US 3583310 A
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United States Patent Leonard P. Blough Harrison City, Pa. ] Appl. No. 758,073
 Inventor  Filed Sept. 6, 1968  Patented June 8, 1971  Assignee Mesta Machine Company Pittsburgh, Pa.
 TlGHTENER-BANDER MACHINE 5 Claims, 13 Drawing Figs.
3,417,688 12/1968 Shakely ABSTRACT: The tightener-bander is a four post machine having a stationary overhead deck mounted atop the posts and a vertically movable carriage which is guided by tracks secured to the posts. The carriage is raised and lowered by a unique drive and counterweight arrangement including four chains secured to the carriage and pass over drive and idler sprockets therefor. A tightening head is rotatably mounted on the underside of the carriage and a strapping head on the upper side. The tightening head includes a tightening arm secured to its inner periphery and movable by means of a hydraulic cylinder into engagement with the outer wraps of the coil. The tightening head is rotated with the arm in engagethem with the coil in the wrap direction to tighten the outer wraps. Following this operation the strapping head, which can be of conventional design, is actuated to band the coil while in a thus tightened condition. The tightening and handing operations can be initiated automatically by suitable circuitry.
' Means forming part of the machine also can be provided for weighing the coil.
PATENTEU JUN m SHEET 1 BF 9 a w M 1 6 H m n d/ Z I z III PATENTEU JUN 9197:
SHEET 2 0F 9 INVEIMOB Leonard 1? B50 zgfz. 1115 52 2 012405)? PATENTED Jun 8 \971 SHEET 5 BF 9 NNN J mm 3 oily l1. w 40/ SHEET 6 0F 9 'IIGHTENER-BANDER MACHINE The present invention relates to tightening and/or tightening-banding apparatus and more particularly to apparatus of the character described which is adapted in one illustrative application, for tightening and strapping coils of hot strip steel and the like.
The band or strap applied to hot strip coils or other hot objects by previous machines frequently did not remain in place after the coil cooled. Although such previous machines in some cases are able to apply the band in a moderately tight condition, the cooling and attendant contraction of the strip material caused the band to loosen and fall off the coil. Thus, it has not been feasible previously to band or strap steel coils when extremely hot. The present invention allows the coils to be properly strapped regardless of their temperatures and thereby speeds up the related production lines.
The present invention in addition permits the hot coil to be strapped and weighed at the same station in the processing line. Previous banders required separate handling of the coil and additional time and labor for weighing and banding purposes. A wide range of coil sizes frequently could not be accommodated owing to physical limitations imposed by conventional banders, conveyor mechanisms, or weighing devices associated therewith.
The advantages of automatically strapping or weighing the coil, particularly at the same station are obvious. The number of operators or attendants is reduced. Production time is increased. Wear and tear of the conveyor mechanism are reduced. In many cases, a single operator is required for weighing coils and operating the conveyor mechanism, while three hand-banders are required per shift. With my invention the single operator can tighten, band, and weigh the coils in addition to operating the coil conveyor.
I overcome these disadvantages of the prior art by providing a novel and efficient combination tightener, bander and, if desired, weigher.
The machine structure includes a stationary, overhead deck and a movable deck or carriage on which tightening and strapping heads are mounted. The carriage is raised and lowered by a unique drive and counterweight arrangement. The tightening mechanism includes a ring-shaped head rotatably mounted on the carriage and a pivotally mounted arm and contact roller. Means are additionally provided for moving the arm into engagement with the strip coil or other object being banded, and the tightening head is rotated in the direction of the coil to tighten the outer wrappings of the coil. Following this operation the strapping head, which is also mounted on the vertically movable carriage, is actuated to band the strip coil while in this tightened condition. As a result, the natural resiliency of the tightened outer wraps of the strip coil more than counterbalances the contraction of the strip coil as the latter cools. Thus, the band remains in a properly tight condition upon the strip coil after it has cooled. Means are also provided for lifting the coil from the conveyor to facilitate weighing.
In accordance with one arrangement of my invention, I provide a tightening machine the combination comprising a carriage movable toward and away from an object to be tightened, means for supporting said carriage for said movement, means for so moving said carriage, a turntable rotatably mounted on said carriage, a tightening arm pivotally mounted on said turntable, and means for rotating said turntable and for pivotally moving said arm into engagement with said object when said carriage is positioned adjacent said object.
