US 3402695 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept 24, l968 o. R. BAKER ETAL 3,402,695
LIQUID APPLICATOR SYSTEM Filed Oct. 24, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l FOR ADJUSTABLE CONTROLLER SPEED DRlVE.
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ATTORNEYS Sept 24, 1968 o. R. BAKER ETAL 3,402,695
LIQUID APPLICATOR SYSTEM 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed 001,. 24, 1966 OWEN R. BAKER ROBERT M. GUBB INS RUDOLPH G. HENTSCHEL United States Patent Oftice Patented Sept. 24, 1968 3,402,695 LIQUID APPLICATOR SYSTEM Owen R. Baker, Bloomfield Hills, Robert M. Gubbins, Birmingham, and Rudolf G. Hentschel, Ann Arbor, Mich., assignors to Baker & Gubbins Co., Clawson, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Oct. 24, 1966, Ser. No. 588,967
Claims. (Cl. 118-7) ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for applying liquid to workpieces traveling on a moving conveyor. A positive displacement pump is driven by a variable speed electric motor for delivering the liquid to a header positioned over the conveyor for feed of the liquid onto the workpieces. Controls are provided to vary the rate of discharge of the liquid in accordance with the rate of travel of the conveyor, and to stop -discharge when movement of the conveyor is interrupted. A mechanism is provided for varying the width of discharge of the liquid to accommodate workpieces of varying sizes carried by the conveyor.
The present invention relates to a liquid applicator system for use in applying liquids to workpieces of a variety of widths, and the invention is directed in particular to an improved applicator header for use in such a system.
A variety of liquids are employed in industry to aid in the processing of material. Typical examples in the metal processing industries are the application of oils when metals are to be reduced in size, to be cleaned, or to be prepared for storage. Thus, hot rolled strip and sheet metal are frequently treated with rolling lubricants and rust inhibitors at the end of the pickle line; or in the reducing processes of cold rolled sheet and strip metal, lubricants and/or cleaning agents are applied prior to annealing of the metal.
At the present time very little attention is being given to the way in which the liquids used in processing strip or sheet metals are being applied to such workpieces. The procedure commonly followed today for carrying out operations of this character normally involves employing a liquid reservoir containing the fluid to be applied, and such reservoir is placed sufficiently high above ground level so that it may feed an applicator header by gravity, the header being located at a position over a conveyor which is used to move the workpieces. The header consists essentially of a steel tube equipped with spigots which dispense the fluid by gravity onto the workpieces passing below on the conveyor. The spigots are equipped with knobs permitting manual adjustment or stopping of the flow of liquids. The workpieces to be coated are passed below the header by means of the conveyor, and normally the spigots are fully or partially open so that liquid falls upon the workpieces as they pass.
The liquid not clinging to the workpieces or conveyor is normally not recovered and reused, because the required iltering and other recovering procedures needed would make the operation uneconomical.
The procedure used heretofore has a number of shortcomings. The fact that the liquid source for supplying the header is normally placed above the header is both inconvenient and impractical, particularly when it is kept in mind that the .workpieces that are being passed under the header may change in width on frequent occasions during a normal working shift in the steel mills. The conveyor width represents the limit of the maximum width of a workpiece that can pass under the header, and the header, therefore, in order to meet its intended purpose, must have a width suflicient to allow a width of liquid distribution to cover the entire belt. Under these conditions the liquid is wasted if a workpiece has a width which is less than the full width of the conveyor unless certain spigots are manually closed. It is found in practice that the operators or workmen along the conveyor frequently do not close the spigots which are not needed, and consequently a waste of the liquid occurs.
Another shortcoming of the existing system is that the liquid will be dispensed continually and at a substantially constant rate regardless of the rate of movement of the conveyor. Thus, if the conveyor should stop for any reason, the liquid will continue to be dispensed as long as the liquid reservoir and header contain such a liquid. Again, it is recognized that the spigots could be closed, but it is frequently found that because of the inaccessibility of the header, the workmen do not close such spigots each time a stoppage of the conveyor occurs.
Since the conveyor does stop frequently during a normal workshift, the rate of speed of the conveyor will also vary frequently, that is, during acceleration and deceleration phases associated with the stops. At these time periods, constant liquid dispensation will also occur, because the rate of liquid ow has been set to correspond to the proper liquid coverage on the metal or workpiece at maximum conveyor speed.
