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Publication numberUS3677116 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1972
Filing dateAug 5, 1970
Priority dateAug 5, 1970
Publication numberUS 3677116 A, US 3677116A, US-A-3677116, US3677116 A, US3677116A
InventorsBerg Quentin, Kendall Jerry A
Original AssigneeBerg Electronics Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Blanking device for ribbon cable
US 3677116 A
Abstract
Apparatus and method for removing spacer material from between conductors in a ribbon cable. The spacer material is removed without injuring the conductors despite a cumulative spacing tolerance between the conductors. The apparatus successively feeds each conductor regardless of its position in the cable to a known location adjacent a punch and die so that the spacer material is removed without injuring the conductors.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Berg et al. [4 1 July 18, 1972 BLANKING DEVICE FOR RIBBON R f n Cit CABLE, UNITED STATES PATEN'I'S [72] Inventors: Quentin Berg, New Cumberland, Pa.; 2,521,688 9/1950 Cataldo et al... ..8l/9.5l X Jerry A. Kendall, Garland, Tex. 3,194,098 7/1965 Kimball et a]... ..83/278 X 2,872,979 2/1959 Schultz etal ..83/278 X [731 Asslgnw :"8 Elm Inc-1 New Cumberland 1,686,232 10/1928 Greenbaum etal ..83/278 x Primary Examiner-James M. Meister [22] Filed. Aug. 5, 1970 Attorney ,rhomas Hooker [21] Appl. No.2 61,330

[ ABSTRACT I [52] U.S.Cl. ..83/55,8l/9.5, 83/205, pp r n meth f r r m ving sp er material from 33 247 3 273 3 232 33 409 3 4 5 between conductors in a ribbon cable. The spacer material is [5 I 1 Int Cl. B26 1/44 removed without injuring the conductors despite a cumulative [58 1 Field of Search ..83/50, 55, 205, 247, 277, 278, spacing defame between The aPParms cessively feeds each conductor regardless of its position in the cable to a known location adjacent a punch and die so that the spacer material is removed without injuring the conductors.

23 Claim, 16 Drawing Figures PATENTED Jun 8 I972 derrq A. Ken Thomas Hooker,

SHEET 5 OF 5 Their Attorney BLANKING DEVICE FOR RIBBON CABLE A ribbon cable is a flexible flat strip made up of a number of spaced conductors which run the length of the cable. Frequently the spacing between conductors in the cable includes a large cumulative tolerance so that it is not possible to locate accurately a given conductor in the cable.

It is sometimes desirable to remove insulation material from between conductors in a ribbon cable as a preliminary step to securing terminals to the conductors. The insulation may be removed by a punch and die blanking operation. It is not possible to index the cable past the punch and die by increments equal to the nominal spacing between the conductors in the cable because of the large cumulative tolerance in the conductor spacing. If the cable were indexed in this way the tolerance between the conductors, which in some instances may be nearly 16 percent, would mean that the actual spacing between conductors in the cable would be so different from the nominal spacing that a conductor would invariably be positioned between the punch and die. Blanking would injure or sever the conductor. If a conductor were severed the entire ribbon cable would have to be discarded.

The invention relates to an improved blanking device for ribbon cable wherein the cable is incrementally fed toward the blanking tools so that with each feed the spacer material between two conductors is accurately located in the blanking zone. In this way the spacing material only is removed, despite large cumulative spacing tolerances between conductors in the cable. With the disclosed blanking device it is possible to blank insulating material from ribbon cables rapidly and accurately without injuring the conductors.

The indexing or feeding of the ribbon cable toward the punch and die is performed by a feed finger having a sharp cable-engaging edge. During the feed stroke the edge'engages a conductor in the cable and moves the conductor to a position immediately adjacent the punch and die. After the cable is fed the plate carries punch and die close to blank the spacing material from between the fed conductor and the next adjacent downstream conductor. Because the feed finger accurately positions the conductor relative to the punch and die, the spacing material is blanked or removed from the cable without injuring either of the adjacent conductors.

