US 3627028 A
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United States Patent 72] inventor Lucien W. Carignan Ell! Providence, RJ.  Appl. No. 780,129  Filed Nov. 29, 1968 (45] Patented Dec. 14, 1971  Assignee New England Malleable iron Company M 54] MOLD-HANDLING APPARATUS 10 Claims, 13 Drawing Figs. 52 1 0.5. CI 164/323, 164/18, 164/130, 198/183 [51 Int. Cl 822d 5/00  Field 01 Search 164/323, 324, 329,330,331, 129, 130, 18; 198/183, 189  References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 910,448 1/1909 Barnes 164/18 2,068,835 1/1937 Wurster 164/324 X 2,599,262 6/1952 Kvederis 164/323 X 2,999,281 9/1961 Drever et al. 164/323 X 3,254,376 6/1966 Burnett ABSTRACT: A conveying system used in connection with a mold-forming machine which will eliminate manual mold handling. The molds, upon transport plates as issued from the mold-forming machine, are lined up in groups, each group comprising a plurality of molds. A group when so assembled is advanced to a shifters station where slhells or casings are put about the molds. The group is then, in another step, advanced to a pouring station where weights are applied to the molds and the molds are filled with molten metal. The group is then advanced through two cooling stations and then to a shifters station where additional cooling takes place and the shells or casings are removed from the molds. The group is then advanced to a dumping station where the sand is dumped from the transport plate of each of the molds of the group and then the transport plates are returned and stacked into the molding machine from which they originally issued.
Patented Dec. 14, 1971 3,627,028
5 Sheets-Sheet 2 O O O O O O O O O (\l O 0' O LL O O INVENTOR LUCIEN W. CARIGNAN O ATTORNEYS Patented Dec. 14, 1971 3,627,028
5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR LUCIEN W. GARIGNAN BY flww Wm ATTORNEYS Patented Dec. 14, 1971 3,627,01
5 Sheets-Sheet 6 7/ [/V INVENTORY F LUCIEN w. CARIGNAN BY fluAwM Molds are usually manually formed, although at the present time there is a machine for mechanically forming the molds. A single mold, however, issues from the machine as it is formed on a transport plate and must be conveyed or handled from that point. Heretofore, individual molds on their transport plates have been moved along conveyors to a pouring station where ladles full of molten metal suspended on an overhead track are manually handled to pour the molten metal into the molds while they are traveling along the conveyor. The man walks along slowly as the conveyor moves and pushes the ladle suspended from the track above. During this operation, he will fill a number of molds from the ladle and then return the ladle for refilling. After each mold is filled, it moves on the conveyor for a sufficient length and time to be cooled and then is dumped, mold by mold as each reaches the station where dumping occurs. The transport plates then have to be returned from some distant point to the place where the molds are to be again formed on the transport plate.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Molds which are individually issued from the molding machine are horizontally lined up in groups comprising a plurality of molds ,(here shown as eight) and each group is then advanced step by step to a shifter's station where casings or shells are applied while the movement of the molds is stopped and then the group of several molds is advanced to a pouring area where weights are automatically applied and the molds are manually filled with molten metal. Thereafter, the molds are automatically moved in a plurality of steps, to cooling areas and back to a disassembly shifters station where the shells or casings are removed and placed upon the molds of subsequently advanced groups and then the group is advanced to a dumping area where the sand and molded article is dumped onto an oscillating conveyor while the transport plates remain on the conveyor. The transport plates are then returned to and stacked into the molding machine from whence they issued. The above-described handling of the transport plates is fully automatic. Two such molding machines may be in back-to-baclt adjacency to be handled by a single operator while the conveyors of each are one a mirror image of the other for compact occupancy ofa floor area.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a schematic plan view showing the layout of two back-to-back automatic molding machines with conveyors for moving the molds on transport plates as issued by each machine to a pouring station, a dumping station and returning the transport plate to the molding machine;
FIG. 2 is an elevation of the pouring station and transfer sta' tion where the molds are transferred from their outgoing direction from the molding machine to the path of their movement toward the molding machine;
FIG. 3 is an end view of the transfer mechanism shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmental elevational view of the end portion of the assembling station where the molds are assembled into groups to be handled as a group through the machine;
FIG. Sis an end view of the structure shown in FIG. a;
FIG. 6 is a fragmental side elevation of the dumping station;
FIG. 7 is an end view thereof showing in dotted lines the structure in dumping position;
FIG. 8 is a fragmental end view showing means for moving the molds along the conveyor toward the molding machine;
FIG. 9 is a fragmental elevation of the mechanism of FIG. b;
FIG. 10 is a fragmental view showing the means for engaging one of the transport plates for moving a group of molds along the conveyor;
FIG. II is an elevation of a fragmental portion of the mechanism showing the accumulation of transport plates and the raising of these plates to be returned to the automatic mold making machine;
FIG. I2 is a fragmental elevation, partly broken away and in section, of a brake applied to rollers on the conveyor; and
FIG. I3 is a wiring diagram.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to FIG. I two automatic molding machines It) and III are located in close proximity so that they may be attended by a single man. Each of these machines issues a mold on a transport plate one at a time. Conveyors on suitable framework designated generally II and II extend from each of these machines along a path to a pouring station area with the path then returning to the molding machine. The con veyors are substantially duplicates and therefore description of a conveyor for one machine will suffice.
