US 3226767 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 4, 1966 A. c. HOWELL, JR 3,
APPARATUS FOR WIRE comma Filed May 16. 1961 a Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
BLAIR AND BUCKLES ATTORNEYS.
ALLEYN E C.HOWELL,JR.
Jan. 4, 1966 A. c. HOWELL, JR
APPARATUS FOR WIRE COILING R J t TE Nw h ho 5 H m. c 9 E & N s m L L I mm Filed May 16. 1961 BLAIR AND BUCKLES ATTORNEYS.
Jan. 4, 1966 A. c. HOWELL, JR 3,226,767
APPARATUS FOR WIRE COILING Filed May 16, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet S INVENTOR.
ALLEYNE C. HOWELL, JR. BY
BLAIR AND BUCKLES AT TOR N EYS.
United States Patent 3,226,767 APPARATUS FOR WIRE COILING Alleyne C. Howell, Jr., Fairfield, Conn., assignor to The Whitney Blake Company, New Haven, Conn. Filed May 16, 1961, Ser. No. 110,508 Claims. (CL 18- 19) This invention relates to an apparatus for permanently coiling coated wire, and more particularly to an apparatus which automatically coils coated Wire on a mandrel and heats said mandrel-wound wire tofpermanently set a coiled configuration therein.
The permanent setting of insulation coated wire with a coiled configuration has become extremelypopular. One most popular usage is a telephone hand sets. Other adaptations, such as electric shaver cords, appliance cords, and tractor-trailer wire connectors are increasingly being made. Such increased popularity is due to several fac- 'tors. ance to the wire. In addition, the wire does not tangle, and to an extent, is self-recoiling. Furthermore, less overall wear and tear results byreason of the coiled configuration.
The coiled configuration imparts a neat appear- In the past, production techniques for such coiled wire generally involved both manual and machine-operated steps. This was especially truewhere short lengths with connectors at their ends, such" as electric shaver cords, were subjected to the technique. An operator would first thread and then manually wind the insulated wire upon a machine driven mandrel. The latter would then be physically moved to an oven where it was heated for a specified length of time. Upon cooling, the wire upon the mandrel would have a permanently coiled set. The wire was then removed from the mandrel and carried to succeeding operational steps, such as reverse coiling, inspection, packing and the like.
Due to the many manual steps involved in the technique, the process was slow and tediousand operator faults, such as loose, uneven or incomplete winding,frequently occurred. The slowness of the process increased the cost and loose, uneven or incomplete winding resulted in non-uniform coils. Such non-uniform coils were unattractive and would tangle in use.
An object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for automatically imparting a permanently coiled "configuration to coated wire in high quantity production line operations.
Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus of the above character which imparts a relatively tight coil to the wire.
A further object of this invention is to provide an apparatus of the above character which imparts a relatively uniform coil to the wire over substantially its entire length. a
A still further object of this invention is'to provide an apparatus of the above character which is relativelysafe to operate.
Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus of the above character which is self-contained within one unit. i
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
The invention accordingly relates to an apparatus embodying features of construction, combinations :of eleice ments and arrangement of parts for coiling coated wires, all as exemplified in the following detailed disclosure, 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 1 is a perspective view of the wire winding mechanism of the apparatus of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the mechanism of FIGUREl taken along line 22;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional side elevation view of the entire apparatus of this invention, taken along line 3-3 OfFIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the conveyor chain and associated elements of the URE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary cross sectional side view of the mechanism shown in FIGURE 4, taken along line 5-5, in FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary side view of a portion of the heating zone conveyor, shown in FIG- URE 3;
FIGURES 7A and 7B are progressive schematic side viewsof the trigger release gate mechanism of the hopper;
FIGURE Sis an enlarged top view of a Wire-coiling mandrel used in the apparatus of the invention;
FIGURE 9 is a detailed bottom view of the sliding "latch guide of the mandrel of FIGURE 8;
FIGURE 10 is a cross sectional view of the sliding latch guide shown in FIGURE 9, taken along line Ill-10 in FIGURE 9; and T FIGURE 11 is a perspective view of the mandrel unwinderrnechanism of the apparatus.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
The objects enumerated above, are accomplished by "thefuse ofa novel apparatus which permits mass production of coiled lengths of wire. The apparatus as schematically illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 3, utilizes a hopper 10, coiling mandrels 12, a mandrel revolving or w nding mechanism 14, mandrel heating zone 16, mandrel cooling zone 18, and a reverse-coiling mandrel unwinder, all combined with a housing as a unitary device. 45
Broadly the technique of using the apparatus comprises the loading of lengths of wire or like material onto suit- ,able clamping mandrels 12. The loaded mandrels are then placed in the hopper 10 (FIGURES 1 and 3) where they arereleased individually onto one of the saddles 44 on the coiling conveyor 46. The saddles 44 are carried in spaced relationship through the coiling zone 14 by the endless belt or chain conveyor 46 (FIGURES 1 and 2).
