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Publication numberUS3667590 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 6, 1972
Filing dateJan 2, 1970
Priority dateJan 2, 1970
Also published asDE2064584A1
Publication numberUS 3667590 A, US 3667590A, US-A-3667590, US3667590 A, US3667590A
InventorsDennis E Mead
Original AssigneeDennis E Mead
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vibratory pile feeder
US 3667590 A
Abstract
A feeder for objects uses a vibratory element bearing a pile material having parallel bristles inclined in the direction of feed. The tips of the bristles engage and resiliently support objects to be fed, and the inclination of the bristles establishes the direction of feed as the element is vibrated.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Mead 1 June 6, 1972 s41 VIBRATORY PILE FEEDER FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [72] Inventor: Dennis E. Mead, Cazenovia, NY. 13035 78,294 [0/ 1954 Denmark ..46/ 1 C Filed: Jan- 2 1970 434,797 8/1935 Great Britain ..46/1 C [21] Appl. No.: 273 Primary Examiner-Even C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-H. S. Lane Attorney-Cumpston, Shaw & Stephens [52] US. Cl. 198/220 BA [51] Int. Cl ..B65g 27/00 57 ABSTRACT [58] Field of Search ..198/220 BA, 220 BC; 46/1 C A feeder for objects uses a vibratory element bearing a pile [56] References cited material having parallel bristles inclined in the direction of feed. The tips of the bristles engage and resiliently support ob- UNlTED STATES PATENTS jects to be fed, and the inclination of the bristles establishes the direction of feed as the element is vibrated. 1,601,247 9/1926 Garbarini ..46/1 C 2,256,700 9/1941 Armstrong 198/220 B 3 Claim, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUH 1912 3. 667, 590

FIG. 3

FIG-

FIG. I!

DENNIS E- MEAD INVENTOR FIG. 10

AT TORNEYS VIBRATORY PILE FEEDER THE IMPROVEMENT EFFEC'I'ED Increasing automation requires almost limitless feeding, conveying, moving, orienting, and handling of a variety of objects and parts. Many suggestions have been made for equipment to accomplish the necessary functions, but such equipment has generally been complex and expensive, and has fallen far short of the ideal. The present invention seeks a simple, economical, reliable, and efficient feeder that is versatile in handling a variety of objects and accomplishing many motions and functions and is also easy to maintain, not likely to damage objects being fed, or cause jamming or blocking.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention uses a vibratory element extending in the direction of feed, and the element carries a pile material having generally parallel, resilient bristles that are dense enough and strong enough so their tips support objects to be fed. The bristles are inclined toward the direction of feed so that objects proceed in the feed directions as the element is vibrated. Drawings:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary and partially schematic perspecu've view of a feeder according to the invention;

FIGS. 2 4 are partial, fragmentary views of difierent pile configurations for the inventive feeder;

FIGS. 5 7 are schematic, fragmentary, elevational views of alternative arrangements according to the invention;

FIGS. 8- l l are enlarged, fragmentary, elevational views of alternative pile arrangements for the inventive feeder.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION:

As shown in FIG. 1, a simplified, schematic feeder 10 includes an element 11 extending in the direction of feed indicated by the arrow and a vibrator or motor 12 for vibrating element 11. A pile material including a backing material 13 and pile bristles 14 is secured to element 11 to support and feed objects 15 carried along on the tips of bristles 14. Bristles 14 are inclined as illustrated toward the direction of feed as represented by the arrow so that objects 15 proceed in the direction of the arrow as element 1 1 is vibrated.

Bristles 14 are somewhat resilient and yield slightly under the weight of objects 15. The inclination of bristles 14 toward the direction of feed gives them a grain or direction resisting any motion of objects 15 against the grain and encouraging the motion of objects 15 in the direction of feed. Bristles l4 brace in one direction and bend or yield in the other direction; they present a dense array of braced bristle tips resisting movement of objects 15 against the direction of feed and bending or yielding tips encouraging motion of objects 15 in the direction of feed. This produces steady and rapid motion of objects 15 in the direction of inclination of bristles 14 as indicated by the arrow when element 1 l is vibrated.

Vibratory element 11 can form a part of many object feeding and orienting devices such as part feeders, conveyors, and devices for sorting, turning, aligning, rotating, tumbling, elevating, lowering, orienting, switching, mixing, dispersing, grouping or feeding objects or parts. As such, element 11 can have innumerable shapes including plane, troughed tubular, sloped and many others.

