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Publication numberUS3251723 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 17, 1966
Filing dateAug 22, 1962
Priority dateAug 22, 1962
Publication numberUS 3251723 A, US 3251723A, US-A-3251723, US3251723 A, US3251723A
InventorsCharles H Mcalpine, Kenneth G Mcgowan
Original AssigneeWinkel Machine Company Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Envelope sealing machine
US 3251723 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 7, 1966 c. H. M ALPINE ETAL 3,251,723

ENVELOPE SEALING MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 22, 1962 INVENTORS CHARLES H. McALPlNE KENNETH G McGOWAN ATTORNEYS 7, 1966 c. H. MCALPINE ETAL 3,251,723

ENVELOPE SEALING MACHINE Filed Aug. 22, 1962 7-Sheets-Sheet 2 4 I WW7 .1 I H I wil \6 \s INVENTORS CHARLES H. McALPINE Y KENNETH G. McGOWAN ATTORN ENVELOPE SEALING MACHINE Filed All 22, 196.

'7 Sheets-Sheet 4,

f 6 I14 1 Q3 8 1 1. 23

INVENTORS. CHARLES H. McALPlNE BY KEN NETH G.M :GOWAN ATTORNEYS y 1956 c. H. MCALPINE ETAL 3,251,723

ENVELOPE SEALING MACHINE Filed Aug. 22, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 I 14.9 46 [5 I47 I46 INVENTORS CHARLES H. McALPlNE Y KENNETH G McGOWAN ATTORNEYS y 1966 c. H. M ALPINE ETAL 3,251,723

ENVELOPE SEALING MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Aug. 22, 1962 4; S JY EN mmm 9M Tm. R WA 0 C T N W M H Sm m E LE RN A Q 6 l m m E U 5% U W o PS m IIL M FIH I HHHHI IIIIIL May 17, 1966 c. H. M ALPINE ETAL 3,251,723

ENVELOPE SEALING MACHINE '7 Sheets-Sheet 7 I, m, m) W Filed Aug. 22, 1962 CHARLES HMcALPINE ATTORNUS United 1 States Patent 3,251,723 ENVELOPE SEALING MACHINE Charles H. McAlpine, Coloma Township, Berrien County, and Kenneth G. McGowan, Lawrence Township, Van Buren County, Mich., assignors to Winkel Machine Company, Inc., Watervliet, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Aug. 22, 1962, Ser. No. 218,672 10 Claims. (Cl. 156-292) This application relates to a package-forming machine and it relates particularly to apparatus for assembling battery grids and separators into a single battery unit and enclosing same, at least partially, in a suitable envelope.

The storage battery art is an old art and a wide variety of methods and machines have been proposed in the past for assembling the components thereof for use. The design of such machines has presented a variety of problems peculiar to the storage battery field which problems have included the difiiculties of operating automatic machinery to handle a large number of components of diiferent sizes and shapes and made from different materials, together with the problems arising from the fact that the paste-filled grids were relatively delicate and could not withstand any appreciable shock or vibration.

This problem has been further complicated by a demand from some portions of the battery-making industry that, instead of using conventional separators, the positive or negative plates utilized in battery cells be enclosed in a porous, electrically insulative, envelope which is resistant to battery acid. Experimental work has shown certain advantages in the making of storage batteries from plates which are enclosed in such envelopes, but thus far it has not been possible to assemble such units within such envelopes other than by hand and, accordingly, batteries made in this manner have not been a commercial possibility in spite of certain experimental advantages indicated for same.

Accordingly, the objects of the invention include:

(1) To provide an automatic machine for receiving selected battery components fromsuitable stacks, assembling such components between sheets of heat-sensitive plastic material, sealing said plastic material to form an envelope around said battery components and delivering same to a point of use.

(2) To provide apparatus, as aforesaid, which will usea maximum amount of previously known equipment and thereby minimize both development and manufacturing costs of the new equipment.

(3) To provide apparatus, as aforesaid, which will operate in a manner already familiar to operators acquainted with previously available equipment and hence to minimize the operator resistance to the use of such new equipment.

(4) To provide apparatus, as aforesaid, wherein the parts being handled are substantially continuously within the view of an operator who can thereby spot malfunctions quickly and can take corrective action before any appreciable amount, if any, of damage to the machine occurs and before any appreciable number of battery components are improperly assembled.

(5) To provide apparatus, as aforesaid, wherein the material supplied to the apparatus may be supplied as required without interfering with the operation of the apparatus and whereby the machinery will lend itself readily to automatic operation and may operate continuously and will not need to be stopped for the refilling of component supplying means.

(6) To provide apparatus, as aforesaid, which it will be possible to control accurately throughout its cycle and which will, therefore, when once properly adjusted, be

7 Patented May 17, 1966 able to operate for a long time without further attention or adjustment.

(7) To provide apparatus, as aforesaid, which is not unreasonably complex in construction and hence can be both manufactured and operated, as well as maintained in good operating condition, at a minimum of cost.

