US 3435986 A
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April 1, I969 v. BROSSEIT 3,435,936 1 DISPENSING MECHANISM HAVING ARTICLE DISTRIBUTINGYCYLINDER 7 Filed Nov. 15; 1967' I of 5 v Sheet JANE/v 70A F! v. Ewasse'lf April. 1, 1969 F. v. BROSSEIT 3 3 DISPENSING MECHANISM HAVING ARTICLE DISTRIBUTING c'gLmDER a F i led Nov. 1'5, 196'? Sheef 2" Ora i Fil'ed Nov. 13, 1967 P 1969 v sa oss Erf 3,435,986
DISPENSING MECHANISM HAVING ARTICLE DISTR IB UTING CYLINDER m\ xxw ilQ-E United States Patent Oflice 3,435,986 Patented Apr. 1, 1969 3,435,986 DISPENSING MECHANISM HAVING ARTICLE DISTRIBUTING CYLINDER Fritz V. Brosseit, Kansas City, Mo., assignor to Western Electric Company, Incorporated, New York, N.Y., a
corporation of New York Filed Nov. 13, 1967, Ser. No. 682,358 Int. Cl. B65h 3/08; B65g 59/12; B65b 5/04 U.S. Cl. 221-278 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cylinder that is provided with a circumferentially arranged group of internal bores is indexed about its axis for receiving a succession of pneumatically conveyed articles. The successively received articles are discharged in sequence from longitudinally spaced portions of the cylinder by means of radial passages extending from the bores to the cylinder periphery.
Background of the invention In the manufacture of grid elements to be used in planar electron devices such as triodes, it has been customary to first form grid strips by winding discrete flat coils of relatively thin wire along axial spaced portions of a continuous pair of relatively thick parallel support wires. Each strip is pneumatically propelled axially along a conduit extending below a suitable chopper, which successively severs the strip into individual grid elements. Each grid element consists of a centralized discrete coil mounted on and longitudinally overlapped by a section of the support wires. The severed elements are sequentially propelled through an output end of the conduit and collected in a suitable common container.
At this point, an operator removes the elements one by one from the container with a pair of tweezers or the like, and places them individually in a compartmented tray for further processing (e.g., heat treatment and ultimate assembly into the electron device). It is apparent that the manual handling of the elements represents a severe limitation in the efficiency of the grid manufacturing process.
Summary of the invention This drawback is eliminated by the arrangement of the present invention. In its most general aspects, this arrangement automatically and rapidly intercepts a series of articles propelled seriatim along a given path, and immediately dispenses the intercepted articles into a series of spaced locations of an adjacent receptacle. In an illustrative embodiment suitable for use in the grid manufacturing process described above, the successively severed grid elements may be dispensed in a coordinate pattern, into the compartments of the tray.
The illustrative embodiment includes an elongated cylinder that is provided with a plurality of elongated internal axial bores arranged circumferentially about the cylinder axis at a predetermined radius. Successive ones of the bores are indexed about the axis and into registration with the output of the chopper to individually re'- ceive the propelled grid elements therefrom. The respective bores are terminated by cylindrical plugs at different distances from the input end of the cylinder. A beveled inner end of each plug deflects the grid element intercepted by the associated bore through an adjacent passage which extends radially from the bore to the cylinder periphery, and thereby discharges the article. The discharged article is received in an aligned compartment of an underlying row of the coordinate tray. The spacing between the centers of successive radial passages corresponds to the spacing between the centers of successive ompartments in each row on the tray, so that each radial passage may be moved into registration with a separate compartment in the row.
With the latter arrangement, each complete indexing revolution of the cylinder fills a complete row of the tray with grid elements, one element being dispensed to each compartment in the row. As each row is filled, the tray is indexed in a direction perpendicular to the axis of the cylinder to present a new row of compartments to the cylinder. In this way the tray is loaded with the elements in systematic coordinate fashion; and since the propelled articles are dispensed immediately upon their receipt within the cylinder, the tray may be loaded as fast as the severing and indexing operations can proceed.
