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Publication numberUS3447448 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 3, 1969
Filing dateMar 13, 1967
Priority dateMar 13, 1967
Publication numberUS 3447448 A, US 3447448A, US-A-3447448, US3447448 A, US3447448A
InventorsPasic James A
Original AssigneeOvalstrapping Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wire tying machines
US 3447448 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 3, 1969 Filed March 13, 1967 FIG. I

J. A. PASIC WIRE TYING MACHINES Sheet 016 JAMES A PASIO INVENTOR.

ATTORNE Y5 June 1969 J. A. PASIC WIRE TYING MACHINES Sheet Filed March 13, 1967 JAMES A. PASIG INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS June 3, 1969 J. A. PAslc 3,447,448

WIRE TYING MACHINES Filed March 15, 1967 Sheet 2 of 6 FIG 5 as 2 -;s w i 4/ 3'1" mix; 23 v I g? 39 JAMES A. PASIO INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS June 3, 1969 J, A, PA IC 3,447,448 I WIRE TYING MACHINES Filed March 13, 1967 Sheet 4 of e F|G 8 7 R 2,1

Fl G l| JAMES A PASIC INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS June 3, 1969 J. A. PASIC 3,447,448

WIRE TYING MACHINES Filed March 13, 1967 Sheet 5 of e (D N M FIG JAMES A. PASIO INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS June 3, 1969 J. A. PASIC 3,447,443

WIRE TYING MACHINES Filed March 13, 1967 Sheet 6 of e .FIG I4 JAMES A. PASI C INVENTOR.

ATTORNE YS United States Patent ()1 3,447,448 Patented June 3, 1969 3,447,448 WIRE TYING MACHINES James A. Pasic, Aberdeen, Wash., assiguor to Ovalstrapping, Inc., Hoquiam, Wash., a corporation of Washington Filed Mar. 13, 1967, Ser. No. 622,802 Int. Cl. Gg /00; B65b 13/04; B65h 49/02 US. Cl. 100-4 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A wire typing machine of the type having an upstanding track through which wire is forced to form a wire loop is provided with an improved upstanding loop-forming track subassembly that functions with little wear resulting from high speed movement of tying wire through the machine, an improved conveyor assembly providing increased accessibility to the operating components of the track sub-assembly, and an improved wire pay-oft" sub-assembly for receiving tying wire from a wire coil and feeding it through the machine to the loop-forming track sub-assembly.

This invention relates to wire tying machines of the type having an upstanding track through which wire may be forced to form a wire loop. More particularly, this invention relates to automatic wire tying machines which, when actuated, forms a wire loop, applies and tensions the loop about an object to be tied, and knots the tensioned wire loop.

A primary object of this invention is to provide a wire tying machine that can function with little wear result ing from high speed movement of the tying wire through the machine. Another object is to provide such a machine wherein the wire tying assembly can be placed in a production line from either side, independently of the conveyor assembly. A further object is to provide such a machine with a novel upstanding loop-forming track sub-assembly. Still another object is to provide such a machine with a novel conveyor assembly. A still further object is to provide such a machine with a novel pay-off sub-assembly for receiving tying wire from a wire coil.

These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, of which;

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wire tying machine illustrating a wire tying assembly with a conveyor assembly and a coil of wire in proper position relative thereto, one of the conveyor sub-assemblies being shown in a raised, nonoperating position;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the wire tying assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a detail view taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2 illustrating one feature of the pay-off sub-assemy;

FIG. 4 is a detail view taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3 further illustrating the FIG. 3 feature;

FIG. 5 is a detail view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2 illustrating another feature of the pay-off subassembly;

FIG. 6 is a detail view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 2 further illustrating the FIG. 5 feature;

FIG. 7 is a detail view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 2 illustrating one feature of the feed-tension subassembly;

FIG. 7a is an enlarged front detail view of the FIG. 7 feature.

FIG. 8 is a detail view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 2 illustrating one feature of the track sub-assembly;

FIG. 9 is a detail view taken along the line 9-9 of FIG. 2 illustrating another feature of the track subassembly;

FIG. 10 is a detail view taken along the line 10-10 of FIG. 2 illustrating still another feature of the track sub-assembly;

FIG. 11 is a detail view taken along the line 11-11 of FIG. 2 illustrating one feature of the twister-gripper subassembly;

FIG. 12 is a detail view taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. 1 illustrating one feature of the frame subassembly;

FIG. 13 is an elevation view of one of the conveyor sub-assemblies as viewed from the inner end adjacent the frame sub-assembly;

FIG. 14 is an exterior side elevation view of the FIG. 13 conveyor sub-assembly; and

FIG. 15 is an interior side elevation view taken along the line 15-15 in FIG. 13.