(8) To provide apparatus, as aforesaid, which will handle the paste-filled grids in a sufficiently gentle manner as not to knock the paste out therefrom.

(9) To provide apparatus, as aforesaid, which will at the election of the operator work equally readily on positive plate components, negative plate components or alternate plate components depending only upon the manner in which the feeding stacks are arranged.

Other objects and purposes of the invention will be apparent to persons acquainted with devices of this general type upon reading the following disclosure and an inspection of the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is an oblique, partially schematic, view of the machine embodying the invention.

FIGURE 2 is a further oblique view showing another side of the machine.

FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of the top of the machine.

FIGURE 4 is a partially sectional and partially elevational view taken on the line IV-IV of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 5 is a section taken on the line VV of FIGURE 4.

FIGURE 6 is a section taken on the line VIVI of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 7 is a section taken on the line V]IVII of FIGURE 4.

FIGURE 8 is a section taken on the line.VIIIVIlI of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 9 is a section taken on the line 1XD( of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 10 is a section taken on the line XX of FIGURE 3 with the shuttle removed.

FIGURE 11 is an enlarged view of a portion of the control mechanism.

FIGURE 12 is a side view of an assembly of battery parts prior to scaling of the envelope.

FIGURE 13 is an assembly of battery parts subsequent to scaling of the envelope.

FIGURE 14 is a top fragmentary view of a portion of the apparatus.

FIGURE 15 is a section taken on the line XV-XV of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 16 is a section taken on the'line XVIXVI of FIGURE 6. r

FIGURE 17 is a section taken on the line XVII-XVII of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 18 is a section taken on the line XVIII- I XVIII of FIGURE 7. FIGURE 19 is a schematic view similar to FIGURE 3 and showing a modification.

FIGURE 20 is a sectional view taken on the line XXXX of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 21 is a section taken on the line XXIXXI of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 22 is a section taken on the line XXIIXXII of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 23 is a section taken on the line )OGII- XXIII of FIGURE 22.

General description In general, the invention contemplates successively feeding first one side of the envelope, then a suitable paste-filled grid, then the other side of the envelope onto the continuously moving belt to form a stack thereon is deliveredby said shuttle to sealing means which closes,

seals said envelope and then ejects the formed envelope onto suitable receiving means. While the sealing means is operating said shuttle returns and receives another formed stack and delivers it to another envelope-sealing means. In the embodiment used herein to illustrate the invention, two envelope-sealing devices are sufficient to handle the output of a single stack-forming unit and hence the results are satisfactory where the shuttle picks up a stack at the midpoint of its travel and delivers successively received stacks alternately to two sealing units. Detailed description In the following description, certain terminology will be utilized for illustrative purposes and it will be recognized that suchterminology is solely for illustrative purposes and is notlimiting.

For example, the terms upwardly and downwardly will refer to directions appropriate to the apparatus in its normal position of use and particularly as illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings.

The terms forwardly and rearwardly will refer to directions corresponding to the general direction of flow of material through the machine. Thus, in FIGURE 1 forward will be leftwardly and toward the observer while rearwar will be rightwardly and away from the observer. The terms rightwar and leftward will refer to directions with respect to the drawings in connection with which such terminology is used.

The terms inward and outward will refer to directions toward and away from the geometriccenter of the apparatus.

Such terminology will also include derivatives of the above-mentioned words and will also include words of similar import.

In addition, the term battery plate grid will refer to any of many different types of paste-filled grids used in storage battery construction. Such grids are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and the machine will be adaptable to a wide variety of such grids with only relatively minor modifications being required.

The term envelope sheets will refer to single sheets of heat scalable plastic material such as polyester, various vinyls or cellulose acetate which will normally be punched to permit the passage of battery acid therethrough and which are arranged on both sides of a grid to form an envelope around same. Such envelope may in some instances be partially closed so that only the projecting lug of the battery grid extends out therefrom while in other cases the envelope will be an open envelope extending around only three sides of the battery grid. The apparatus of the invention, however, is adaptable to handling both types of envelopes with only a minimum of modification thereof.

Referring now to the drawings, in FIGURE 1 there is shown a feeding unit 1 having a plurality of feeding units 2, 3 and 4 for receiving battery unit components. In the present example, which will be the typical arrangement,

. the feeding units 2 and 4 will contain envelope sheets as above described and the feeding unit 3 will contain battery plate grids. Said feeding units feed said panels one at a time out from suitable openings 6, 7 and 8 onto a conveyor 9, which may be of any convenient type, such as either belt or chain. Said conveyor is arranged around supporting and driving rollers 11 and 12 for continuous or intermittent operation as desired in any convenient manner. Any suitable power source, which may be the power source for the remainder of the machine and appearing as the belt 24, is caused to operate an appropriate gear box 26 from which is driven the chain 27 and by it the feeding units 2, 3 and 4 in synchronism with each other as well as one of the belt-supporting rollers, such as the roller 11.