Brief description of the drawings The nature of the invention and its advantages will appear more fully from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the appended drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a dispensing cylinder constructed in accordance with the invention, together with an arrangement for feeding a succession of articles to the cylinder;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal view of an article dispensed by the cylinder of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the cylinder of FIG. 1, illustrating details of radial passages and end plugs disposed therein;
FIG. 4 is a sectional end view, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1, illustrating an indexing arrangement drive for the cylinder;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a coordinate tray suitable for receiving the articles dispensed by the cylinder of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is a sectional end view, taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 1, illustrating an indexing arrangement for the tray of FIG. 4.
Detailed descriptioln Referring now in more detail to the drawing, FIG. 1 depicts an elongated cylinder 21 constructed in accordance with the invention for (a) receiving a succession of articles 22-22 ejected by a propelling mechanism 23 and (b) routing the received articles into a plurality of compartments 24-24 of an indexable coordinate tray 26.
For purposes of this description, it will be assumed that each article 22 is a grid element which includes a pair of relatively thick wires 27-27 (FIG. 2) supporting a discrete central coil 28 of relatively thin wire. Accordingly, the articles will be hereafter referred to as the elements 22.
The individual elements 22 are severed from an elongated strip 29 (FIG. 1) containing a succession of the elements in spaced relation. The strip 29, which may be supported in a suitable magazine (not shown) is directed axially by means of an air hose 30 into the propelling mechanism 23 in the direction of an arrow 31. Within the propelling mechanism, the strip 29 passes between a lower die portion 32 and an upper die portion 33. The portion 33 is carried in a movable ram bar 34 to which is afiixed an apertured stop plate 36. The plate 36 is selectively movable into the path of the strip 29 by a vertical movement of the ram bar 34. Initially, the ram bar is elevated from the position shown in the figure so that the upper die portion 33 is raised above the level of the strip. In this latter position, a lower surface 37 of the stop plate 36 engages a front end 38 of the strip and restrains the strip from axial movement despite the continued urging force from the air hose 30. In the restrained position, a portion of the strip intermediate the two frontmost coils 28 is centralized on the die portions 32 and 33.
Upon the engagement of the front end 38 of the strip and the lower surface 37 of the stop plate, a suitable actuator (not shown) imparts a downward movement to the ram bar 34. This movement causes the movable die portion 33 to descend into the position shown in the figure. The portion 33 squeezes the adjacent portion of the strip against the die portion 33. The downward motion of the bar 34 simultaneously positions a central aperture 39 of the stop plate 36 into alignment with the front end 38 of the strip so that axial movement of the strip is now restrained only by the squeezing action of the die portions 32 and 33. A shear punch 40 slidably carried in the movable die portion 33 then descends and severs the front element 22, which is thereupon directed (by means of a second air hose 41) through the aligned aperture in the stop plate and out of the propelling mechanism. At this point, the ram bar is moved upward to separate the die portions 32 and 33 and raise the punch 40. This permits the front end of the remaining ortion of the strip to contact the now-aligned bottom surface 37 of the stop plate 36 so that the next element 22 on the strip may be severed. In this way, the front-most element on the strip is ejected from the propelling mechanism during each downward movement of the punch 40.
The cylinder 21 is supported for rotation about a horizontal axis 42 between a pair of axially spaced upright standards 43-43 aflixed to a base 44. The cylinder includes a central portion 46 of radius A and a pair of opposite end projections 47-47 of radius B. The projections 47 extend respectively from a left end 48 and a right end 49 of the central portion 46. The projections are journaled within a pair of sleeve bearings 51-51 respectively received in a pair of central apertures 5252 in the standards 43.
The right standard 43 is provided with an axial bore 53 aligned with the path of the strip 29 for receiving the successive elements 22 severed from the strip. A common axis 54 of the strip 29 and the bore 53 extends parallel to and directly below the axis 42 of the cylinder 21. The axis 54 passes through the cylinder at a radius C smaller than the radius A of the central portion 46 but greater than the radius B of the projections 47. The successive severed elements 22 may be propelled out of the mechanism 23 along the axis 54 and into the cylinder 21 in the manner indicated below.