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the wire tying machine of this invention comprises a wire tying assembly 10 and a conveyor assembly 300. The wire tying assembly 10 comprises a payoff sub-assembly 20, an accumulator sub-assembly 40, a feed and tension sub-assembly 60, a twister-gripper sub-assembly 80, a frame sub-assembly 100, and a track sub-assembly 200. The conveyor assembly 300 comprises two sets of conveyors 310-310, each having a pair of parallel spaced-apart conveyor sub-assemblies 312-312 that are driven from their outer ends by drive means 314 and are journalled to a support housing 316 at their outer ends such that they may be supportably cantilevered inwardly in a horizontal conveying position 'or pivoted upwardly and outwardly as shown, and comprises an automatic sequencing control sub-assembly 318 associated with one of the conveyor sub-assemblies.

As depicted in FIGS. 1-6, the payoff sub-assembly 20 comprises a serpentine tubular guide or spinner 21 rotatably mounted in a vertical housing 22 between upper and lower retainers 31-31 on the tubular guide. The housing 22 is mounted to the depending sides of a cover channel 12 of the wire tying assembly 10. The housing 22 contains two ball bearing sets 23-23 mounted to rotatably support the tubular guide 21 within the housing. A drag 25 is mounted to the lower end of the housing 22 by a depending brace 24 and circumferentially encloses a bearing block mounted on the tubular guide 21. Drag 25 comprises a split ring with the two half sections thereof joined by a spring loaded adjusting screw 26 threaded into the two sections.

The payoff sub-assembly 20 also comprises an upper circumferentially-grooved pulley 32 rotatably mounted by a fixed bracket 33 mounted on the cover channel 12 ahead of the housing 22. A roller 34 is mounted at the upper end of the bracket 33 and rides in the groove of the pulley 32. The base of the cover channel 12 has an elongated aperture 103 therein of suflicient width and length to accommodate the pulley 32.

The payoif sub-assembly 20 also comprises three rollers 35, 36 and 37 that are each provided with circumferential grooves, a mounting plate 38 connected to one of the depending side walls of cover channel 12 ahead of the pulley 32 and mounting rollers 35 and 36 through respective cap screws and ball bearing sets, and a lever arm 39 pivotally connected at its lower end to the cap screw of roller 35 on the side of roller 35 opposite the mounting plate 38, roller 37 being mounted to an intermediate section of the lever arm 39 through a respective cap screw and ball bearing set, and a limit switch 39:: mounted on the mounting plate 38 having a plunger actuatable by the upper end of the lever arm 39.

As depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, the accumulator subassembly 40 comprises a vertically-elongated narrow chamber 41, a guide member 44 occupying the lower end of the chamber and having a semi-circular cutout provided with two side-by-side guideways 45one being semicircular and the other being quadrantalin the cut-out periphery, and a lower pulley 42 rotatably mounted in the lower end of the chamber in close proximity to the guide member cutout so that the pulley periphery provides a closure for the guideways 45. An inlet guideway 43 communicates with the semi-circular guideways 45 and extends upwardly through the chamber rearward end wall toward the payoff sub-assembly 20. An outlet guideway 46 communicates with the lower end of the quadrantal guideway 45 and extends tangentially therefrom and horizontally through the guide member 44 and the chamber forward end wall. A hinged door 46 may be provided in the chamber front panel for access to the chamber interior and the lower pulley 42. The accumulator subassembly chamber extends through the base of the cover channel 12 and is carried by the base 14 of the wire tying assembly 10.

As depicted in FIGS. 2 and 7, the feed and tension subassembly 60 comprises a circumferentially-grooved driven wheel 61 and a complementary circumferentially-grooved drive wheel 62 which tangentially contact one another and are rotated in unison through meshed gears (not shown); an arcuate guide member 64 and a cover member 65 therefor supported from a back plate 63 and providing a guideway 66 communicating with the outlet of the guideway 46 in the accumulator sub-assembly and with the complementary grooves of the wheels 61 and 62 at their tangential contact point; and a guide member 67 supported from the back plate 63 providing a substantially quadrantal guideway 68 that is open to the groove of the wheel 61 and communicates with the complementary grooves of the wheels 61 and 62 at their tangential contact point and with the guideway of the track sub-assembly 200. The driven wheel 61 is rotatably mounted on a concentric bearing ring 69 that is in turn rotatably mounted eccentrically on a shaft 70, the axis of the latter being positioned above and to the left of the axis of wheel 61 when viewed from the front as shown. An arm 71 is connected to the bearing ring 69 and depends downwardly therefrom. The lower end of the arm 71 is spring loaded by coil compression spring 72 on rod 73, rod 73 being aflixed to the arm 71 and being pivotally connected to the back plate 63. Spring loading the arm 71 in this manner urges the bearing ring 69 and the driven wheel 61 mounted eccentrically thereon toward the drive wheel 62.

