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Publication numberUS3700011 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 24, 1972
Filing dateFeb 16, 1971
Priority dateFeb 16, 1971
Publication numberUS 3700011 A, US 3700011A, US-A-3700011, US3700011 A, US3700011A
InventorsWalter George
Original AssigneeMalco Mfg Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Terminal straightening method and machine
US 3700011 A
Abstract
A method of straightening bent wire-wrap posts of electrical terminals in a group of terminals and a machine for practicing the method. The method contemplates bending posts misaligned with corresponding terminal axes back into alignment with respective axes and then twisting them on said axes through a sequence of twists which culminates in return of the posts to generally their original radial orientation on the respective axes and fixing of the posts in alignment with such axes. The machine performs this method by telescopically engaging all the terminals in a group of terminals with a corresponding group of spindle wrenches. The initial engagement places all wire wrap posts in alignment with corresponding axes. Rotation of the spindle wrenches through a rack and pinion arrangement according to a prescribed sequence is effective to perform the aforedescribed twisting operation on the posts in the group.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Walter [54] TERIVHNAL STRAIGHTENING METHOD AND MACHINE [72] Inventor: George Walter, Chicago, Ill.

[73] Assignee: Malco Manufacturing Company,

Inc., Chicago, Ill.

[22] Filed: Feb. 16, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 115,747

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 824,349, April 21,

1969, abandoned.

2,869,129 1/1959 Rogers ..72/DIG. 10

[451 Oct. 24, 1972 Roe 140/ l 19 Pastuszak 140/ 147 [57] ABSTRACT A method of straightening bent wire-wrap posts of electrical terminals in a group of terminals and a machine for practicing the method. The method contemplates bending posts misaligned with corresponding terminal axes back into alignment with respective axes and then twisting them on said axes through a sequence of twists which culminates in return of the posts to generally their original radial orientation on the respective axes and fixing of the posts in alignment with such axes. The machine performs this method by telescopically engaging all the terminals in a group of terminals with a corresponding group of spindle wrenches. The initial engagement places all wire wrap posts in alignment with corresponding axes. Rotation of the spindle wrenches through a rack and pinion arrangement according to a prescribed sequence is effective to perform the aforedescribed twisting operation on the posts in the group.

14 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures TERMINAL STRAIGHTENING METHOD AND MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This application is a continuation of the co-pending application of George Walter, Ser. No. 824,349, filed Apr. 21, 1969, entitled TERMINAL STRAIGHTEN- ING METHOD AND MACHINE, now abandoned.

This invention is in the field of electrical terminal connectors. It deals particularly with terminal connectors of the type which include wire wrap posts on the terminals and wherein the terminals themselves are seated in a prescribed pattern in a matrix plate or block or the like.

It is now common practice to assemble terminal connector complexes comprising thousands of terminal connectors seated in a matrix. These connectors conventionally comprise a terminal pin which is either molded into a block or mounted in a bushing which extends through an aperture in a mounting plate. In either case, the terminal pin conventionally has formed, on at least one of its two ends, a wire wrap post. It is the function of this wire wrap post to receive, by well-known wire wrapping techniques, the bared end of a conductor wire.

In practice, a large plate, for example, containing a complex of several thousand terminal connectors in closely spaced relationship, is positioned in a predetermined manner on an automatic wire wrapping machine. The plate is precisely located on the bed of the wire wrapping machine so that a wire wrap head can successively descend, wrap the bared end of a conductor wire around a predetermined wire wrap post, ascend, and proceed to the next selected post to make a wire wrap connection. Since the terminal pins are all precisely located, within certain tolerances, on the terminal plate, proper positioning of the plate relative to the wire wrap head normally permits the head to accurately descend and ascend in its wire wrapping pattern in precisely the correct relationship with each wire wrap post selected.

If a terminal pin were out of position on the plate, however, the wire wrap head would not be properly oriented relative to the pin and, in descending, might not grip the pin properly and thus not wire wrap it properly. For that matter, the terminal and even the machine itself can be damaged if this occurs. Fortunately, the positioning of the terminal pins on the board is very accurately controlled and mis-positioning is, for all practical purposes, non-existant.