As best shown in FIG. 3, the central portion 46 of the cylinder is provided with a plurality (illustratively five) of longitudinally extending internal bores 5555. The bores 55 are arranged circumferentially about the axis 42 at angular intervals of 72. Each bore 55 is centered at the radius C (FIG. 1).
The periphery of the central portion 46 is further provided with five elongated, longitudinally and circumferentially spaced slots 56A56E that are individually aligned radially with the five axial bores 55 and communicate therewith via a plurality of radial passages 57 57. Successive ones of the slots 56 are longitudinally spaced by a center distance D and are circumferentially separated by 72 about the axis 42.
Successive ones of the bores 55 are terminated at progressively increasing distances from the right end 49 of the central portion 46 by means of five elongated cylindrical stop plugs SSA-58E (FIG. 3) of increasing length. The plugs 58 are individually press-fitted or otherwise securely inserted into the bores 55. A left end 59 (FIG. 1) of each plug is disposed flush with the left end 48 of the central portion 46. The shortest plug 58A is inserted in the bore whose associated peripheral slot 56A is closest to the left end 48 of the central portion 46. Successively longer ones of the plugs 58 (FIG. 3) are disposed in the bores 55 whose associated peripheral slots 56 are disposed at successively increasing distances from the left end 48. A right end 61 (FIG. 1) of each of the plugs 58 is beveled at an angle of 45 to both the associated bore 55 and the associated radial passage 57.
The lengths of the respective plugs 58 are chosen such that the beveled right end 61 is centered at a location generally coincident with a left end 62 of the adjacent radial passage.
The cylinder 21 may be indexed around its axis 42 in 72 increments by means of a pawl and ratchet drive 66 (FIG. 4). The latter drive is arranged to move successive ones of the bores 55 into axial registration with the common axis 54 (FIG. 1). The drive 66 includes a ratchet wheel 67 (FIG. 4) having a central 'bore 68 (FIG. 1) for receiving the right projection 47 of the cylinder between the central portion 46 and the right standard 43. The ratchet wheel 67 may be afiixed to the right end 49 of the central portion 46 by means of suitable screws (not shown). The wheel 67 is further provided with five axial bores 6969 arranged around the axis 42 on the radius C. The bores 69 are oriented to be in alignment with the five bores 55 in the central cylinder portion 46 afiixed to the wheel 67.
The periphery of the wheel 67 is defined by five equiangularly spaced teeth 7171 (FIG. 4) successively engageable by a drive pawl 72. The pawl 72 is coupled to the shear punch 40 (FIG. 1) of the propelling mechanism 23 by means of a suitable linkage 73. The linkage 73 normally maintains the pawl 72 in the position shown in FIG. 4 except during the downward motion of the punch 40 (FIG. 1). In the latter case the linkage 73 imparts a corresponding downward movement to the pawl 72 in synchronism with the motion of the punch. Each downward movement of the pawl 72 drives the wheel 67 (FIG. 4) through an angular increment of 72 in a clockwise direction as viewed in the figure. Reverse motion of the wheel during a subsequent upward movement of the pawl 72. i.e., during the upward movement of the punch 40 (FIG. 1), is prevented by a suitably located spring-loaded stop pawl 74.
Each complete revolution of the ratchet wheel 67 (and thus the cylinder 21) will cause the five bores 55 to move successively into registration with the common axis 54. The peripheral slot 56 associated with the aligned bore will be disposed at the bottom of the cylinder. Thus, the successive slots 56 will be disposed at the bottom of the cylinder in a recurrent order that progresses from left to right in FIG. 1 as the cylinder revolves in the clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 4.
As best shown in FIG. 5, the compartments 24 of the tray 26 are coordinately arranged in a succession of parallel rows 76-7 6. Adjacent ones of the rows are separated by a center distance Z. Each row 76 has five of the compartments 24 aligned end-to-end for individually receiving a succession of the elements 22 during each revolution of the cylinder 21 (FIG. 1). Adjacent compartments 24 in each row 76 (FIG. 5) are separated by a center distance equal to the center distance D (FIG. 1) between successive peripheral slots 56 of the cylinder.