A plurality of cylindrical bearings 75 are rotatably contained Within circular cavities 77-78 provided therefor in the guide and cover members 64-65 with their peripheries extending into the guideway 66. Each bearing 75 comprises an inner annular member and an outer annular member concentric with and rotatable about the inner annular member by reason of ball bearings provided therebetween. The inner annular member is held between two washers and fixed to the cover member 65 by a cap screw 76 extending axially therethrough. Circular apertures are provided in the guide member 65 through which the bearings 75 can be inserted for mounting to guide member 64. A number of small holes 79 are provided in the guide member 64 in communication with the guideway 66 so that air jets can be applied thereto to blow accumulated dust and the like out through the circular apertures in the cover member 65. The bearings 75 are positioned in the guide and cover members 64-65 inwardly of (above) the guideway 66 with respect to the upper and lower edges of the guide and cover members 64-65.

As depicted in FIGS. 1 and 12, the frame sub-assembly 100 comprises a pair of parallel inverted U-shaped frame members 102 and 104 having depending legs vertically positioned on the base 14 of the wire tying assembly ahead of the accumulator sub-assembly 40. The width of the spacing between the parallel frame members 102 and 104 is sufficient to accommodate the track sub-assembly 200. The spacing width between the upstanding legs of the frame members 102 and 104 is sufiicient to accommodate the feed and tension sub-assembly 60 and the twister gripper sub-assembly 80. The upper ends of the base of the frame members 102 and 104 are enclosed by the cover channel 12 of the wire tying assembly 10. A slidably adjustable guard plate 106 is positioned exteriorily of the upper section of each frame member 102-104 to enclose the lower edge of the base of each frame member 102- 104. Each guard plate 106 is positioned by screws 108 which thread into threaded apertures in the frame member legs, and is guided by guides 110 attached to the frame member legs. The lower edge of each guard plate 106 is attached to a reinforcing tube 112 that extends from one screw 108 to the opposite screw 108. Each tube 112 is provided at midpoint with guide bars 114 that depend therefrom, one Of which includes a spring-loaded plunger 116 that bears against the other guide bar.

As depicted in FIGS. 2 and 8-10, the track assembly 200 comprises a generally rectangular track guide member 202 and a track cover member 204 therefor providing a guideway 206 communicating with the guideway 68 in the guide member 67 of the feed and tension assembly 60. The guide member 202 is segmented, the individual segments of such member being longitudinally pinned end-toend to the adjacent segment by pairs of pins 212. The cover member 204 is also segmented, the adjacent cover member segments being supported in cantilever fashion from the rearward frame member 104 by a plurality of pairs of cap screws 208 which extend through frame member 104 and are aflixed thereto by nuts 210. The cap screws 208 in each pair are vertically aligned with one another and are threaded into the cover member 204 a sutficient distance so that the cover member segments will be vertically aligned throughout their extent, regardless of whether the frame member 104 is entirely vertically oriented.

The guide member v202 is positioned relative to the cover member 204 by a plurality of cap screws 214, the heads of which slidably fit in close fitting apertures provided therefor in the outer sections of the guide member 202. The cap screws 214 extend through the cover member 204 and are secured thereto by nuts 216. The guide member 202 is urged against the cover member 204 by generally U-shaped spring clips 218 that are each clamped to the rearward face of cover member 204 by a nut 216 and that each extend non-contiguously around the outer edges of the guide and cover members 202-204 and contact the front face of the guide member 202, urging the adjacent inner faces of the guide and cover members together. The guideway 206, formed in the guide member 202, opens to the inner face of the guide member and extends into the guide member toward its outer front face and toward its outer edge. The innermost surface of the guideway 206 is curved. Thus, the guideway has a generally tear-drop-cross-sectional configuration with an apex pointing toward the inner edges of the guide and cover members 202-204.

The corners of the rectangular guide and cover members 202-204 are quadrantal, thereby providing quadrantal corners for the guideway 206. In each corner, a plurality of cylindrical bearings 220 of the same general configuration as cylindrical bearings are rotatably contained within circular cavities 222-224 provided therefor in the guide and cover members 202-204 with their peripheries extending into the guideway 206. The bearings 220 are fixed to the cover member 204 by cap screws 226 extending axially therethrough and through the cover member 204, the head of cap screw 226 protruding through a circular aperture provided therefor in the guide member 202. The bearings 220 are positioned in the guide and cover members 202-204 outwardly of the guideway 206 with respect to the edges of the guide and cover members 202204.

The twister-gripper sub-assembly 80 is depicted in FIG. 2 fits within a gap provided therefor at about the midpoint in the lower horizontal course of the track subassembly 200. The twister-gripper sub-assembly can be any one of a number of such mechanisms known to the art. The sub-assembly provides a guide way that communicates with the guideway 206 at each side of the aforesaid gap.