It is not uncommon, however, for a properly positioned terminal pin to have its wire wrap post bent to a lesser or greater degree, either during the terminal insertion process, or in handling of the terminal plate once it has been assembled and before it is shipped to a customer for connection into a computer module, for example. In order to assure that the wire wrap post of each terminal pin is precisely positioned on the axis of the pin, it is presently necessary to check the positioning and attitude of each of these wire wrap posts individually under magnification. Where a post is found to be outside predetermined tolerances, it is individually bent back to alignment for acceptance of the wire wrap head in the subsequent wire wrapping operation. This is a laborious, time-consuming, and consequently expensive operation, as will be readily understood.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A primary object of the present invention is to provide a vastly improved method of straightening the wire wrap post of an electrical terminal seated in base means, whereby the post is returned from misalignment with the longitudinal axis of the terminal to alignment therewith and fixed on the axis. It is another object to provide a method of straightening the randomly distributed, misaligned wire wrap posts in a group of wire wrap posts without the necessity of searching out the misaligned posts. It is still another object to provide a method of straightening randomly distributed misaligned posts in a group of posts by uniform treatment of all of the posts. It is yet another object to provide a method wherein the posts tensile strength remains substantially unimpaired.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a machine for straightening wire wrap posts which are out of alignment with the longitudinal axes of corresponding terminal connectors. Still a further object is to provide a machine which engages a large group of wire wrap posts and straightens the randomly distributed misaligned posts in the group, whereby the necessity of searching out individual misaligned posts for straightening is obviated.

The foregoing and other objects are realized in accord with the invention by providing a method wherein a misaligned wire wrap post of an electrical terminal connector is first bent into alignment with the longitudinal axis of the terminal. The post is then twisted in one direction on this axis through a first predetermined number of degrees of arc from its original radial orientation on the axis. The post is then twisted in the opposite direction on the axis past its original radial orientation through a second predetermined number of degrees of arc. Finally, the post is once again twisted in said one direction on the axis through a third predetermined number of degrees of arc sufficient to return it slightly past its original radial orientation on said axis. The post is then released and it remains in precise alignment with the axis.

An important feature of the method is that all wire wrap posts in a group, both straight and bent, are treated simultaneously in the aforedescribed manner. Thus, the randomly distributed, misaligned posts in a group are automatically straightened without the necessity of searching out specific misaligned posts. Another feature of the method is thatall the posts retain, virtually intact, their physical characteristics, particularly tensile strength. In testing, there was found to be less than a 1% percent decrease in tensile strength of a twisted post.

A separate aspect of the invention is the machine which can perform the steps of the method. The machine head engages an entire group of terminal posts. It performs the twisting operations on the group. The head then sequences to the next" group of terminals and its head engages them. The twisting and straightening operation is quickly and easily performed on all terminals in a large plate, for example, in a simple and expeditious manner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention, including the method and a machine constructed to automatically perform various steps of the method, together with the objects and advantages thereof, is illustrated more or less diagrammatically in the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an end elevational view of a portion of a terminal plate showing a printed circuit board and connector block, with parts removed, and the two end terminals of the connector block, one of the terminals being bent out of alignment with the axis of the terminal;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing the bent terminal about to be engaged by a pinion wrench in a first step of the method embodying features of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a further developed illustration of the first step of the method;

FIG. 4 is a generally graphic illustration of the wire wrap post twisting pattern employed with the specific twists illustrated and described;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIGS. l-3 illustrating the terminal post after it has been straightened according to the method of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged end view of the pinion wrench illustrated'in FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of a wire wrap post straightening machine constructed according to the invention, with parts removed;

FIG. 8 is atop plan view of the machine illustrated in FIG. 7, also with parts removed;

FIG. 9 is an end elevational view of the machine, also with parts removed;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged front elevational view of the machines head mechanism which is adapted to engage and straighten terminal wire wrap posts according to the invention, with parts removed and others shown in section;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged, bottom plan view of a portion of the head mechanism illustrated in FIG. 11; v

FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line l4-l4 ofFIG.11;

FIG. 15 is a further enlarged view of one of the pinion spindles of the head mechanism illustrated in FIG. 11;

FIG. 16 is a further enlarged view of another pinion spindle from the head mechanism of FIG. 11; and

FIG. 17 is a sectional view taken along line 17--17 of FIG. 8.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and particularly of FIGS. 1-5, the method embodying features of the invention is diagrammatically illustrated. Employing the method, the bent wire wrap post 10 of the terminal T, as seen in FIG. 1, is returned to precise alignment with the longitudinal axis X of the terminal T, as seen in FIG. 5. More precisely then, FIGS. 2-4 illustrate the actual steps of the method embodying features of the invention, FIG. 1 illustrates the terminal T with its wire wrap post 10 bent out of alignment, and FIG. 5 illustrates that same wire wrap post 10 after straightening according to the invention.

Turning specifically to FIG. 1, the two end terminals T and T in a two row connector insulator body B are illustrated. The wire wrap post 10 of the terminal T is bent substantially out of alignment with the longitudinal axis X of the terminal, while the wire wrap post 10 of the terminal T, is in substantially precise alignment with its terminal axis Y.