The tray 26 is suitably afiixed to a top surface 77 of a horizontally indexible platform 78 located below the cylinder 21. The tray 26 is positioned on the plaform 78 in such a manner that the compartments 24 in each row extend parallel to the cylinder axis 42, with the centers of successive ones of the compartments 24 vertically aligned with successive ones of the peripheral slots 56 of the cylinder. The platform 78 is mounted for translational movement in the direction into the paper, i.e., in a direction perpendicular to the cylinder axis 42. For this purpose the platform 78 is slidably mounted in a recess 79 between a pair of parallel guide surfaces 8080 in the base 44.
The platform 78 may be indexed in the direction into the paper by means of a drive pawl 81 selectively engageable with successive ones of a plurality of right triangular teeth 8282 (FIG. 6), of height Y, which define a rack 83 disposed along a top edge 84 of the platform 78. The length of the teeth 82 is chosen to correspond to the center distance Z (FIG. 5) between successive rows 76 of the tray 26; thus, the tray may be positioned on the platform such that each movement of the latter through the distance Z places a separate row 76 into vertical alignment with the cylinder axis 42 (FIG. 1) and the common axis 54.
It will be noted from FIG. 1 that the left hand peripheral slot 56A registers with the left hand compartment 24 of the indexed row on the tray when the bore 55 associated with that slot has been indexed into alignment with the common axis 54. In like manner, when the next succeeding peripheral slot 56B to the right is in its index position, such slot is in registration with the next succeeding compartment 24 to the right, and so on.
The pawl 81 is driven by a cam-operated compound yoke mechanism 86 suitably alfixed to the cylinder 21 for rotation therewith. The mechanism 86 includes a cam 87 ,(FIG. 6) keyed to the left cylinder projection 47 between the left end 48 (FIG. 1) of the central portion 46 and the left standard 43. An inner yoke 88 (FIG. 6) having a rectangular inner opening 89 surrounds the outer surface of the cam 87 for selective engagement therewith. The yoke 88 is provided with opposed pairs of horizontal and vertical walls 91-91 and 92-92, respectively, which are so dimensioned so as to constrain the inner yoke 88 for vertical movement only within rectangular inner opening 93 of a surrounding outer yoke 94. For this purpose, the outer periphery of the vertical walls 92 of the inner yoke 88 slida'bly engage corresponding inner surfaces on a pair of vertical walls 96-96 of the outer yoke 94. The total vertical movement of the inner yoke 88 is made equal to a distance P slightly greater than the height Y of the teeth 82.
The outer yoke 91 is constrained for horizontal movement only within a rectangular internal opening 97 of a surrounding outer block 98. To accomplish this, the outer surfaces of a pair of horizontal outer walls 99 of the outer yoke 94 selectively engage the corresponding inner surfaces of a pair of horizontal Walls 101-101 of the block 98. The total horizontal movement of the outer yoke 94 is made generally equal to the length Z of the teeth 82.
In order to engage an underlying tooth of the rack 83, the pawl 81 extends downwardly from the bottom horizontal wall 91 of the inner yoke 88 and through a pair of aligned slots (not shown) in the bottom horizontal surfaces of the outer yoke 94 and the surrounding block 98, respectively.
Each indexing revolution of the cylinder 21 (FIG. 1) will be resolved by the yoke mechanism 86 into horizontal and vertical movements of the pawl 81 so that the latter will define a rectangular path in the vertical plane as viewed in FIG. 6. The rectangular path will have left and right (i.e., backward and forward) components of distance Z and upward and downward components of the distance P. During each forward movement of the pawl 81, i.e., to the right in FIG. 6, the pawl will engage a tooth 82, and will advance the rack (and thus the platform 78) by the distance Z. This, in turn, will index successive ones of the rows 76 (FIG. 5) on the tray 26 into registration with the vertical plane defined by the cylinder axis 42 (FIG. 1) and the common axis 54.