Vibrator motor 12 can be any of a number of vibratory devices. It is preferably electrically driven, and several suitable vibrators have already been suggested. The amplitude and frequency of vibrator 12 is preferably adjusted to specific feeding operations, and the power requirements for vibrator 12 are determined by the volume and mass of objects 15 to be fed and the particular feeding operation to be performed.

Vibrator 12 can be operated in many different vibratory modes to accomplish feeding of objects 15 within the spirit of the invention. The vibrator motion applied to element 11 by vibrator 12 can be linearly reciprocal, circular, elliptical, square, symmetrical, or asymmetrical. The motion of element 11 can be faster in one direction than in another, or otherwise adjusted to specific feeding functions.

The motion applied to element 11 by vibrator 12 can be in many different planes, or can be a motion that is not confined to a single plane. Vibration in a vertical plane works quite well, and the plane of vibration can be satisfactorily inclined anywhere from vertical to horizontal, preferably in the quadrant including or similar to the inclination angle of bristles 14. The least satisfactory vibrational modes are those that are perpendicular to the inclination angle of bristles 14 either transverse to the direction of feed or in the plane of the direction of feed. Depending upon the feeding function desired, it is possible to select a vibratory mode having components or vectors extending in the proper direction to get the desired feed of objects 15.

Backing 13 supporting bristles 14 can be formed in several ways of many materials. Backing 13 can be a woven fabric material into which bristles 14 are woven, but backing 13 could also be a variety of sheet or slab materials, and bristles 14 can be secured to backing 13 in many generally known ways. For example, bristles 14 can be molded into an elastomeric material so that they are resiliently supported by such material. Bristles can also be molded into or otherwise supported by a rigid backing material 13.

File bristles 14 can also be formed of many materials, bristles 14 are preferably formed of a synthetic, monofrlament resin material such as nylon, but many different resins and other materials are suitable for pile 14, including organic filaments and metallic wire. The optimum material for bristles 14 depends in part on the size, weight, shape and material of the objects 15 to be fed. Also, friction, resilience, wear and the vibratory motion desired are considered.

Bristles 14 are sufficiently dense and strong to support the intended objects 15 on the tips of the bristles without the objects l5 crushing or sinking into bristles l4 deeply enough to bend bristles 14 downward and engage the side surfaces of bristles 14 rather than the tips. The stiffness and strength of bristles 14 is related to their density and/or length in detennining what objects 15 can be supported on the bristle tips. Bristles 14 are also resilient relative to objects 15 so they yield slightly under the weight of objects 15.

Bristles 14 are preferably of uniform length or arranged so their tips lie in a common curved or plane surface. Bristles 14 are preferably of uniform thickness throughout their length but they can taper toward tips so long as the tips are capable of supporting objects 15. The tips of bristles 14 can be either sharp or blunt, and are preferably formed by a cutting operation. Thus tips 16 of bristles 14 of FIG. 9 are square-cut to form a multitude of tip surfaces inclined toward the direction of feed. Tips 17 of bristles 14 of FIG. 10 are cut ofi in the plane of the surface common to the bristle tips to present a multitude of flat-topped tips 17 co-planar with the surface of the pile material and the direction of feed. The tips 18 of bristles 14 of FIG. 11 are cut obliquely to form sharpened points aimed in the direction of feed to afford many fine points resisting rearward motion of objects 15 and yielding inclines to encourage the advancement of objects 15 in the direction of the arrow.

The inclination of bristles 14 is in the direction of intended feed of objects 15. For a horizontal direction of feed such as illustrated in FIG. 1, bristles 14 are inclined from the vertical toward the direction of feed. Hence, for an inclined uphill direction of feed, bristles 14 could be vertical. The angle of bristle inclination varies with the particular feeding function and the vibratory mode. Vibration motions having strong components in the direction of feed tend to require less bristle inclination. Also, the direction of feed need not be linear as illustrated, but can be curved, circular, zig-zag, or have any other desired path. Several directions of feed can be used in a single feeding device with the inclination of bristles 14 relative to changing directions of feed adjusted locally along the feed path.