The molding machine is designated generally as Station 1 and from this molding machine there issues individual molds on the usual fiat transport plates which are moved along a conveyor and assembled at Station 2 into groups of molds, which in the illustration here shown, comprises eight lined up molds which group is handled as a one and referred to as a group. This group of eight molds from this point on is handled together throughout the remainder of the travel of the molds along the conveyor and with the transport plates returning to the molding machine. The group travels in steps moving together for a certain distance, and then stopping. Action takes place on the molds in their stopped position which facilitates pouring and other operations which may have to be done.
From Station 2 the group of eight molds moves to Station 3 termed a shifter's station. Here the casings for the molds are placed about the molds, the casings being taken from the molds which have already passed through the pouring station and are in their return path of travel toward the molding machine. From the shifters station the molds pass to Station 4 where in position 4A pouring of the molten metal occurs, being handled on a platform I2 from ladles suspended from a track I3 which may extend to some filling station for the molten metal.
After a unit is filled with molten metal in position 4A, it is moved laterally of its path that originated from Station I, to a cooling area IE and then to a second cooling area 4C from which the group is moved to Station 5 which is also a shifter's station. Here the casings on the molds are removed from the molds and placed upon another unit of molds at Station 3. In the next step the molds are moved to Station 6 where the mold sand and the cast article is dumped into an oscillatlng conveyor M while the transport plates remain on the conveyor. The transport plates are then returned to a stacking Station 7 and here lifted as a stack to a position to be pushed by mechanism I5 into the automatic molding machine from which they issued.
All of these operations of the conveyor take place in a timed sequence which is mechanically and electrically controlled for automatic operation as will appear later.
Station I At Station I an automatic molding machine issues one mold at a time on a transport plate from the machine 10. The machine is not a part of this invention, but rather the invention relates to the conveyor associated with the machine. Each mold is issued from the molding machine 10 onto a conveyor designated generally as Ill. The conveyor consists essentially of track sections upon which rollers are mounted of a width to receive the transport plate of the molds. These rollers are each flanged to guide the plates along the conveyor in a generally straight line path of travel away from the molding machine.
Station 2 Station 2 is essentially a grouping station where the molds, as issued from the machine on to conveyor II, are assembled in a horizontal aligned group which for illustration is taken as a group of eight molds. The station comprises opposite channellilte rails 17 (FIG. 5) with their flanges extending outwardly away from each other and rotatably supporting along their inner surfaces rollers IR having flanges III to engage the opposite edges of a transport plate shown generally at and upon which the mold is formed.
At Station 2 these rollers are driven in a direction to advance the molds as issued from the molding machine along the track by means of a belt 21 (FIG. 4) riding over idlers 22 and engaging the lower cylindrical face of the rollers 18, the belt being driven by motor 23 through a belt 24 pulley 25 and 26 and about suitable guide pulleys 26'. These rollers 18 move the molds into horizontally aligned relation.
When eight molds are lined up in a group in horizontally stacked relation end to end, this group of eight will be located ahead of a pusher 27 (FIG. 10) comprising a plate 28 urged upwardly at one end by a spring 29, which will permit a plate 20 to pass thereover but which will engage the edge of this plate along its trailing edge. This pusher 29 comprises a carriage 30 which is connected by a cable 31 extending about a pulley 32 (FIG. 4) to a piston 33 in a cylinder 34, while the other end of the cable extends about a similar pulley and back to the carriage as at 31 (FIG. 10). When a group of eight molds is assembled, the piston 33 is actuated in the cylinder 34 to move the eight as a group from the stacking Station 2 to the shifters Station 3.