Since feeding machines of the type here utilized are presently known and have already been utilized in connection with the forming of battery cell units and detailed description of such machines will be found in Patent No. 2,908,377 and Patent No. 2,930,508, detailed reference herein to the construction and operation of the feeding device 1 is unnecessary and reference is invited to either of the above-mentioned patents, or others of the same general type, for details of such feeding machines.

Thus, in a known manner, as the belt proceeds across the front of said discharge units. a stack will be formed consisting first of one panel from the feeding unit 2, next a panel from the feeding unit 3 and lastly a panel from the feeding unit 4. The completed stack is then ready for discharge. Thus, the output of the feeding section 1 consists of a sandwich 30 (FIGURE 12) which comprises a battery grid G with sheets of plastic material S1 and S2 on either side thereof. Said sheets of plastic material two appear at 33 and 34 and longitudinal members of a Y which three appear at 35, 36 and 37 FIGURES 1 and 2.

The sealing and discharge unit 41 is positioned adjacent the discharge point of the feeder. 1. It comprises a generally rectangular frame structure of any type which in this embodiment includes a pair of vertical members 42 and 43 at one end thereof, other vertical members 44 and 46 at the other end thereof, cross members of which one appears at 47 at one end, another appears at 48 at the other end and longitudinal members of which one appears at 49 and others are located at the upper portion thereof and appear at 51 and 52 (FIGURE 8). Said frame structure supports a track 50, a pair of sealing units 53 and 54 at opposite ends thereof, a reciprocable shuttle 56 intermediate said sealing units and discharge conveyors 57 and 58 extending from each of said sealing units.

Since said sealing units are mirror images. of each other, a description of one thereof will suffice as a description of both and, accordingly, the description is directed to the sealing unit 54 and the shuttle-supporting track adjacent thereto.

Referring first to said track, the same is best shown in FIGURES 3 and 20. .The longitudinal frame members 51 and 52 are connected by a pair of cross members of which one appears at 61 (FIGURES 5 and 20). A pair plates 76 and 77 are fixed to the lower edges of the bars 78 and 79 to complete an I-beam structure associated with each of the table plates 73 and 74 whereby said table plates are held rigidly with respect to each other and constitute the remainder of the frame structure of said track. Said guides 68 and 69 are associated with said track for guiding therealong the stacks to be sealed. Said side guidesconsist of slide plates 71 and 72 which are afiixed directly to the side plates 114 and and rest slidably against'the upper surfaces of the table plates 73 and 74. Spacers 81 and 82 rest-immediately above the slide plates 71 and 72 and are rigidly fastened thereto. Cover strips 88 and 89 are fastened to the upper surfaces of the upper spacers 81 and 82, respectively, extend beyond said spacers toward each other and constitute control pieces for insuring the proper. guidance of the sandwich. Extensions 83 and 84 extend, respectively, toward each other from said spacers 81 and 82 for purposes appearing here a inafter. The spacers 81 and 82 are respectively of thickness slightly greater than the total thickness of the sandwich to be sealed in order to receive said sandwich therebetween as further described hereinafter.

Adjacent each end of said track structure are the carriers of which one appears at 111. Said carriers comprise slide units 112, 113 and 113a which are connected by side plates 114 and 115 (FIGURES 6, 9, l0 and 15). A contact sheet 116 is mounted on the unit 112 for contacting the rod 117 when said carrier is in its forward (rightward as appearing in FIGURE 9) position for reasons appearing hereinafter. Said side plates 114 and 115 extend upwardly (FIGURE 10) sufliciently to support the side guides 68a and 69a of said carrier. Said side guides are identical in cross-section with the side guides 68 and 69 above described and their parts are designated by corresponding numbers with the letter a added.

The carrier side guides 68a and 69a (FIGURES 14 and 17) extend appreciably beyond the slide 112 and are spaced apart suficiently to pass on both sides of .the sealing unit 53. Thus, said carrier 111 may occupy a first, or retracted, position when it is contiguous and aligned with the rails 68 and 69 of the track and, when impelled by the shuttlefcarriage 91, it may occupy a second, or extended, position at the end of the slide rails 62 and 63 (FIGURE 9) with the side guides 68a and 69a overlapping the sealing unit 53 on each side thereof. The spring 90 urges both carriers toward their respective retracted positions.

A pair of triggers 118 and 119 are pivotally mounted at 121 and 122 (FIGURES 9, and 16) to the shuttle carriage 91 and in the position shown in FIGURE 9 the trigger 118 will be engaging the slide 112. The trigger 118 carries a cam member 123 which engages a roller 124 as such shuttle moves leftwardly (FIGURE 9) for lifting said trigger 118 and releasing the slide 112.