As depicted in FIGS. 2 and 11, a sensing mechanism 82 is associated with the twister-gripper mechanism and comprises a generally inverted L-shaped pivot member 84, the inverted horizontal leg of which extends horizontally to the track sub-assembly 200 immediately adjacent the right band edge (viewed from the front as in 'FIG. 2) of the aforesaid track sub-assembly gap. The inner end section of the pivot member 84 extends contiguously through an undercut section of cover member 204 adjacent the aforesaid gap and the inner edge of the pivot member 84 abuts the side of the guide member 202. The side of the pivot member inner end section facing the aforesaid track sub-assembly gap is chamfered toward the inner end and away from the aforesaid gap to provide a guide surface 86. The upper portion of the pivot member inner end is cut away to provide a channel 88 aligned and communicating with the guideway 206. The vertical leg of the pivot member 84 is pivotally mounted at about its midpoint for pivotal movement in a plane generally parallel with the plane of the track sub-assembly 200 (i.e. parallel with the plane of FIG. 2) and is spring loaded such that the horizontal leg is urged toward the aforesaid track sub-assembly gap. The lower end section of the vertical leg is provided with an actuating pin 92 adapted to releasably contact the plunger of a microswitch 94 mounted in close proximity thereto.

As depicted in FIGS. 1 and l3l5, each of the con veyor sets 310, with their pairs of conveyor sub-assemblies 312-312, are positioned on each side of the track subassembly 200 with the upper sides of the conveyor subassemblies 312-312 just clearing the top edge of track sub-assemblys horizontal lower course. The conveyor sub-assemblies 312-312 of each pair comprise longitudinally adjustable side plates 320, inner and outer elongated conveyor belt end drive rollers 322-324 rotatably journalled between the side plates 320, outer drive rollers 324 being keyed onto a common drive shaft 328 and the inner drive rollers 322 being keyed to independent shaft 329, a conveyor belt 326 on the drive rollers 322 324, and pillow blocks 330 located on each side of the conveyor sub-assemblies 312-312 and mounted in alignment on the top side of the housing 316 for rotatably carrying the drive shaft 328.

The conveyor sub-assemblies are therefor independently supported in cantilevered fashion by the pillow blocks 330 at the outer edge of the housing top side. A cross bar 332 is connected across and between the bottom edges of each pair of side plates 320 at a location such that such cross bars 332 are supported from the inner edge of the housing top side. The inner end of the outer side plate 320 of each conveyor sub-assembly 312 is provided with an outwardly extending handle 327 for pivotally lifting or lowering the conveyor sub-assemblies about the drive shaft 328. A roller 331 is journalled to the drive shaft 328 between the center pillow blocks 330 to fill the gap between the paired conveyor sub-assemblies 312-312. A plurality of uniformly and closely spaced small diameter rollers 334 are journalled between the upper halves of the side plates 320 of each conveyor sub-assembly 312 in contact with the conveyor belt 326. Chain sprockets 335-336 are keyed on the inner and outer drive roller shafts 329-328, respectively, for rotation therewith are provided for each conveyor sub-assembly 3.12 and interconnected by driven chain 338 so that the drive rollers 322-324 will be rotated in unison from drive shaft 328. Another chain sprocket 340 is keyed to drive shaft 328 6 for driving rotation from the power means 314 through drive chain 342. The driven chains 338 and the drive chain 342 are adjustably tensioned by adjustable idler sprocket 344 mounted on one of the side plates 320, and by adjustable idler sprocket 346 mounted on the housing 316, respectively.

An L-shaped lever arm 348 is pivotally connected to one of the inner side plates 320 by its horizontal leg with its vertical leg extending upward above the elevation of the conveyor belt 326. The end of the horizontal leg is spring loaded by spring 350 such that the upper end of the vertical leg is urged upward. An intermediate section of the horizontal leg is provided with a depending tab 352 adapted to depress the plunger of a microswitch 354 mounted in proximity thereto when the vertical leg is depressed.

The sequencing control sub-assembly 318 is of the general type disclosed in U.S. Patent 3,196,779, and comprises a disk, mounted for rotation concurrently with the conveyor belts 326, having adjustable cams about the periphery thereof adapted to contact microswitch arms thereby to control the sequence of operation of the complete wire tying machine.

To prepare the wire tying machine of this invention, a coil of wire W is provided. The wire strand w therefrom is threaded through the payoff sub-assembly tubular guide 21, over the upper pulley 32 in the groove beneath roller 34, threaded between the rollers 35-36 on one side and roller 37 on the opposite side, threaded into the accumulator sub-assembly through inlet guideway 43, and threaded around lower pulley 42 firstly through the semi-circular guideway 45 and secondly through the quadrantal guideway 45 into outlet guideway 46, and finally threaded through guideway 66 of the feed and tension assembly to the grooved wheels 61-62.

