US 3223442 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1965 c. F. FAWDRY ETAL 3,223,442
SUCTION GRIPPERS Filed April 24, 1964 United States Patent 3,223,442 SUCTION GRIPPERS Charles Frederick Fawdry and Ernest George White, both of London, England, assignors to Headley Townsend Backhouse, Lansanne, Switzerland Filed Apr. 24, 1964, Ser. No. 362,508 Claims priority, application Great Britain, May 3, 1963, 17,612 2 Claims. (Cl. 294-64) The invention relates to suction grippers of the kind, hereafter called of the kind described, comprising a mouthpiece of resilient material (e.g. rubber) attached to a rigid carrier member, the mouthpiece having an open mouth for suction-gripping engagement with a surface such as a face of a sheet of paper or other sheet material and a throughway for suction leading to the mouth and open to a port in the carrier member for connection to a source of suction.
The invention provides a suction gripper of the kind described characterised in that the resilient mouthpiece has a ball and socket pivotal attachment to the carrier member whereby the orientation of the mouth may be adjusted.
There may be included means for holding the mouthpiece on the carrier member in its position of adjustment.
In a preferred form of the invention the mouthpiece has a part-spherical socket behind the mouth with an opening (e.g. facing in a direction opposite to that of the mouth) and the carrier member has a part-spherical ball which engages in the socket and is resiliently gripped thereby, the .ball being supported by a neck which passes through the opening. With this form of the invention, the holding means aforesaid may comprise an adjustable clamp or clip around the socket portion of the mouthpiece and operable to contract the socket into gripping engagement with the ball. Alternatively there may be one or more openings for suction in the surface of the ball whereby the socket is draWn into gripping engagement with the ball. The suction may operate to deform the socket locally to draw portions of it into the openings and so to provide a measure of interlock. In use the suction supply may be the same as that to the mouth and be effective only when the mouth is closed by a sheet or other surface. However, as this is the time when resistance to movement of the mouthpiece is most desired, the result is satisfactory in practice.
Two specific embodiments of suction grippers according to the invention will now be described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a section through one form of retrieving gripper, and
FIGURE 2 is a section through another form of retrieving gripper.
In the example shown in FIGURE 1 there is a mouthpiece of soft rubber, the gripper mouth being at 11. The mouthpiece is attached to a carrier member 12, which,
in this case, is a piston working in a cylinder in a manner well known per se for grippers of the retrieving type. The attachment of the mouthpiece to the member 12 consists of a ball 14 on the carrier working in a part-spherical socket 15 in the mouthpiece. There is, in the ball, a throughway 16 for suction which leads to the mouth 11. Around the mouthpiece there is a split clip or clamp ring 17 which fits in an external groove in the mouthpiece and can .be contracted by a screw 18 to grip the mouthpiece on to the ball and so to hold the mouthpiece in any desired position of adjustment. The inside of the clip is of spherical form to conform with the ball.
The construction shown in FIGURE 2 is similar to that just described except that the clip is omit-ted and, instead there are two or, if desired three, diametrical holes in the ball. The socket of the mouthpiece is arranged to grip the ball by the natural resiliency of the rubber. When suction is applied and when the mouth 11 is closed by a sheet, the suction acts on the mouthpiece through the holes 20 and serves to hold the mouthpiece against movement on the ball.
1. A suction gripper consisting of a mouthpiece of resilient material having an open mouth, a part-spherical socket and a throughway for suction leading from the socket to the mouth, in combination with a carrier member having a ball received within the said socket and resiliently gripped thereby forming a ball and socket pivotal attachment of the mouthpiece to the carrier member and also having a passageway for suction with a port open to the throughway and With means for increasing the grip of the mouthpiece on the carrier member, which means comprises at least one opening in the surface of the ball opposed to the socket said opening being connected to the suction passageway whereby the suction is operative to draw the socket into gripping engagement with the ball.
2. A suction gripper consisting of a mouthpiece of resilient material adjustably attached to a rigid carrier member by a ball and socket pivotal attachment, the mouthpiece having a part-spherical socket behind the mouth with an opening and the carrier member having a partspherical ball which engages in the socket, the ball being supported by a neck which passes through the opening, and a throughway for suction leading to the mouth and open to a port in the carrier member, there being at least one opening in the surface of the ball opposed to the socket said opening being connected to the suction passageway whereby the suction is operative to draw the socket into gripping engagement with the ball.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS GERALD M. FORLENZA, Primary Examiner,