In another arrangement ofmy invention, I provide a tightening-banding machine with a banding mechanism mounted on said carriage for applying a band or strap about said object, when said carriage is positioned adjacent said object.
I also desirably provide a similar machine wherein said machine includes a conveyor passing beneath said carriage and a pair of lifters mounted adjacent and beneath said carriage, and means are provided for raising said lifters to engage an object supported by said conveyor whereby said object can be removed from said conveyor and held stationary relative to said machine for weighing purposes.
I also provide a similar machine wherein means are provided for limiting the movement of said carriage relative to one end of said object, and means are provided for sensing the presence of the other end of said object and for stopping said carriage at a predetermined point intermediate the ends of said object.
I also desirably provide a similar machine wherein means including a fluid circuit are provided for actuating said tightening arm, cooperating quick-attach conduit means are mounted respectively on said carriage and on said turntable for coupling said circuit to demote control means, and means are provided for precisely terminating the rotation of said turntable relative to said carriage in alignment of said quick-attach conduit means.
During the foregoing discussion, various objects, feature and advantages of the invention have been set forth. These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention together with structural details thereof will be elaborated upon during the forthcoming description of presently preferred embodiments of the invention and presently preferred methods of practicing the same.
In the accompanying drawings I have shown certain presently preferred embodiments of the invention and have illustrated presently preferred methods of practicing the invention, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view with parts being broken away and other parts removed of a weighing, tightening and banding apparatus constructed in accordance with my invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the apparatus as shown in FIG.
FIG. 3 is a horizontally sectioned view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 1 and taken substantially along reference line III-III thereof;
FIG. 4 is another horizontally sectioned view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 1 and taken along reference line lV-IV thereof;
FIG. 5 is a partial, elevational view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 3 and taken along reference line V-V thereof;
FIG. 6 is a partial, vertically sectioned view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 3 and taken along reference line VI-VI thereof;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged vertically sectioned view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 3 and taken along reference line VII-VII thereof;
FIG. 8 is a partial top plan view of the carriage and turntable as shown in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a vertically sectioned view of the broken away lower portion of the apparatus, as shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 9 and taken along reference line X-X thereof;
FIG. 11 is an enlarged partial elevational view partly sectioned, of the carriage shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 12 is a vertically sectioned view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 11 and taken along reference line XII-XII and FIG. 13 is a top plan view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 11.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings and initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, my unique tightening and banding machine 10 includes in this example four supporting standards 12 which are erected upon a suitable foundation 14 including a base structure denoted generally at 16. It will be understood of course that a different number of standards 12 can be used as required by a specific application, size of machine, etc. The base structure 16 is installed adjacent the upper opening of an elongated pit 18 which houses a conveyor mechanism 20. In this arrangement the conveyor 20 includes a plurality of chains 22, with three being utilized in this example, each having a series of supporting cleats 24 thereon. A pair of lifters 26 are interposed between the individual conveyor chains and are disposed centrally of the machine I0. When a coil 28 or 30 has reached a central position relative to the machine as shown in FIG. 2 the lifters 26 are actuated by suitable mechanism such as hydraulic cylinders, as described below in connection with FIGS. 9 and 10, to their positions denoted by chain outlines 26 (FIG. 2) whereat the bottom of the coil 28 or 30 clears the conveyor cleats 24. A photocell control is installed at the front of the machine 10 to time stopping of the conveyor with coil 28 or 30 at the central area of the machine 10 and over the weighing lifters 26.
The use ofa three chain conveyor is advantageous in certain respects. A relatively small coil 28, for example, can be supported solely by the central conveyor chain 22a but still be engaged properly by the weighing lifters 26. On the other hand, a relatively large coil 30 is supported by all of the conveyor chains 22 and yet is suitably engaged by the pair of weighing lifters 26.