A similar carrier 111a is provided at the other end of the table plates 73 and 74 but constitutes a mirror image of the carrier 111 and hence needs no further or detailed description. The trigger 119 of theshuttle (FIGURE. 15)

engages said carrier 111a in the same manner as the trigger 118 engages the carrier 111 and is released therefrom by a roller (not shown) generally similar to and corresponding to the roller 124 associated with the carrier 111.

Turning now to said shuttle 56, and referring first to FIGURES 6 and 9, there is shown a shuttle carriage 91 having shuttle jaws 92 and 93 on the upper side thereof and the driving lever 94 on the lower side thereof. Said shuttle jaws 92 and 93 (FIGURE 9) are identical with each other and hence a description of the shuttle jaw 92 will sufiice as a description of both. The shuttle jaw 92 comprises a plate 96 which is fastened rigidly to the upper side of the shuttle body 91 and at the end toward the sealing device 54 it carries a spacer 97. Said jaw is of thickness equal to the spacers 81 and 82 (FIGURE 20) and has projection 98 for entering into the groove on the rearward side of the sandwhich corresponding to the grooves '86 and 87 (FIGURE 12) on the lateral edges thereof. The top plate 99 is provided at the upper side of the spacer 97 and extends also toward the sealing unit 54 sufiiciently to extend over the top of the sandwich being driven by the shuttle at any given time to help to hold same together in a proper package as required. The shuttle is supported by rollers of which two are shown at 101 and 102 (FIGURE 6) and which are connected by stub shafts 103 and 104 to the shuttle 'body 91. Preferably there are two pairs of said rollers, the shaft 106 (FIGURE 9) and the roller 107 (FIGURE 16) corresponding in the second pair of rollers to the shaft 104 of the roller 102 shown in FIGURE 6.

The shuttle carriage 91 pivots with respect -to and is driven by a pair of extension strips 94a and 94b.

Said strips are fixed to but capable of sliding axially of a drive lever 94. The lower end of the lever 94 is.

pivotally mounted on a lever 126 (FIGURE 5) which is in turn pivotally mounted at 127 to the frame of the machine. The lever 94 is reciprocated by any' of many convenient means co-ordinated with the operation of the rest of the mechanism, such as the chain 224, sprocket 226, crank 227 (FIGURE 4) and pitman 228 described further hereinafter.

Turning now to the sealing means 54 there is provided an upper fixed platen 131 (FIGURES 7 and 8) and a lower movable platen 132. Said upper fixed platen carries the upper sealing elemnet 133 and the lower movable platen carries a lower sealing element 134. The lower movable platen 132 is carried on and by a suitable slide mechanism 136 (FIGURE 5) which is in turn actuated by a pressure cylinder 137.

Considering now the structure of this unit in more detail, the upper rails 51 and 52 of the frame of the machine rigidly support a plate 141 (FIGURES 4, 7 and 8) on which is fastened a pair of posts 142 and '143. The upper ends of these posts rigidly support the upper fixed platen 131. The upper heating unit 144 is fixed rigidly in any convenient manner to the upper fixed platen 131 and contains suitable heaters and thermostatic control means, said heaters being indicated at 146, 147, 148 and 149 (FIGURE 8) andthe thermostatic control sensing element being indicated at 151. Clamp means for engaging and heat sealing the plastic sheets are provided in the form of angle members extending in this case around three sides of the plastic sheet. The upper side clamp members are indicated at 152 and 153 (FIGURE 8) and the upper end clamp member is pins and resiliently resist movement of said pad 156 upwardly.

A generally similar lower heating unit 161 is provided with heaters generally similar to the heaters provided for the upper heating unit 194 which heaters are indicated at 162, 163, 164 and 165 (FIGURE 8). Normally it is sufficient only to provide the upper unit with a thermostat and, accordingly, the lower heating unit is in this instance shown as without a thermostat. The lower set of clamping members vertically aligned with the upper clamping members 152, 153 and 154 are fixed to the lower heating unit 161 and comprise side members 166 and 167 (FIGURES 8 and 18) together with an end member 168 (FIGURES 7 and 18). A lower presser is generally similar to the above described upper presser member and consists of a pad 169 mounted fixedly to a plate 171 which is in turn mounted for vertical movement on pins' two of which are shown at 172 and 173. Coil springs surrounding said pins resist downward movement of the plate 171. The lower platen 132 is mounted fixedly to the post 174 (FIGURE 8) which has a U- shaped opening 176 surrounding and clearing the horizontal rod 117 whose function will be referred to hereinafter. Said vertically reciprocable post 174 is mounted for vertical reciprocation in suitable bushings of which one is indicated at 178 which in turn retained in a suitable bearing housing 179. Said post 174 extends downwardly below the bearing housing 179 and makes contact with the rod 181 of the fluid pressure cylinder 137. Thus, energization of said cylinder will urge the lower platen 132 upwardly and de-energization of said cylinder will permit same to drop under gravity downwardly.