The insulator body B is seated, in a well-known manner on a terminal plate P. Bushing sleeves S and S of the body B extend through corresponding apertures (not shown) in the plate P and the terminals T and T in turn, extend from within the body B through the bushing sleeves. Female portions (not shown) are conventionally formed on corresponding ends of the terminals T and T within the body B, while the opposite ends of the terminals are formed into the wire wrap posts 10 and 10 In the present illustration, the terminals T and T and, accordingly, the wire wrap posts 10 and 10 are fabricated from half-hard brass by conventional die punching methods. The terminals are formed so that the wire wrap posts 10 and 10 are approximately 0.025

inch square in cross-section. Pyramid-shaped tips 11v and 11, are formed, in a well-known manner on the free ends of corresponding posts 10 and 10 to facilitate ultimate machine wire wrapping.

Referring now specifically to FIGS. 2 and 3, the first step of the method for straightening the wire post 10 of the terminal T, according to the present invention, is bending the post 10 into alignment with the axis X of the terminal. In practice, this is accomplished by a spindle wrench 15 which is mechanically aligned with the axis X. i

The spindle wrench 15 has an elongated bore 16 which is square in cross-sectional configuration. Referring to FIG. 6, the cross-sectional dimensions of the bore 16 are slightly greater than the cross-sectional dimensions of the post 10. A downwardly widening frusto-conical mouth 17 is formed in the lower end of the spindle wrench 15, providing access to the relatively smaller bore 16.

The spindle wrench is brought downwardly onto the post 10 in alignment with the axis X. The cross-sectional dimensions of the mouth 17 are such that as the spindle wrench 15 moves downwardly, a wire wrap post 10 which is bent even considerably out of line with the axis X will enter the mouth 17 The pyramid shaped tip 11 on the post 10 is an aid to this, of course.

As the spindle wrench 15 continues to descend, the mouth 17 directs the free-end of the wire wrap post 10 toward the bore 16 of the wrench, thus bending the post toward the axis X. FIG. 3 illustrates the arrangement of the wire wrap post 10 within the bore 16 of the spindle wrench 15 when the spindle wrench has reached its lowermost position. In this position, the greater portion of the post 10 is telescoped in the bore 16, while a short section 20 of the post immediately adjacent the corresponding bushing sleeve S remains outside of the bore 16. The entire post 10 is aligned with the axis X.

With the post 10 telescoped within the bore 16 of the spindle wrench 15 in the aforedescribed manner, the next step is to twist the post 10 on the axis X, according to the invention. Referring to FIG. 4, the spindle wrench 15 is first rotated about its axis in one direction (counter-clockwise) for a predetermined number of degrees. Because the post is square in cross-sectional configuration and telescoped within the square bore 16 of the spindle wrench 15, it is twisted on the axis X through a corresponding number of degrees. For reasons hereinafter discussed in greater detail, with the terminal T illustrated and the relative length of the post section 20, this predetermined first number of degrees of rotation is through an arc of approximately 90. The full twisting of the post 10 takes place in the section 20 at the base of the terminal post 10.

After the spindle wrench has twisted the post 10 through a first angular distance of 90 in said one direction, rotation of the wrench 15 is stopped in that direction and it is rotated in the opposite direction (clockwise) through approximately 180. Accordingly, the wire wrap post 10 is twisted in the opposite direction on the axis X through approximately 180, the twisting all taking place in the section at the base of the post 10.

Having rotated in the opposite direction through a predetermined number of degrees, 180 in the present illustration, rotation of the spindle wrench 15 in that direction is halted. The wrench 15 is then rotated in the original (counter-clockwise) direction on the axis X through approximately 110 of arc. When the post 10 has been twisted through this approximately 110 arc on the axis X, the spindle wrench 15 is raised to release the post. As seen in FIG. 5, the post 10 remains in substantially perfect alignment with the axis X of the terminal once it has been treated with the aforedescribed twisting operations. It does not return to its original, misaligned position because metal in the section 20 at the base of terminal post 10 has been deformed, i.e., twisted, beyond its limit of elastic deformation.

The sequence and degree of twisting described is particularly suited to terminals of the type illustrated; i.e., half-hard brass terminals having 0.025 inch square wire wrap posts wherein the terminals are fabricated from sheet stock by die punching or the like. These factors, as well as others, determine exactly how the post 10 is twisted.

If the type of material, that is the composition of the metal alloy in the terminal T is varied, it should be understood that the sequence and degree of twisting would be modified. Similarly, depending upon how the terminal pin is fabricated, i.e., by punching, drawing, etc., this treatment would further vary. The effect of plating the metal terminals, heat-treating them, or treating the surface in some other way has similar effects on the manner in which the terminal is twisted according to the invention.

The twisting operation is also modified within the perview of the invention when wire wrap posts of different shape are employed. Furthermore, by varying the length of the section 20 which is actually stressed during the twisting operation of the post 10, the type and extent of twisting can be modified.