Thus, it is apparent that a great waste of coating liquid is associated with the systems now employed in the industry for coating workpieces, because the shutdown time and accelerating and decelerating time periods comprise a substantial percentage of the time associated with the normal metal processing operations, and during such time periods and during the `shutdown period substantial amounts of liquid are dispensed which are Wasted or are in excess of that required for coating the workpieces. This waste is in addition to the waste that occurs due to the lack of width control of the header outlet. Furthermore, no control of the liquid flow rate exists, which means that no correction can be made to change the rate of liquid flow in case the combination of gravity feed and header and spigot design fails tocoincide with the maximum required rate of liquid -iiow at maximum conveyor speed. These shortcomings all create the additional problem that the operator may set the spigots at positions well below the positions required at maximum conveyor speed, in order to reduce the Waste of liquid in the shutdown time periods as well as in the time periods 0f deceleration and acceleration of the conveyor.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved liquid applicator System for use in processing workpieces of various widths, which is constructed and arranged so that liquid can be applied on workpieces traveling on a conveyor and the effective width of liquid being discharged onto the workpieces can readily be changed to correspond in width to that of the workpieces.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a liquid applicator system of the foregoing character which has pump means for supplying the liquid to a header and in which regulating means are provided which are responsive to the rate of movement of the workpiece so that substantially uniform applications of the liquid will be made irrespective of the rate of movement of the workprece.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a liquid applicator system of the foregoing character which is constructed and arranged so that the application of the liquid can easily be interrupted in event workpieces are not traveling below the header.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide an improved liquid applicator header for use in a liquid applicator system of the foregoing character.
l' According to one forr'n ofthe present invention, a liquid applicatorsystem-is provided comprising a conveyor for moving workpieces, and a novel header is mounted transversely above the conveyor having outlet means for discharging liquid onto the workpieces carried by the conveyor. Theheader includes an outer cylindrical housing and an'inner cylindrical sleeve telescoped thereinto and movable axially and rotationally with respect thereto. The housing has a row of rspaced liquid outlet openings arranged in an axial direction across the width of the conveyor surface.V The sleeve has a plurality of rows of spaced liquid outlet openings arranged in an axial direction with the first of the rows corresponding in number and spacing to the openings in the housing and each succeeding row in the sleeve progressively decreasing in numbers from at least one row-end so as to provide progressively less numbers of effective openings from the header when each of such succeeding rows is in registry with the row of the housing. A first mechanism is provided for selectively rotating the sleeve so that a desired row of the sleeve is in registry with the row of the housing, thereby effecting discharge of liquid of a desired width. A second mechanism is provided for axially displacing the sleeve to positions where the desired row is moved either into or out of registry with the row of the housing, thereby either allowing the flow to occur according to the width that is desired or completely terminating the flow. A gear pump is provided for supplying the liquid to the header and the gear pump is driven by a variable speed motor. Suitable sensing means are associated with the conveyor so as to detect the speed at which the conveyor is traveling and to regulate the speed of the pump motor in accordance with the conveyor speed.
Other objects of this invention will appear in the following description and appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.
In the drawings:
FIGURE l is a schematic elevational viewtaken normal to the path' of movement of the conveyor belt, illustrating one embodiment of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a schematic side elevational view showing the location of the invention with respect to conventional conveyor equipment;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view of an applicator header of the type illustrated in FIG- URE l;
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the applicator header illustrated in FIGURE 3, with portions broken away for the purpose of description;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged end elevation as seen from the left in FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged section taken on the line 6--6 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 7 is a developed arrangement of the housing and sleeve comprising parts of the header, showing one of the positions these two parts can assume relative to one another; and
FIGURE 8 is a view similar to that of FIGURE 7, but illustrating another relative lposition that the two parts can assume with respect to one another.
Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated lin the accompanying drawings, since the invention is-capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it isl to be understood that the phraseology lor terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.
'Referring now to the drawings, the invention will be described in greater detail. The liquid application system will first be described with respect to FIGURE 1 after which the details of the header will be described.
The liquid application system 10 comprises a reservoir 12 which represents a source of the liquid which is to be applied to workpieces. A constant displacement gear pump 14 has its suction side connected to the reservoir by means of the hose 16. The gear pump 14 is of a type so that the volumetric output of the pump varies linearly with the rate of revolution at which it is driven. The output of gear pump 14 is connected by hose 18 to 'a relief valve 20 which in turn is connected by another hose22 to a trim valve 24, and the latter has its outlet connected by means of hose 26 to the inlet head end of the header 28. The relief valve 20 is a conventional valve which returns liquid via the hose 30 to the reservoir 12 in the event the back pressure from the header 28 exceeds a predetermined amount. The trim valve 24 functions to limit the maximum of liquid ow to the header 28. This rateI will be established in accordance with the particular needs of the system and the capacity of the header.