The mandrels 12 are rotatably carried by saddles 44 as they move along the length of the conveyor. Their rotation coupled with the action of certain clamps on the mandrel automatically coils the wire lengths about each mandrel. After full coiling of the wire lengths, the mandrel and wire is passed through a heating zone 16 to set the coiled configuration in the wire. If desired, it may then be passed through a cooling zone 18 and then delivered toa delivery opening. Here, the mandrel is inserted into a mandrel unwinder where the coiled wire is removed and simultaneously reverse coiled to further tighten the coil.
More specifically the technique involves loading a length of wire W, such as a webbed insulated plastic or neoprene coated paired conductor with connector plugs at each end, onto one of the coiling mandrels 12. Such loading is accomplished by threading the wire at one end into a fixed clamp 74 secured to the mandrel 12 (FIGURES 2, 8). The next adjacent portion of the wire is then slidably secured to a sliding latch guide 76 which is rotatably mounted upon the mandrel. The latch guide 76 is so constructed that it will helically feed the wire tightly about the mandrel rod 72 as the mandrel rotates. A novel locking means contained within the latch guide 76 prevents any accidental reversal of the helical winding action during the winding movement.
After the mandrel has been threaded, it is placed, with other loaded mandrels, into the hopper of the apparatus. One end of the wire W dangles over an edge of the apparatus (see FIGURE 1).
A novel trigger release hopper gate (FIGURES 1, 7A, 7B) automatically dispenses the mandrels, one at a time, from the hopper onto a saddle 44 of the winding mechanism. The saddles 44 are carried in spaced relationship by an endless belt or chain conveyor 46 through the coiling zone 14 (FIGURES 1 and 2).
The winding mechanism 14 may be broadly described as the conveyor 46 with means thereon to move each mandrel laterally while the mandrel is being rotated about its own axis. Such rotation is accomplished by rolling the mandrel against a longitudinally disposed track.
During spinning of the mandrel, the sliding latch guide is cammed against reverse rotary movement. Such camming results in a helical coiling of the wire about the rotating mandrel.
To overcome drag caused by the dangling end of the wire, the track along which the mandrel rolls is provided with magnetic elements. The magnetic attraction thus created between the track and the mandrel prevents slippage of the mandrel. Thus, the mandrel is forced to roll along the track as it laterally traverses the conveyor path. A forceful rotary motion is thereby imparted to the mandrel.
The winding conveyor 46 is of such length that the wire will be completely wound about the mandrel when the latter reaches the end of the conveyor path. To overcome any possibility of incomplete winding, the conveyor is somewhat longer than actually necessary for complete wlnding. Use of a magnetic track permits slippage of the mandrel after the sliding latch guide 76 has caught the connector at the dangling end of the wire and is therefore generating a torque greater than the frictional torque exerted by the magnetic track on the mandrel.
. When coiling is completed, the coiled wire is automatlcally retained around its mandrel 12 while the mandrel passes through the subsequent stages of the process.
The loaded mandrels are next lowered to a heating conveyor 106 by way of a timing delivery mechanism 96 (FIGURE 3). Conveyor 106 carries the mandrel through the heating zone 16 (FIGURE 3). Thence they travel to a cooling zone 18, where the mandrels and the wire lengths coiled around them return to room temperature, and a delivery conveyor 120 then carries the mandrels to a delivery chute 124. Here the wire is unwound from the mandrel 12 by a novel mandrel unwinder 140 which simultaneously unwinds and reverse coils the short coiled length of wire. This results in a tighter coil. It should be evident that the method and apparatus of the present invention effect automatic and continuous coiling, heating, and cooling of lengths of wire, such as insulationcoated conductor pairs. With an initial single quick loading operation performed upon each Wire length, all of the processing treatments then follow automatically. And With a simple manual or automatic manipulation, the wire is subsequently removed from the mandrel and simultaneously reverse coiled. Operator faults are substantially eliminated during these consecutive steps and high-volume production of uniform, tightly coiled wire lengths is made possible.