In essence, there are three major variables in the twisting operation. These major variables can, in turn, be broken down. In summary, they are as follows:

1. The material characteristics of the wire wrap post,

including a. type of material (various metal alloys) b. inherent stress lines in material (determined by metal grain structure as, in turn, effected by the method of forming the metal, i.e., punching, drawing, etc.)

c. treatment of the material (heat-treated, pickled,

plated, etc.)

2. The physical shape and dimensions of the wire wrap post.

3. The length of the section of the wire wrap post which is being stressed during the twisting operation.

The variables each affect the twisting scheme for a prescribed terminal. Regardless, however, the wire wrap post in question is bent into proper alignment, twisted from its original radial orientation on the axis and finally twisted again to substantially its original orientation. In practice, the final radial orientation may be slightly different than the original, but this is of no consequence or purpose.

Turning now to FIGS. 7-17, a machine developed to perform the method of the invention is illustrated. Referring specifically to FIGS. 7, 8, and 9, the machine is illustrated generally at 30. The machine 30 is effective to engage a large group or row of terminals, as seen in FIG. 7, simultaneously twist each terminal in the row, according to the invention, and sequentially move to succeeding rows of terminals to perform the same operation.

Still referring to FIGS. 7-9, the machine includes a generally rectangular plate 35, upon which is mounted, in a conventional manner, a slightly smaller rectangular base plate 36. In turn, a somewhat smaller, rectangular mounting plate 37 is secured in a conventional manner to the upper surface of the base plate 36.

Supported for movement from front to back on the mounting plate 37 is a platen assembly 40. The platen assembly 40 includes a longitudinally extending side bar 41 joined by transversely extending front and back stringers 42. Extending transversely between the side bars 41, intermediate the front and back stringers 42, is an elongated, rectangular work platen 45. It is on the work platen 45 that the matrix plates P, for. example, containing groups or rows of terminals T, are mounted for straightening by the machine 10, all in a manner hereinafter discussed in detail.

The platen assembly 40 is mounted for sliding movement, front to back, on the mounting plate 37, on horizontal mounting shafts 50 secured to the mounting plate. The shafts 50 are transversely spaced, as illustrated best in FIGS. 7 and 8, and are rigidly supported from the mounting plate 47 by machine bolts 51 extending up through the plate and spacer saddles 52 between the plate and the corresponding shaft, as best seen in FIG. 10. At least twomounting collars 53 (only one shown) are secured to each side bar of the platen assembly 40 in front-to-back spaced relationship, and these collars encircle and mount the platen assembly 40 on the mounting shafts 50. As seen in FIG. 10, the collars are box-like in external configuration and have a split, bearing sleeve liner 54 extending transversely therethrough for engaging and sliding on the corresponding shaft 50 in bearing relationship. The bearing rings 54 are split, as illustrated, to afford access to the mounting bolts 51 and spacer saddles 52 supporting the shafts 50.

Suitably mounted in the four corners of the base plate 36, and extending upwardly therefrom, are four identical guide posts 60. Vertically slideable on the guide posts 60 is a head assembly 61. The head assembly 61 includes, according to the present invention, head mechanism 62 which engages the wire wrap post of terminals T on the matrix plate P, and straightens bent wire wrap posts according to the method of the invention.

The head assembly 61 comprises a generally rectangular head plate 65 which mounts four bearing sleeves 66 through which the posts 60 extend. In operation, the plate 65 moves vertically on the post 60 to bring the head mechanism 62 into and out of engagement with the terminals T as each row or group of terminals is processed, all in a manner hereinafter discussed.

The head mechanism 65 is illustrated in substantial detail in FIGS. 11-16. Referring to these fingers, the head mechanism 62 is seen to include an elongated housing 70, rectangular in cross-section (see FIG. 13), and secured to the bottom of the head plate 65. The housing 70 includes a roof plate 71 actually secured to the head plate by conventional means such as machine bolts or the like (not shown). A floor plate 72 is secured to the roof plate 71, also by conventional means such as machine bolts (not shown), and the opposed surfaces of the roof plate 71 and floor plate 72 are so shaped as to define a stepped slot 75 extending the length of the housing 70 adjacent the front of the housing. A face plate 76 forms a front closure for the stepped slot 75 and defines the front face of the housing 70. The face plate 76 is secured to the roof plate 71 by two conventional side bolts 80 and, to facilitate easy handling of the face plate 76 when the side bolts 80 have been removed preparatory to removing the face plate, a center bolt 81 with a knurled head for hand turning.

The face plate 76 serves as a carrier for a series of closely spaced spindle wrenches 15. Each of these spindle wrenches is identical in construction, and has hereinbefore been described in detail in relation to the method embodying features of the invention.

