US 3741453 A
Means is provided for feeding strand material to a piddler mechanism for coiling delivery of the same into a collection bin. The feeding means employs a rotating drum having a perforate periphery at a portion of which suction is impressed to grip and feed the strand material, while maintaining pressure at a following peripheral portion to free the strand material in a manner that prevents it from lapping on the drum and that materially lessens the tension on the material as it moves forward to and through the piddler mechanism.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nited States Patent [1 1 Pierce et al.
[ June 26, 1973 PIDDLER MECHANISM FEEDING MEANS [7 5] Inventors: John H. Pierce; Walter Carl Credle;
Lewis 0. Crawford, Jr., all of Charlotte, NC. 1
 Assignee: R. H. Bouligny, Inc., Charlotte, NC.
 Filed: Nov. 12, 1971  Appl. No.: 198,310
 U.S. Cl 226/7, 226/95, 226/97  int. Cl B65h 17/28  Field of Search. 226/7, 97, 95
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS I 2,447,982 8/1948 KOStel't; 226/97 X 3,151,795 10/1964 Gwillim 226/95 Primary Examiner-Allen N. Knowles AttorneyChanning L. Richards et al.
 ABSTRACT Means is provided for feeding strand material to a piddler mechanism for coiling delivery of the same into a collection bin. The feeding means employs a rotating drum having a perforate periphery at a portion of which suction is impressed to grip and feed the strand material, while maintaining pressure at a following peripheral portion to free the strand material in a manner that prevents it from lapping on the drum and that materially lessens the tension on the material as it moves forward to and through the piddler mechanism.
9 Claims, 6. Drawing Figures SUCTION PATENTEDJUNZS I975 SHEET 1 OF 3 SUCTION CHAMBER DRIVEN "1- PRESSURE-P! Fig. 2
PIDDLER MECHANISM FEEDING MEANS CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS None, although copending application Ser. No. 78,872, filed Oct. 7, 1970, deals with piddler mechanisms of the sort with which the presently disclosed feeding means is adapted for use, and for this reason the application is of related interest.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Piddler mechanisms, as the above-noted copending application indicates, are commonly used for batch collection of the tow strands formed at synthetic fiber spinning lines by combining or grouping the filaments from a plurality of spinning positions. The usual operating arrangement is such as to forward the strand downwardly through a rotating piddler tube having a canted lower end portion from which a coiling delivery results to lay the strand in a layered pattern of overlapping coils within a tow bin placed to receive the tow delivery, an empty bin being moved into place as each previously placed bin is filled and removed.
Feeding of the tow strand to the piddler mechanism is ordinarily accomplished by providing an endless belt trained to wrap arcuately over a first roll of relatively large diameter and then about a second roll of relatively small diameter disposed to extend a reach of the belt from the first roll in substantial vertical alignment with the piddler tube and closely adjacent the upper end thereof. The tow output from the spinning line is received on the surface of the first roll so as to move beneath the wrap of the belt thereon and then to follow the belt down to the piddler tube'upper end. As a consequence, the tow strand is subjected to considerable lateral pressure as it is carried over the first roll beneath the belt. In addition, there is a continual tendency for filament elements of the tow strand to lap on the first roll or on the belt, and a good deal of tension must be applied to free it from the belt for forwarding through the piddler tube. All of these influences are undesirable because the combined filaments of the tow strand are associated in more or less parallel relation so that the strand structure may be disturbed or disrupted rather easily by pressing or pulling and is, of course, degraded whenever any of its components are lost by lapping in addition to the equipment fouling that results from such lapping.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention a piddler mechanism feeding means is provided that eliminates all of the foregoing undesirable influences on the tow strand. For this purpose a rotatable drum having a perforate periphery is employed. The periphery of this drum is aligned in tangent relation with the piddler tube axis, and means is arranged to impress a suction within the drum at a portion of the periphery ahead of the point of tangent alignment with the piddler tube axis and to maintain a pressure within the drum at a peripheral portion beyond this point. The result of this arrangement is to receive and feed the tow strand on the drum surface at the peripheral portion subjected to suction without any need for gripping the strand other than by the suction, and then to free thestrand positively beyond the tangent point by the pressure applied from within the drum thereat so that lapping is not only preeluded but the strand feeding to the piddler tube is effected without requiring any application of tension to free it from the feeding means. Related advantages are the simplicity, reduced maintenance requirements and consequent operating reliability of the feeding means, and an improved operation of the piddler mechanism by reason of both the greater ease with which the tow strand may be forwarded therethrough and the fact that higher delivery speeds may be attained as will appear more fully further below.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a schematic representation of a feeding means arranged in relation to a piddler mechanism, the representation being taken substantially at the line I-ll in FIG. 2;