The pump 14 is driven by a'variable speedvnelectric motor 32 the speed of which is controlled by the controller 34. The controller 34 is equipped for controlling the revolutions per minute of the motor 32 over a range of approximately 20 to l. The controller is also equipped with a tachometer input circuit which allows the controller to accept the signal of a mechanically driven tachometer generator or speed sensor 36. The latter is positioned adjacent to the conveyor belt 38 on which the workpieces 40 are moved. The electrical energy for operating the motor 32 is supplied through a conventional switch mechanism 42. In electrical circuit with the speed sensor 36 is an on-off control unit 44 which functions to control shutting off or opening of the header 28 in a manner to be described.
Referring now to the remaining gures in the drawings, the header 28 will be described in greater detail. The header 28 is supported on a pair of stationary upright supports positioned on opposite sides of the conveyor 38. These upright supports are identified by the reference numbers 46 and 48. The header 28 has an outer housing 50 which is held in a stationary position in the supports 46 and 48 and it has a series of outlet openings 52 extending axially along the lower surface in suflicient numbers to extend the full width of the conveyor belt which passes below. Positioned within the housing 50 is a sleeve 54 which has a plurality of rows of openings 56 extending axially along the length which are adapted to be moved into registry with the rows of holes in the housing 50. As will presently be described with respect to FIG- URES 7 and 8, the rows of holes in the sleeve 54 have progressively less holes per row so as to vary the effective width of discharge of liquid from the header 28. It is to be understood that the sleeve 54 can be rotated relative to the housing 50 for effecting this operation.
A selected-widthindicator 58 is secured to the sleeve 54 and has a plurality. of notches 60 which cooperate with the detent mechanism 62 for retaining the sleeve 54 in any of a series of selected positions with respect to the housing 50. The selected-width indicator 58 is moved to the various desired positions by means of the widthcontrol level 64 which is rigidly attached thereto'. l
The header 28 is also equipped with means for shutting 01T completely the flow of liquid. This result is achieved by axially displacing. the sleeve 54 relative to the stationary housing 50 in a manner which will now be described. Spring means 66 are operatively positioned between the sleeve 54 and housing 50 to urge the sleeve 54 to `the closed position shownin FIGURES 3 and 4. As there shown, the bolts 68 are secured to the member 70 which is movable with the sleeve 54, and the bolts are slidable with respect to the support 46 which-rigidly retains in p lace the housing 50. Thus, the sleeve 54 can be moved to the left against the spring pressure of the spring means 66 to permit discharge of liquid, 4but it will be urged back to the position shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 when the forces moving the sleeve to the left are withdrawn. For
the Ypurpose of moving the sleeve S4 axially against the spring pressuresr of the spring means 66, a solenoid 72 is provided. When this solenoid is activated, it will pivot the lever 74 about the vpivot 76 so as to urge the button'78 on the end of the sleeve 54 to the left against the springs 66. By thus displacing the sleeve 54 relative to the housing 50, all of the holes or openings in the sleeve 54 will be moved into registry with the row of holes in the housing 50 thereby permitting discharge of liquid from the header 28.' As soon as -the solenoid 72 is de-energized, the lspring means 66 will function to restore the sleeve 54 to its normal position shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 interrupting such discharge. It will be understood that suitable O-rings and other sealing means are provided to assure an effective-seal between the sleeve 54 and housing 50.
It is also contemplated that spring means 80 may be employed for urging the sleeve 54 in a downward direction relative to the housing 50 so as to minimize the possibility of liquid from within the sleeve 54 leaking between the sleeve 54 and the housing 50 rather than being discharged directly outward through the outlet openings 52. It will be understood that the spring means 80 will have the effect of urging the bottom surface of the sleeve 54 into snug engagement with the inner and lower surface of housing 50.
From the foregoing description, it will be understood that the header 28 consists essentially of an inner sleeve and outer housing, the outer housing having a row of orifices, and the inner sleeve having multiple rows of orifices. There is also the provision to either align a row of orifices on the inner sleeve with a selected row on the outer housing or to misalign the inner sleeve outlets completely for the purpose of interrupting the flow.