Station 3 At Station 3, as shown in FIG. 1, the group of eight molds stops alongside a platform 35 where casings or shells are placed upon each of the individual molds. At this assembling shifting point a shifter manually removes the shells from the returning molds on one side 36 of the platform 35 and places them on the advancing molds on the other side 37 of the platform 35. This shifting may be done manually or automatically without manual handling. In this station the rollers along the track are not mechanically rotated, it being found that this is unnecessary. However, the two end rollers of this Station 3 have brakes applied by means of shoes 38 (FIG. 12) being pressed outwardly by a spring 39 into engagement with two rolls so as to retard the movement of the molds along the track just prior to their reaching the end of their position in Station Station 4 The next step in the operation is for the group of molds to be advanced to Station 4 where pouring occurs. In the previous stations the tracks were mounted upon fixed frameworks and remained essentially in a set position. In transfer Station 4 the tracks are individually mounted upon chains 40 operating in an orbit in a plane at right angles to their path of travel to Station 4, the arrangement being best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The tracks are assembled on the conveyor chains 40 with each track 41 having its flanges turned inwardly toward each other and rotatably mounting rollers 42 with flanges thereon on the outside face of the tracks so as to hold a plate 20 between the flanges. The spacing between tracks 41 is such as to position the rollers with their flanges in line with the tracks in Station 3 so that as the molds are advanced from Station 3 to Station 4, they will roll onto rollers 42 of the tracks 41. Brakes as shown in FIG. 12, and before referred to, are applied to the rollers 42 at the end of the tracks 41 to prevent overrunning of the molds.
Upon the molds M arriving at Station 4, weights W, suspended by chains 43 from a framework 44 pivoted as at 45 on the fixed framework of the apparatus, are lowered by means of a fluid cylinder 46 onto the molds by a swinging of the frame 44 until the chains 43 are slack.
After these weights are lowered onto the molds, a ladle which is suspended by a chain 47 from the carriage 48 having rollers 49 engaging the track 13 are rolled in manually by the pourer, and while the molds are stationary, the pourer stands on the platform 12 and pours the molten metal into the eight molds in the unit and then returns to fill the ladle.
As the pourer returns to the furnace with the ladle, a switch is tripped by the carriage 48 which, afler a preset time delay, actuates the cylinder 46 at the transfer station so that the frame 44 lifts the weights from the molds and termination of this motion actuates the chains 40 to move the molds from Station 4A to Station 48 which is midway between the outgoing path of the carrier and the returning path of the carrier. The chains 40 extend about a gear 55 at one end of the orbit of the chain and around a generally triangular support 56 at the other end of the orbit in which is mounted gears 57 and 58 en gaging the chains for conducting their movement in their orbit. The gear 55 is suitably driven through a reduction gear unit 59 from a motor 60 (see FIG. 2). Cooling takes place at Station 48 and no operation is performed on the molds while at this Station. However, during this cooling a subsequent group of molds is moved into Station 4A where pouring into a subsequent unit occurs, after which, the return of the pourer to the furnace with his ladle, causes a further movement of the chain 40 to move the tracks 41 with their molds thereon to Station 4C where further cooling takes place. The tracks 41 at Station 4C are now in alignment with tracks for the return of the molds and their transport plates toward the molding machine over a return path of travel. Each time a pourer advances to the pouring area at Station 4A, his carrier actuates a directionally sensitive limit switch on the overhead rail to cause the rear cylinder solenoid to operate and unload the molds from the transfer tracks at Station 4C, placing them to the disassembling shifting area or Station 5 and at the same time moving the group at the shifters station No. 5 to the dumping Station 6 clearing the tracks for another group of molds. This mechanism consists of a cylinder 50 (see FIG. 9) having a cable 51 therein attached to a piston and extending about a pulley 52 to a carriage designated generally 53 which has an arm 54 (see FIG. 8) extending into the path of travel of the molds to engage the transport plate 20 of the trailing mold of the group. When the cylinder 50 is actuated by a fluid pressure on the piston, the group of molds will be moved from Station 4C to Station 5 after which the piston is actuated in the opposite direction so as to return the arm 54 to engage a subsequent group after it is moved into place.
Station 5 Station 5 is substantially a duplicate of Station 3 and at this station the shells or casings are removed from the molds of the group and transferred to the molds at Station 3 which are advancing to the pouring station which is at location 37 just across the platform 35. This station may be manually operated or mechanically operated as above explained. The molds after being stopped for the transfer of the shells as above mentioned are then advanced by the mechanism which pushed them from Station 4C to Station 5 to a dumping station.