After blanking, the feed finger is retracted upstream without moving the cable so that the engaging edge of the finger is moved past the next adjacent upstream conductor a distance greater than the maximum spacing tolerance between conductors. After the finger is retracted, it is again extended toward the punch and die. As it is extended the conductor engaging edge first moves relative to the cable to engage the next upstream conductor and then, after engagement with the conductor, moves the conductor and the cable downstream to position the conductor accurately adjacent the punch and die. The spacing material between the next upstream conductor and the adjacent downstream conductor is then accurately located for removal from the cable without injury to the two adjacent conductors.

Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds, especially when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings illustrating the invention, of which there are five sheets.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a blanking device for ribbon cable;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are perspective views of an end of a ribbon cable before and after blanking operation;

FIG. 4 includes two transverse sections of ribbon cables illustrating the variation in spacing between conductors in the cables;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the blanking device;

FIG. 6 is a top elevational view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 5;

FIGS. 8 through 14 are sectional views taken generally along line 88 of FIG. 6 and illustrating the cycle of operation of the blanking device;

FIG. 15 is a schematic drawing of the electrical circuitry of the blanking device; and

FIG. 16 is a schematic drawing of the pneumatic circuitry.

Blanking device or apparatus 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 includes a fixed base 12 with a longitudinally extending bar 14 mounted thereon. A ribbon cable carrier 16 is slideably mounted on bar 14 topermit movement in the direction of arrow 18 during operation of the apparatus. Ribbon cable 20 is held in carrier 16. A feed assembly 22, which is best illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, includes feed finger which engages the cable 20 and moves it and carrier 16 along bar 14.

Plate 26 is mounted on posts 28 above base 12 and bar 14. The plateecarries a punch assembly 30 which is located immediately above a die opening 32 in bar 14. This relationship is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 7. Post 34 on the top of plate 26 is secured to conventional means for moving the plate from the rest position illustrated in FIG. 5 toward and then away from bar 14. The plate 26 may be moved toward and away from the bar by a conventional punch press, an air cylinder or other means.

The ribbon cable 20 may be of the type marketed by Spectra-Strip Wire and Cable Corporation of Garden Grove, California, under the trademark Spectra-Strip. Such a cable, illustrated in FIG. 4, includes a number of parallel insulated conductors 36. Each of the conductors in the cable is separated from adjacent conductors by a pair of cylindrical plastic spacers 38. The spacers and conductors are joined together by solvent-formed joints 40 as illustrated in FIG. 4. Apparatus 10 punches portions of spacers 38 from an end of the cable without severing the adjacent conductors. The punched cable is illustrated in FIG. 3.

Because of the nature of strip cable 20 it is difficult to locate accurately the position of a given conductor 36 in the cable. This is because the spacing tolerance between conductors is large and cumulative. For instance, in the cable illustrated in FIG. 4 the center to center spacing between each conductor 36 is 0.125 1 0.007 inches. Because spacing tolerance between the conductors is cumulative across the width of the cable the spacing between, say, the first and fifth conductor is 0.500 35 0.028 inches. The ribbon cable 20 may include as many as 22 conductors so that the spacing tolerance between the first and last conductor is i 0.147 inches. This tolerance is greater than the nominal spacing between adjacent conductors.

Because of the spacing tolerances inherent in cable 20 it is not possible during blanking of the spacers to index the cable past a blanking punch in successive steps with each step equal to exactly 0.125 inches, the nominal spacing between adjacent conductors. This type of indexing does not account for the i 0.007 inch or 5.6 percent spacing tolerance between the conductors. If 0.125 inch spacing were used, after the cable had been indexed a few times, the actual location of the conductors will be sufficiently different from the nominal location that the blanking operation would in all probability sever the conductor insulation 42 and the wire 44 in the conductors.

FIG. 4 illustrates the spacing problem encountered in strip cable 20. In cable 45 the spacing between conductors is exactly the nominal 0.125 inch spacing. Line 46 indicates location of the conductor center lines. In the illustrated cable 47 the spacing between the first and second, second and third, and third and fourth conductors is 0.125 minus 0.007 or 0.1 18 inches. The spacing between the fourth and fifth conductors is 0.125 plus 0.007 inches or 0.132 inches. Line 48 indicates the actual locations of the center lines in cable 47. Because of the variation in spacing of the conductors 36 across the width of cable 47, the center of the fourth conductor is located at 0.021 inches to the left of the nominal location. A comparison between lines 46 and 48 shows the variation in actual location of the conductors in comparison to the nominal location of the conductors.