Objects 15 can be anything that can be supported by bristles 14 for feeding. Objects 15 must not be so small as to drop between bristles 14, or so heavy as to crush bristles 14 down to the point that the object carmot be fed. Otherwise, innumerable parts, objects and materials can be fed without damage or obstruction according to the invention.

Some of the possible alternatives in the inventive feeder are illustrated in FIGS. 2 8. FIG. 2 shows a feeder surface divided into three regions 20 22 with bristles l4 inclined in region 20 for feeding objects in the direction of the arrow. Side regions 21 and 22 have respective bristles 23 and 24 inclined toward region 20 so that objects straying to the side from region 20 are directed back onto region 20 by bristles 23 or 24. The boundaries between regions 20-22 can be shaped for turning, steering or orienting objects fed along the main direction of feed. The material fon'ning regions 20 22 can be of three separate pieces joined together, or a single integral piece with bristles 14, 23 and 24 set at the desired respective angles. The device of FIG. 2 is effective as a conveyor path with regions 21 and 22 serving as side rails keeping objects on the path.

FIG. 3 shows a feeding device having a feeding surface 25 formed as a shallow trough made by cutting bristles 26 at different heights so that their tips all lie in the curved surface 25. Longer bristles 26 are arranged along the edge of the device and shorter bristles along the center so gravity tends to channel objects along the central path of surface 25 so they will not spill over the side edges.

FIG. 4 shows a feeding device having a trough-shaped feed surface 27 formed by cupping pile material 28 into a trough so bristles 29 which are of uniform length have all their tips lying in the curved surface 27. This feeder has a similar troughing effect to the feeder of FIG. 3.

Pile material 30 of the device of FIG. is formed into a cylindrical tube with bristles 31 inclined upward above the horizontal so that a cylindrical object 32 is fed vertically through the tube as the tube is vibrated. Such tubing with bristles 31 inclining into its interior can be used as a vibratory pipe for pumping objects 32 along any desired feed path. I

Pile material 33 of FIG. 6 has relatively short, stiff bristles 34 inclined to the right and supporting object 35 on their tips for motion to the right as indicated by the arrow. Relatively weaker and longer bristles 36 are interspersed with bristles 34 and inclined to the left to support lightweight objects 37 on their tips for motion to the left as indicated by the arrow. Object 37 is light enough so it does not sink down through bristles 36 and engage the tips of stiffer bristles 34 below. Hence, vibration of pile material 33 carries light object 37 to the left, and heavier object 35 compresses and sinks through light bristles 36 and rests on the tips of stiff bristles 34 to be moved to the right under the influence of bristles 34. Thus, pile material 33 serves as a separator or switch diverting one class of objects in one direction and another class in another direction.

Pile material 38 of FIG. 7 has a porous base material 39 arranged over a container 30 into which fluid is pumped to be forced up through base 39 and between bristles 41 of pile material 38. The fluid from container 40 can act as a cleaner, polisher, coating or painting material or serve any other purpose desired. Object 42in passing over pile material 38 can be coated with fluid from contain er 40.

The pile material illustrated in FIG. 8 is also a fluid transmitting material. A base material 43 is pierced by hollow bristles 44 that extend down below base 43 into a sponge material 45 or a fluid reservoir. Fluid forced up into sponge material 45 travels up through the hollows in bristles 44 to transmit fluid upward to the tips of bristles 44 where it is coated on or directed against an object being fed across the tips.

Many other arrangements are possible for transmitting fluid through a pile material to coat or clean an object being fed.

Also, such a fluid can function to clean the pile itself by constantly flushing the bristles. Both objects and pile could be cleaned by the same fluid. Also, if no fluid is used, the inventive pile material inherently brushes, wipes, or cleans objects passing over it. The illustrated variations are only a few of the possibilities available within the basic vibratory pile feeder concept. j

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 or related embodiments going beyond the semantic orientation of this application but falling within the spirit of the invention. For example, many materials, configurations and variations of the invention can be used, and many particular feeding situations can be met with variations in the basic idea.