Returning now for a moment to the shuttle construction and that of the means guiding the sandwich materials as same are pushed by the shuttle, it will be realized that the parts are held in exact relationship to each other in both 'a lateral direction and against the side of the shuttle.

Therefore, it will be evident that as said materials are pushed into place within the sealing device 54, it will be essential to have .means insuring that the leading edge of said parts will be similarly held in exact alignment with respect to each other. Therefore, there is, provided the leading edge positioning means located generally at 191 FIGURES and 7). This consists of a guide carrying plate 192 to which is mounted a spacer 193 and an upper cover plate 194. Said spacer 193 has a tongue 196 extending toward and in horizontal alignment with the corresponding tongue 98 on the shuttle. Said plate 192 is slidably supported by any convenient means, such as by extending through suitable means in a block 197 which is rigidly mounted, such as by screws, to the lower movable platen 132., A guide 198 is fixed to the block 197 and extends downwardly for the sliding support of the rod 117. Said rod 117 extends through a suitable opening in said plate 198, thence through the U-shaped opening 176 above mentioned in the post 174 and protrudes a short distance beyond the rightward (FIG- URE 7) extremities of the plate 141 and movable platen 132 to extend through the end of the member 64 (FIG- URE 9) of the conveyor unit and in proximity with the actuator 116 above described. A spring 199 bears against a collar 201 on said rod for normally urging said rod in a rightward position as appearing in FIGURE 7 or a left- Ward position as appearing in FIGURE 9. A lever 202 is pivotally mounted on the block 197 and is adjustably fixed to the rod 117 at its one end and to the plate 192 at its other end for effecting reciprocation of said plate toward and away from the center of the sealing zone in response to movement of the carrier 111 which in turn is responsive to movement of the shuttle.

An ejector unit 206 (FIGURE 4) is provided for driving a completed package out from the sealing zone onto the conveyor 58. This ejector unit in this embodiment consists of the pusher device 207 mounted on a pair of bearing plates 208 and 209 which in turn are slidably mounted on a pair of slide rods 211 and 212. A lever 213 is pivotally mounted at one end to said pusher 207 and is pivotally mounted at its other end to a supporting link 214 which in turn is pivotally mounted at 216 onto the frame of the machine. A pressure cylinder 217 is pivotally mounted at one end onto the frame of the machine and its rod 218 is operably connected to the lever 213.

Thus, reciprocable actuation of said cylinder rod 218 will effect reciprocable actuation of the pusher 207.

Means are provided for co-ordinating actuation of the several parts described and such means may take any ofmany forms. Thus, the means herein provided, and hereinafter specifically described, will be recognized as referred to for illustrative purposes only.

A suitable prime mover, not shown, is provided to drive the shaft 210 (FIGURE 4) which in turn acts through the sprocket 226 and the chain 224 (FIGURES 2 and 4) to drive a gear box 221. The output of said gear box acts through a chain 222 to drive a shaft 223 wh ch acts through suitable means, not shown, such as conventional sprockets, which in turn drive the conveyors 57 and 58 in a well-known manner. The shaft 210 (FIG- URE 4) also acts through a suitable crank mechanism 227 for driving a pitman 228 (FIGURE 5) by'which the lever 94 is caused to reciprocate. Further, any suitable chain and sprocket drive meansdriven from the shaft 210,

, including in part the sprocket 225 (FIGURE 4) and chain 230, operates the cams 231 and 232. Referring to the cam 231, a cam follower 233 (FIGURES 5 .and 11) is connected to a bell crank 260 having a first crank arm 261 which is pivoted on a shaft 262 to the frame of the machine and rigidly connected to a second crank arm 263. Said crank arm 263 is pivotally connected to a link 264 which is rigidly connected to a lift device 266, connected to the post 174. Thus, counterclockwise (as appearing in FIGURE 5) rotation of the cam 231 at the rise 267 thereof effects a leftward movement of the cam follower 233 and thereby a clockwise movement of the bell crank 260 which acts through the link 264 to liftthe post 174 and thus effect an initial closing of the sealing unit 54. A pressure fluid valve 234 is located adjacent the crank arm 261 and for operation thereby upon further leftward movement of the crank arm 261.. Thus, further counterclockwise movement of the cam 231 causesthe rise 268 thereof to act against the cam follower 233 (FIGURE 11) and move the crank arm 261 against the valve 234 and thereby energize the. cylinder 137 which completes the clamping of the scaling unit 54 and holds same during and for the sealing operation. The part 269 of said cam will then release the cam follower 233 to release both the mechanical and pressure fluid. means by which said sealing unit 54 is held closed and the same is thereupon permitted to open. I

A further similar valve means 240 is actuated by said cam 231 whereby the conduit 241 connected to a suitable source of pressure fluid is alternatively connected through the connectors X and Y to the cylinder 217 (FIGURE 4) for actuating same in one direction or the other in rigidly timed relationship to the energizing of the cylinder 137.