Station 6 In Station 6 the tracks 61 (see FIGS. 6 and 7) are connected together by a cross bar 62 so that both act as a single unit being pivoted as at 63 on the framework of the apparatus. A fluid cylinder 64 has its piston rod 65 connected to a clevis 66 secured to a location of the track unit opposite from the pivot 63 so that when actuated, the tracks 61 at the dumping station, will move from the horizontal position shown in full lines in FIG. 7 to the elevated inclined position shown at dotted lines. The transport plate 20 will be retained on the tracks by reason of the flanges of the rollers, the mold sand and the articles cast therein being dumped onto the oscillating conveyor 14 which serves to vibrate the cast articles freeing the sand therefrom and also serves as a means for conveying the sand and the cast articles to some other location where they will be subsequently acted upon. After the sand is dumped from the transport plates, the fluid cylinder 64 has its piston actuated in the other direction to drop the tracks back into horizontal position as shown in full lines in FIGS. 6 and 7 and at the subsequent step of shifting the molds from Station 4C to Station 5, these plates will then be moved to a stacking Station 7 for movement into the mold machine. The cylinder 64 is actuated for dumping the molds onto the vibrating conveyor by the movement of cylinder 34 to the end of its stroke and cylinder 64 is released to normal position when cylinder 34 returns. It will be apparent that when the transport plates in the dumping station return to their horizontal position, they will be shifted by the cylinder 51, as additional groups are moved into the dumping area, to the plate stacking Station 7 and thence by timed actuation moved back into the molding machine.
Station 7 in FIG. llll the plates 20 are being moved from the tracks 70 just beyond the dumping station onto spaced arms 711 until the eight transport plates of the group are assembled in this position. As the plates are thus gathered in the groupsof eight, a conveyor chain 72 with a movable platform 73 thereon is operated to pick up the group of eight transport plates lifting them from the arm 71 where they are stacked by reason of its passing between these arms and moving them to a height for entrance into the automatic molding machine 110. When this group of eight transport plates 20) arrive at a position for entrance into the automatic molding machine, a pusher 15 engages this group of plates moving them laterally from the platform 73 into the automatic molding machine for use in making additional molds of sand on each of the transport plates. The platforms 73 are actuated through suitable gears and arrangement designated generally 74 from a motor 75 which actuates the platforms and conveyor at the desired time interval for its operation.
SEQUENCE OF OPERATIONS Starting at the molding machine, molds are issued one by one onto the conveyor designated H. The mold is driven or picked up by the driven pulleys which move each of the molds along the conveyor until a group here shown as eight molds is assembled. Upon the assembly of eight molds a switch is tripped which electrically actuates a mechanism for causing the fluid cylinder 34 to have its piston 33 move the group of eight molds from the assembly Station 2 to the shifter's Station 3. The molds are stopped until a subsequent group is assembled, and then when this subsequent unit is moved into the shifter's Station 3, the first assembled unit is pushed to the pouring Station 4 by the mechanism which pushed the molds from the assembly unit to the shifting station, which is the cylinder 34. The weights are lowered onto the molds by actuation of the fluid cylinder 46 and the pourer then manually fills the eight molds of the group and returns to fill his ladle. As he returns to fill his ladle a limit switch on the overhead rail is tripped by the carrier of the ladle which starts a time delay which controls the air cylinder to lift the weights from the mold. As the weights are on their way up, they trip a limit switch which starts the lateral movement of the tracks carrying the molds by actuating the chains Ml. While the above motion is occurring, the front loading cylinder is on its return stroke and when the transfer chain abuts a limit switch it stops transfer rails and this switch starts the forward loading cylinder again on its forward stroke and loads eight more molds onto the lateral transfer mechanism. When the pourer returns another track switch is tripped, and a group of molds at Station 4C are unloaded and at the same time, cylinder 64 is actuated dumping another group ofmolds.