I claim:

1. A vibratory feeder comprising:

a. an element extending in the direction of feed;

b. means for vibrating said element;

c. pile material carried on said element;

d. said pile material having generally parallel bristles;

c. said bristles being dense enough and strong enough so that the tips of said bristles support objects to be fed;

f. said bristles being resilient relative to said objects to be fed;

g. said bristles being inclined toward said direction of feed;

h. said pile material including other generally parallel bristles having an inclination different from said direction of feed;

i. said other bristles being interspersed with said feeding bristles inclined in said direction of feed, and said other bristles are taller and less stiff than said feeding bristles so said other bristles establish another direction of feed for lighter objects supported on the tips of said feeding bristles proceeding in said direction of feed.

2. A vibratory feeder comprising:

a. an element extending in the direction of feed;

b. means for vibrating said element;

c. pile material carried on said element;

d. said pile material having generally parallel bristles;

e. said bristles being dense enough and strong enough so the tips of said bristles support objects to be fed;

f. said bristles being resilient relative to said objects to be fed;

g. said bristles being inclined toward said direction of feed;

h. said pile material including a porous fabric backing; and

i. fluid dispersing means for sending fluids to said fabric backing material and into the region of said bristles.

3. A vibratory feeder comprising:

a. an element extending in the direction of feed;

b. means for vibrating said element;

c. pile material carried on said element;

d. said pile material having generally parallel bristles;

e. said bristles being dense enough and strong enough so the tips of said bristles support objects to be fed;

f. said bristles being resilient relative to said objects to be fed;

g. said bristles being inclined toward said direction of feed;

h. said pile material including a backing material;

i. said bristles being hollow and extending through said backing material; and

j. fluid dispersing means arranged for sending fluid through said hollow bristles.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1601247 *Jul 13, 1923Sep 28, 1926Andre GarbariniApparatus for the production and maintenance and utilization of vibratory motion
US2256700 *Apr 24, 1939Sep 23, 1941Armstrong James AMethod and apparatus for cleaning fruit
DK78294A * Title not available
GB434797A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3754638 *Apr 27, 1972Aug 28, 1973Lipe Rollway CorpConveyor junction
US3835983 *Nov 12, 1971Sep 17, 1974Maki Mfg Co LtdMethod and apparatus for conveyance of goods by vibrating plates
US3841471 *Nov 9, 1972Oct 15, 1974Lipe Rollway CorpFeeder and orienter
US3929221 *Apr 11, 1974Dec 30, 1975Lipe Rollway CorpPaper sheet conveyor
US3964601 *Jul 18, 1975Jun 22, 1976Lipe-Rollway CorporationPositive flow vibratory feeder
US3995733 *Dec 7, 1972Dec 7, 1976Lipe-Rollway CorporationVibratory pile conveyor system
US4050572 *Aug 4, 1975Sep 27, 1977Lipe-Rollway CorporationAccumulator and feeder
US4444303 *Oct 9, 1981Apr 24, 1984Burgess Jr Warren CVibratory feeding work station module and system
US4844236 *Mar 11, 1988Jul 4, 1989General Kinematics CorporationInclined vibratory conveyor
US4944381 *Sep 5, 1989Jul 31, 1990Fmc CorporationMulti-directional vibratory conveyor
US5077099 *Mar 14, 1990Dec 31, 1991Macdermid, IncorporatedElectroless copper plating process and apparatus
US5301791 *Oct 7, 1992Apr 12, 1994Lipe-Rollway Automation Equipment Div. Of Lipe-Rollway Corp.Vibratory pile conveyor system
US5467975 *Sep 30, 1994Nov 21, 1995Xerox CorporationApparatus and method for moving a substrate
US5575378 *Dec 6, 1994Nov 19, 1996British Nuclear Fuels PlcTransfer method and apparatus therefor
US6116409 *Feb 19, 1998Sep 12, 2000Eastman Kodak CompanyConveyor for uniformly distributing parts
US7399383Jul 14, 2006Jul 15, 2008Roboshop, Inc.Vibratory conveyor with non-biased oscillation
EP0704397A1 *Sep 29, 1995Apr 3, 1996Xerox CorporationApparatus and method for moving a substrate
EP1460005A1 *Mar 11, 2004Sep 22, 2004Petek DusanRotational vibrational drive
WO2013026867A1 *Aug 22, 2012Feb 28, 2013SSI Schäfer Noell GmbH Lager- und SystemtechnikBrush belt conveyor
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/348, 118/425, 198/771, 198/753, 118/242, 118/401
International ClassificationB65G27/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65G2812/0396, B65G27/00
European ClassificationB65G27/00