A vertically movable carriage 32, of generally ring-shape or annular construction is supported generally within the confines of the four posts or standards 12. The carriage 32 is guided throughout its vertical path of movement by vertical trucks denoted generally at 34 which engage, respectively, vertical tracks 36 mounted on the adjacent surfaces of the standards 12. In this arrangement the carriage 32 is supported by a plurality of chains 38, with four being utilized in this arrangement, although a different number obviously can be employed. Each of the chains pass over a drive sprocket 40 and adjacent idler sprocket 41 mounted atop the associated one of the standards 12. The other end of each chain is attached to counterweight 42 mounted in a guide and shield tube 44 secured to the outward surface of the associated standard I2.
The four counterweights 42 desirably equal the combined weights of the carriage 32, turntable 46 mounted generally on the underside thereof, and strapping or banding head 48 stationarily mounted on the upper side of the carriage 32.
In this example the four drive sprockets 40 are driven by a suitable drive motor 50 having associated therewith a brake 52. The motor is coupled to speed reducer 54 having output shafts 56, 58. Each of the shafts 56, 58 is in turn coupled to a double output reducer 62 or 60. The output of the reducer 62 is reversed relative to that of the reducer 60 to produce properly coordinated movement of the chains 38 through output shafts 64 coupled respectively to the drive sprockets 40, as better shown in FIG. 3.
A dual-output pulse timer 63 is coupled to the output ofthe speed reducer 54 and to a pulse counter (not shown) commercially available from Durant Manufacturing 00., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The counter compares the recorded or positional pulse count associated with a given elevation of the carriage 32 with the total or maximum number of pulses recordable as the carriage 32 is moved between its extreme upper and lower positions. Normally the pulse timer 63 emits one pulse per revolution and normally the pulse counter automatically stops the drive motor 50 (through conventional circuitry) (not shown) when the carriage 32 reaches its lowermost position. When photocell sensor 65 and cooperating light source 65a mounted on the carriage 32 sense the presence of the top edge 67 of a coil 28 or 30, in the machine 10, suitable and known circuitry (not shown) causes the photocell output signal at this time'to actuate the pulse timer 63 to the other of its dual outputs. At this time the pulse timer emits two pulses per revolution and the pulse counter stops the carriage 32 at the desirable tightening and handing position thereof, i.e., at an elevation about half way down the coil 28 or 30, rather than at its aforementioned lowermost position in the machine 10.
As the carriage 32 is raised and lowered by the chains 38, the various electrical and fluid supply lines thereto are positioned along a flexible track arrangement 66, such as that sold under the trade name Power Track" made by Gleason Reel Corp., Mayville, Wisconsin. As a precaution the carriage 32 can be positively prevented from exceeding its upper and lower limits by limit switches 68 which can be suitably connected in the electric circuit (not shown) for motor 50.
As better shown in FIGS. 3-8 the turntable 46 is rotatably mounted generally on the underside of the carriage 32 for rotation relative thereto when driven by motor 70 and reducer 72, the output of which is coupled to drive sprockets 74 FIGS. 3, 5 and 6). The drive sprockets 74 engages chain 76 supported adjacent the inner periphery of the turntable 46 by means ofa series of brackets 78 (FIG. 7). A secondary output of the reducing unit 72 is coupled to a second reducer 80 which in turn is coupled to acam limit switch 82 (FIG. 5) in the electrical circuit of motor 70 to slow the rotation of turntable 46 after one or more revolutions thereof as required. The cam switch 82 can be actuated by conventional circuitry (not shown) to select, in this example, one to three total revolutions of the turntable 46. At the end of the predetermined number of revolutions, rotation is terminated precisely by proximity switch 83 FIG. 13 on carriage 32 when juxtaposed to sensor 85 (FIG. 11) on the turntable 46. The reason for this precise stoppage of the turntable 46 is detailed below with reference to FIGS. lll3.
When carriage 32 is again raised reset switch 84 (FIG. 1) is actuated for example by a projection on one of the trucks 34, to reset the associated circuits for commencement of a subsequent cycle.
For the purpose of tightening the outer wraps of the coil 28 or 30 as the turntable 46 is rotated, a tightening arm 86 is pivotally mounted at 88 on the inner periphery of the turntable 46 as better shown in FIG. 4, while the distal end of its piston rod is pivoted at 96 to the tightening arm 86. The tightening arm 86 is actuated by means described below with reference to FIGS. 12-14.