Each pinion wrench 15 is mounted on a pinion gear spindle 85. However, alternate spindle wrenches 15 are mounted on alternating forms 85a and 85b of the pinion spindles. These alternating forms of pinion spindles 85a and 85b are shown in substantial detail in FIGS. 15 and 16. Each includes a rectangular crosssection tip 87a and 87b upon which the spindle wrench 15 is forced in press-fit relationship, a suitable end aperture being provided in the end of each wrench 15 to receive the corresponding tip. In the pinion spindle 85a, however, the pinion gear 88a is displaced upwardly relative to the pinion gear 88b on the pinion spindle 8511. As a result, the pinion spindles 85a and 85b with their attached pinion wrench 15 nest in closely spaced relationship on an inner ledge 90 extending the length of the face plate 76.

Suitably formed bores 91a and 91b extend downwardly through the face plate 76 from the ledge 90 and are adapted to receive the distinctly shaped lower bearing stubs 92a and 92b of the pinion spindles 85a and 85b, respectively, as well as the pinion wrenches 15 themselves. The pinion spindles 85 with their attached pinion wrenches 15 are thus mounted for rotation in the bores 91a and 91b on the axes of corresponding bores.

With the face plate 76 seated in place, as illustrated in FIG. 13, upper stub bearings 93a and 93b on the pinion spindles a and 85b, respectively, seat in corresponding stub bores 95 formed in the lower face of the roof plate 71 in spaced relationship along its front edge. The snugly nested pinion gears 88a and 88b are spaced along the length of the gear cavity 97 formed within the housing 70.

The pinion gears 88a and 88b are rotated by an elongated rack 100 slideably mounted in the outer portion of the stepped slot 75 through the housing 70. The rack 100 is in mesh with both pinion gears 88a and 88b and is rigidly secured on an elongated carrier bar 101 extending through the larger inner portion of the slot 75. Movement of the carrier bar 101 in the slot 75 is effective to rotate the pinion gears 88a and 88b in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, depending upon the direction of movement of the carrier bar 101, and thus rotate the spindle wrenches 15 accordingly.

The carrier bar 101,'and accordingly, the rack 100 is moved longitudinally through the slot 75 to rotate the spindle wrenches 15 by the power train assembly 105 of the head mechanism 62. The power train assembly 105 includes a conventional electric motor 106 secured to a mounting bracket 107 on top of the head plate 65. The motor 106 is a horsepower motor of any wellknown commercial type.

The motor 106 is connected through a drive shaft and coupling 109 to a speed reducer sub-assembly 110, also of conventional construction, which contains suitable gearing for reducing output shaft speed. The speed reducer sub-assembly 110 has a vertically depending output shaft 111 extending through a suitably formed aperture in the head plate 65 The speed reducer 1 10 is mounted in a suitable manner on the top of the head plate 65.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 7, l1 and 12, the lower end of the speed reducer output shaft 111 extends below the head plate 65 and mounts an annular disc 115 in rigidly connected relationship. A drive link 116 is pivotally connected, in eccentric relationship at 117, to the disc 115 and, in turn, is pivotally connected to a corresponding end of the carrier bar 101 at 1 18.

It should now be seen that rotation of the disc 115 causes the bar 101 to reciprocate in the stepped slot 75, and the bar carries the rack 100. It will further be recognized that the extent of longitudinal movement of the rack 100 is determined solely by the degree of eccentricity of the pivotal connection 1 17. It is, of course, the extent to which the rack 100 moves longitudinally in the slot 75 that determines the degree of rotation, in either direction, of the spindle pins 85 and, accordingly, the spindle wrenches 15.

Referring to the method of the invention hereinbefore described, the desired amount of twisting of various wire wrap posts fabricated of varying materials, of varying size and configuration, having been treated in various ways, varys considerably. For purposes of illustration, however, in accord with optimum practice where a terminal T of the type described is used, a 90 counter-clockwise twist, followed by a clockwise twist, followed in turn by approximately a 110 counter-clockwise twist, produces precise alignment of bent terminal wire wrap posts 10 of the terminals T with the axes X of these terminals while having minimal effect on the desirable physical characteristics and properties of the metal terminal.

The rack travel and gear ratio relationship of the rack 100 and the pinion gears 88a and 88b are coordinated with the degree of eccentricity of the pivot 117 from the center of rotation of the disc 115 to provide that in one complete rotation of the disc 115 each spindle wrench 15 will rotate through 360, 180 in a counter-clockwise direction followed by, or preceeded by, l80 of rotation in a clockwise direction. With this in mind, to obtain the required sequence and degree of rotation of the spindle wrenches 15 in the present illustration, the motor is controlled in a manner hereinafter discussed so that when the spindle wrenches 15 descend and engage a row of terminals T, the radial of the disc 115 passing through the centerpoint of the pivotal connection 117 for the drive link 116 is at as seen in FIG. 12.

