US 3650367 A
A vibratory bowl feeder for cylindrical objects is improved by having an upwardly inclined trough that is uninterrupted and has a generally uniform cross section approximately in the shape of a conic section, preferably that of a parabola or hyperbola. Cylinders that are at least nearly as long as their diameters are accurately jiggled into end-to-end alignment in such trough without any jamming, mis-alignment, or rejection, and a single size trough can accommodate many sizes of cylinders.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Mead 1451 Mar. 21, 1972  VIBRATORY BOWL FEEDER  Inventor: Dennis E. Mead, Cazenovia, N.Y.
 Assignee: Llpe-Rollway Corporation, Liverpool,
 Filed: Feb. 26, 1970 211 Appl. No.: 14,347
 U.S.CI. ..198/33 AA, 198/220 BA, 198/DIG, 12  Int. Cl ..B65g 47/24  Field of Search ..l98/33.1, DIG. 12, 220 BA  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,123,199 3/1964 Easterday et a1. "198/331 3,063,543 11/1962 Schneider ...198/33.1 3,101,831 8/1963 Gaddini ..l ..198/33.l
3,114,448 12/1963 Boris ..l98/33.1
EOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Great Britain ..198/33. 1 France Primary Examiner-Joseph Wegbreit Assistant ExaminerH. S. Lane Attorney-Cumpston, Shaw & Stephens 57 ABSTRACT A vibratory bowl feeder for cylindrical objects is improved by having an upwardly inclined trough that is uninterrupted and has a generally uniform cross section approximatelyin the shape of a conic section, preferably that of a parabola or hyperbola. Cylinders that are at least nearly as long as their diameters are accurately jiggled into end-to-end alignment in such trough without any jamming, mis-alignment, or rejection, and a single size trough can accommodate many sizes of cylinders.
l 1 Claims, 1 1 Drawing Figures Patented March 21, 1972 2 Shets-Sheet l 2 INS I w. 1%. K.
INVENTOR. DENNIS E MEAD W5 v M ATTORNEYS Patented March 21, 1972 3,650,367
2 Sheets-Sheet 2 V IN TOR.
DEN E. MEAD BY M W ATTORNEYS VIBRATORY BOWL FEEDER THE INVENTIVE IMPROVEMENT Vibratory bowl feeders are generally known and ordinarily use a flat, helical, shelflike, inclined ramp winding upward from the bottom of the bowl to a discharge passageway. Obstructions, cutouts and other orienting devices are arranged along the shelf to topple off parts that are improperly oriented and pass only those parts that are properly oriented. Each different part of each sized object requires a changing or adjusting of the obstructions and orienting devices for different parts and is time-consuming and expensive.
The invention involves the recognition of a different shaped pathway up from the bowl bottom for unerringly orienting cylindrical objects such as roller bearings that are at least nearly as long as their diameters. The invention also aims at a more versatile vibratory bowl feeder capable of feeding a wide range of sizes and proportions of cylindrical objects without any changes in the bowl structure. The invention seeks rapid and accurate feeding of cylindrical objects without any jamming or misorientation and with minimum time and expense.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The inventive feeder uses a different shaped pathway leading from the bottom of the vibratory feeder bowl upward to a discharge passageway. The surface forming the pathway is configured generally as an uninterrupted trough gradually shaped up from the bottom of the bowl, and having a generally uniform cross section above its lower end. The bottom of the trough surface is curved in cross section on a relatively small radius, and regions of the trough surface above the trough bottom are curved in cross section on increasingly larger radii with the top regions of the trough surface being curved to approach plane surfaces.
DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partially schematic, partially cutaway, perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the inventive feeder;
FIGS. 2 4 are enlarged, cross-sectional views of alternative shapes of pathway troughs for the inventive feeder;
FIG. 5 is a partially schematic, perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of the inventive feeder; and
FIGS. 6 '11 are fragmentary, perspective views of trough sections showing orientation of cylindrical objects in the inventive feeder.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION As shown in FIG. I, vibratory bowl feeder 10 is vibrated by motor 11 in a generally-known way for feeding generally cylindrical objects 12. The bottom 13 of how] 10 is shaped to contain a quantity of generally cylindrical objects 12 in random orientation, and a pathway 14 inclines upward from bottom 13 for feeding objects 12. The entryway 15 to pathway 14 converges with bowl bottom 13, and pathway 14 is gradually shaped up radially outward of wall 16 as pathway 14 rises from bowl bottom 13. Wall 16 gradually rises to a sufficient height to establish a cross-sectional shape for pathway 14 that is maintained throughout the rest of its helical path to discharge region 16. Also, the rise of the trough is steeper near the bottom of the bowl, and gradually decreases in steepness as it rises toward the top until the trough becomes level at approximately one-half turn from the discharge region. From this point onward for the last half-turn the trough is slightly downhill toward the discharge region. The downward slope of the trough tends to separate cylinders approaching the discharge region to provide sufficient room for any reorienting of cylinders and to ensure that any clumps or bunches of cylinders are settled into a single tile movement toward the discharge region.
Pathway 14 need not be helical as indicated, and need not wind approximately I and one-quarter turns around bowl 10 as illustrated. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, pathway 48 can lead straight out of a bowl or hopper 43 containing cylindrical objects 12 in random orientation and vibrated by vibrator 44. Furthermore, pathway 14 can lead straight out of circular bowl 10 in a linear path, or can wind around bowl 10 a fraction of a turn or several complete turns. Generally a helical configuration is preferred for compactness, but under some circumstances a linear path is better.
Bowl 10 can be in many sizes and formed of many materials and is preferably a relatively simple casting as illustrated. Pathway 14 is preferably uninterrupted and generally unencumbered with obstructions or cutouts, because its cross-sectional shape allows it to orient cylindrical objects unerringly and to accommodate many sizes of cylinders.
At discharge region 16, bushing 17 is arranged to extend vertically downward from pathway 14 to form a discharge passageway and orientation retainer for objects 12. Relatively short objects of approximately the same axial length as their diameter will tip downward into bushing 17 and drop vertically from bowl 10 to a discharge passageway for delivery. A guide 19 is arranged beyond discharge bushing 17 to divert any objects passing over bushing 17. A side wall of pathway 14 is cut away at discharge region 16 to form an escape opening 18 to allow objects 12 to escape sideways from pathway 14 if the discharge passageway is blocked.
An alternative guide 20 is shown in exploded orientation over guide 19 to provide a substitute discharge passageway for objects that are longer axially relative to their diameter. When guide 20 is secured in the place of guide 19 on bowl 10, it disposes a horizontally oriented bushing 21 in alignment with pathway 14 for horizontal discharge of objects 12.
A vertical discharge bushing 45 is arranged just beyond the end of the linear trough 48 of FIG. 4 for vertically discharging cylinders from the end of trough 48. An open space at the end of the trough 48 over bushing 45 allows for overflow if bushing 45 is blocked. Alternatively, horizontal discharge bushing 46 is spaced from the end of trough 48 for horizontal discharge of longer cylinders. Discharge bushings 45 and 46 are preferably interchangeable and are not used together as illustrated.
The preferred, curved cross-sectional shape of pathway 14 is best illustrated in FIGS. 2 4. The surface forming pathway 14 is generally curved and trough-shaped, and as illustrated in FIG. 2, the bottom 22 of pathway 14 is curved on a relatively small radius of curvature. As the surface of pathway 14 rises above bottom 22 to side regions 23, the radius of curvature becomes increasingly larger, and the curvature of the top regions 24 of pathway 14 approaches plane surfaces 25 represented by broken lines. As so constructed, the surface of pathway 14 is approximately parabolic with plane surfaces 25 approximately tangent to the trough at upper regions 24 having an acute angle between them.
The cross-sectional shape shown in FIG. 3 for pathway 14 is truly parabolic with a bottom 26 curved on a relatively small radius, sides 27 curving on increasingly larger radii and tops 28 curving to approach plane surfaces 29 that are vertical and parallel.