Wire processed by the above technique is found to be permanently coiled in a tight, uniform manner over substantially its entire length. It is exceptionally neat in appearance. When used, it is resilient and self-recoiling due to the resistance of its coiled configuration to stretching. It doe not tangle, and by reason of its self-coiling feature, it tends to be less subject to wear.
A detailed discussion and description of the various parts of the apparatus and of the technique of operation follows hereinafter.
The hopper The hopper 10 consists of an inclined mandrel chute 19 with a dispenser opening 20 at its lower end (see FIG- URES 1, 3, and 7). Loaded mandrels 12 are placed in chute 19 by the operator, and are singly released for coiling and heating treatment by the trigger and gate mechanism now to be described.
The dispenser opening 20 is normally closed by a gate, which comprises an upwardly extending gate rod 22 pivoted at 24 to the frame 26 of the apparatus. Gate rod 22 is biased counterclockwise by spring 28 to normally block the dispenser opening 20. A cam follower 30 affixed to a gate rod crank 23 coacts with a clockwise rotating cam disk 32 to pivot rod 22. When cam peak 34 engages follower 30, rod 22 pivots away from the dispenser opening. Such pivotal movement unblocks the opening and permits a wire-loaded mandrel 12 to pass through the opening.
To elfect singular release of the mandrels in the hopper, the upper end of gate rod 22 contains a trigger pin 40 which rides on the forward upwardly concave surface 38 of trigger finger 36.
Trigger finger 36 is biased clockwise by trigger spring 42 so that pin 40 will continuously bear against surface 38.
With the unblocking of the dispenser opening 20 by the clockwise pivoting of rod 22, pin 40 moves along the concave surface 38 of the trigger finger 36 (compare FIGURE 7A to FIGURE 7B). Such movement pivots the free end of the trigger finger 36 downwardly to block passage of subsequent mandrels 12 into the dispenser opening (see FIGURE 7B). Thus, singular release of mandrels contained in the hopper is accomplished.
The mandrels Referring particularly to FIGURES 8 through 10, each mandrel 12 consists of a rod 72 with enlarged ends 50 and 52. The enlarged ends may be integral with rod 72 or else separately machined tubular members which have een mounted upon and secured to the rod ends. The rod ends contact the winding mechanism as explained in detail hereinafter.
The rod 72 of each mandrel contains an encircling fixed clamp 74 and a sliding latch guide 76. Both the clamp and the guide have an angular block configuration with the rod 72 extending through one arm portion of said block configuration.
Fixed clamp 74 (FIGURE 8) contains a channel 78 which receives and retains wire W. An car 80 aids to lock the wire W within the channel. The clamp is fixedly swaged to rod 72 by punched dimples 86 in its rod-containing leg. Obviously other methods of fixation, such as keying, brazing or spot welding may be used.
Sliding latch guide 76 has a channel 82 which also receives and contains wire W. The channel 82 has a depth sufiicient to properly guide the wire therethrough onto the rod 72. Ear 84 aids in locking wire W within the channel.
The main distinction between the fixed clamp and the slidinglat'ch guide 76 is that the latter is free to revolve about rod 72 but only in a unidirectional manner (counter-clockwise in FIGURE 10). Such unidirectional rotary motion is accomplished by a unique spring lock mechadownwardly faced channeled cover .5 nism. The spring lock mechanism consists of'a helical rod-encircling spring 88 contained within a recess 87. One end '89 of the spring is fixedly secured to the latch guide While the other end 91 of the spring is permitted to ride freely on the rod 72. The internal diameter of spring 88 is dimensioned for frictional engagement with the surface of rod 72. Thus when torque is applied to the latch guide tending to rotate it in a direction which loosens the spring about the rod (e.g., counterclockwise inFIGURE 10), the latch guide will rotate about and move longitudinally over the length of rod 72. This occurs because such counterclockwise torque is opposed only by the frictional grip of the remote free end of spring 88 upon rod 27, and spring 88 therefore uncoils until too few coils remain in frictionalengagement withrod 72 to resist rotation of latch guide 76 about rod 72.