When the motor 106 is energized, the disc 115 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction. As the aforementioned radial passes through the 270 position on the compass (rotating in a counter-clockwise direction) each spindle wrench 15 has rotated in a counter-clockwise direction for 90, thus twisting corresponding wire wrap posts correspondingly. Continued counter-clockwise rotation of the disc 115 until the aforementioned radial reaches the 90 position on the compass, as seen in FIG. 12, causes the spindle wrenches to reverse their direction of rotation (at the 270 position) and rotate through l80 in the opposite, or clockwise direction. The wire wrap posts 10 are twisted accordingly.

Continued rotation of the disc 115, wherein the radial of the disc passing through the center of the pivotal connection 117 moves in a counter-clockwise direction from the 90 position to, and past, the 0 position to the 340 position, again effects reversal of the rotation of the spindle wrenches 15. The spindle wrenches 15 during this segment of rotation of the disc 115 are rotated once again in a counter-clockwise direction, through approximately 110. The wire wrap post 10 telescoped within the wrenches 15 are twisted accordingly. At this point, the wrenches 15 are withdrawn from engagement with the row of terminal posts 10, all of the terminal posts 10 in this group of terminals again being in perfect alignment with the corresponding axes of the terminals and, accordingly, ready for automatic wire wrapping.

Automatic control of the motor 106 for precisely the desired 380 of counter-clockwise rotation is afforded by suitable circuitry, a starting switch (not shown), and a cooperating limit switch assembly 125, seen in FIG. 14. The limit switch assembly 125 includes a conventional three-way switch 126 whose switching functions are controlled by a cam arm 127 carrying a roller 128. The cam roller 128 is spring-loaded into engagement with one or the other of the cam surfaces 135 and 136 formed on the free end of the carrier bar 101 which mounts the rack 100.

In operation of the head mechanism 62 by the power train assembly 105, assume that the radial of the disc 115 extending through the pivotal center of the pivot point 117 is at 0, as illustrated in FIG. 12. Actuation of the motor circuit by the starting switch (not shown) draws the carrier bar 101 to the left in FIG. 14, causing the cam surface 135 to depress the arm 127 and actuate the switch 126, thus setting up a holding circuit through the switch 126 to maintain the motor 106 in operation.

When the disc has rotated through 360 from 0, counter-clockwise back to 0, the cam surface 136 engages the cam roller 128 and begins to depress the cam arm 127. The cam arm 127 is not completely depressed until the carrier bar 101 has travelled sufficiently to move the adjoining cams 135, 136 over dead-center of the roller 1'28 and bring the cam surface 136 into engagement with the roller. At this point, the holding circuit to the motor 106 is broken and an additional 20 of counter-clockwise rotation of the disc 115 has taken place. The motor 106 stops and the straightening of one row or group of terminal posts 10 is completed. When the head mechanism is withdrawn from engagement with the post 10, a spring centering arrangement (not shown) in the speed reducer 110 once again centers the disc with the aforementioned 'radial at 40, preparing it for the next twisting cycle.

The machine 30 has been described in terms of its engagement with a single group, or row, of terminals to twist all the terminals in that row according to the method of the invention, and, as a result, straighten those wire wrap posts 10 in the row which might be bent out of alignment with corresponding axes of the terminals. The machine 30 has the capacity, however, to successively engage and treat an extended series of these rows of terminals. As such, it moves from row to row in a manner hereinafter discussed.

As seen in FIGS. 7 and 9, a lift mechanism is provided for raising the head assembly 61 to disengage the spindle wrenches 15 from the terminals T and T when a selected row of terminals has been treated according to the invention. The lift mechanism 130 is actuated by the machine 30 operator to raise the head assembly 61, after which the platen assembly 40 is indexed rearwardly a distance equal to the distance between the rows of terminals on the terminal plate P and the next row of terminals is caused to be engaged by the spindle wrenches 15 as the head assembly 61 is lowered.

Indexing is accomplished by the operator through an indexing mechanism illustrated at FIGS 8 and 17. The lift mechanism 130 is provided with a stop-safe mechanism 140, as seen in FIG. 10, which prevents the head assembly 61 from descending to cause the spindle wrenches 15 to engage terminals in the next row of terminals unless the indexing operation has precisely located the next row of terminals for receipt of the spindles. The lift mechanism 130 includes a torque shaft extending between and journalled in identical pillow blocks 146 secured to the underside of the bed plate 35 of the machine 30. Each end of the torque shaft 145 (only one shown) outside of the corresponding pillow block 146, mounts a crank arm 148 in transversely extending relationship. The inner end of each of these crank arms 148, as seen in FIG. 9, is pivotally connected to a vertically extending lift rod 149 which passes through suitably formed apertures in the plates 35 and 36 and is secured to the underside of the head plate 65 through a thread nut and bolt assembly 150.