As better shown in FIG. 7 the turntable 46 is rotatably mounted on the carriage 32 by means of a circular depending rib 104 secured to the underside of annular deck plate 106 of the carriage 32. A number of rollers 108 are rotatably and spacedly mounted on the rib 104 to form a concentric array therewith. In this example, the rollers I08 engage an annular track plate 110 which in turn is secured to an upstanding circular rib 1I2 secured to the upper surface of the turntable deck plate II4. The concentricity of the turntable 46 relative to the carriage 32 in this example, is preserved by a second circular series of rollers 116 which are rotatably mounted on the turntable deck plate 114 for engagement with a second circular depending rib 118 secured to the inner periphery of the carriage deck plate 106.
The inner periphery of the turntable deck plate 114 is joined to a generally circular band or support 120 to the inner side of which is joined bracket I22 and the previously described tightening arm 86 and it pivot 88. The aforementioned drive chain 76 for the turntable 46 is mounted on a horizontal flange 124 affixed to the outer surface of the support band 120 adjacent the upper edge thereof by means of the aforementioned brackets 78. In this example, the four lift chains 38 are secured respectively to the carriage trucks 34 through suitable turnbuckles 126.
In operation as the turntable 46 is rotated by motor 70, a suitable pressurized fluid is emitted to the cylinder 92 to urge the tightening arm 86 against the cylindrical surface of the coil 28 or 30, as denoted by chain outline position 86a or 86b respectively of the tightening arm 86. The turntable 46 is rotated in the direction of arrow 98 (FIG. 3) to move the tightening arm 86 and its roller in the wrap direction of the coil 28 or 30, as denoted by their loose ends and 102. The pressure and direction of movement of the tightening arm 86 against the cylindrical sides of the coil 28 or 30 tends to move the outer wraps of the coil in their wrap direction and thereby to tighten the outer wraps of the coil. After the tightening operation has ceased the coil 28 or 30 is then banded or strapped by means of the banding mechanism 48. If desired, the proximity switch 83 can be provided with additional switch contacts coupled to the banding mechanism drive to initiate operation of the banding mechanism automatically. In this arrangement the banding mechanism 48 is of conventional construction and is commercially available under the trade name Stanley Bander from Stanley Steel a division of Stanley Works, New Britain, Connecticut.
It will be understood of course that the reduction ratios of the speed reducers 54, 60, 62 associated with the carriage drive motor 50 will be selected, within the skill of the art. for a given application depending upon the size of the object handled by the machine 10, size and weight of the equipment, speed of the motor 50, size of the sprockets 41, etc. Likewise, the relative ratios of the reducers 72 and 80 associated with the turntable drive 70 can be varied as required.
Referring now to FIGS. 9 and of the drawings one arrangemcnt for actuating the weighing lifters 26 and for weighing a coil when supported thereon is illustrated in greater detail. The lifters 26 are normally supported a short distance below the cleats 24 of the conveyor chains 22, and generally within a supporting framework 140 provided for upper and lower runs 142, 144 of the conveyor chains 22, as better shown in FIG. 10. The lifters 26 include vertically disposed supporting plates 146 each having a pair of pivot arms 148 and 149 pivotally connected thereto as denoted by reference characters 150. As better shown in FIG. 10 the pivot arms 148 are keyed to operating shaft 152 for rotation therewith.
To rotate the shafts 152 and to raise the lifters 26 a pivot arm on each shaft 152, for example the arms 148, is provided with an operating extension 154 which is pivoted at 156 to connecting link 158. A pair of suitably disposed limit switches 163 can be provided to determine the,limits of movement, through suitable circuitry (not shown), of the reciprocating link 158. The link 158 is reciprocated by piston and cylinder arrangement 160 to raise and lower the lifters 26 when desired.
The lifters 26 and the associated actuating structure 146- 160 are supported upon a support or frame 162 which in turn is mounted upon scale means 164 or other suitable weighing device. In this example, four such scales 164 are utilized at the corners respectively of the frame 162. An exemplary form of such scale is Howe Industrial scale SOT/S having a nominal capacity of 70,000 lbs. and available from Howe Richardson Scale Co., Rutland, Vermont. If desired the scale means 164 can be zeroed under tare weight conditions so that the weight of the frame 162, lifters 26 and associated components normally resting on the scales 164 is automatically deducted.