To understand how the above occurs, reference should now be made to H6. 13 which is an elemental wiring diagram illustrating the interconnection of the various control elements. Starting at the top of the diagram, the switch 80 is actuated as the pourer returns to the furnace with his ladle. The closure of this switch actuates a realy 31 which in turn starts a time delay relay 82. After a preset timed interval, the time-delay relay contacts will close, energizing solenoid valve 83 that controls air cylinder 46 in a direction to lift the weights away from the molds. When the frame 44 rocks to the up position as shown in FIG. 3, it trips closed switch 84 which energizes motor 85, that is coupled to the chain 4L0 that moves tracks 41 to the left, as seen in FIG. 3, one position. The positioning is achieved by a limit switch 86 mounted on the frame near Station 43 that disengages contacts 86b controlling the power to motor and also engages contacts 860 that energize two four-way solenoid valves 87 and 88 which respectively actuate the dump area cylinder 64 and the loading cylinder 34. Loading cylinder 34$ pushes a group of eight molds from Station 2 to Station 3 and because of the abutting relationshipmoves the molds on Station 3 onto Station 4 which is now vacant by the movement of the tracks ill. As soon as the molds have moved into Station 4, they trip a position switch 89 which can, for convenience, be located at the end of Station 2 which then deenergizes relay 81 and permits the weights controlled by solenoid valve 83 to descend since relay 82 will have been opened. As the pourer enters the pouring area from the furnace, his carrier actuates a switch that is located on the overhead rail which closes the circuit to solenoid valve 91 that operates the underloader cylinder 50 and transfers the molds from Station 4C to Station 3. At the end of forward movement of this unloader cylinder, switch 92 is engaged thus opening the circuit to the four-way valve and permitting the unloader cylinder 50 to retract to initial position. Pouring can now occur, and as soon as the pourer returns to the furnace for more metal, he will actuate the switch 30 and initiate the cycle described above.
ll. An apparatus for sand molds as produced by a mold machine comprising pairs of spaced straight tracks in generally parallel spaced paths, a plurality of stations including a pouring station along one path for outward movement from the mold machine and a plurality of stations along the other path for movement toward the mold machine, means to simultaneously advance in one direction only said molds in successive steps to different stations along each of said straight paths with the molds in one path moving away from the mold machine and the molds in the other path moving toward the mold machine, said tracks having laterally movable end portions, means for laterally shifting the end portions of one track from its path to the other path at the ends of the paths outwardly from the mold machine and cause the molds that have moved away from the mold machine in one path to travel toward the mold machine in another path.
2. An apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said means for laterally moving a portion of said tracrlts moves said portion in an orbit.
3. An apparatus as in claim ll wherein said tracks are provided with rollers along which said molds may be advanced.
d. An apparatus as in claim 3 wherein some of the rollers are driven.
5. An apparatus as in claim ll wherein said means includes means to assemble said molds into groups and the movement of said molds as a group to subsequent stations.
6. As an adjunct to a molding machine which produces a sand mold on a generally horizontal transfer plate, an apparatus comprising means providing a path of travel for molds outwardly from said machine, a plurality of stations along said path of travel including a casing shifting station and a pouring station, means providing a path of travel for molds inwardly toward said machine, a plurality of stations along said inward path including a casing shifting station, said shifting stations in both paths being in back-to-back adjacency for the shifting of casings from molds having casting therein to molds having vacant cavities, means for moving a transfer plate from an outward path of travel to an inward path of travel, and means to move said plate on said paths.
7. As an adjunct to a sand-molding machine producing a sand mold on a generally horizontal transfer plate, an apparatus comprising means providing a conveyor defining outbound and inbound paths of travel from the machine, a plurality of stations along said paths including a pouring station, a disassembling station along said inbound path to discharge the mold from the transfer plate, means to convey a mold along said paths of travel intermittently from station to station and means at said disassembling station to tilt the transfer plate from horizontal to an inclined position and discharge the mold therefrom and return said transfer plate to horizontal position for further movement along the inbound path of travel.
8. As in claim 7 with a means to vertically stack said transfer plates adjacent said molding machine.
9. As an adjunct to a molding machine which produces a sand mold on a generally horizontal transfer plate, an ap paratus comprising means providing a path of travel for molds outwardly from said machine, a plurality of stations along said path of travel including a casing shifting station, means providing a path of travel for molds inwardly toward said machine, a plurality of stations along said inward path including a casing shifting station, said shifting stations in both paths being in back-to-back adjacency for the shifting of casings from molds having casting therein to molds having vacant cavities, uniformly spaced parallel tracks along both of said paths of travel. flanged rollers on said tracks for guiding molds along said paths. a pouring station at the ends of said paths of travel outward of the machine comprising a plurality of pairs of tracks, each pair being spaced as the said pairs along said to the tracks of said inward path, and conveyor means to move the mold transfer plates outwardly from the machine along said outward path onto said laterally movably mounted tracks, means to laterally shift the last said tracks after completion of work at the pouring station, and means to move the transfer plate inwardly along said inward path and means to vertically stack the transfer plates adjacent said machine.
10. As in claim 9, said conveyor and orbital track shifting means operating automatically in predetermined sequence.