The opposite end of each lever arm 145 is pivotally connected to a power link 152 extending downwardly therefrom. The power link 152 is connected to a suitable motor and control arrangement (not shown) which draws it down and raises it a predetermined distance at the instance of the operator.

In the present illustration, when the operator actuates the control mechanism to draw the power link 152 downwardly, the rod 149 lifts the head assembly 61 upwardly a distance of approximately inch to 1 inch. The specific maximum rise of the head assembly 61 is not important. It is only necessary that the head assembly rides sufficiently to clear the spindle wrenches 15 of the top of the terminals for indexing to the next row of terminals, a distance obviously determined solely by the height of the wire wrap posts of the terminals.

When a predetermined row of terminals has been engaged, twisted, and disengaged in the aforedescribed manner, the operator toggles the indexing mechanism 135 to index the terminal plate P rearwardly for precisely the distance between the rows of terminals. To this end, the indexing mechanism 135 includes a pair of indexing, guide plates 155a and 155b mounted on opposite sides of the platen assembly 40 on the mounting collars 53. The guide plates 155a and 155b are best seen in FIGS. 7, 10 and 17. The plates 155a and 155b are secured to the corresponding mounting collars 53 in a conventional manner by machine bolts 156 and extend outwardly of the collars into guide slots of the stop-safe mechanisms 140 on opposite sides of the platen assembly 40.

The guide plate 155a has a longitudinally spaced series of index apertures 160 formed in it, as illustrated in FIG. 17. Movable in and out of engagement with the apertures 160 is the actuator finger 161 of the indexing mechanism 135.

Pivotally mounted on adjacent structure 163 fixed to the mounting plate 37 of the machine 30 is a toggle arm 166; the pivotal connection 167 being best seen in FIG. 17. A depending leg 169 of the arm 166 is, in turn, pivotally connected in lost-motion relationship at 170 with the actuator finger 161, intermediate its ends. An actuator tooth 175 on the actuator finger 161 actually depends into the apertures 160 and is biased into each aperture by a spring loaded pin 176 and cooperating coil spring 177 mounted in the structure 163 immediately above the corresponding end of the actuator finger 161.

in operation, to index the platen assembly 40 rearwardly and thus bring a next row of terminals into position under the sprindle wrenches 15, the operator lifts the horizontal leg 180 of the actuator finger 161, causing it to pivot around its connection 167 and draw the actuator finger 161 to the right, as seen in FIG. 17. The inclined surface 181 on the tooth 175 rides up out of the aperture 160 in question, and the finger 161 is retracted until the tooth 175 is in position to descend into the next aperture 160 in line. The spring loaded pin 176 thrusts the tooth 175 downwardly into this aperture 160, and the operator presses downwardly on the finger arm 180. This causes the finger arm 180 to thrust the actuator finger 161 to the left, as seen in FIG. 17, driving the plate 155a and, accordingly, the platen assembly 40 rearwardly for the prescribed distance.

The platen assembly 40 should then be in precise position relative to the head assembly 61 so that the spindle wrenches 15 can descend and precisely engage the next row of terminals on the terminal plate. The operator manipulates the mechanism to bring the head assembly downwardly. Should the next row of terminals not have been brought into precise alignment for receipt of the spindle wrenches 15, however, the stop-safe mechanism is effective to prevent this power movement of the head assembly 61.

Referring specifically to FIG. 10, the stop-safe mechanism 140 (there is one on each side of the platen a assembly 40 but only one is shown) includes a row of precisely positioned apertures 190 (only one shown) in the index guide plates a and 155b, extending parallel to the longitudinal edge of the plates and, in the case of the plate 155a, parallel to the apertures 160. The apertures are precision machined in the plates 155a and 155b so that one of the apertures is in exact alignment with each row of terminals T, T, when the terminal plate P is mounted on the platen assembly 40.

The stop-safe mechanism 140 includes a mechanism tower 191 which slidably mounts a locator pin 192 having a frusto-conical tip 193 formed on it. The pin 192 is connected, through a lost-motion linkage assembly 195, with a cut-off switch assembly 196. As the head assembly 61 descends, if the platen assembly 40 is in precisely the right position, as indexed by the indexing mechanism 135, the pin 192 enters the appropriate aperture 190 and passes through it into a pin receiving sleeve 196. Extending up into the sleeve 196 is a spring biased pin 197 which accomodates any slight overtravel of the pin 192.

lf the platen assembly is not in precise alignment for receipt of a prescribed row of terminals T and T, by the spindle wrenches 15 as the head assembly 61 descends, the pin 192 does not enter a corresponding aperture 190 but is, instead, forced upwardly by engagement with the surface of the corresponding guide plate 155a or 155b. Upward movement of the pin 192 causes the lost-motion assembly 195 to actuate the stop-switch assembly 196 and cut off power to the power train assembly 195, thus stopping the descent of the head assembly 61. It is thus assured that the machine 30 will operate to straighten each row of terminals in the plate P after engagement with them only when precise alignment for receipt of the terminals is established by the index mechanism 135 each time the platen assembly 40 is indexed.