In FIGS. 1l-13 of the drawings a unique arrangement is illustrated for actuating cylinder 92 for urging tightening arm 96 against the coil 28 or 30 (FIG. 3) during revolution of the turntable 46. As mentioned previously the turntable 46 is designed to be rotated through one or more revolutions to perform the tightening operation. At this time arm 86 is urged into bearing engagement with the outer wraps of the coil 28 or 30 by operation of the cylinder 92. Problems arise in making the necessary fluid connections to the cylinder 92 during pivoting of the cylinder 92 about its blank end pivot connection 156 on extension bracket 168 secured to the underside of the turntable 46 as better shown in FIGS. 11 and 13 and during revolution of the turntable 46.
The aforementioned fluid circuit for the cylinder 92 includes conduits 170, 172 coupled respectively to the blank and rod ends of the cylinder 92 and to highand lowpressure accumulator tanks 174, 176 respectively. Each of the conduits 170, 172 in this example are provided with a number of pivoting fittings 178 to endow the conduits 170, 172 with a capability of accommodating pivotal movements of the cylinder 92 and tightening arm 96.
The avoidance of entangled flexible conduits as the turntable 46 is revolved is accomplished by quick-attach conduit connections to the aforementioned fluid circuit of the cylinder 92. The quick-attach conduit connections are mounted respectively on a nonrotating portion or annular plate 106 of carriage 32 and on the turntable 46. Aligning of the quick-attach connections is controlled by proximity switch 83, sensor 85, and cam switch 82 operating through conventional circuitry for precisely starting and stopping the revolution of the turntable 46. As its rotational terminus is approached, movement of the turntable 46 is slowed by the second speed reducer 80 (FIG. 8), noted above.
One form of such quick-attach conduit connection means denoted by reference characters 180, 182 is associated with the aforementioned cylinder conduits 170, 172. The quick-attach means further includes in this example housing 184 mounted atop annular plate 106 of the carriage 32. A cylinder 186 is mounted on the housing 184 for pivotal connection at 188 to slide plate 190, disposed on guideways 192. The lower extremity of slide plate movement is determined by limit switch 194 coupled through suitable circuitry (not shown) to cylinder 186. Upper housing wall 196 is apertured for passage of rigid conduit sections 198, 200 which are mounted on slide plates and terminate respectively in conventional snapengageable conduit connections 202, 204.
The quick-attach connections 202, 204 are available from Sunnyhill Research & Mfg. Co., located in Imperial, Pennsylvania. At their upper ends the conduit sections 198, 200 are joined to flexible conduits 206, 208 which can be conveniently extended to the carriage 32 by means of the aforementioned power track" arrangement 66, (FIG. 1). Desirably a springloaded check valve 210 is coupled in conduit 208 to determine the pressure level in the low pressure accumulator tank 176.
The cylinder conduits 170, 172 on the other hand, are connected through suitable tee fittings 212, 214 to quick-attach nozzles 220, 222 respectively and to a solenoid valve, not shown. In this example the rigid conduits 198, 200 of the slide housing arrangement 184 are provided with female quick-attach connections 202, 204 while the holding valves are provided with complementary male connections 220, 222. Obviously these parts can be reversed if desired. Each of the nozzles 220, 222 desirably has a conventional check valve located therein to prevent inadvertent loss of pressurized fluid when the quick-attach connections 202, 220 and 204, 222 are severed.
In operation before commencement of the tightening operation, the turntable 46 is stopped precisely at the position shown in FIG. 11 by operation of the proximity switch 83, sensor 85, and associated components and circuitry. At this position the quick-attach conduit connections 202, 204 are aligned respectively with the complementary connections 220, 222. Cylinder 186 is then actuated through suitable fluid circuitry (not shown) to depress the slide plate 190 and to engage the connections 202, 204 with their complementary connections 220,222 on coupling bodies 216, 218 respectively.
