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Publication numberUS3447660 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 3, 1969
Filing dateApr 24, 1967
Priority dateApr 24, 1967
Publication numberUS 3447660 A, US 3447660A, US-A-3447660, US3447660 A, US3447660A
InventorsWilliam J Winans
Original AssigneeWilliam J Winans
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for vibratorily feeding and orienting parts
US 3447660 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Julie 3, 1969 w, w s 3,447,660

APPARATUS FOR VIBRATORILY FEEDING AND ORIENTING PARTS Filed April 24, 1967 Sheet ors INVENTOR. W////am J. W/nans BY MQLLIBMAMTQQLUIAAM Btu,- H/S ATTORNEYS June 3, 1969 w. J. WINANS 3,447,660

APPARATUS FOR VIBRATORILY FEEDING AND OHIENTLNG PARTS Filed April 24. 1967 Sheet 2 of3 Fig. 3

INVENTOR.

William J. Winans BY ud-Lr wpokmm HIS ATTORNEYS June 3, 1969 w. J. WINANS 3,447,660

APPARATUS FOR VIBRATORILY FEEDING AND ORIENTING PARTS Filed April 24, 1967 Sheet 3 of 3 INVENTOR. William J. W/nans \MLTENL Rm. ML

H/S A 7'7'0RNEYS United States Patent US. Cl. 198-33 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vibratory feeding and orienting apparatus having a receptacle member with a circular helical track running from the base to the top perimeter thereof. Independent of the receptacle member is an orientation member with a circular helical track running from the point of exhaust of the receptacle track to the exhaust point of the orientation track. The two members are coupled by resilient couplings, and are operably connected to a vibratory drive unit that operates at approximately a resonance frequency of the apparatus. The combination of the motion directly imparted by the drive unit and the motion translated through the resilient couplings feed the parts from the receptacle to the orientation member where they are oriented.

This invention relates to an apparatus for vibratorily feeding and orienting parts and, more particularly, to such an apparatus having independent feeding and orienting surfaces and having complex springs for resiliently mounting the feeding and orientating surfaces.

As generally constructed, vibratory feeders comprise a receptacle mass, usually bowl-shaped, a base support mass, an elastic coupling between the receptacle and the base support, and a drive to excite vibratory motion of the receptacle. Within the receptacle, and secured to the sides thereof,-are contact surfaces for feeding the parts, typically arranged in a circular helical manner. The contact surfaces are continuous from the base of the receptacle to the top or outlet. The parts are conveyed on the contact surfaces from the base of the receptacle, which acts as a parts storage container, to the outlet, generally at the top of the receptacle, by means of vibratory energy communicated to the parts. The energy is communicated to the parts by the directed vibration of the receptacle base and the contact surface acting in an upwardly inclined direction so that an average net force vector results from the interaction of the vibratory drive means, elastic coupling, and receptacle.

In order to obtain the desired net force, it has been the general practice to delineate the precise interaction of these elements. The most significant element within the interacting combination is the coupling means. It is the coupling means that directly determines the characteristics of vibratory frequency and feed angles of inclination of the contact surfaces. Accordingly, the prior art has been directed to various coupling means in order to improve the performance of vibratory feeders. See US. Patents Nos. 3,258,111 and 2,821,292. A convenient solution has been the use of leaf springs or torsion bars as the coupling means. When leaf springs are used, they are sloped at an inclination to the vertical to confine the path of motion of the spring ends to an inclination to the horizontal. The reciprocation of each of the spring ends of the springs is in a direction opposite to that of the other;

spring end. Where the receptacle is of the bowl-type, the spring ends are circumferentially positioned on the receptacle and the base support such that the path of motion traced by the reciprocation of the spring ends appr-oximates a segment of a circular helix. Each of these segments is confined in a vertical cylindrical surface with a radius fixed by the circumferential positioning of the springs. Changing the radial position and orientation of the spring mounting system that couples the base to the receptacle varies the ratio of the vertical to horizontal excursions of the segments. The variance of this ratio constitutes a change in the feed angle in material feeding devices. Changing the radial position and orientation of the spring mounting system varies the fundamental natural frequency of the apparatus.