Returning now to apparatus 10, the cable carrier 16 includes a pair of slide rails 50 which are mounted between bar 14 and guides 51. The rails are joined together by bars 52. The

rails are closely fitted relative to bar 14, base 12 and guides 51 so that the carrier slides freely in either direction along bar 14. The space between joining bars 52 is open so as to expose the upper surface of bar 14.

A pair of cable clamps 54 and 56 are provided on carrier 16 to either side of bar 14. When the clamps are open the end of cable 20 to be blanked is positioned on the top of the rails 50 so that it extends across bar 14. The ends of the conductors 36 and spacers 38 abut a stop 58 on top of one rail 50 with the remainder of the cable extending from the front of apparatus as shown in FIG. With the cable so positioned clamp 54 is closed by releasing handle 60 so that a spring, not shown, biases the end 62 of the clamp against the cable to hold it against the slide rail. Handle 64 of clamp 56 is also released so that another spring, not shown, biases clamp bar 66 down to clamp the cable against the other slide 50. In this way the cable is clamped to both slides 50 with an intermediate portion of the cable extending across the top of bar 14. The apparatus 10 removes spacer material from this portion of the cable.

Feed assembly 22 includes a mounting block 68 which is secured to bar 14 upstream relative to the direction in which the ribbon or strip cable is fed. A link 70 is pivoted to block 68 at 72. Piston rod 74 of air cylinder 76, partially illustrated in FIG. 6, is pivotally mounted to the end of link 70 at 78. General horizontal feed finger 80 includes at one end a sharp cable engaging tip 82 which, as illustrated in FIG. 5, engages the cable adjacent the punch assembly 30 and die opening 32. The other end of the feed finger is secured to link 70 by a pivot connection intermediate connections 72 and 78.

Adjustable stops 84 and 86 limit rotation of link 70. In FIG. 5 the feed finger is shown in the forward position with air cylinder 76 extended so that link 70 engages stop 86. The phantom lined position of the feed finger and link show the finger in the retracted position with link 70 engaging stop 84 and the tip of the feed finger moved upstream relative to cable 20.

Spring 88 extends between a pin 90 on bar 14 and pin 92 on the bottom of the feed finger. The tension of the spring 88 together with the weight of the feed finger, bias the feed finger tip against the portion of the ribbon cable between the carrier rails 50.

Air cylinder piston rod 74 carries a stop 94 illustrated in FIG. 6. When air cylinder 76 is extended to move the tip of the feed finger toward the punch and die, the stop 94 is positioned as shown in FIG. 6. When the air cylinder is retracted the stop is moved to the right in FIG. 6 to engage trigger 96 of normally open microswitch 98, thereby closing the switch when the feed finger is fully retracted.

The punch assembly 30 includes a mounting block 100 which is secured to the bottom surface of plate 26 above die opening 32. A fixed punch 102 is held in block 100 and projects from the bottom of the block toward bar 14 in alignment with die opening 32. The punch has a thickness equal to the nominal width of the spacers between adjacent conductors 36 in cable 20. The length of the punch, as illustrated in FIG. 7, is equal to the length of opening 32.

Clamps 104 and 106 are provided on each side of punch 102. The clamps are spring backed by spring 108 mounted in a recess of plate 26. During the blanking operation the clamps engage the conductors 36 between which the spacer material is blanked from the cable and hold the same against bar 14. When the punch is above opening 32, as shown in FIG. 5, the spring 108 positions clamps 104 and 106 so that they project from block 100 somewhat further than the end of fixed punch 102.

Die inserts 110 are secured in bar 14 to define die opening 32. As indicated in FIGS. 7 and 8, punch 102 has a close fit in the die opening 32 so that when the punch is lowered into the opening the spacer material confined therebetween is blanked from the cable 20. FIG. 7 illustrates that the lower or cutting edge 112 of punch 102 is slanted somewhat so that the spacer material is sheared from the cable 20 rather than instantaneously cut from the cable. In this way loading forces are reduced during blanking and the plastic spacer material is cleanly cut. The length of the punch 102 is somewhat greater than that of clamps 104 and 106 so that the punch edges extend past the clamps. After blanking, the spacer material which has been severed from the cable falls from the applicator through opening 32.