Referring now to `FIGURES 7 and 8, a preferred arrangement of the holes in the housing 50 and the sleeve 54 lwill be described. For the purpose of clarity, the housing 50 and the sleeve 54 are shown as rectangular developments. The development of sleeve 54 is shown positioned on top of the development of the housing 50. The row of openings 52 in the housing 50 can be seen in the broken lines and a plurality of rows of openings 56 can be seen in'the development of the sleeve 54. It will be observed that the uppermost or first of the rows of openings in the sleeve 54 has openings corresponding in number and spacing to the openings in they housing 50, and each succeeding row progressively decreases in number of openings from the ends of the rows so as to provide progressively less numbers of effective openings that are usable for discharging liquid from the header, when each such succeeding row is in registry with the one row in the housing 50. Thus, in FIGURE 7 it can be seen that the row of openings in the housing 50 is in registry with the third row of openings in the sleeve 54. In this situation the two end openings 52 are not effective to discharge liquid from the header because they are closed by the sleeve 54.
Referring now to FIGURE 8, it will be seen that axially displacement of the sleeve 54 will have the effect of completely interrupting flow of liquid from the header, because under these circumstances all of the openings 52 are out of registry with the openings in the row of the sleeve 54 which is aligned therewith.
With the foregoing description in mind, the operation of the system will now be described in greater detail. Assume that the conveyor belt 38 is stationary and the switch 42 is open. Under these circumstances there will be no output signal from the tachometer generator or speed sensor 36. When the switch 42 is then closed, the motor 42 will begin to run at 1/oth of its full revolutions per minute thus operating the pump 14 so that it delivers /goth of its maximum gallons per minute. This action will fill the header 26 with liquid, because the on-off control 44, through solenoid 72 and lever 74, will assure that the outlets of the header are closed. Once the header 28 is filled with fluid, the relief v-alve 20 will start returning liquid to the reservoir 12.
When the steel mill is Astarted up so that the 4conveyor belt 38 moves workpieces 40 past the header, the speed sensor 36 will produce an output voltage to the control unit 15 which in turn will energize the solenoid 72 thereby actuating the lever 74 to open the header 28. Constant flow of liquid at a rate of h@ of the maximum capacity of the pump 14 will occur until the mill speed exceeds 1/0 of its maximum setting. When the mill speed has passed this mark, the control unit 34 will operate to increase the speed of the motor 32 thereby proportionately increasing the supply of liquid to the header 28.
At all times the effective discharge width of the header 28 is selected by means of the selectable width indicator 58 so that the width of fluid being discharged onto the conveyor belt and workpieces corresponds to the width of the workpieces that are being carried on the conveyor belt 38.
It is to be understood that the selector indicator can Ibe replaced by an electric motor of the type which can be operated to move the selector indicator to any desired position, and this motor can be remotely controlled from a suitable control panel.
In operation, normally only one header will be required which will be positioned above the conveyor belt 38 for discharge onto the workpiece 40 in the manner shown in FIGURE 2. Under certain circumstances it may be desired to place a second header below the belt at a location such as is shown in FIGURE 2 for applying liquid to the lower side of the workpiece, but normally this is not done since the metal will be rolled onto a coil or stacked one on top of another after they have been reduced, and the coated upper side of the metal will contact the uncoated under side to provide the desired coatings on Iboth sides. However, with a controlled pressure of liquid discharge, in some instances applications such as that shown in FIGURE 2 may be employed. In this respect it is to be understood that the liquid should not be sprayed onto the workpiece, because spraying would result in atomizing of the liquid resulting in such atomized liquid being diffused into the atmosphere of the plant. Normally this is not permitted in operations of this type, and therefore it is important that the liquid flow as streams against the workpieces. To achieve such results the proper liquid pressure must be maintained in the header and appropriate sizes for openings 52 must be used. Normally, it is preferred that the openings 52 have larger diameters than the openings 56.
From the foregoing description it will be understood that an improved liquid applicator system as well as an improved header has been developed for applying liquids to workpieces. The invention not only operates in a vastly superior manner to that known heretofore, but it has other features which are also desirable. Thus, it is of importance to rbe able to clean the header quickly. The illustrated embodiment of the invention permits easy cleaning of the smaller orifices of the inner sleeve, because the inner sleeve can quickly be removed from the stationary outer housing. It is only necessary to unscrew the bolts 68 and to pull out the inner sleeve. Then the sleeve can be blown out or the clogged orifices, if any, can be cleaned out either individually or by applying air through the liquid input hose at the one end of the sleeve.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A liquid applicator system for use in processing workpieces of various widths such as strip or sheet metal and the like, comprising -a conveyor for moving such workpieces, a header mounted transversely above said conveyor having a row of outlet orifice means spaced along its transverse dimension for discharging liquid onto workpieces carried by said conveyor, first means in said header for selectively closing certain of said orifice means from each end of said row for varying the effective Z transverse width of liquid discharged from theheader, second means in said header for simultaneously opening or closing said outlet means, pump means for pumping liquid from a source of supply to said header, and regulating means responsive to movement of said conveyor for regulating operation of the pumping means.