'Thus, with said prime mover also actuating the feeding means 1 through the belt drive 24 above mentioned,

the entirety of said machine willhave all of its partsv positively interrelated with respect to each other and the operation will be accurate and capable of being main- I stacks of the enveloping sheets are placed in the com- I partments 2 and 4. Upon energizing ofthe motor, the belt 24 acts through the gear box 26 to drive said three feeding units 2, 3 and 4 in any desired predetermined manner. Normally, said feeding units will operate in the same manner as described in detail in the above-designated patents to discharge their respective panels simultaneously upon the continuously moving conveyor belt 9. Thus, a plastic sheet will be discharged from the feeding unit 2 and it will be carried by the conveyor to move it toward a position in front of the feeding unit 3. Atthis point the feeding units operate again and another sheet is discharged from the feeding unit 2 onto the conveyor and a grid is discharged from the feedingunit 3 on top of the previously placed sheet from the feeding unit 2. Both said first-placed sheet from the feeding unit 2 and the grid from the feeding unit 3 are moved by the con- I veyor to a position in front of the feeding unit 4 at which time the feeding units operate again and another plastic sheet is discharged from the feeding unit 2 onto the conveyor, a grid from the feeding unit 3 is discharged on top of the most recently placed sheet from the feeding unit 2 and a sheet from the feeding unit 4 is placed on top of the previously placed grid to complete the formation in front of the feeding unit 4 of the three-part sandwich above described. The three superimposed panels are now carried by said conveyor to the discharge point of sa d conveyor 9 and there discharged through the central opening in the side guide 69 onto the upper surfaces of the slide plates 71 and 72 at substantially the midpoint there-- of. The motor in driving the chain 224 and thereby the gear box 221 drives the chain 222 and thereby the shaft 223 and from it the conveyors 57 and 58. Simultaneously, the motor drives the sprocket 226 and the crank 227 and thereby operates the pitman 228 by which the lever 94 and the shuttle 91 attached thereto is caused to reciprocate. Thus, if the shuttle 56 may be taken to be in its position adjacent the sealing unit 53, actuation of said shuttle will cause the shuttle jaw 92 thereof to engage the sandwich just deposited onto said slide plates and drive same toward the sealing member 54. In so doing, the upper plastic sheet will enter between the cover 99 and the tongue 98 and the lower plastic sheet will enter between the tongue 98 and the leading portion of the base 96 immediately below 'said tongue. The presence of said tongue will insure that the grid is spaced slightly ahead of the adjacent edges of the sealing sheet. The tongues 83 and 84 of the side spacer members 81 and 82 will similarly enter into the respective sides of the sandwich and hold said grid properly spaced with respect to the sides of the sheets.

If desired, the ends of the cover strip 88, the spacer 82 and the tongue 84 thereon, contiguous to the central opening in the side guide 69 provided for the entrance of the sandwich onto the track 50, may be so shaped as to assist the entrance of the hitherto trailing edge of the sandwich into the side guide 69 should the sheets S1 and S2 tend to curl at the edges. Such shaping may be carried out in any convenient manner but an example is illustrated in FIGURES 22 and 23 wherein the inner edge at the end of the cover strip 88 is curved upwardly. The spacer 82 is horizontally radiused about a center outward of said spacer and the tongue 83 follows said radius. The tongue 83 is also bent upwardly over its length adjacent to the upward bend in the cover strip 88. It will be noted that the effect of the above shaping is to provide a bell or funnel-shaped entrance to the side guide 69.

With the shaft 210 and parts driven thereby also driving the cam 231, the cylinder 137 is energized in timed relationship with the movement of the shuttle 91. Thus,

as the shuttle moves toward the sealing member 54, said cylinder 137 is de-energized and the post 174 is in its lower position, causing the platen 161 and the pad 169 also to be in their respective lower positions, namely the positions shown in FIGURE 7. When the shuttle reaches the position approaching that shown in FIGURE 9, the trigger 118 will engage the carrier 111 and carry it toward the sealing member. 54. With the guide means 68a and 69a extending ahead of the slide 112 as shown (FIG- UR-ES 14 and 17) and the shuttle following immediately thereafter, the stack to be sealed is held on three sides as it is carried into the sealing device 54 between the presser pads 156 and 169 and against the locator 191. Movement of the shuttle carriage 91 (FIGURE 8) toward the sealing unit.54 will cause its trigger 11-8 to engage the adjacent end of the carrier 111 and thereby move the rod 117 rightwardly as appearing in FIGURE 9 (leftwardly as appearing in FIGURE 7) to move the locator 1 91 rightwardly (FIGURE 7). Its tongue 196 enters between the envelope sheets to insure the proper positioning of said sheets with respect to each other and with respect to the parts of the sealing apparatus. In the meantime the cam.