When the wire w extends between rollers 37 and rollers 35-36, the lever arm 39 actuates the microswitch 39a which signals the system that the coil of wire W has not been expended. When the end of the coil W passes beyond these rollers, the microswitch plunger will urge the arm 39 away thereby causing switch 39a to inactivate the system before the wire tail gets lost in the guideways. In existing tying machines, there is no such protective feature and the result is that wire tails get into the guideways and cannot be removed without dismantling the affected guide and cover members. In some cases, an existing machine has jammed and a number of such wire tails found distributed throughout the guideways as a result of careless machine operation. By the present protective feature, the wire end will remain exposed and the wire tail can easily be pulled from the guideways before a new wire is inserted into the guideways.

The appropriate button on the overhead control C is then pressed to actuate rotation of the Wheels '61-62 in the proper direction to pull the wire w from the coil W and feed the wire w through the twister-gripper sub-assembly guideway, guideway 206 around the track sub-assembly 200 and back through the twister-gripper sub-assembly guideway. Thereafter, the system is prepared for either automatic or manual operation.

With the wire w pulled from the coil W and forced around the guideway 206, and with the object to be baled in position on the conveyor assembly within the plane defined by the upright track sub-assembly, the operation of the wire tying assembly is as follows. The wheels 6162 are rotated in reverse, either automatically or upon depression of the appropriate button on control C, to withdraw the wire w from the guideway 206 and tension the thus-withdrawn wire around the object to be tied. The excess withdrawn wire is accumulated in the accumulator sub-assembly by enlarging the wire loop, formerly around the lower pulley 42, until it substantially fills the vertical extent of the accumulator chamber 41.

When the wire is being withdrawn in tension by the wheels 61-62, a tangential upward force exists that acts on the eccentric mounting of wheel 61 in a way that tends to force the wheels together and better grip the wire so that a tightly strapped bale tie is insured.

When the wire end makes a complete traverse of guideway 206 and contacts the pivot member 84, the gripper mechanism of the twister-gripper sub-assembly grips the wire end before the wire is withdrawn from the track sub-assembly and tensioned around the object so that the withdrawal process does not merely withdraw the wire back around the guideway 206.

When the wire has been drawn taut in the guideway 206 by the withdrawal process, continued withdrawal of the wire loop will pull it from the guideway out between the guide and cover members 202-204 which part and then are urged back together by the spring clips 218. The wire loop will be initially released from one of the guide and cover member sections and by reason of the interlocking pins 212 the other sections will open so that the resistance to loop withdrawal is minimized. As the withdrawn wire loop is drawn about the object, the guard plates 106 will prevent the loop from whipping out of control. Further, the midpoint guide bars 114 at the bottom of the guard plates 106 will prevent the wire loop from leaving the confines of the guard plates 1% until the wire loop has been reduced in circumference as much as possible, at which instant continued loop reduction will force the plunger 116 to open and release the wire loop.

Upon completion of tensioning the wire around the object the twister unit of the twister-gripper sub-assembly will twist the overlapped wire portions therein to form a knot, sever the tied wire loop from the wire leading back to the coil W, and eject the knot so that the tied object can be conveyed from the system.

Wheels 61-62 are now automatically actuated to feed the wire w around the track sub-assembly so that the assembly is prepared to apply the next bale tie on demand, the wire w being pulled fro-m the coil W at a high rate of speed and forced around the guideway 206 until the wire end traverses the guideway 206 and strikes the surface 86 of pivot member 84. The pivotal movement of member 84 actuates the microswitch 94 which causes the wheels 61-62 to cease feeding wire. When the wire is being fed by Wheels 61-62, a tangential downward force exists acting on the eccentric mounting of wheel '61 in a way that tends to separate the wheels. By reason of the eccentric mounting of wheel 61 and the spring loading of spring 72 that tends to push the wheel 61 toward wheel 62, the separating'movement is effectively overcome.

When Wire feeding terminates and wire withdrawal and tension begins, the change is almost instantaneous and the tubular guide 21 would continue to spin in an uncontrolled manner it left unrestrained. The result could be the creation of a rats nest in the wire coil W. By provision of the spring loaded drag lever 25, however, such uncontrolled spinning of the tubular guide 21 is prevented. As wire is being pulled from the coil W during wire feeding, the forced spinning of the tubular guide 21, and the bearing thereon overcomes the frictional resistance to rotation of drag lever 25. When wire feeding terminates, however, the external spinning force on tubular guide 21 is eliminated and the loaded spring around the adjusting screw 26 compress the drag lever sections together thereby creating a counteracting frictional force of suflicient magnitude to halt the tubular guide rotation substantially immediately. The rapidity of this drag action of course depends on the spring constant of the loaded spring.