A normally open microswitch 114 is mounted on base 12 by a bracket (not shown) adjacent the left hand end of plate 26 as in FIG. 5. Trip arm 116 is provided on plate 26 so that during movement of the plate toward and away from bar 14 the arm engages the one-way trigger 118 of normally open switch 114. Switch 114 is closed by arm 116 only during movement of plate 26 away from bar 14.

The electrical circuitry of apparatus 10 is illustrated in FIG. 15. Leads 120 and 122 are connected to a power source. An on-off switch 124 is provided in lead 120. Solenoid 126 and normally open start switch 128, normally open microswitch 98 and solenoid 130 of solenoid controlled air valve 132, and normally open microswitch 114 and solenoid 134 of valve 132, are all connected in series between leads 120 and 122.

FIG. 16 illustrates the pneumatic circuitry for apparatus 10. Solenoid controlled valve 132 is connected to pressure fluid source 136 by lead 138. Leads 140 and 142 connect the valve to the feed air cylinder 76. Lead 144 vents valve 132.

Switch 124 must be closed in order to run apparatus 10. When switch 128 is closed by the operator to initiate the cycle of operation, solenoid 126 is energized to activate the drive means which move plate 26 from the rest position illustrated in FIG. 5 toward bar 14 to blank insulation from between adjacent conductors in the strip cable and then back away from the bar to the rest position. The plate drive means is automatically de-activated when the plate is returned to the rest position. As previously mentioned, a conventional punch press may be used to drive the plate toward and away from bar 14.

During return of plate 26 to the rest position, stop 116 momentarily closes microswitch 114 so as to energize solenoid 134 thereby shifting valve 132 and connecting lead 142 to lead 138 and lead 140 to vent 144. In this position of the valve the air cylinder 76 is retracted and the tip of feed finger is moved upstream relative to cable 20. When air cylinder 76 is fully retracted, stop 94 on piston rod 74 engages trigger 96 of switch 98 to close the switch and thereby energize valve solenoid 130. When the solenoid is energized the valve 132 is shifted to connect lead to lead 138 and lead 142 to vent 144. In this position the air cylinder 76 is extended so as to move feed finger 80 toward the punch and die and thereby index two conductors in cable 20 immediately adjacent the die opening 32.

OPERATION OF THE APPARATUS The cycle of operation of apparatus 10 is begun with the apparatus in the rest position shown in FIG. 5. A ribbon cable 20 is mounted on carrier 16 with, as shown in FIG. 8, the spacers 146 between first and second cable conductors 148 and 150 located in alignment between punch 102 and die opening 32. The operator places the cable in this position by manually lifting feed finger 80 and moving carrier 26 along bar 14 so that the sharp leading edge 152 of feed finger tip 82 may be lowered into the groove between conductor 150 and the immediately adjacent upstream spacer 154 and positioned against conductor 150. The stop 86 is adjusted so that when air cylinder 76 is extended, the feed finger edge 152 is positioned as shown in FIG. 8 relative to die opening 32.

When the ribbon cable is placed in the start position, the first and second conductors 148 and 150 are positioned in known locations on opposite sides of die opening 32. This is because the feed finger tip 152 is positioned in the groove between conductor 150 and spacer 154 so as to rest on the insulation of conductor 150 and locate the conductor in a known position relative to the die opening 32. The dimensional tolerance between the two conductors 148 and 150 means that the location of conductor 148 on the downstream side of die opening 32 is not known exactly. However, the plus or minus 0.007 inch tolerance is not sufficient to affect the blanking of the spacers 140 from between the two conductors. With conductor 150 positioned accurately relative to the die opening, the blanking operation may be performed without injury to conductor 148.

With the cable in the position of FIG. 8 the operator initiates the cycle of operation by first closing on-otY switch 124 to turn the machine on. Switch 128 is then closed to energize solenoid 126. When this solenoid is energized plate 26 is moved down from the position toward plate 14 to perform the punching or blanking operation and then back to the rest positron;

FIGS. 8 through 14 illustrate the cycle of operation of the apparatus. As plate 26 lowers from the rest position spring backed clamps 104 and 106 first engage the two conductors 148 and 150 so as to clamp the same against upper surface of bar 14 defined by the die inserts. In this way the two conductors are held in position during the blanking operation. FIG. 9 illustrates the position during lowering of plate 26 when the clamps 104 and 106 first engage the conductors. Conductor receiving grooves 156 and 158 are provided in the lower ends of clamps 104 and 106 to hold the conductors in position. Clamp 104 is relieved at 160 to that it does not engage feed finger tip 82.