231 has been rotating, as above described, first to act through the bell crank 260 to move the post 174 upwardly mechanically. This moves the pressure pads 156 and 169 into initial engagement with the sandwich for holding same firmly together while the shuttle 91 is retracted which relieves the pressure on the rod 117 and the spring 199 thereby acts to retract the locator 191. Continued movement of the cam 231 now pushes the crank arm 261 against the actuator of the valve 234 which energizes the cylinder 137 and increases the pressure urging the lower movable platen 132 upwardly. The already heated sealing elements 166, 167 and 168 now engage the edges of the envelope and squeeze them against the corresponding edges of the sealing elements 152, 153 and 154. The

envelope is thus sealed together to assume the form shown 7 in FIGURE 13. Further actuation of the cam 231 now de-energizes the cylinder 137 and the lower platen 132 moves downwardly to first release the sealing elements and later to release the pressure pads 156 and 169. The cam 231 now actuates, the valve 240 and the cylinder 217 is energized for moving the lever 213 rightwardly (FIG- URE 4) and also moves the ejector 296 rightwardly.

r i 10 This engages the sealed sandwich and pushes it out onto the conveyor 58. The cylinder 217 is now de-energized and its internal spring causes a return of the ejector 206 to the position shown in FIGURE 4 and the sealer 54 is now ready to repeat the cycle.

In the meantime, the .feeding mechanism 1 has been making another sandwich and has deposited it in the central location of the slide plates 71 and 72. The shuttle 56 moving in the rightward direction as appearing in FIGURE 1 engages this stack and moves it into position in the sealing member 53, same being open for receiving said sandwich in the same manner as above described in connection with the sealing unit 54. The parts comprising the sealing unit 53 go through the same sequence of operation as above described in connection with the sealing member 54 and the sealed sandwich is presently ejected onto the conveyor 57. In the meantime, a fur- Modification While the foregoing description has been in terms of a three-part unit, namely, a grid member enclosed on each side by a plastic sheet, it will be recognized that by appropriate and obvious modifications of the equipment, including the provision of additional feeding units, sandwiches having larger numbers of parts may be formed and sealed by mechanism readily derivable from the apparatus above described.

In view of the foregoing, various other arrangements will suggest themselves to persons acquainted with equipment of this general type, including also multiple and alternately operating plastic sheet feeding units to provide either identical or different products at each of the discharge conveyors. This illustrates the extreme versatility of this machine and its adaptability to many different production requirements.

Although a particular preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed in detail for illustrative purposes, it will be understood that variations or modifications of such disclosure, which lie within the scope of the appended claims, are fully contemplated.

What is claimed is:

1. In a machine for assembling battery components comprising generally panel-shaped elements including at least two thereof which are heat scalable to each other, comprising in combination:

an elongated track for receiving a stack comprising superposed elements of said battery components;

sealing units at each end of said track, each thereof being adapted for receiving a stack and scaling together the edges of the two superposed heat-scalable elements therein;

reciprocable means associated with and movable lengthwise along said track for impelling successively supplied stacks of superposed unsealed elements from an intermediate point on said track alternately toward one and the other of said sealing units; and

means for ejecting sealed elements as battery components from said sealing units.

2. In a device for providing battery components comprising an envelope of heat-scalable plastic sheet material having a battery grid panel within said envelope, comprising in combination:

a conveyor and means for forming successive stacks on said conveyor, each stack comprising a pair of heatscalable sheets and a battery grid panel interposed therebetween;

an elongated track' positioned adjacent the discharge point of said conveyor for successively receiving said stacks thereon at a stack-receiving point intermediate the ends of said track; Y

a pair of sealing units, said sealing units being located adapted for receiving a stack and sealing together the edges of the two superposed heat-scalable sheets therein;

reciprocable means associated with and movable lengthwise along said track for impelling said stacks from said stack-receiving point alternately toward one and the other of said sealing units; and

means for ejecting a sealed stack useful as a battery component from said sealing units.

3. In a device for providing battery components comprising an envelope of heat-scalable plastic sheet material having a battery grid panel member within said envelope, comprising in combination:

a pair of parallel arranged rails comprising a track and an elongated reciprocable shuttle arranged between said rails for reciprocable travel lengthwise thereof for moving a stack comprising a pair of heat-sealable plastic sheets with a battery grid panel interposed therebetween along said track;

a sealing unit positioned at one end of said track and including a pair of heat-sealing means arranged for engagaing opposite sides of the peripheral area of said heat-scalable sheets and sequence control means for moving said heat-sealing means toward and away from each other in co-ordination with movement of said shuttle; I

and ejecting means for ejecting a sealed battery component from said sealing unit when a sealing operation is completed.

4. The device defined in claim 3 wherein the leading edge of said shuttle includes a projecting tongue element for spacing the edge of said battery grid panel away from the adjacentedges of said heat-scalable sheets whereby said sealing unit can seal said edges of said sheets without encountering interference from said grid.