I claim:

1. A method of changing the position of a bendable post and fixing the post in a prescribed new position, comprising the steps of:

a. bending said post into said new position from a position displaced therefrom, and

b. twisting the post generally about its axis whereby when it is released it remains in said new position.

2. The method of claim 1 further characterized by and including the step of:

a. holding said post in said prescribed new position while twisting it.

3. A method of straightening the wire wrap post of an electrical terminal seated in base means, whereby the post is moved from misalignment with a prescribed axis of the terminal to alignment therewith and fixed on said axis, comprising the steps of:

a. bending said post into alignment with said axis,

and

b. twisting said post about said axis whereby when it is released it remains fixed on said axis.

4. The method of claim 3 further characterized by and including the step of:

a. twisting said post first in one direction about said axis and then in the opposite direction about said axis.

5. The method of claim 4 further characterized by and including the step of:

a. returning said post to generally its original radial orientation on said axis.

6. A method of straightening the wire wrap post of an electrical terminal seated in base means, whereby the post is returned from misalignment with the longitudinal axis of the terminal to alignment therewith and fixed on said axis, comprising the steps of:

a. bending said post into alignment with said axis,

b. twisting the post in one direction on said axis through a first predetermined number of degrees of arc from its original radial orientation on said axis,

c. twisting the post in the opposite direction on said axis through a second predetermined number of degrees of arc, and

d. returning said post to generally its original radial orientation on said axis by twisting it about said axis.

7. The method of claim 6 further characterized by and including the step of:

a. twisting the post in one direction through approximately 90 of arc from its original radial orientation on said axis.

8. The method of claim 7 further characterized by and including the step of:

a. twisting the post in said opposite direction on said axis through approximately 180 of are.

9. The method of claim 8 further characterized by and including the step of:

a. returning said post to generally its original radial orientation on said axis by twisting it in said one direction on said axis through 70 to 1 10 of arc.

10. A method of straightening the elongated wire wrap post of an electrical terminal extending through a bushing seated in base means, whereby the elongated post is returned from misalignment with the longitudinal axis of the terminal to alignment therewith and fixed on said axis, comprising the steps of:

a. bending said post into alignment with stand axis,

b. twisting the post in one direction on said axis LII through a first predetermined number of degrees of are from its original radial orientation relative on said axis,

c. twisting the post in the opposite direction on said axis through a second predetermined number of degrees of arc,

d. returning said post substantially to its original radial orientation on said axis by twisting it about said axis, and

e. distorting the metal of said post in each of said twisting steps only in an area immediately adjacent the bushing.

11. A method of straightening randomly positioned misaligned wire wrap posts of electrical terminals in a gr ou of terminals seated in base means whereby the mlsa igned posts are returned from misalignment with the longitudinal axes of corresponding terminals to alignment therewith and fixed on said axes, comprising the steps of:

a. gripping each wire wrap post in said group of terminals in such a manner that said misaligned wire wrap posts are bent into alignment with corresponding terminal axes and all the posts in said group are in alignment with corresponding axes,

b. twisting all of said posts in one direction on corresponding axes through a first predetermined number of degrees of arc from their original radial orientation on said corresponding axes,

c. twisting all of said posts in the opposite direction on said corresponding axes through a second predetermined degrees of arc, and

d. returning all of said posts to their generally original radial orientation on said corresponding axes by twisting them a about said corresponding axes.

12. The method of claim 11 further characterized by and including the step of: l l

a. twisting all of said posts in one direction through approximately of are from their original radial orientation on corresponding axes.

13. The method of claim 12 further characterized by and including the step of:

a. twisting all of said posts in said opposite direction on corresponding axes through approximately of arc.

14. The method of claim 13 further characterized by and including the step of:

a. returning all of said posts to generally their original radial orientation on said corresponding axes by twisting them in said one direction on said corresponding axes through 70 to 1 10 of arc.

Notice of Adverse Decision in Interference In Interference No. 98,288, involving Patent No. 3,700,011, G. Walter, TERMINAL STRAIGHTENING METHOD AND MACHINE, final judgment adverse to the patentee was rendered Aug. 23, 1974, as to claims 1, 2 and 3.

[Oficial Gazette December 24, 1.974.]

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3779291 *May 11, 1972Dec 18, 1973Augat IncPin straightening machine
US3903937 *Apr 23, 1971Sep 9, 1975Xerox CorpBack wiring
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Classifications
U.S. Classification140/147, 140/149
International ClassificationH05K13/00
Cooperative ClassificationH05K13/0076
European ClassificationH05K13/00N2