Because the wire is fed through and withdrawn from the guideways at a high rate of speed, the wear problems within the guideways, both on the guide and cover members forming the guideways and on the wire itself, are considerable. Although the wire used in such machines is relatively heavy gauged, the speed of travel forces the wire end into snake-like contor'tions as it ricochets along the guideway walls. This action of the wire end is particularly detrimental to the surface integrity of the guideways around the corners of the track sub-assembly, and can result in guideway scoring and accumulation of dustlike material which could cause the machine to jam after repeated and prolonged usage. Further, as the wire is fed through and withdrawn from the guideways, the frictional forces between the wire and the guideway surfaces created by the rapidly moving wire can be great enough to cause portions of the wire to bulge or buckle out of the guide before the wire end completely traverses the guideways 206 and strikes pivot member 84. Such a bulge becomes a low resistance point in the wire loop resulting in an increase in the bulge and the wire end will cease its traverse. Such wire buckling has become such a severe problem in existing machines that the wire has been greased with a lubricant to minimize frictional resistance and guideway wear. Because of the use of such lubricant-s, the knot strength of a twisted and knotted wire loop on an object leaving the machine is markedly lower than the knot strength of unlubrica-ted wire.

By providing the bearing wheels in the arcuate portions of the guide and cover member 64-65 and 202- 204 in communication with the respective guideways 66 and 206, the aforementioned problems are eliminated. Whereas members in existing machines providing a guideway similar to guideway 66 had to be replaced every few days under continuous use, the guide and cover members 64-65 have an 'indeterminant life. Furthermore, the provision of the hearings in the guideway 206 not only eliminates wire buckling or bulging from the guideway 206 before the wire end contacts pivot member 84, but markedly cuts down on guideway wear to the point where it is negligible. Consequently, no wire lubrication is required.

The conveyor assembly is especially suitable for conveying heavy bales of sheet material such as pulp bales Where creep between adjacent sheets within the bale is a severe problem. Because of the provision of the conveying belts 312 and the closely spaced rollers 334, the conveying surface remains substantially flat as bales are conveyed therealong. The conveyor assembly must be capable of carrying bales in either direction within little or no belt stretching. Driving the conveyor drive rollers 322 from drive rollers 324 by chains 338, causes the rollers 322-324 to rotate in unison and shifts the load normally carried by the bottom belt span in reversing conveyors to the chains by virtue of the greater stiffness of the chains. Because the chains 338 are adjustable independently of the belts 312, the belt tensions can be optimally adjusted without regard to the required tension of chains 338.

The wire tying assembly 10 is mounted on wheels adapted to ride on a rail set 1 into and out of the operating position depicted in FIG. I. Because the width of the assembly 10 is narrow, it can be rolled into position from either side of the conveyor assembly 300. If the assembly 10 is removed from the position shown in FIG. 1, the conveyor assembly can continue to function since the gap between the inner ends of the conveyor subassemblies 312 can be relatively narrow as a result of the narrow width of the assembly 10.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. In a wire tying machine, a track assembly which comprises a guide track member and a complementary cover track member peripherally enclosing a tying plane with an arcuate-cornered wire guideway formed in said guide track member and opening to the inner face of said cover track member, one track member being movable transversely to the other track member and being releasably urged against said other track member in a manner such that tying wire can be pushed through said guideway to form a wire loop and a wire loop thus-formed withdrawn from said guideway between the adjacent inner surfaces of said track members about an object to be tied; a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the sections of said track members that contain the guideway corners, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse around the guideway corners; a plurality of spring clips contacting the outer faces of said track members and releasably urging the adjacent inner faces of said track members together to close said guideway.

2. In a wire tying machine, a track assembly which comprises a guide track member and a complementary cover track member peripherally enclosing a tying plane with an arcuate-cornered wire guideway being enclosed by the track members, one track member being movable transversely to the other track member and being releasably urged against said other track member in a manner such that tying wire can be pushed through said guideway to form a wire loop and the wire loop thus-formed withdrawn from said guideway between the adjacent inner faces of said track members about an object to be tied; and a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the sections of said track members that contain the guideway corners, said bearings being rotatably contained in circular cavities in said track members and supported on shafts cantilevered from the inner face of one of said track members into said cavities, and which slidably fit in close fitting apertures provided therefor in said track member, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse around the guideway corners.

3. In a wire tying machine, a track assembly which comprises a guide track member and a complementary cover track member peripherally enclosing a tying plane with an arcuate-cornered wire guideway being enclosed by the track members, one track member being movable transversely to the other track member and being releasably urged against said other track member in a manner such that tying wire can be pushed through said guideway to form a wire loop and the wire loop thus'formed withdrawn from said guideway between the adjacent inner faces of said track members about an object to be tied, and a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the section of said track members that contain the guideway corners, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse around the guideway corners; a payoff assembly comprising means for sending the passage of a wire end through said payoff assembly comprising a pair of peripherally-grooved rollers rotatably mounted on said tying machine and adapted to have a wire passed thereover, a lever pivotally connected to said tying machine, a peripherally-grooved roller rotatably mounted on an intermediate section of said lever and adapted to ride on the opposite side of a wire passed across said pair of rollers, and a microswitch having a plunger in contact with the outer end of said lever responsive to the position of said lever.