The timing relationship between the rotation of the cylinder 21 and the movement of the platform 78 must now be considered. It will be remembered that each revolution of the cylinder will move the five peripheral slots 56 on the cylinder 21 successively into vertical alignment with the cylinder axis 42. For the clockwise movement of the cylinder assumed in FIG. 4, the resulting order of registration of the peripheral slots 56 will be from left to right as viewed in FIG. 1. Thus, assuming that the left-most peripheral slot 56 must be moved into the position shown in FIG. 1 at the start of each revolution of the cylinder, the feed pawl 81 must simultaneously move the platform 78 forward by the distance Z to place an empty row of compartments 24 into vertical alignment with the cylinder axis 42. During the remainder of each revolution of the cylinder, i.e., during the time that the remaining four peripheral slots 56 are moved into their index positions, the feed pawl 81 moves upwardly by the distance P, then horizontally backward (i.e., to the left) by the distance Z, and then vertically downward again by the distance P to engage the next successive tooth 82 on the rack 83. Such a movement may be obtained by suitably shaping the cam 87.
A typical sequence of operations of the overall dispensing scheme of FIG. 1 will now be described. It will be assumed that the cylinder 21 has just begun a new indexing cycle so that the pawl 72 (driven by the descending punch 40 and the linkage 73) has moved the bore 55 associated with the leftmost peripheral slot 56A into alignment with the common axis 54.
The shear punch 40 severs the front-most element 22 on the strip 29. The severed element 22 is propelled along the axis 54 and into the aligned bore 55 by the hose 41. The propelled element is intercepted by the beveled right end 61 of the terminating plug 58A in the bore 55. The beveled end 61 deflects the propelled element 22 through the adjacent radial passage 57 and the peripheral slot 56 to the underlying leftmost compartment 24 of the aligned row on the tray 26. When the shear punch 40 next descends, drive pawl 72 indexes the next bore 55 into registration with the common axis 54. In this position, the next peripheral slot 56 to the right is vertically aligned with the second tray compartment 24 from the left. The shear punch then severs the next element 22 from the strip and propels it into the aligned bore, where it is deflected into the second tray compartment. This operation proceeds three more times during the indexed revolution of the cylinder, at which time the rightmost peripheral slot 56 is in vertical alignment with the rightmost compartment on the tray for receiving the fifth and last element in the row.
During the time that the row of compartments is being filled from left to right in this manner, the yoke mechanism 86 moves the feed pawl 81 through the upward, backward, and downward portions of its rectangular path. After an element 22 has been dispensed into the rightmost tray compartment 24 by the cylinder 21 to complete the dispensing operation for that row, the cylinder drive pawl 72 moves the cylinder into the next indexing cycle with the leftmost peripheral slot 56A directly below the axis 42, as in FIG. 1. Simultaneously with this last-mentioned movement, the mechanism 86 moves the platform drive pawl 81 through the forward portion of its rectangular path so that the latter places a new and empty row of tray compartments into vertical alignment with the axes 42 and 54 to receive the next succeeding five elements from the propelling mechanism 23.
It will be understood that the above-described arrangements are merely illustrative of the principles of the invention. Many other variations and modifications will now occur to those skilled in the art. Such variations may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a dispensing mechanism:
an elongated cylindrical member having a plurality of internal bores arranged circumferentially about the cylinder axis and extending longitudinally for different distances from an input end of the member, and a corresponding plurality of dispensing passages extending radially from the output ends of the respective bores to the periphery of the member.
2. In an apparatus for dispensing articles that are successively propelled along a'rectilinear path:
an elongated cylindrical member having a plurality of internal bores arranged circumferentially about the cylinder axis and extending longitudinally for different distances from an input end of the member, and a corresponding plurality of longitudinally spaced radial apertures extending inwardly from the periphery of the member to individually communicate with the bores; and
means for moving the input ends of successive ones of the bores into axial registration with the path for individually receiving the articles.