However, when an attempt is made to pivot latch guide 76 about rod 72 in a directionwhich tightens the spring around the rod (e.g., clockwise in FIGURE 10), such tightening increases the frictional engagement of spring 83 with rod 27, and the spring therefore seizes and clamps the rod so that no rotary nor longitudinal movement is possible. Thus, unidirectional rotary motion is latch guide 76is permitted while at the same time, a lock against an opposite rotary motion is effected.
The winding mechanism As each mandrel is dispensed from the hopper, it falls into a saddle 44 of a coiling zone conveyor 46 (FIGURES 1, 2, 3). Each saddle is formed in a fiat U-shape, as shown in FIGURE 1. Its arms 43 and '45 are aflixed through rotatable spacers 51 to two outer chains 47 and 48 of the conveyor 46 (FIGURES 2, 4, The spacers -51 rotate upon extensions of the chain link pins 53. l
The chains 47 and 48 each ride over a powdered sprocket wheel 39 and an idler sprocket wheel 41. Since the span of each saddle is less than thelength of each mandrel, mandrel ends 50 and 52 extend through slots -=49 in the upstanding arms 43 and 45 of each saddle (see FIGURES 1, 2) and are supported by the rotatable spacers 51 (see FIGURES 2, 4 and 5). The mandrel is thus able to rotate while resting on said spacers.
Disposed over each winding mechanism chain, is a magnetic track 54 (see FIGURE 2). Since both tracks are similar, only one track 54 will be described in detail.
Track 54 consists of two horizontally disposed rails "58 which are integral with or securely connected to the horseshoe magnets is a non-magnetic support strip 60. A plastic or aluminum strip is suitable for this purpose. Bolts 64 along the length of the strip secure the magnetic track to an elongated angular support bracket 68. A plate 70 encloses the magnetic track assembly. i
i The suspended magnetic track or tram is positioned so that it engages the end of each mandrel 12. Thus as the mandrel is moved laterally or broadside down the conveyorpath an upside down or reverse rolling Of;the
-12 is' rotatably supported on the rollers 51 in frictional rolling engagement with the underside of track rails 58.
*The mandrelend 52 thus provides a closed path for the magnetic fiux of magnet 62, and is held by magnetic attraction against rails 58. As saddle 44 carries the mandrel along winding co'nveyor46, reverse rolling of man- 6 rdre'l end 52 beneath rails 58 occurs, coiling wire W about rod 72 of mandrel 12.
Such reverse rolling in coaction with the camming of latch guide 76 as described hereinafter winds wire W into a tightly coiled helical configuration around each mandrel 12. The magnetism of the track creates a suflioient attractive force between the mandrel and the track thatany dragging force of the dangling end of wire W is overcome.
The camming of the movable wire guide 76 is effected by a cam table. Within each saddle. The lower unnotched surface of the movable latch guide 76 bears against table '90, and is thus prevented from rotating. Simultaneous with such camming, the mandrel and the fixed clamp are reverse rolling along rails '58. This reverse r-oll'ing of the mandrel with camming of the movable latch guide 76 draws wire W through slot 82 in latch guide 76, and "coils the wire about rod 72. The coiled wire urges latch guide 76 sideways along rod 72, from left to right in FIGURE 2. Wire W is fed to the rod by a proper depth of channel 82, to. causea tight helical winding of wire about the rod.
It should be noted that the diameter of wire W will govern the number of turns per unit length of the coil. ;This can be seen by noting thatchannel 82 is so formed (see FIGURES 2 and 8) that it feeds the wire to the rod so that the juxta-positioned edges of the coiled wire act to guide and cam the next turn of wire being fed to the rod. Hence, a tight winding of wire W about rod 72 is accomplished.
When the end of wire W reaches the movable latch guide 76, connection C jams in the entrance to groove 82, being too large to pass into the groove. The connection C may be a plug, a terminal, or for that matter, even a knot in the wire or any enlarged body not capable of sliding through channel 82.
Catching of the connection by the guide blocks the further feeding of wire W through groove 82 around rod 72, and thus blocks further revolution of rod 72 and therefore of mandrel 12. Since no further mandrel rotation can occur, the magnetic track friction is overcome. The mandrel merely slides over the track to the terminal end of the winding mechanism. It then disengages from the track and is carried in saddle 44 around idler sprocket wheel 41.