5. The device defined in claim 4 including also a limit device having a projecting tongue opposed to the projecting tongue element of said shuttle for engaging the edge of said battery grid panel opposite to that engaged by the projecting tongue element of the shuttle and thereby positioning opposite edges of said grid panel in a predetermined m-anner with respect to the adjacent edges of the sealable sheets, and means engaging said sheets and said grid panel prior to the retraction therefrom of said shuttle and said limiting device whereby said sheets and said grid panel are firmly held in a predetermined relationship with respect to each other prior to and during the closing of the sealing means against the edgesof said sheets.

6. The device defined in claim 3 including a reciprocable carrier slidably arranged at each endof said track and having guide means receiving and guiding opposite sides of said heat-scalable sheets, each carrier being movable from a first position at one end of said track to a second position where said guide means overlap said sealing unit, said shuttle engaging one of said carriers at each end of its travel to move same from its first position to its second position whereby said heat-sealable sheets are firmly held in a predetermined position with respect to each other during the closing of said sealing unit.

7. The device defined in claim 3 wherein said sealing unit includes a pair of preliminary gripping devices for engaging said heat-sealable sheets prior to theengagement thereof by said heat-sealing means; and

means and a fluid pressure cylinder energizable by said valve for applying further closing pressure to said sealing unit and thereby engaging said sealing means against said heat-scalable sheets.

9. An apparatus for forming battery components comprising an envelope of heat-scalable palstic sheet material having a battery grid panel member within said envelope, comprising: 7

a pair of parallel, spaced-apart rails forming an elongated track for receiving a stack comprising a pair of heat-scalable plastic sheets with a battery grid panel interposed therebetween, said sheets being wider and longer than said grid;

a reciprocable shuttle arranged between said rails for travel lengthwise thereof for moving a stack along said rails, said shuttle having a projecting tongue for engaging the grid for positioning the trailing edge thereof forwardly of the adjacent trailing edges of said sheets;

side spacer members mounted above said rails and extending lengthwise thereof, said spacer members having tongues projetcing toward each other for, engaging the side edges of said grid and positioning same inwardly of the adjacent side edges of the sheets;

a sealing unit positioned at one end of said track and including a pair of heat sealing means arranged for engaging opposite sides of the peripheral area of i said sheets;

a pair of carriers mounted for sliding movement with respect to said rails and positioned between said side spacer members and said sealing unit, said carriers having tongues constituting extensions of said tongues of said side spacer members, said carriers being movable toward said heat sealing means in response to movement of said shuttle;

a locating member movable between the heat sealing means and having a tongue for engaging the leading edge of the grid for positioning same rearwardly of the adjacent leading edges of the sheets; sequence control means for retracting said locating member, said carriers and said shuttle and then moving said heat sealing means against the stack whereby to form the envelope; and

means to eject the envelope from the sealing unit.

10. The method of forming a battery component con sisting of a battery grid interposed between a pair of plastic sheets joined at their edges to form an envelope, comprising the steps;

successively feeding sheets and a panel onto a moving conveyor to form a stack comprising a sheet of heat-scalable plastic material located at the bottom of said stack, a panel comprising a battery plate grid in the middle of said stack and another said sheet at the top of said stack, the edges of said sheets overhanging the adjacent edges of said panel;

holding said sheets and panel in a predetermined relationship with respect to each other such that said overhanging relationship is maintained; and delivering said sheets and panel in such positional relationship with respect to each other to a sealing device, and sealing the overhanging edges ofsaid sheets to each other.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,681,097 1/1954 Gray 154-42 2,807,227 9/1957 Kerns et a1. 113-59 2,908,377 10/1959 Winkel et al. 198-35 EARL M. BERGERT, Primary Examiner.

MURRAY TILLMAN, Examiner.

B. J. OHLENDORF, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2681097 *Jan 6, 1951Jun 15, 1954Injection Molding CompanyMachine for autogenously sealing together parts of an article formed of a synthetic plastic material
US2807227 *Nov 21, 1952Sep 24, 1957Electric Storage Battery CoBattery element assembling and burning machine
US2908377 *Jan 18, 1956Oct 13, 1959WinkelApparatus for forming battery components
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3627617 *Feb 19, 1969Dec 14, 1971Gould National Batteries IncBattery container assembly station
US3900341 *Jun 21, 1973Aug 19, 1975Yuasa Battery Co LtdStorage battery and process for producing the battery
US4417390 *Jul 15, 1977Nov 29, 1983Mac Engineering And Equipment Co., Inc.Battery plate wrapper machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/292, 100/218, 29/730, 156/583.5, 156/559, 100/324, 100/215, 429/233
International ClassificationH01M10/14
Cooperative ClassificationY02E60/126, H01M10/14
European ClassificationH01M10/14