In feeders in which it is desired to have the part fed in an oriented manner, orientation means are incorporated on or near the receptacle contact surface, such that the part is oriented as it is being fed. In this arrangement, the receptacle contact surface functions both as a feeding and orienting surface requiring the compromising of the various rates at which the two functions can be efficiently performed. Generally, it is desirable to have a high feed rate, but such a rate is not adaptable to the rate required for efiicient orientation, which is of a much slower order. Orientation means include hold-downs, side wipers, retaining rails, cutaways in the contact surface, air jets, etc. Many of the orientation means provide for the rejection of a nonoriented part back to the receptacle for recycling. Other feeders will feed the part to another apparatus that orients independently of the feeder, but also provides for the return of nonoriented parts back to the feeder.

The base support mass acts as a means for rigidly securing the system to its supporting foundation, or as a reaction mass, the inertial force of which balances the inertial force of the receptacle. When acting as a reaction mass, the base mass is sought to be vibratorily insulated from its supporting foundation by means of resilient mountings.

Virtually any type of drive means is adaptable, including the most widely used electromagnetic drive. Other drives include pneumatic, hydraulic pistons, air jets, etc. The electromagnet has the advantage of being eflicient, light, small, and relatively inexpensive. The drive means can be within or without the apparatus; it being dependent for location upon the size of the apparatus and its function, which also determines the type of drive means that can most effectively be utilized.

My invention provides a multiple mass apparatus for vibratorily feeding and orienting parts. Basically, the apparatus comprises two masses, a base support mass and an inertially balanced systems mass. The latter mass includes the two members, an orientation member and a receptacle member, that are inertially balanced while coupled by a plurality of complex springs. The complex springs such have at least two elements which are angularly secured together (the angularity is not or displaced parallel to each other and provides at least two unsecured ends, one of the unsecured ends being rigidly mounted on the orientation member and a second unsecured end being rigidly mounted on the receptacle member. The base support mass includes means for non-rigidly coupling the two masses together at the node point of the coupling between the two members of the inertially balanced systems mass.

The use of two separate surfaces for contacting and conveying the parts and the resilient coupling between them enables independent control of their motion. All electromagnetic drive or similar means control their motion; said surfaces are elements of the two members; each gives the receptacle contact surface and the orienting contact surface a distinct vibratory motion which can be controlled naturally in vertical acceleration and horizontal velocity.

My invention provides many significant advantages over the prior port feeders and orienters. By incorporating the two members that are in vibratory motion into a single system or mass in which the inertial forces of said members can be balanced, the vibrating members, which I term an inertially balanced systems mass can be supported so that it transmits little or no vibration to the base support mass. Negligible vibration resulting from the failure to achieve a perfect node support and balance of the two members may be further reduced or eliminated by means of the resilient coupling between the inertially balanced systems mass and the base support mass. Consequently, since there is no vibration reaching the base support, there will be no vibration transmitted from the base support mass to the foundation on which the apparatus rests. This results in greatly improved use of the vibratory energy and, accordingly, lessens the dead spots or points of insufficient feed along the contact surfaces thereby greatly increasing the efiiciency of the apparatus. It also results in the ability to utilize support masses that are much lighter than those common to the art.

Furthermore, the use of the inertially balanced systems mass with the support at the node points of the compound elastic couplings has resulted in the improvement of the ratio of the feed rate to the peak dynamic stress levels in the elastic couplings within said balanced systems mass. The improvement results in a greater longevity for the apparatus which has been limited by the fatigue phenomenon of these couplings. Still another advantage of this support is that it reduces the requirement of the resiliency of the support of the base mass.

Another very significant improvement is the increased feed-orientation rate achieved by the utilization of the inertially balanced systems mass. The increased rate is achieved by the use of separate contact surfaces for the performance of separate functions. Moreover, each of the two members of the inertially balanced systems mass performs a separate function, and each including as one of its elements a contact surface. One of said members is a receptacle, including a receptacle parts contact surface. The receptacle member performs the feed-function of the apparatus as well as a storage container for parts. The other member, characterized generally by its enclosure of the first member, is the orientation parts contact surface having orientation means secured thereto. These members are directly related to one another by coupling means and the vibratory drive. The coupling means in greater part provide the vibratory motion that results in the net average force acting on the part; the drive imparting direct vibratory motion to each member in a direction opposite to that directly imparted to the other member, which is translated into the net average force by the coupling means.

The fast rate of feed-orientation is achieved because the parts can be conveyed from the receptacle at a rate in excess of that required when orientation must be accomplished at the same time on the same contact surface. Particularly, motion is conveyed to the part by the recep- .4 tacle contact surface such that the part is forced both upwardly and in a forward circumferential direction. However, during the time period in which the part is elevated from the contact surface, the contact surface retracts so that upon return of the part to the contact surface it has advanced on the surface in the direction of the forward motion of the contact surface. This function is repeated many times per second and is applicable to each part until it is exhausted from the receptacle mass. Since there are no other requirements concerning delivery of the part, the force directed to the part may be such as to obtain the ultimate feed rate regardless of the orientation characteristic of the part resulting from the application of force to it. Moreover, in the preferred embodiment, the orientation contact surface is inclined downwardly or horizontally. When the orientation contact surface is so positioned, there is less need to impart upon the part a force resulting in the parts leaving the contact surface. All that is required is a force suficient to impart a sliding motion on the part such that during the time period in which the weight of the part is made heavier by the upward acceleration of the contacting surface, the part gains in momentum in the forward direction of feed along the contacting surface so that when the weight of the parts is lightened by the downward acceleration, the forward momentum of the part maintains its forward motion by the sliding of the part over the retracting contact surface. The horizontal component of the velocity of the contacting surface determines forward momentum of the part, and is synchronized with the vertical acceleration. The upward acceleration has an approximate mean value on the order of 1.5 times the acceleration of gravity and does not overcome the forward sliding momentum of the part. As the coefficient of restitution increases and the coefficient of friction decreases for the various different kinds of parts, the vertical acceleration requirements are lowered. The vertical acceleration requirements increase, however, as parts with a decreasing coefficient of restitution and an increasing coefficient of friction are utilized. The force application is repeated many times per second and until the part is oriented. The speed of the part on the orientation contact surface can thus be maintained by an increased horizontal component of velocity of said orientation surface, at a speed or rate of feed compatible with that of the receptacle, which requires less horizontal velocity, since it is not constrained in vertical acceleration by orientation requirements. The motion imparted to the part on the orientation contact surface is smooth, whereby the part maintains virtually complete contact with the surface during its conveyance down the surface. This type of motion is that required to orient parts by means of the general orientation means or tools. Consequently, the utilization of two separate contact surfaces performing functionally separate operations increases the rate at which parts are delivered in an oriented manner from a status of nonoriented-storage to a subsequential apparatus or operation.

A further advantage has been obtained by the utilization of complex springs as the coupling means for the receptacle and orientation members. It is now possible to change the fundamental frequency of the apparatus and the feed angles independently of one another. Moreover, the discovery that the use of complex springs permits the independent changing of the frequency and feed angles has been found to be applicable to prior art feeders having unitary feed-orientation contact surfaces. It is necessary, therefore, to change these very important operating characteristics independently of one another.

Finally, the invention has the advantage of having an increased receptacle storage capacity relative to its exterior dimensions.

In the accompanying drawings, I have shown one preferred embodiment of my invention in which;

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of an apparatus constructed according to my invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevation of the apparatus;

FIGURE 3 is a section along the line III-III of FIG- URE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a section along the line 1V-1V of FIG- URE 1, and shows a coupling means for the members of the inertially balanced systems mass, and the coupling means between said mass and the base support mass; and

FIGURE 5 is a section along the line V-V of FIG- URE 1, and shows both coupling means.

Referring to the accompanying drawings, my apparatus comprises a receptacle base to which is secured a receptacle sidewall 11 (see FIGURES 2 and 3). To the receptacle inner side of sidewall 11 is secured the receptacle contact surface 12, said surface being a continuous helix from base 10 to the outlet slot 14 at the perimeter of sidewall 11. (See FIGURE 3.) Furthermore, it may also be advantageous, because of certain orientation requirements, to have only a partial contact surface such that outlet slot 14 would be at a point below the top perimeter of sidewall 11.

The receptacle contact surface 12 may be secured to the outside of sidewall 11 in which case said surface begins at base 16 and passes through an opening in side wall 11 at the junction of said sidewall and said base and is continuous to the top perimeter of the sidewall. In this case, there is no need for an outlet slot 14 in sidewall 11. The advantage derived from positioning the receptacle contact surface 12 on the outside of sidewall 11 is to increase the storage capacity of the receptacle member.

The beginning of a receptacle exhaust means 13 is at the outlet 14. The exhaust means may be a continuum of the receptacle contact surface 12, or it may be a means secured to the surface for orienting parts while exhausting parts from the receptacle contact surface. As shown in FIGURE 1, it is a continuum of the contact surface 12; in either case, the exhaust means must impart to the parts the same vibratory energy as the receptacle contact surface.

A part exhausted from said exhaust means 13 is received by the orientation reception means 15. The orientation reception means is secured to the orientation contact surface 16, which can be either a continuum of the orientation contact surface or a means for orienting parts upon their reception. The orientation reception means also is independent of the receptacle exhaust means, and imparts upon the part the same vibratory motion as the orientation contact surface. The orientation contact surface 16 is secured to mounting means 17 (see FIGURES 2 and 3). Mounting means 17 are secured to either the legs 19 of the orientation frame 19 or to upper spring blocks 20. (See FIGURES 1 and 5.) Positioning of the mounting means is dependent upon the angle of inclination required for orientation in any particular case, and the number of revolutions of surface necessary to accomplish a particular orientation.

The length of orientation contact surface 16 is dependent upon the desired orientation and the type of part to be oriented. In the particular embodiment shown the orientation surface is 510 from the reception means to the delivery means 22. Further, the orientation contact surface may be inclined slightly upward as well as being only partial in the case of partial receptacle contact surfaces. The delivery means may incorporate further orienting means or may be a continuum of the orientation contact surface, as shown. The parts are deposited by said means to a reception means of another apparatus. Along the orientation contact surface or on said surface are orientation means (not shown) common to the art, such as side wipers, hold-downs, air jets, cutaways, etc. Orientation means can be incorporated that prevent a nonoriented part from escaping orientation, by its passage through delivery means 22, by employing means that reject further movement of the part and return it to the receptacle to be reoriented by recycling. Said means would utilize a chute 23 that passed through an opening in the sidewall of the receptacle whereby the part would be dropped to the receptacle base. A plurality of said means and chutes could be employed or none at all. If the orientation required were simple, a plurality of similar orientation means would eliminate the need for recycling the part; whereas, if the orientation were complex, for example, requiring a different operation upon a previously oriented part, then at the end of each operation a means for returning a nonoriented part would have to be employed.

FIGURES 4 and 5 show the means for resiliently coupling the orientation member to the receptacle member to comprise the inertially balanced systems mass. Upper spring block 20 is secured to leg 19' of orientation frame 19. A vertical leaf spring 25 is secured to upper spring block 20 by a compression clamp. Vertical leaf spring 25 is also secured, at its other end, to lower spring block 28 by a compression clamp. Lower spring block 28 is compression clamped to horizontal leaf spring 31. Horizontal leaf spring 31 is compression clamped to base support rib 21 which is secured to the under side of the receptacle base 10. The base support rib 21 may take various shapes other than that shown, including V-shapes, U-shapes, etc., and they may be interconnected by means of a collar. The vertical and horizontal leaf springs, as shown, lie in the same vertical plane. However, it is not required that the springs lie in the same plane, for example, the horizontal spring may be compression clamped to base support rib 21 at any point between point x and x on FIGURE 5. Since the positioning of said springs in the same vertical plane requires less space, it is therefore the preferred method. The springs are preferably glass reinforced laminated plastic or spring steel such that their stiffness may be varied by varying their thickness.

The means for resiliently coupling the orientation member to the receptacle is preferably a complex spring much like the one above described. By complex spring, I refer to a spring having at least two spring or resilient elements. The two elements may be angularly secured or directly connected to one another and their unsecured ends rigidly mounted to two independent masses or members. The angle defined by the two elements cannot be i.e., the two elements cannot be continuous. Or the two elements may be parallel to each other, but in different planes and have one end of each spring secured to a rigid connecting member and the other ends rigidly mounted to the two independent masses. When I refer to independent masses or members, I include therein prior art feeders and orienting devices. Further included are those masses that are independent but for the drive means associated with the apparatus, Whether it be electromagnetically coupled as in the electromagnetic drive of my invention or otherwise.

The complex springs are characterized by stiffness components, described in more detail thereinafter. These stiffness characteristics can be varied such that the fundamental frequency of the apparatus and the feed angles may be independently controlled. Furthermore, these springs have been found to be adaptable for use in the coupling systems of the prior art feeding and orienting devices. The ability to affect independent changes in the frequency and feed angles adds flexibility to prior art devices, but they continue to require a compromise between the orienting and feeding functions that has been overcome by my invention. An example of configurations other than the one specifically disclosed above that comprise a complex spring includes elliptical section (an infinite number of elements angularly secured together), V-shapes, etc.

The lower spring block 28 is secured to coupling housing 52, where the coupling is located at the node point of lower spring block 28 by means of a nonrigid coupling 54. Nonrigid coupling 54 may be a soft resilient (leaf) spring or even rubber, but the rubber or more resilient coupling material is subject to linear creep. When coupling 54 is located at the node point of lower spring block 28, there is substantially no force transmitted to the coupling except a slight rotational torque. Therefore, the nonrigid coupling need only be responsive to this latter torque. Locating the coupling at the node point has the advantage of facilitating the elimination of dead spots within the apparatus. However, it is not mandatory that the coupling be so located, but if not so located, the various forces transmitted must be compensated for by varying the elastic characteristics of the coupling. The coupling housing 52 is secured to base support mass 51. Conpling housing 52 and nonrigid coupling 54 comprise the inertially balanced systems massbase support mass coupling means. The coupling means could be utilized in other forms between the masses. This would be necessitated where lower spring block 28 is not employed. For example, the nonrigid coupling could be secured to a fixture on the spring element where coupling housing 52 could be an inverted L shaped member secured to the base support mass. Furthermore, this would require locating this fixture near the new node point to achieve the benefits of locating the coupling at the node point.

Changes in the elastic characteristics of coupling 54 do not appreciably affect the operation of the apparatus unless the characteristcs approach rigidity. A rigid coupling 54 would change the natural frequency of the inertially balanced systems mass, and would further have the effect of not eliminating vibration transmitted from the failure to achieve an inertial balance of forces in the orientation member and the receptacle member.

Base support :masses 51 are connected to one another by base support collar 53. Base support masses 51 are shown as pie-shaped, but the base support could be one disc-like member or cast in a configuration adaptable for fitting between ribs 21 and frame 19. Base support masses 51 rest on resilient legs 59. (See FIGURES 2 and 3.) The pie shape requires less space under the apparatus than would otherwise be required for clearance of both the receptacle rib support 21 and orientation frame 19. Base support collar 53 can be made any height that does not interfere with orientation contact surface 16.

FIGURE 3 shows the preferred drive means consisting of a two element electromagnet: U element 66 and I element 61. A coil is wound around one leg of U ele ment 60. U portion 60 is secured to deck 40, and separated from I element 61 by air space 70. Deck 40 is secured to orientation frame 19 by bolts 44 and nuts 45 and 45', said bolts passing through receptacle base at holes 71. Elements 60 and 61 are mounted such that bolts 44 pass exteriorly of said elements rather than through said elements. Nuts 46 secure said bolts to orientation frame 19 which is threaded to receive said bolts. Adjustment of the air space 70 is accomplished by adjustment of nuts 45 and 45'. 1 element 61 is secured to receptacle base 10. Drive housing 41 encloses the drive means and is secured to receptacle base 10. Said drive housing has a housing seal 41' which is sufficiently flexible to permit motion between the drive housing 41 and deck Other drive means, such as a pneumatic piston type motor, are adaptable as means for drivingly vibrating the apparatus. It is preferred that the reciprocating portion of the drive means impart directly to each member of the inertially balanced systems mass a force equal in magnitude but opposite in direction to the other member, but this is not necessary, for example, where there is a concentric weight on one of the members.

Associated with the inertially balanced systems mass is a fundamental natural frequency of the fundamental mode of vibration. This fundamental natural frequency is directly related to the elastic characteristics, or complex stiffnesses associated with the complex spring systems comprising leaf springs 25 and 31, and the inertial mass of the orientation and receptacle members. The fundamental natural frequency can be changed by altering the stiffness characteristics of said springs. Furthermore, the feed angles of both contacting surfaces can be identified by the fundamental mode of vibration and can also be changed by altering the stiffness characteristics of the springs. This stiffness can be expressed in terms of the balanced horizontal and vertical forces and horizontal and vertical relative displacements between points A and B in FIGURE 4 which comprise the following four ratios of force per unit relative displacement.

(1) Opposing horizontal forces between points A and B per unit horizontal displacement;

(2) Opposing horizontal forces between said points per unit vertical displacement;

(3) Opposing vertical force between said point per unit horizontal displacement; and

(4) Opposing vertical force between said points per unit vertical displacement.

Although the stiffnesses as expressed in the four ratios of force per unit displacement influence both the feed angles and the fundamental frequency, both the feed angles and the fundamental frequency may be independently controlled. By controlling the stiffness as expressed by ratios (2) and (4), i.e., the opposing horizontal force between points A and B per unit vertical displacement and the opposing vertical force between said points per unit vertical displacement, the feed angles may be controlled or varied. Further, by controlling the stiffness as expressed by the ratios (1) and (4), the fundamental natural frequency may be controlled or varied. These changes in the above stiffness components can be accomplished by the combination of varied leaf springs 25 and 31. The more important quantities of the springs that can be varied comprise changing the moment of inertia of the two springs, the distance between C and D in FIGURE 4, and the length of both the horizontal and vertical springs. Of course, corresponding changes can be made in other compex spring coupling means, but the relative importance of each change may be quite different because of the nature of the complex spring configuration. Furthermore, if a computor is available, although not necessary, the combination of changes required to achieve maximum efficiency may be calculated. It has been determined that every spring does not of necessity require the same variation. In fact, adjustments made to less than all, in some instances, achieve better results than where all would have been changed. This may be more or less true as the configuration of the complex spring coupling means varies. However, changing all of the springs will result in a very satisfactory operation of the apparatus.

These stiifnesses may contain a slight degree of nonlinearity due to the deformation of the springs and the change in the moment transmitted by the springs resulting from the change in moment arms caused by the indicated displacement. However, the vibratory motion resulting from the electromagnetic drive means exciting the system with a frequency near the natural frequency approaches simple harmonic motion.

The drive means is set to operate at a frequency slightly below the fundamental natural frequency of the inertially balanced systems mass. The slight excess of the fundamental natural frequency is to compensate for the additional weight of the parts in the receptacle and the friction generated by the moving parts. The added Weight and friction tends to reduce the natural frequency whereby the drive and natural frequency approach each other. When these frequencies approach each other the vibratory motion increases while at the same time the friction is reducing said motion. The result of the counter-acting forces is a motion that remains fairly uniform.

Furthermore, the relative value of the feed angles between the orientation and receptacle contact surfaces may be controlled by changing the weight of the two members. The weights may be added to leg 19' which primarily affects a change in the rotary inertia of the orientation member, or deck 40 which is primarily an addition to the weight of the orientation member. For example, the desired weight may consist of a metal bar (not shown) bolted to leg 19 or may consist merely of another deck 40 made of a heavier material. The weight may also be incorporated in mounting means 17 by simply constructing said means of a heavier material. Weight may be added to the receptacle at base support ribs 21 and can be incorporated therein by making them heavier. These particular changes in weight, which will affect the feed angles, will also change the fundamental frequency. This change can be compensated for by a corresponding change in the stiffness so as to achieve a particular set of feed angles and fundamental frequency.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for feeding and orienting parts comprising:

(A) an inertially balanced systems mass having:

(1) an orientation member including an orientation contact surface;

(2) a receptacle member including a receptacle contact surface;

(3) means for resiliently coupling the orientation member to the receptacle member;

(4) means secured to at least one of said members for delivery of parts from the receptacle member; and

(5) means for vibratorily driving said members.

(B) a base support mass; and

(C) means for nonrigidly coupling said inertially balanced systems mass to said base support mass.

2. An apparatus for feeding and orienting parts comprising:

(A) an inertially balanced systems mass having:

(1) an orientation member including:

(a) at least one orientation frame;

(b) an orientation contact surface disposed upon said orientation frame;

(c) means secured to said orientation contact surface for receiving parts; and

(d) at least one delivery means secured to said orientation contact surface for the discharge of parts from the apparatus;

(2) a receptacle member enclosed by said onentation member and having:

(a) a receptacle base;

(b) a sidewall secured to said receptacle base;

(c) a receptacle contact surface secured to said sidewall for conveyance of parts from the base to an outlet; and

(d) means for exhausting parts for the receptacle contact surface to the means secured to the orientation contact surface for receiving parts;

(3) means for resiliently coupling said orientation member to said receptacle member; and

(4) means secured to the members for vibratorily driving said members, whereby the oscillating magnitude of force excites the proper resonance frequency;

(B) a base support mass; and

(C) means for nonrigidly coupling the inertially balanced systems mass to the base support mass.

3. An apparatus claimed in claim 2 characterized by said orientation member having at least three upper leg elements, an orientation contact surface mounting means secured to said upper leg elements, and an orientation contact surface disposed upon said orientation contact surface mounting means.

4. An apparatus claimed in claim 2 characterized by said means for resiliently coupling said orientation member to said receptacle member having a stationary node point whereat said means for nonrigidly coupling the inertially balanced systems mass to the base support mass is located, thereby vibratorily isolating said inertially balanced systems mass from said base support mass.

'5. An apparatus claimed in claim 2 characterized by said orientation contact surface being a circular helix continuous from said means secured to said orientation contact surface for receiving parts to said delivery means.

6. An apparatus claimed in claim 2 characterized by said orientation member having a plurality of delivery means, whereby oriented parts are delivered from the apparatus and nonoriented parts are returned to the receptacle for reorientation.

7. An apparatus claimed in claim 6 characterized by said delivery means being secured to said orientation contact surface.

8. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2 characterized by said means for resiliently coupling said orientation member to said receptable member including a vertical and horizontal leaf spring and at least one spring block, said vertical and horizontal leaf springs being secured to at least one spring block and the end of one of said springs not secured to said block being secured to said orientation member and the end of the said other spring not secured to said block being secured to said receptacle member.

9. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2 characterized by said means for resiliently coupling said orientation member to said receptacle member being laminated Whereby the addition to and subtraction from the number of laminations controls the stiffness components of said means such that the feed angles and fundamental frequency of the apparatus may be controlled.

10. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2 characterized by said means for resiliently coupling said orientation member to said receptacle member having means for adjusting the relative horizontal displacement and the relative vertical displacement between the point where said means for resiliently coupling is secured to the orientation member and the point where said means for resiliently coupling is secured to said receptacle member, whereby the feed angles of the apparatus may be controlled independently of changes in the fundamental natural frequency.

11. An apparatus claimed in claim 2 characterized by said inertially balanced systems mass including means for adjusting the weight of the orientation member and receptacle member whereby the relative feed angles may be controlled.

12. A vibratory feeding and orienting device comprising at least two members that are coupled together by a coupling means, the improvement comprising said coupling means being a complex spring having at least two resilient elements, the elements being connected together in different planes by one of a direct angular connection and a rigid connecting member and at least two of said elements each having one end adapted for connection with said members, one of said ends being rigidly mounted to one of said members and the other of said ends being rigidly mounted to said other member, whereby changes in the stiffness characteristics of said complex springs affects independent changes in the natural frequency and feed angle of said device.

13. The improvement claimed in claim 12 characterized by said complex spring being laminated whereby the subtraction and addition of lamina change the stiffness characteristics of said complex spring.

14. An apparatus claimed in claim 2 characterized by said means for resiliently coupling said orientation member to said receptacle member being a complex spring comprising at least two elements, said elements being angularly secured together and at least two elements each having one unsecured end, one of said unsecured ends being rigidly mounted to said orientation member, the other of said unsecured end being rigidly mounted to said 11 12' receptacle member, whereby changes in the stiifness char- References Cited acteristic of said complex springs affect independent UNITED STATES PATENTS changets :1 the natural frequency and feed angle of said 2,279,742 4/1942 Overstrom. apparau' 3,133,627 5/1964 Lenders.

15. An apparatus claimed in claim 14 characterized by 5 said complex spring being laminated whereby the sub- EDWARD SROKA, Primary Examiner traction and addition of lamina change the stiffness characteristics of said complex spring. U.S. Cl. XJR.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,447,660 June 3, 1969 William J. Winans It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 9, line 27, "member; and" should read member to the orientation member; and

Signed and sealed this 21st day of April 1970.

(SEAL) Attest:

WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.

Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.

Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2279742 *May 21, 1940Apr 14, 1942Conrad OverstromBalanced screening structure
US3133627 *Mar 20, 1961May 19, 1964Philips CorpVibrator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4000338 *Jul 23, 1973Dec 28, 1976Societe Anonyme Dite Ato ChimieMethod of coating small workpieces with plastic material
US5314058 *Jan 21, 1993May 24, 1994Graham S NealVibratory drive unit
US5404995 *Oct 13, 1993Apr 11, 1995Graham; S. NealVibratory parts feeder
EP0436451A1 *Dec 24, 1990Jul 10, 1991Merlin GerinFeeding device having a vibrating bowl with storage buffer
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/763
International ClassificationB65G47/14, B65G27/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/1421, B65G2812/0392, B65G27/00
European ClassificationB65G27/00, B65G47/14B2B