With the quick-attach conduit connections thus established, fluid pressure is conveyed through the flexible conduits 206, 208 by actuating the aforementioned solenoid valve. This permits high pressure fluid to flow to accumulator tanks 174 and to the blank end of the cylinder 92. Fluid also flows from the rod end of the cylinder and from the low pressure accumulator tank 176. Low pressure is maintained in the low pressure accumulator by the spring-loaded check valve 210. Inconsequence, the tightening arm 86 is moved to its chain outline position 224 to engage the outer wraps of the coil 28 or 30 with considerable force. The cylinder 186 is then actuated to withdraw the slide plate 190 and to break the aforementioned quick-attach conduit connections 202, 220 and 204, 222 while the aforementioned check valves in nozzles 220, 222 prevent loss of fluid. If desired, a limit switch 223 can be furnished for each of the connections 202, 204 as shown in FIG. 3.
From disengagement of the aforementioned conduit connections the turntable 46 is free to rotate through the desired number of revolutions. At the end of such rotation the turntable 46 is again stopped precisely by proximity switch 83, sensor 85, and associated components whereupon the quick-attach conduit connections 220, 222 are again aligned with the quick-attach connections 202, 204 mounted on the nonrotating portion of carriage 32. Thereupon the aforedescribed quick-attach connections 202, 220 and 204, 222 are reestablished and the aforementioned solenoid valve is reversed to relieve the pressure upon the blank end of cylinder 92.
In consequence, the tightening arm 96 is returned to its inactive or solid outline position (FIG. 13).
Y The coil handling apparatus of my invention is therefore conveniently arranged for quickly and efficiently tightening, banding and weighing steel strip coils and the like. The apparatus moreover is capable of handling coils of widely varying heights and diameters. It will be understood of course that certain features of my invention can be utilized without a corresponding of other features. For example the tightening and/or weighing features can be employed without a corresponding use of the banding feature in the event, for example, it is desired to perform the latter function at a separate location for any conceivable reason.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that novel and efficient forms of Tightener-Bander apparatus have been disclosed herein. While I have shown and described certain presently preferred embodiments ofthe invention and have illuutruted certain presently preferred methods of racticing the Hume, it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is not limited thereto but may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced within the scope ofthe following claims.
1. In a tightening machine the combination comprising a carriage movable toward and away from an object to be tightened, means for supporting said carriage for said movement, means for so moving said carriage, a turntable rotatably mounted on said carriage, a tightening arm pivotally mounted on said turntable, means for rotating said turntable and for pivotally moving said arm into engagement with said object when said carriage is positioned adjacent said object, said machine including a conveyor passing beneath said carriage and a pair of lifters mounted adjacent and beneath said carriage said lifters being disposed at a position of said object in alignment with an object receiving opening in said carriage, and means for raising said lifters to engage an object supported by said conveyor whereby said object can be removed from said conveyor and held stationary relative to said machine for weighing purposes and for engagement by said carriage.
2. The combination according to claim I wherein means are provided for limiting the movement of said carriage relative to one end of said object, and means are provided for sensing the presence of the other end of said object and for stopping said carriage at a predetermined point intermediate the ends of said object.
3. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said turntable drive means is mounted on said carriage and includes an output sprocket engaging a circular chain affixed to said turntable adjacent the inner periphery thereof.
4. In a tightening machine the combination comprising a carriage movable toward and away from an object to be tightened, means for supporting said carriage for said movement, means for so moving said carriage, a turntable rotatably mounted on said carriage, a tightening arm pivotally mounted on said turnable, means for rotating said turntable and for pivotally moving said arm into engagement with said object when said carriage is positioned adjacent said object, means including a fluid circuit for actuating said tightening arm, cooperating quick-attach conduit means mounted respectively on said carriage and on said turntable for coupling said circuit to remote control means operable through said carriage conduit means, and means for precisely terminating the rotation of said turntable relative to said carriage in alignment of said quick-attach conduit means.
5. The combination according to claim 4 wherein said terminating means include a limit switch arrangement for slowing down the motion of said turntable after a predetermined number of revolutions thereof, said terminating means further including proximity switch and sensor means mounted on said carriage and said turntable for precisely stopping said turntable at a position of said alignment.