4. In a wire tying machine, a track assembly which comprises a guide track member and a complementary cover track member peripherally enclosing a tying plane with an arcuate-cornered wire guideway being enclosed by the track members, one track member being movable tranversely to the other track member and being releasably urged against said other track member in a manner such that tying wire can be pushed through said guideway to form a wire loop and the wire loop thus-formed withdrawn from said guideway between the adjacent inner faces of said track members about an object to be tied; and a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the sections of said track members that contain the guideway corners, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse around the guideway corners; a wire feeding and tensioning assembly which comprises a circumferentially-grooved drive wheel and a complementary circumferentially-grooved driven wheel in tangential contact; an arcuate guide memher and a cover member therefor with a guideway provided therebetween communicating with the complementary grooves of the wheels; and a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the guide and cover members, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse through said feeding and tensioning assembly.

5. In a wire tying machine, a track assembly which comprises a guide track member and a complementary cover track member peripherally enclosing a tying plane with an arcuate-cornered wire guideway being enclosed by the track members, one track member being movable transversely to the other track member and being releasably urged against said other track member in a manner such that tying wire can be pushed through said guideway to form a wire loop and the wire loop thus-formed withdrawn from said guideway between the adjacent inner faces of said track members about an object to be tied; and a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the sections of said track members that contain the guideway corners, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse around the guideway corners; a twister-gripper assembly which includes an inverted L-shaped pivot member pivotally mounted for pivotal movement in a plane parallel with the plane of said track assembly, the inverted horizontal leg of which extends through an undercut section provided therefor in said other track member and has a chamfered inner end section providing a guide surface for the leading edge of a tying wire loop and has a channel therethrough communicating with said guideway; and a microswitch mounted with a plunger adapted to be releasably contacted by said pivot member.

6. In a wire tying machine, a track assembly which comprises a guide track member and a complementary cover track member peripherally enclosing a tying plane with an arcuate-corned wire guideway being enclosed by the track members, one track member being movable transversely to the other track member and being releasably urged against said other track member in a manner such that tying wire can be pushed through said guideway to form a wire loop and the wire loop thus-formed withdrawn from said guideway between the adjacent inner faces of said track members about an object to be tied; and a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the sections of said track members that contain the guideway corners, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse around the guideway corners; a conveyor assembly comprising two sets of conveyors, each conveyor set being positioned on opposite sides of said track assembly for conveying an object to be tied to said track assembly and for conveying a tied object from said track means, and each conveyor set comprising a support housing, a drive shaft journalmounted on said support housing, and a pair of parallel conveyor sub-assemblies drivingly engaged with said drive shaft and adapted to be supportably cantilevered inwardly toward said track means in a horizontal conveying position and pivoted upwardly and outwardly independent of one another.

7. A wire tying machine which comprises;

(a) a frame assembly comprising a pair of parallel upright frame members;

(b) a track assembly comprising a pair of track members mounted between said frame members and peripherally enclosing a tying plane with an arcuatecornered wire guideway being enclosed by said track members, one track member being supported by and movable transversely to the other track member; a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the sections of said track members that contains the guideway corners, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse around the guideway corners; and a plurality of spring clips which contact the outer faces of said track members and releasably urge the adjacent inner faces of said track members together such that tying wire can be pushed through said guideway to form a wire loop and the wire loop thus-formed withdrawn from said guideway between the adjacent inner faces of said track members;

(c) a payoff assembly comprising a spinner tube, a vertical housing rotatably mounting said spinner tube, drag means for braking rotation of said spinner tube when not rotated by the drawing of wire therethrough; and means for sensing the passage of a wire end through said payoff assembly comprising a pair of peripherally-grooved rollers rotatably mounted on said tying machine and adapted to have a wire passed thereover, a lever pivotally connected to said tying machine, a peripherally-grooved roller rotatably mounted on an intermediate section of said lever and adapted to ride on the opposite side of a wire passed across said pair of rollers, and a microswitch having a plunger in contact with the outer end of said lever responsive to the position of said lever;

(d) a wire feeding and tensioning assembly which comprises a circumferentially-grooved drive wheel and a complementary circumferentially-grooved driven wheel in tangential contact; an arcuate guide member and a cover member therefor with a guideway provided therebetween communicating with the complementary grooves on the wheels; and a plurality of bearings rotatably mounted within the guide and cover members, the bearing peripheries extending into said guideway to facilitate tying wire traverse through said feeding and tensioning assembly;

(e) and a twister-gripper assembly which includes an inverted L-shaped 'pivot member pivotally mounted for pivotal movement in a plane parallel with the plane of said track assembly, the inverted horizontal leg of which extends through an undercut section provided therefor in said other track member and has a chamferered inner end section providing a guide surface for the leading edge of a tying wire loop and has a channel there-through communicating with said guideway; and a microswitch mounted with a plunger adapted to be releasably contacted by said pivot member.