At the end of conveyor 46, the saddle 44 is inverted by a 180 turn around the sprocket wheel 41, and the mandrel drops off the saddle to rest between guide 94 and a vertical power driven rotating feed mechanism comprising two spaced rotating notched wheels 96 (FIG- URE 3). Each wheel contains a notch or slot 98 in its periphery. Notch'es 98 are of suflicient depth to engage and carry the enlarged ends 56 and 52 of the mandrel 12 aroundthe semi-circular path 100 defined by the wheel periphery and its enclosing guide 94. After being carried about the half circular path 100, the mandrel is delivered through an opening 102 in guide 94, and thence to the heating zone conveyor 106.
The heating zone The heating zone'16 of the apparatus of this invention consists of heating means, such as a radiant heating element 1'04 spaced longitudinally over the heating zone 7 conveyor 106. Obviously other heating means, such as banks of infra-red bulbs or induction heating of the mandrel could also be utilized.
The heating zone conveyor 10 6 consists of two spaced chains at the outer side edges of the apparatus which 7 tending dogs 110. These dogs 110 with the link form a pinion-type surface for receiving and retaining the enlarged ends of each mandrel.
To effect even distribution of heat to the coiled wire, mandrel is rolled as it travels along the conveyor path. Such rolling movement is effected by overlying friction shoes 112 which engage the ends of the mandrel. In this instance, the shoes are not magnetic because not only would the heat of the heating zone destroy the magnetism but also normal rolling friction is sufiicient to rotate the mandrel since no coiling of the wire W is required in this stage of the process. At this stage, there is no drag of the wire. To insure rolling of the mandrel, it is generally, desirable to apply stripping; such as, felt or neoprene to the surface of the shoe. Obviously, other friction generating rolling surfaces may be employed.
After a fixed exposure time in the heating zone, the plastic or neoprene coating on the wire has been sufiiciently oriented to retain its coiled set. The mandrel is then deposited onto a third conveyor which passes through a cooling zone in the apparatus.
The cooling zone At the end of the heating zone conveyor, each mandrel drops onto a cooling zone conveyor 114. Here again, the construction of the conveyor preferably consists of two spaced chains located at the outer edge portion of the apparatus. Each chain rides over a driven sprocket wheel 116 and an idler sprocket wheel 118.
The cooling zone 18 in the preferred embodiment is located at the lower portion of the apparatus. This permits a gravity feed of each mandrel from the upper wind-. ing conveyor 46 to the lower cooling zone. It also permits a three-tiered arrangement with the winding mechanism at the upper level where visual inspection of the most crucial step in the technique is possible at all times. A draft of air for cooling is effected by a fan 128 located in flume 129 of the apparatus.
While the three-tiered arrangement is indicated as the preferred embodiment it should be understood that, with some modification the functioning elements can be positioned in different arrangements. It is also possible to eliminate the cooling zone from the apparatus provided that some provision is made to permit self-cooling of each mandrel after it has been dispensed from the apparatus.
Delivery At the end of the cooling zone, each mandrel is taken up by a delivery conveyor 120, which is primarily located in flume 129 where additional cooling is possible. The construction of conveyor 120 is basically similar to the other construction of the conveyors. It consists of two spaced chains located at the outer side portions of the apparatus. Each chain rides over a driven sprocket wheel 118 and an idler wheel 122. Wheel 118 is driven by chain 114 of the cooling zone.
At the delivery end of delivery conveyor 120, the mandrel is dispensed through delivery chute 124 in the apparatus housing 26. An operator or an auxiliary conveymg mechanism may be stationed at this opening to receive each mandrel. Here the wire is removed from the mandrel using a novel reverse coiling mandrel unwinder.
The empty mandrel is reused to wind and set additional wire.
Mandrel unwinder and reverse coiling means The mandrel unwinder, generally indicated at 140, is shown in detail in FIGURE 11. As shown in FIGURE 3, it has a shelf element 142, which is affixed to housing 26 with the aid of angular support brackets 144. Again referring to FIGURE 11, the shelf element supports a mandrel chuck and drive means 146, a mandrel support 147 and an unwind spindle chuck and drive means 148. Both means are driven, as indicated below, by a motor 8 and gearing housed in motor housing extending below the shelf element 142.