Continued lowering of plate 26 securely clamps the conductors 148 and 150 against the die inserts 110 and brings the end of punch 102 into engagement with the spacers 146 between the two conductors (see FIG. 10). As the plate 26 continues to lower, the punch shears the spacers from the ribbon cable. The severed spacer material is ejected through the die opening 32 as illustrated an FIG. 11. During lowering of plate 26 arm 116 engages trigger 118 of switch without closing the switch.

Following blanking of the spacers 146, the plate 26 is moved back away from bar 14 toward the rest position. As the plate rises, stop 116 trips trigger 118 of switch 114 to close the same and energize valve solenoid 134. At the time when the switch is closed the punch and clamps are raised above the cable 20.

When solenoid 134 is energized, valve 132 is shifted to connect lead 142 to a pressure fluid source through lead 138 and to vent lead 140 through lead 144. Air cylinder 76 is then retracted to pivot link 70 from the position in engagement with stop 86 to a position in engagement with stop 84. Rotation of the link retracts the feed finger so that tip 82 is moved upstream relative to cable 20 in the direction of arrow 162 in FIG. 12 a distance sufficient to position the sharp tip edge 152 in the upstream side of the recess 166 between the next upstream conductor 168 and the adjacent upstream spacer 170. The tip end of the feed finger rests on the spacer 1570 and is in the recess 166.

The retractal stroke of the feed finger which moves tip edge 152 from engagement with conductor 150 to the upstream side of recess 166, is greater than the nominal spacing between adjacent conductors plus the tolerance between conductors. Thus, in the case of ribbon cable 20 where the nominal spacing between conductors is 0.125 :t 0.007 inches, the retractal stroke of the feed finger is greater than 0.132 inches. In this way the feed finger edge 152 is always moved upstream to a position behind the next adjacent upstream conductor, regardless of the actual location of the upstream conductor in the cable.

Air cylinder 76 retracts the feed finger 80 relative rapidly so that there is no momentum imparted from the feed finger to the cable 20 and carrier 16. In this way the carrier is not moved relative to bar 14 during retraction of the feed finger. Because the feed tip 152 points in a downstream direction, it freely rides over the spacers 154 and the conductor 168 as it is withdrawn to the position of FIG. 12.

When the feed finger 80 has been fully retracted to position edge 152 in recess 166 as illustrated in FIG. 12, stop 94 engages switch trigger 96 to close microswitch 98 and energize valve solenoid 130. Valve 132 is reversed and a feed air cylinder 76 is extended. As the feed cylinder is extended and link 70 is moved away from stop 84, the feed finger tip 152 is moved forward from the position of HG. 12 to a position shown in FIG. 13 where edge 152 engages conductor 168. The weight of the feed finger plus spring 88 bias the finger toward the cable so that the finger rests on the surface of spacer 170 during this time. After the tip 152 engages conductor 168, continued movement of the feed finger in the direction of arrow 172 moves the cable 20 and carrier 16 with the feed finger to position the conductor 168 in a known location at the upstream edge of die opening 32. Conductor 150 is moved to a position adjacent the downstream edge of the opening and spacers 154 are located above the opening and beneath the punch. This position is illustrated in FIG. 14.

With feeding of the ribbon cable to the position of FIG. 14, the cycle of apparatus 10 is completed. The operator may then start another cycle by again closing switch 128. When all the spacers between the conductors in the cable have been blanked, the end of the cable is removed from the apparatus by opening clamps 54 and 56. FIG. 3 illustrates the blanked cable end. After the cable is blanked, the conductors 38 may be stripped and terminals may be crimped to the bared conductors.

While the apparatus 10 described herein utilizes a punch and die for removing the insulation material from between adjacent conductors of the ribbon cable, other means may be utilized for removing the insulation once the cable has been accurately fed to position the insulation material relative to the removing means. Thus it is contemplated that in some situations the spacer material may be removed by abrasion, heating or other means. The invention may be used in conjunction with means other than for removing material from the cable where a different operation must be performed on the cable at known locations relative to parts of the cable.