FIG. 4 shows an alternative trough in the general shape of a hyperbola with a bottom 30 curved on a small radius and side regions 31 curved on increasingly larger radii to approach perpendicular plane surfaces 33 at top regions 32. 1
The inventive curved cross-sectional trough shape acc0m modates many diameters and lengths of cylinders without any change in bowl l0, and it accepts and advances only properly oriented cylinders. This is best illustrated in FIGS. 6 11. A cylinder 12 standing upright in trough 14 as illustrated in FIG. 6 has only two-point contact with the trough surface at 47 and 48 and has sufficient clearance under it so that vibration quickly and easily topples it into proper orientation with the trough. A cylinder 12 oriented crosswise of pathway 14 as shown in FIG. 7 has only two points of contact with the curved surface of the trough at 49 and 50 and is quickly toppled or jiggled into proper orientation. A cylinder 12 obliquely transverse to trough 14, as illustrated in FIG. 8, has three points of contact with the trough surface at 51, 52 and 53, but is unsta' ble and has sufficient clearance so that it too is quickly toppled or jiggled into proper orientation.
Proper orientation of cylinders 12 in the inventive trough is illustrated in FIGS. 9 l1. Cylinder 12 in trough 14 as illustrated in FIG. 9, has linear contact with trough surface 14 along two lines 54 and 55 on the surface of cylinder 12 parallel with its axis. Some clearance exists between the bottom of trough 14 and cylinder 12 in FIG. 9, but cylinder 12 is stable in this orientation. A smaller diameter cylinder 12 in trough 14 as illustrated in FIG. 10 has a stable contact with the trough surface along a single line 56 on the surface of cylinder 12 parallel with its axis. In curved trough 14 as illustrated in FIG. 11, a properly oriented cylinder 12 has stable, three-point contact with the trough surface at points 57, 58 and 59. The proper cylinder orientations of FIGS. 9 11 are such that cylinders precede in end-to-end alignment to the discharge region.
Persons wishing to practice the invention should remember that other embodiments and variations can be adapted to particular circumstances. Even though one point of view is necessarily chosen in describing and defining the invention this should not inhibit broader of related embodiments going beyond the semantic orientation of this application but falling within the spirit of the invention. For example, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the inventive trough shape can be used in many circumstances for feeding a variety of generally cylindrical objects, and they will understand the adaptations necessary to fit the inventive principles to different circumstances.
I claim: 7
1. In a vibratory feeder having a bowl for objects to be fed and means for vibrating said bowl, an improvement facilitating the feeding of generally cylindrical objects having an axial length approximately the same as their diameter, said improvement comprising:
a. a pathway beginning in the bottom region of said bowl and leading in a helix around the perimeter of said bowl to an upper region;
b. a discharge passageway in the region of the upper end of said pathway;
c. the surface forming said pathway being configured generally as an uninterrupted trough continuously walled on each side and shaped up from said bottom region of said bowl and having a generally uniform cross section above said bottom region of said bowl;
d. the bottom of said trough surface being curved in said cross section on a relatively small radius;
e. regions of said trough surface above said trough bottom being curved in said cross section on increasingly larger radii;
f. the top regions of said trough surface being curved to approach plane surfaces; and said trough surface is dimensioned relative to said objects so said objects have a stable, three point contact with said trough surface only when oriented in axial alignment with said trough, and said objects have an unstable contact with said trough surface in any orientation other than said axial alignment with said trough.
2. The feeder of claim 1 wherein said plane surfaces are disposed at an acute angle to each other.
3. The feeder of claim 1 wherein said plane surfaces are vertical and parallel.
4. The feeder of claim 1 wherein said plane surfaces are approximately perpendicular.
5. The feeder of claim 1 wherein said cross section of said trough surface is approximately parabolic in shape.
6. The feeder of claim 1 wherein said cross section of said trough surface is approximately hyperbolic in shape.
7. The feeder of claim 1 wherein said cross section of said trough surface is approximately a conic section in said bottom region and is approximately straight in said top regions.
8. The feeder of claim 1 wherein one side wall of said trough is cut awa at said upper end of said pathway.
9. The eeder of claim 1 wherein said discharge passageway comprises a horizontally oriented bushing aligned with said pathway.
10. The feeder of claim 1 wherein said discharge assageway comprises a vertically oriented bushing communicating with said pathway.
11. The feeder of claim 10 including a diverting guide across said pathway beyond said bushing.