The mandrel chucking and driving means includes a quick-connect chuck 152 into which the enlarged end 50 of mandrel 12 is inserted. The other enlarged end 52 of the mandrel is rotat-ably supported in a V-shaped slot 154 in mandrel support 147.
The unwind spindle chuck and drive means also includes a chuck 156 which supports an unwind spindle 158 which is similar to rod 72 of mandrel 12. The unwind spindle has a fixed clamp 160 into which the released end of the coiled wire W is inserted prior to the unwinding and reverse coiling operation.
In operation, both chuck means are driven in opposite directions and at a rate of speed which causes unwinding of wire W from mandrel 12 and reverse coiling onto spindle 158 without stressing the wire.
Mandrel 12 is driven by mandrel drive means 148 to unroll the wire from the mandrel (counterclockwise in FIGURE 3). Spindle 158 is driven to wind the coiled wire against its coiled set; i.e., over the spindle and in a clockwise direction in FIGURE 3, so that reverse coiling occurs.
After fully unwound and reverse coiled, the wire is released from clamp 160 and the reverse coiled length removed from the spindle 158 by axial sliding movement of the length toward and past the free end 162 of the spindle.
Power means As illustrated in FIGURE 3 the heating zone conveyor, the cooling zone conveyor, and the delivery conveyor are powered by motor 130 acting through a chain drive 132 and a tensioned guide wheel 134. A separate motor 136 with chain 138 drives sprocket wheel 39 of the winding mechanism conveyor.
Motors 130 and 136 may be combined provided appropriate gearing is used to provide a unitary drive for all of the chain conveyors. In the embodiment shown, the two-motored arrangement was preferred because it simplified control of the operating parts.
As to the unwinder power means, it consists of a motor and appropriate gearing to power each of the chuck and drive means 146 and 148. The power means may be controlled by an on-off switch (not shown) preferably having a pedal actuator.
While it is believed that the foregoing detailed description has sufficiently indicated the sequence involved in permanently coiling wire, the operating procedure is nevertheless discussed in detail below to insure a thorough understanding of the invention.
Initially, electrical current is supplied to motors 130 and 136, fan 128, and heating element 104. One or more loading operators are stationed at hopper 10 and a second operator or an auxiliary conveyor is stationed at delivery chute 124.
The first operator threads individual mandrels with the heat-coilable insulation covered wire. He does this by inserting one end of a wire W into the channel 78 of the fixed clamp 74 in each mandrel. He then inserts the next adjacent portion of wire W into channel 82 of the sliding latch guide 76. After threading the mandrel with wire, it is placed into hopper 10. The free end of the wire is dangled over the far edge of the apparatus (see FIGURE 1). At this point, automatic operation begins.
Singular mandrels are dispensed one at a time, by the machine into saddles 44 aflixed to the conveyor chain of the winding mechanism. The saddle conveys the mandrel over the conveyor path of the winding mechanism. During such conveyance of the mandrel, overlying magnetic friction tracks 58 engage the mandrel ends and rotate the mandrel. This movement of the mandrel winds the wire about the mandrel in a tight helical coil. When fully wound, the latch guide catches the connector at the dangling end of the wire to overcome the magnetic 9 friction of the overlying tracks. of the mandrel ceases. the track.
At the end of the winding conveyor path, the mandrel is fed onto the conveyor of the heating Zone. Sufiicient heat is applied for a predetermined length of time by the radiant heating element 104 to set a coiled configuration into the mandrel-wound wire, producing the desired thermosetting or heat-curing treatment of the insulation coating on each wire W. To insure even heating, friction shoe 112 rotates the mandrel during travel over the heating zone conveyor.
At the end of the heating zone, the mandrel drops onto the cooling zone conveyor. Cool air is sucked through the apparatus by fan 128 to cool the mandrel. After cooling, the mandrel is tanken up by an upwardly inclined dispensing conveyor 120 and fed to opening or chute 124. The second operator or the auxiliary conveyor stationed at this opening catches the mandrel as it is dispensed.
The wire is then unwound from the mandrel by the novel unwinder 140 which simultaneously reverse coils the wire to further enhance the resilience and retractability of the coiled length. Empty mandrels are returned to the first operator for reuse.