8. A wire tying machine according to claim 7 including a conveyor assembly comprising two sets of conveyors, each conveyor set being positioned on opposite sides of said track assembly for conveying an object to be tied to said track assembly and for conveying a tied object from said track means, and a support housing, a drive shaft journal-mounted on said support housing, and a pair of parallel conveyor sub-assemblies drivingly engaged with said drive shaft and adapted to be supportably cantilevered inwardly toward said track means in a horizontal conveying position and pivoted upwardly and outwardly independent of one another.

9. In a wire tying machine having a wire tying assembly, the improvement of a conveyor assembly for conveying an object to and from the wire tying assembly which comprises a pair of conveyor sets disposed on opposite sides of said wire tying assembly, each pair comprising a housing; a first drive shaft journal mounted on said housing; a pair of conveyor sub-assemblies drivingly engaged in side-by-side relation to said drive shaft and extending toward said wire tying assembly in cantilevered fashion from said housing such that said conveyor subassemblies are independently pivotable about said first drive shaft; each conveyor sub-assembly comprising a pair of said plates journalled at one end to said drive shaft, a second drive shaft journal-mounted between the cantilevered ends of said side plates, an inner conveyor belt drive roller keyed to said drive shaft between the journalled ends of said side plates, a conveyor belt tautly encircling the inner and outer drive rollers, chain sprockets keyed to the first and second drive shafts, and a drive chain drivingly engaged with said chain sprockets to drivingly rotate both inner and outer rollers.

10. A conveyor assembly according to claim 9 wherein said conveyor sub-assemblies each include a plurality of small diameter rollers journalled between the upper halves of said side plates in contact with said conveyor belt.

11. A conveyor assembly according to claim 9 including a lever arm pivotally connected to the cantilevered end portion of one of the side plates with a vertical leg extending above the elevation of the conveyor belts, and a microswitch attached to such side plate for actuation when such vertical leg is depressed by conveyance of an object thereover.

12. A wire tying machine which comprises a wire tying assembly including means for paying-01f tying wire from a wire dispenser, track means for guiding tying wire into a loop configuration, feed and tension means for feeding wire into said track means and for withdrawing a wire loop from said track means and tensioning such wire loop around an object, accumulator means receiving wire from said pay-01f means and accumulating wire when said feed and tension means withdraws and tensions a wire loop, and twister-gripper means for gripping the tying wire end when a wire loop is completed in said track means and for forming a knot in a wire loop when such a loop is tensioned about an object; and a conveyor assembly including two sets of conveyors, each conveyor set being positioned on opposite sides of said track means for conveying an object to be tied to said track means and for conveying a tied object from said track means, and each conveyor set comprising a support housing, a drive shaft journal-mounted on said support housing, and a pair of parallel conveyor subassemblies drivingly engaged with said drive shaft and adapted to be supportably cantilevered inwardly toward said track means in a horizontal conveying position and pivoted upwardly and outwardly independent of one another.

13. A wire tying machine according to claim 12 wherein each conveyor sub-assembly comprises a pair of side plates journalled at one end to said drive shaft, a second drive shaft journal-mounted between the cantilevered ends of said side plates, an inner conveyor belt drive roller keyed to said second drive shaft, an outer roller keyed to said drive shaft between the journalled ends of said side plates, a conveyor belt tautly encircling the inner and outer drive rollers, chain sprockets keyed to the first and second drive shafts, and a drive chain drivingly engaged with said chain sprockets to drivingly rotate both inner and outer rollers.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,215,121 9/1940 Harvey et al. -26 XR 2,416,859 3/1947 Vining et al. 10026 2,597,675 5/1952 Sackett 10026 2,999,654 9/ 1961 Fuller 242128 3,010,674 11/1961 Dull et al 242128 3,086,451 4/1963 Van der Wal 10026 3,137,426 6/1964 Brenneisen. 3,146,695 9/1964 Van de Bilt 10-0'-4 3,179,037 4/1965 Cranston et al. 10026 XR 3,179,038 4/1965 MacKenzie 10026 3,196,779 7/ 1965 Embree 10026 XR 3,274,921 9/ 1966 Hall 10026 XR 3,295,436 1/ 1967 Brouse et al 100--26 XR 3,311,320 3/1967 Taylor 242128 3,330,205 7/1967 Smith 10026 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 804,226 11/ 1958 Great Britain. 879,189 10/ 1961 Great Britain.

BILLY J. WILHITE, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification100/4, 198/817, 198/592, 100/26, 100/7, 198/606, 242/128
International ClassificationB65B13/00, B65B13/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65B13/06
European ClassificationB65B13/06