The feed finger described herein is particularly adapted to engage the grooves of cable 20. The invention may be used with other means by which the individual location of conductors in the cable is determined in order that each conductor be accurately fed to a known location. Of course, the invention can be used to blank spacer material from ribbon cable where the conductors are regularly and accurately spaced.

While we have illustrated and described preferred embodiment of our invention, it is understood that this is capable of modification, and we therefore do not wish to be limited to the precise details set forth, but desire to avail ourselves of such changes and alterations as fall within the purview of the following claims.

What we claim as our invention is:

1. Apparatus for removing material from between conductors of a ribbon cable where the spacing between conductors may not be uniform, comprising a cable support including a die, a punch spaced from said support and movable toward the support to cooperate with said die and remove material from between conductors of a ribbon cable on the support, and feed means for successively moving said cable past the die, said feed means including a tool engagable with the cable at a known location relative to a conductor therein and movable toward the die so as to feed the conductor to a known location immediately adjacent said die, whereby movement of the punch toward the die removes a portion of the cable next to such conductor without severing the conductor.

2. Apparatus as in claim 1 for removing material between conductors in a ribbon cable having a groove adjacent each conductor therein wherein said feed means includes a feed finger having a groove-engaging edge at one end thereof and drive means operable to move said finger away from the die to position the finger edge in the recess of a groove adjacent a conductor away from the die and also operable to move said finger toward the die to seat said edge in said groove and move such conductor to a known location adjacent the die.

3. Apparatus as in claim 2 wherein the sides of said finger edge intersect at an acute angle.

4. Apparatus as in claim 2 wherein the end of said finger defining said edge points toward the cable on said support and is inclined in the direction of feed toward the die.

5. Apparatus as in claim 2 including means biasing said finger toward said cable to seat said edge in said groove.

6. Apparatus as in claim 2 wherein said cable support includes a base, a ribbon cable carrier on said base, and clamp means for securing a cable on said carrier, said carrier being mounted on said base to permit free movement of the cable in the direction of feed toward the die.

7. Apparatus as in claim 6 wherein said carrier is mounted on said base to pennit free movement thereof in the direction of movement of the feed finger away from the die and said feed means is adapted to move said feed finger away from the die sufficiently rapidly to avoid imparting momentum to the carrier so that the carrier does not move during retraction of the feed finger away from the die.

8. Apparatus as in claim 3 including clamps on each side of said punch operable to hold parts of said cable, including such conductor, against the die prior to and during removal of said material by said punch and die.

9. Apparatus for removing spacer material from between spaced conductors of a ribbon cable formed by joining together a number of insulated conductors and spacers and where the spacing between conductors in the cable may not be uniform, said apparatus comprising a base including a die, a cable support mounted on said base for movement in one direction relative thereto, means for removably securing a ribbon cable on said support with the conductors in the ribbon cable extending generally transversely to said direction of support movement, a punch spaced from and movable toward said die for engaging the cable on the support and severing from the cable a portion of the spacer material between adjacent conductors in the cable, and incremental cable feed means for engaging the cable at a known position relative to each conductor of the cable at the side of the conductor away from the die and moving each conductor, together with the cable and the cable support, toward the die to position each such conductor immediately adjacent the die with the spacer between such conductor and the adjacent downstream conductor of the cable in between the punch and die whereby movement of the punch toward the die severs such material from the cable without severing the adjacent conductors.

10. Apparatus as in claim 9 wherein said feed means includes a feed finger having a sharp edge adapted to fit in a recess between each such conductor and the adjacent spacer.

11. Apparatus as in claim 10 wherein said feed means includes finger drive means operable after severing of such material by the punch to retract the finger edge away from the punch and past the next upstream conductor to position said edge in the recess between such next upstream conductor and an adjacent spacer.

12. Apparatus as in claim 11 including clamp means on each side of the punch for holding such adjacent conductors against said die prior to severing of such material by the punch.

13. Apparatus for removing material from between conductors of a ribbon cable where the spacing between conductors may not be uniform, comprising a cable support, feed means for successively moving said cable past the support, said feed means including a tool engageable with the cable at a known position relative to a conductor therein and movable to feed the conductor relative to the support to a known location immediately adjacent a fixed work zone thereby positioning a portion of the cable between said conductor and an adjacent conductor in the cable in the work zone, and cable material removing means for removing said cable portion from the cable without severing said conductors.

