rolls.
2. The combination defined in claim 1 including means resiliently biasing the pinch rolls together in the engaged position of the upper pinch roll.
3. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein the biasing means includes spring means mounted on the housing and urging the lower pinch roll toward the upper pinch roll when in said engaged position.
4. The combination defined in cl-aim 2 wherein the biasing means includes springs acting separately on the individual ends f one pinch roll to provide independent resilient urging of each end of that pinch roll toward the opposing pinch roll.
5. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein the biasing means includes frame means supporting the upper pinch roll and pivotally secured to the housing to provide said pivotal movement.
6. The combination dened in claim S wherein the biasing means further includes resilient means secured to the frame means urging the upper pinch roll toward the lower pinch roll.
7. The combination defined in claim 5 wherein the biasing means includes resilient means mounted on the housing urging the frame means toward the lower pinch roll.
8. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein the upper pinch roll is rotatably mounted in frame means pivotally secured to the housing for pivoting movement about the axis substantially parallel to the lower pinch roll,
9. The combination defined in claim 8 wherein the frame means is provided with a crank handle for manually pivoting the frame means for producing the pivoting movement of the upper pinch roll between its engaged and disengaged positions.
10. The combination defined in claim 8 wherein the frame includes a pivot axle journalled in the housing, and automatic drive means coupled to apply torque to the middle of the pivot axle for producing the pivoting movement of the upper pinch roll between its engaged and disengaged positions.
11. A cradle-feeder for coiled sheet material comprising, in combination:
A. a housing including spaced side plates,
B. a plurality of coil supporting cradle rolls rotatably supported spanning the housing between the two side plates,
C. a lower pinch roll rotatably supported spanning the housing between the two side plates near a loading end of the housing,
D. an axle shaft rotatably supported spanning the housing between the two side plates and substantially parallel to the lower pinch roll between the lower pinch roll and the loading end of the housing,
E. an upper pinch roll,
F. a frame rotatably supporting the upper pinch roll and anchored to the axle shaft for pivotal movement about the axis thereof,
G. and actuating means for pivoting the frame about the axle shaft, toward the lower pinch roll to a drive position where the pinch rolls are juxtaposed, and away from the lower pinch roll to a loading position upwardly exposed near the loading end of the housing, in which loading of a coil of material onto the cradle rolls is facilitated by the pinch rolls through their consecutive respective support of the coil during loading.
12. The combination dened in claim 11 including a bumper roll rotatably mounted on the frame beyond the upper pinch roll, wherein pivoting movement of the frame to the drive position brings the bumper roll near the periphery of the coil blocking oscillating movement of the coil which would otherwise tend to cause the coil to jump away from the cradle rolls.
13. The combination defined in claim 11 including independent tension arms each rotatably supporting an extreme end of the lower pinch roll, both pivoted about the axle shaft, and both resiliently urged toward the drive position of the upper pinch roll by resilient means anchored to the housing.
14. The combination defined in claim 11 wherein both pinch rolls are provided with driving gears which are engaged in the drive position and disengaged in the loading position of the frame.
15. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein the disengaged position of the upper pinch roll is spaced diagonally downward from the lower pinch roll toward the supporting oor.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 63,245 3/ 1867 Helffricht 226-187 2,789,777 4/ 1957 De La Motte 242-78.? 3,101,913 8/1963 Davis 226-187 X MERVIN STEIN, Primary Examiner.
STANLEY M. GILREATH, Examiner.