2.1A liquid applicator system for use in processing workpieces of various widths such as strip or sheet metal and the like, comprising a conveyor for moving such workpieces,l a header mounted transversely above said conveyor having outlet means for discharging liquid onto workpieces carried by said conveyor, first me-ans in said header forl selectively varying the effective transverse Width of liquid discharged from the header, second means in said header for simultaneously opening or closing said outlet means, pump means for pumping liquid from a source of supply to said header, and regulating means responsive to movement of said conveyor for regulating operation of the pumping means, said header including an outer cylindrical housing and an inner cylindrical sleeve telescoped thereinto and moveable axially and rotationally with respect thereto, said housing having a row of spaced liquid outlet openings arranged in an axial direction along its lower surface, said sleeve having a plurality of rows of spaced liquid outlet openings arranged in an axial direction, the rst of said rows having openings corresponding in number and spacing to the openings in said housing and each succeeding row progressively decreasing in numbers from the row-ends so as to provide progressively less numbers of effective openings from the header when each of such succeeding rows is in registry with the row in said housing, said rst means including a mechanism for selectively rotating said sleeve so that a desired row of the sleeve is in registry, said second means including a mechanism for axially displacing said sleeve to positions wherein the desired row is moved into or out of registry.
3. A liquid applicator system according to claim 2, wherein said mechanism for selectively rotating said sleeve `comprises a handle secured to one end of said sleeve, and detent means for retaining the sleeve in positions of registry of its row of openings.
y4. A liquid applicator system according to claim 2, wherein said mechanism for axially displacing said sleeve comprises springmeans for urging said sleeve to a normal position out of registry of the openings and a solenoidactuated lever for moving said sleeve against the action of the spring means when the solenoid is energized to a position of registry of the openings.
5. A liquid applicator system according to claim 1, wherein said pump means comprises a positive displacement pump and a Ivariable speed motor for driving said pump, and said` regulating means are responsive to the speed of said conveyor for varying correspondingly the speed of said motor.
6. In a liquid applicator system for use in processing workpieces of various widths wherein said workpieces are .moved on a conveyor, the combination of a conveyor, a liquid applicator header, mounted transversely' of' said conveyor including an outer cyliudryicalhousing and an inner cylindrical sleeveV telescoped'therreinto and movable axially and rotationally'with respect thereto, said `housing having a row of spaced liquid outlet openings arranged; in an axial direction along its lower surface, *said sleeve having a plurality of rows of spaced liquidv'outlet opeu ings arranged'in an axial direction, the rst of said rows having openings corresponding in number' and spacing to the openings yin said housing arid each succeeding'row progressively decreasing in numbers from at least onefrowfend so as to provide progressively l'ess `numbers of effective openings from the header when each of such succeeding rows is in registry with the row of said housing, a rst mechanism for selectively rotating said sleeve so that a desired Arow of the sleeve is in 'registry 'with lthe row of said housing, andv a second mechanism'for axially displacing said sleeve to positions wherein'the'desired row is moved either into or out of registry.
7. In a liquid applicator system, a liquid applicator header according to claim 6, wherein said irst'l'mechanism comprises a handle secured to one end of said sleeve, and detent means operably positioned betweensaidl'sleeve and said housing for retaining the sleeve in positions of registry of its rows of openings. 4
8. In a liquid applicatorsystem, a liquid applicator header according to claim 6, wherein saidhsecond mechanism comprises spring means operably positioned for urging said sleeve to a normal position out of lregistry, yof the openings of said desired row with the openings in the row of said housing, and a solenoid-actuated member for moving said sleeve axially against the action ofthe spring means when the solenoid is energized to a position of registry of the holes. f
9. In a liquid applicator system, a liquid applicator header according to claim 6, wherein spring means are positioned betweensaid housing and said sleeve for urging the sleeve against said lower surface. of said housing.
10. In a liquid applicator system, a liquid applicator header according to claim 6,` wherein the openings in the rows of said sleeve have a smaller area than the openings in the rows of said housing,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS `667,947 2/1901 f Morrison 222-485 1,390,383 9/1921 Powell 222-486 X 2,827,928 3/ 1958 Guckel 222-486 X 2,960,060 1l/1960 Chatterton. 3,032,239 5/1962 vWhitley' et al. 222-486 3,182,867 5/1965 Borosko et al. 222-486 l3,276,397 `10/l966 Poppe et al. 118-24 ROBERT W. MICHELL,`Primary Examiner. JOHN P. MCINTosH, Assistant Examiner.