3. Apparatus for dispensing elements that are successively propelled along a rectilinear path, which comprises:
an elongated cylindrical member having a plurality of longitudinally extending internal bores arranged circumferentially about the axis of the member, and a corresponding plurality of longitudinally spaced radial apertures extending into the member from the peripheral surface thereof and individually communieating with the bores;
means for indexing successive ones of the bores about the axis and into registration with a prescribed angular position about the axis and into axial alignment with the path for receiving successive ones of the articles; and
means associated with each of the bores for intercepting each element propelled therein and for directing the intercepted article to the outside of the member through the associated radial aperture.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein the bores extend throughout the length of the member and the intercepting means comprises a plurality of cylindrical rods individually received in the associated bores, each rod having a beveled end disposed adjacent the radial aperture for effectively terminating the bore within the member.
5. Apparatus for dispensing a succession of articles, which comprises:
an elongated cylindrical member having a plurality of longitudinally extending internal bores arranged circumferentially about the axis of the member, and a corresponding plurality of longitudinally spaced radial apertures extending into the member from the peripheral surface thereof and individually communicating with the bores;
means for indexing successive ones of the bores about the axis and into registration with a prescribed angular position about the axis;
first means operative in timed relationship to the indexing means for individually propelling successive ones of the elements into one end of the bores when the latter are in the prescribed position; and
means associated wtih each of the bores for intercepting each article propelled therein and for directing the intercepted article to the outside of the member through the associated radial aperture.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, in which the indexing means comprises, in combination, a ratchet wheel aflixed to the member for rotation therewith, and a first pawl engageable with successive teeth of the ratchet wheel for successively moving each bore of the member into the prescribed position.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, wherein the successive articles are aligned end-to-end on an elongated article strip which moves along a rectilinear path, and the first propelling means comprises, in combination, means selectively engageable with the strip for severing individual articles from the strip; means for intercepting the front article on the strip and holding the intercepted article in alignment with the severing means; means for moving the severing means against the strip to sever the held article;
and means for propelling each severed article along the path and into the one end of the registered bore in the member.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7, further comprising means linking the first propelling means with the indexing means so that each bore is moved into the prescribed position prior to the severing of the associated article.
9. An article transfer mechanism, which comprises:
an elongated cylinder having a plurality of longitudinally extending internal bores arranged circumferentially about its axis, and a corresponding plurality of longitudinally spaced radial apertures extending into the cylinder from the peripheral surface thereof and individually communicating with the bores;
a housing supporting the cylinder for rotation in a horizontal plane;
first means for indexing the cylinder about its axis to align successive ones of the bores with a prescribed angular position about the axis for individually receiving the articles;
a platform slidably mounted on the housing below the cylinder for translational movement in a first direction perpendicular to the axis of the cylinder; and
second means operative in timed relationship to the first indexing means for indexing the platform in the first direction by a first predetermined distance.
10. Apparatus as defined in claim 9, further comprising, a coordinately compartmented tray afiixed to a surface to the platform below the cylinder, the tray having a plurality of rows successively spaced by the first predetermined distance, each row of the tray being defined by a succession of compartments aligned end-to-end, the tray being arranged on the platform so that the successive rows extend in the first direction and the compartments in each row extend parallel to the axis of the cylinder.
11. Apparatus as defined in claim 10, in which the center distance between adjacent compartments of each row of the tray is equal to the longitudinal center distance between adjacent radial apertures of the cylinder.
12. Apparatus as defined in claim 10, in which the tray is further arranged on the platform such that successive movements of the platform by the second indexing means advances successive rows of the tray into vertical registration with the prescribed angular position of the cylinder.
13. Apparatus as defined in claim 10, in which the second indexing means comprises, in combination, a cam aflixed to the cylinder for rotation therewith, a first yoke surrounding and selectively engaging the cam, a second yoke surrounding and constraining the first yoke for reciprocal movement in a horizontal plane in alignment with the first direction, a guide member surrounding and constraining the second yoke for reciprocal movement in a vertical plane, and means coupled to the first yoke for engaging and moving the platform during the movement of the first yoke in the first direction.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R. 53--246