After such reverse coiling, the coiled lengths are ready for packaging and shipment to the user.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efiiciently 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 specific 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.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. Apparatus for imparting a coiled configuration to a cord comprising, in combination,
(A) a mandrel upon which said cord may be wound,
(B) holding means to hold one end of said cord secured to said mandrel,
(C) driving means to rotate said mandrel in a first direction,
(D) and a self-locking cord guide (1) slidably mounted on said mandrel and permitting free rotation of said mandrel therein in said first direction to coil said cord helically in successive turns about said mandrel during rotation thereof,
(2) restraining said mandrel against rotation therein in a direction opposite to said first direction,
(3) and blocked against rotating with said man drel during rotation of the latter in said first direction, whereby said cord is helically coiled and retained on said mandrel for subsequent coil-setting operations.
2. The combination defined in claim 1 in which a helical coil spring (A) has one end anchored in said cord guide At this point, rotation It merely slides to the end of (B) with a plurality of its turns closely surrounding said mandrel in sliding contact therewith, whereby said relative rotation in said first direction tends to uncoil said spring while relative counter-rotation tends to coil said spring, bringing its turns into gripping engagement with said mandrel to provide said restraining action.
3. Apparatus for imparting a permanently coiled configuration to a length of cord comprising in combination,
(A) a mandrel upon which said cord may be wound,
(B) holding means to secure one end of said cord to said mandrel,
(C) a staged mandrel-conveyor having a winding stage incorporating driving means to rotate said mandrel,
(D) a self-locking cord guide unidirectionally rotatably mounted on said mandrel and slidable therealong (1) from an initial position adjacent to said holding means (2) to a remote position spaced away from said holding means (3) to coil said cord in successive helical turns arrayed along said mandrel between said two positions as said driving means rotates said mandrel and to hold said cord coiled on said mandrel (E) and setting means juxtaposed with a second stage of said mandrel-conveyor to set said cord permanently in its coiled configuration while it is held coiled on said mandrel,
4. Automatic apparatus for imparting a permanently coiled configuration to a series of heat-settable cords comprising, in combination,
(A) a plurality of mandrels upon which said cords may be wound,
(B) a holder on each mandrel positioned to secure one end of one of said cords to said mandrel,
(C) a movable cord guide journaled upon each said mandrel,
(D) an automatically dispensing storage rack for said mandrels with cords end-secured thereon,
(E) a conveyor supporting at least one saddle for serially receiving said mandrels from said dispensing rack at predeterminw intervals and rotatably holding and moving said mandrels serially along said conveyor,
(F) mandrel rotating means comprising a magnetic track extending along said conveyor and presented in magnetic engagement with each said saddle-held mandrel to cause rolling of said mandrel along its track during movement of said conveyor-supported saddle from an initial point toward a delivery point,
(G) cam means on each said saddle blocking rotary movement of the cord guide journalled on the associated mandrel during rotation of the latter,
(H) and heating means automatically receiving said mandrels serially from said conveyor at said delivery point to set said cords while coiled on said mandrels into a permanently coiled configuration.
5. Automatic apparatus for imparting a permanently coiled configuration to a cord, comprising, in combination,
(A) a mandrel upon which said cord may be Wound,
(B) a holder securing one end of said cord to said mandrel,
(C) a movable cord guide journaled upon said mandrel,
(References on following page) References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Courtland 22,1-298 Cunningham 18 Bryan 198-181 Preble 198-81 Arthur 153-67 Allen et a1 18-56 XR Wodetzky 242-7 Striano 242-7 Ames.
10 ROBERT F. WHITE,
Killian 18-24 Meyer 221-298 Clark 188-134 Stegmann. Hardesty. Stacey et a1 198-41 Cole 188-134 Franks et a1 264-281 XR Primary Examiner.
MICHAEL V. BRINDISI, ALEXANDER H.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,226,767 January 4, 1966 Alleyne C. Howell, Jr.
It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Column 1, line 15, for "a" read in column 2, line 16, after "the", second occurrence, insert winding mechanism, taken along line 4-4 of FIG- column 5, lines 14 and 21, for "27", each occurrence, read 72 line 23, for "is" read of same column 5, line 35, for "powdered" read powered column 8, between lines 51 and 52, insert as a centered italicized heading "The operating procedure"; column 9, line 16, for "tanken" read taken Signed and sealed this 13th day of- December 1966.
( AL) Attest:
ERNEST W. SWIDER EDWARD J. BRENNER Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents