US 3476330 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 4, 1969 F. E. CURTLAND 3,476,330
REEL ASSEMBLY Filed Oct. 5, 1967 INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,476,330 REEL ASSEMBLY Floyd E. Cortland, Avilla, Ind., assignor to Lear Siegler, Inc, Santa Monica, Calif., a corporation of Delaware Filed Oct. 3, 1967, Ser. No. 672,504 Int. Cl. B65h 75/02 US. Cl. 242-45 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A reel assembly of the type for supporting coils of wire with the wire being unwound from the coils to move into a manufacturing process. The assembly includes a base with a platform rotatably supported on the base and adapted for supporting the coils of wire. A direct current electric motor is disposed on the base and is in driving engagement with the platform for rotating the platform. An arm is pivotally attached to the base and extends upwardly above the platform and is adapted at the upper end for supporting the wire as it extends from the coils so that a predetermined tension on the wire pivots the arm. The lower end of the arm is attached through appropriate linage to a two position electrical switch. The two position electrical switch is in turn connected in parallel to first and second variable resistors. The first and second resistors provide different resistances and current is supplied to the electric motor through one or the other of the resistors depending upon the position of the switch so that the platform will be rotated at different speeds, i.e., the desired speed.
Although it will be understood to those skilled in the art that the instant invention may be utilized in various environments, it will be described and illustrated in a manufacturing environment in which wire is unwound from coils and enters a manufacturing process.
The instant invention enjoys particular utilization when used with wire forming machines of the type for forming wires into components and subassemblies used in springs and similar elements utilized in furniture, box springs and the like. In the manufacture of such components and elements, coils of wire are normally disposed adjacent a wire forming machine and a length of wire extends from the coils to the machine, normally with the length of wire continually moving into the machine and uncoiling from the coils.
In one prior art reel assembly the coils of wire are disposed on a platform which is rotated by a motor which drives the platform through a V-belt and pulley arrangement. A mechanical means is operatively connected to the V-belt and pulley arrangement and is responsive to the tension and the length of wire extending from the coils to change the driving diameter of one of the pulleys thereby to change the rotational speed of the platform. Such a system is a proportional or rate system in that as the tension on the wire increases the rotational speed of the platform is changed a proportional amount.
There are other prior art devices which include a means responsive to the tension in the material being drawn from a coil to continually vary a resistance through which current is supplied to a motor rotating the coils of material. Such systems are likewise proportional or rate systems since the tension on the length of material proportionally changes the resistance through which current flows to the motor rotating the material so as to rotate the material at a speed which is proportional to the tension in the length of material extending from the coils thereof.
It has been found, particularly in manufacturing processes utilizing wire, that such proportional or rate systems are not entirely satisfactory. One problem associated with such systems is that the response to tension in the length of wire extending from the coils is not fast enough. In addition, different machines are utilized to form various different gauges of wire therefore requiring the capability of altering the range of operation of the device for regulating the rotational speed of the coils of material, i.e. in some environments the tension can be quite high without requiring an increase in speed of rotation whereas in other environments the tension need only increase a slight amount to require an increase in the speed of rotation.
Accordingly, it is an object and feature of this invention to provide an improved and novel power reel for reeling or unreeling material from coils at a speed controlled by the tension in the material extending from the coils.
Another object and feature of this invention is to provide a power reel which has a normal speed of rotation and which has a second speed of rotation upon the existence of a predetermined tension in the length of material extending from the coils thereof.
A further object and feature of this invention is to provide a power reel assembly including rotatable means for supporting coils of material with an electric motor operatively connected to the rotatable means for rotating the latter and circuit means for supplying current to the motor through one of first and second resistance means, one of which provides a greater resistance to current flow than the other so that the motor rotates at a different speed when current flows through one resistance means than through the other resistance means and including control means connected to the circuit means and responsive to the tension in the material extending from the coils for directing current flow through one of the first and second resistance means depending upon the tension in the material extending from the coils thereof.
Other objects and attendant advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is an elevational view of a preferred embodiment of the instant invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the lower left hand portion of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary view taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 5 is a schematic view of the electrical circuit of the instant invention.
Referring now to the drawings, a preferred embodiment of the reel assembly of the instant invention is generally shown at 10 in FIGURE 1.
The reel assembly 10 includes a rotatable means comprising the platform 12 and the base 14 for supporting coils 1-6 of material, wire as illustrated. The platform 12 and base 14 are disposed horizontally with the platform 12 being vertically spaced above the base 14. As illustrated, there are three bundles of coils disposed on the platform 12 with the wire 18 being unwound or uncoiled from the upper bundle. The bundles of coils 16 are disposed about a framework including the upright members 20 and the circular support portion 22. The framework is conventional for storing and transporting coils of wire. The framework is disposed on the platform 12 which is adapted to engage and position circular support portion 22.
A direct current electric motor 24 is operatively connected to the platform 12 for rotating the latter. The motor 24 is operatively connected to the platform 12 through a chain and sprocket assembly generally indicated at 26. A stub shaft 28 extends vertically upwardly from the base 14 and rotatably supports a sleeve 30 to which a sprocket is secured.
There is also included a circuit means for supplying electric current from a source to the motor 24 through one of first and second resistance means 32 and 34. The first resistance means 32 provides a greater resistance to current flow than the second resistance means 34 so that the motor 24 rotates at a different speed when current flows through the first resistance means 32 than when through the second resistance means 34.
There is also included a control means generally shown at 36 connected to the circuit means and responsive to the tension in the material or wire 18 extending from the coil 16 for directing the current fiow through one of the first and sceond resistance means 32 and 34 depending upon the tension in the wire 18 extending from the coils 16 thereof. The resistance means 32 and 34 are variable resistors which may take the form of potentiometers as illustrated or rheostats and the like. The variable resistors 32 and 34 may be manually actuated for varying the resistance to current flow therethrough. The resistors 32 and 34 are disposed in the housing 38 and the knob 40 may be manually rotated to change the resistance of the resistor 32 and the knob 42 may be manually rotated to change the resistance in the resistor 34.
The control means includes a switch means 44 which has a first position for allowing current to flow through the first variable resistance 32 and a second position for allowing current to flow through the second variable resistance 34.
The electric motor 24, the switch means 44, the housing 38, and the remainder of the control means 36 are all supported on the base 14.
In addition to the switch means 44, the control means 36 includes an arm which is generally indicated at 48. The arm 48 is pivotally supported on the base 14 and extends upwardly above the platform 12. The arm 48 includes a means comprising the ring 50 for receiving the material or wire 18 extending from the coil 16 so that the arm 48 pivots in response to a predetermined tension on the wire 18 extending from the coil 16. The arm 48 includes an elongated upwardly extending leg 52 and a short leg 54 extending transversely to the elongated leg 52. A pair of mounts 56 are supported on the base 14 and a shaft 58 is rotatably supported by the mounts 56. The short leg 54 is attached to the shaft 58 by the bracket 60, which is in turn prevented from rotating relative to the shaft 58 by the screw 62. Thus, the shaft 58 is rotated when the arm 48 pivots.
A first link 64 is attached to the shaft 58 and a second link 66 interconnects the first link 64 and the switch means 44 for moving the switch means between the first and second positions as the arm 48 pivots. The mounts 56, shaft 58, link 64 and link 66 therefore provide linkage means operatively interconnecting the arm 48 and the switch means 44 for moving the switch means 44 between the first and second positions in response to pivotal movement of the arm.
There is also included biasing means comprising the bracket 68 and the spring 70 to resist pivotal movement of the arm 48. The bracket 68 is supported on the base 14 and the spring 70 is disposed between the bracket 68 and the short leg 54 of the arm 48. An adjustment screw 72 is provided for adjusting the compression in the spring 70 thereby adjusting the resistance to pivotal movement of the arm 48.
There is also included a gear box 74 which is supported on the plate 14 and has an input and an output. The electric motor 24 is in driving engagement with the input of the gear box 74 through a coupling 76 and the output of the gear box 74 is in driving connection with the platform through the chain and sprocket means 26.
In operation, the assembly is positioned adjacent a machine to which the length of wire 18 is moving. The first variable resistance 32 is manually set by the knob 40 to rotate the platform 12 at a speed commensurate with the speed at which the wire is normally fed into the machine. This setting may be different with different gauges of wire, different machines, etc. The second variable resistance 34 is then set at a lower value so that when the switch 44 is in a position to direct current flow through the variable resistance 34, the motor 24 will rotate at a faster speed thereby rotating the platform at a faster speed. The wire 18 is then threaded through the ring 50 and extended to the machine. Should the rotation of the platform 12 be too slow so that a predetermined tension is applied to the wire 18, the arm 48 will pivot to rotate the shaft 58 which in turn moves the links 64 and 66 to move the switch 44 to the second position where current flows through the variable resistance 34 to increase the speed of the direct current motor to a second increased speed, which in turn increases the speed of rotation of the platform 12. The platform 12 will rotate at this increased constant speed until the tension in the wire 18 decreases to allow the arm 48 to pivot to the position where the switch 44 is again moved to the position where current is fed through the variable resistance 32. The adjustment screw 72 may be positioned to control the amount of tension necessary in the wire 18 to pivot the arm 48.
The variable resistances 32 and 34 may be manually adjusted so that the assembly may be utilized with various different machines and various different gauges of wire.
Once the variable resistances 32 and 34 have been manually set for a particular operation, however, the platform 12 will rotate at one of two speeds, i.e. the plat form 12 will rotate at a normal fixed speed unless the tension in the wire 18 becomes sufiicient to pivot the arm 48 at which time the speed of the platform 12 will immediately increase to a higher fixed speed. It will be understood, of course, that the assembly may be utilized for both winding and unwinding and that the respective speeds of rotation may be reversed.
The invention has been described in an illustrative manner and it is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A reel assembly comprising: rotatable means for supporting coils of material, an electric motor operatively connected to said rotatable means for rotating the latter, circuit means for supplying current to said motor through one of first and second resistance means, said first and second resistance means being independent of said motor so that when current is flowing through one resistance means no current is flowing through the other, said first resistance means providing a greater resistance to current flow than said second resistance means so that said motor rotates at a first speed when current flows through said first resistance means and rotates at a second higher speed when current flows through said second resistance means, switch means having a first position for directing current through said first resistance means and a second position for directing current through said second resistance means, control means for engaging the material and being movable in response to tension in the material extending from the coils thereof to move said switch means between said first and second positions.
2. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said electric motor is a direct current electric motor.
3. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said first resistance means comprises a first manually variable resistance.
4. An assembly as set forth in claim 3 wherein said second resistance means comprises a second manually variable resistance.
5. An assembly as set forth in claim 1- wherein said rotatable means comprises a base, a platform rotatably supported by said base and adapted to support the coils of material, said control means comprises an arm pivotally supported on said base and extending upwardly above said platform, said arm including means for receiving the material extending from the coils so that said arm pivots in response to the tension on the material extending from the coils, and linkage means operatively interconnecting said arm and said switch means for moving said switch means between said first and second positions in response to pivotal movement of said arm.
6. An assembly as set forth in claim 5 wherein said platform is horizontal and vertically spaced above said base, said motor is a direct current electric motor supported on said base, and said switch means is supported on said base.
7. An assembly as set forth in claim 5 including biasing means supported on said base and coacting with said arm to resist pivotal movement of said arm.
8. An assembly as set forth in claim 7 wherein said arm includes an elongated upwardly extending leg and a short leg extending transversely to said elongated leg, said linkage means includes a pair of mounts supported on said base, a shaft rotatably supported by said mounts, said short leg being attached to said shaft for rotating the latter when said arm pivots, a first link attached to said shaft and a second link interconnecting said first link and said switch means for moving the latter between said first and second positions as said arm pivots, said biasing means includes a bracket supported on said base and a spring disposed between said bracket and said short leg of said arm, and a reduction gear box supported on said platform and having an input and an output, said electric motor being in driving engagement with said input, said output being in driving connection with said platform.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,104,656 1/ 1938 Krejci 242- 2,353,639 7/1944 Berthold et a1. 242-45 2,700,513 1/1955 Miles 24275.5 2,825,016 2/1958 Bailey 24275.51 3,107,870 10/ 1963 Cetnar 24245 NATHAN L. MINTZ, Primary Examiner