14. Apparatus as in claim 13 wherein said tool includes a sharp edge engageable with the side of the first mentioned conductor away from said work zone, and wherein said feed means includes drive means for retracting said tool away from the work zone a distance somewhat greater than the maximum spacin between adjacent conductors in the ribbon cable.

15. he method of removing spacing material between conductors in a ribbon cable where the spacing between conductors may not be uniform, comprising the steps of positioning a ribbon cable adjacent a punch and a die when open, locating a conductor in the cable relative to the die, and then moving the conductor and the cable therewith laterally toward the die to position the conductor at a known location immediately adjacent said die so that the spacing material between such conductor and an adjacent conductor is positioned over the die opening, and moving the punch toward the die so that the two cooperate to remove such spacing material from the cable without severing the conductors.

16. The method of blanking material from between conductors in a ribbon cable where the conductors are not uniformly spaced across the width of the cable, comprising the steps of positioning a cable between a punch and a die when open. moving a feed tool away from the die at a distance somewhat greater than the maximum spacing between adjacent conductors in the cable to position the tool behind a conductor in the cable, moving the tool toward the die to engage the cable at a known location relative to the conductor and move the same to a position immediately adjacent to the die so as to position the spacing material between such conductor and the next adjacent downstream conductor between the punch and die, and extending the punch into the die to remove such material from the cable without severing the conductors.

17. The method of claim 16 including the steps of confining said conductor and said next downstream conductor against said die prior to removing said material.

18. Method of claim 16 wherein the cable is mounted on a support which is freely movable toward and away from the die and including the step of moving the tool away from the die sufficiently rapidly so as to prevent transfer of momentum to the support.

19. Apparatus for cutting insulation at locations between conductors in a ribbon cable without injury to the conductors in the cable where the spacing between conductors may not be uniform, comprising insulation cutting means and feed means for successively moving the cable past said means, said feed means including a device for locating the actual position of individual conductors in the cable and after location of a conductor in the cable for moving such located conductor laterally to a known position to one side of said means whereby the insulation adjacent the located conductor is positioned to be cut by said means upon actuation thereof without injury to conductors in the cable.

20. Apparatus for performing operations at exact locations on a ribbon cable relative to conductors in the cable where the spacing between conductors may not be uniform, comprising a tool for removing insulation from the ribbon cable and feed means for successively moving the cable past the tool, said feed means including a device for locating the position of individual conductors in the cable and after the location of a conductor in the cable for moving such conductor to a position relative to the tool whereby said tool removes insulation from the cable at a known location relative to the located conductor.

21. The method of performing operations at known locations relative to the conductors in a ribbon cable where the spacing between conductors may not be uniform comprising the steps of sequentially locating individual conductors in the ribbon cable, moving each such located conductor a distance laterally to a known position immediately adjacent a cutting zone with insulation extending into the cutting zone and then cutting the insulation at said zone without injury to the located conductor.

22. The method of claim 2 including the step of removing insulation from between adjacent conductors in the cable.

Patent Citations
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US1686232 *Apr 30, 1835Oct 2, 1928Lion Match companyFeeding and cutting paper match splints
US2521688 *Apr 8, 1948Sep 12, 1950Pierce John B FoundationCutting tool for insulation
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4046045 *Dec 20, 1976Sep 6, 1977International Telephone And Telegraph CorporationWire splitter for round conductor flat ribbon cable
US4295254 *Sep 8, 1978Oct 20, 1981E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyTransmission line cable applicator machine
US6400397Dec 20, 1999Jun 4, 2002AxoralMethod of punching a flat cable
US20040011167 *Jan 23, 2002Jan 22, 2004Yazaki CorporationStructure for processing a terminal of a flat cable
EP1013384A1 *Dec 21, 1999Jun 28, 2000AxoralMethod of punching a flat cable
Classifications
U.S. Classification83/55, 83/465, 83/247, 83/205, 83/282, 83/278, 81/9.51, 83/409
International ClassificationH02G1/12
Cooperative ClassificationH02G1/1295
European ClassificationH02G1/12I