FIG. 2 is a further schematic representation of the FIG. I arrangement taken substantially at the line 2-2 in FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a partial illustration of an alternative form of piddler mechanism for use in the FIG. I arrangement, the respective broken line circles in FIGS. I and 3 indicating general correspondence of location;
FIG. 4 is a central vertical section showing in detail the arrangement of the rotating drum employed in the feeding means;
FIG. 5 is a central horizontal section of the supporting structure on which the rotating drum is mounted; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary detail of the perforate peripheral surface of the rotating drum.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION FIGS. I and 2 of the drawings illustrate, more or less schematically, the operating organization of a piddler mechanism feeding means embodying the present invention. As illustrated, a piddler mechanism is indicated at It) mounted in tangent alignment with a rotating drum I2 arranged to feed the piddler I0 in the manner generally described earlier. For this purpose, the rotating drum I2 is partitioned diametrically by partition elements I4 to form respective suction and pressure chambers I6 and 18 therein, with a transition from suction to pressure occurring at the point of tangent alignment with the piddler Ill.
The rotating drum I2 is driven through a pulley 20 carried by its mounting shaft 22 and suction and pressure influences are maintained in the chambers In and I8 by a blower unit 24 having its suction leg26 drawing from the suction chamber I6 and its pressure leg 28 delivering to the pressure chamber 11%, with an adjustable bleed gate fill arranged in the pressure leg 2% to modulate the delivered pressure influence at a satisfactory level. Strand material, such as a tow strand, is supplied through an elevator tube 32 to the rotating drum I2 for feeding, so that the rotating drum I2 and the piddler It]! may be mounted on an elevated frame structure, indicated fragmentarily at 34 for delivery of the fed tow strand downwardly into a tow bin (not shown). The path of the tow strand is indicated in FIG. I. at S as it is supplied through the elevator tube 32 for feeding by the rotating drum I2 to the piddler III by which it is delivered to the tow bin.
The, arrangement of the rotating drum I2 is detailed in FIGS. I5 and 6, and from which it will be seen that the drum I2 is carried on a mounting plate 36 having a base flange 33 and sidewise bracing flanges 44) by which it is held in a standing position on the elevated frame structure 34. Centrally of this mounting plate 36 a tubular bearing housing 42 is fixed to form a journal support for the drum mounting shaft 22. The bearing housing 42 extends at both faces of the mounting plate 36 and four gussets 44, spaced at 45 from vertical and horizontal, are provided at the back face to brace the housing 42. The front face extension of housing 42 extends within the drum 12 so that the mounting shaft 22 may extend therefrom to carry a circular flange 46, which is also gusseted at 48, for assembly by bolts at 50 to an annular plate 52 closing the adjacent end of drum 12.
Peripherally, the drum 12 is formed by a cylindrical shell member 54 secured to the annular plate 52 and having an exterior circumferential groove 56 therein with relatively large apertures 58 extending through the wall of shell 54 at the bottom of groove 56, and with circumferentially directed ribs 60 extending between the spaced apertures 58 at a height corresponding to the depth of groove 56 (compare FIGS. 4 and 6). Additionally, a sleeve 62 having relatively small perforations therein is disposed in covering relation on the drum shell 54 so as to cross the groove 56 and be supported thereat by the ribs 60. The sleeve 62 extends widthwise on the drum shell 54 from the closed end side thereof (i.e., as seen at the right in FIG. 4) to an upstanding guard flange 64 running circumferentially about the shell 54 and beyond which a circumferential end portion at the open end of shell 54 is nested closely but freely between a pair of concentrically spaced annular flanges 66 and 68 that are fixed at the adjacent face of mounting plate 36 to form an adequate running seal thereat for the previously mentioned suction and pressure chambers 16 and 18 within the rotating drum 12.
Suction and pressure chambers 16 and 18 are completed within drum 12 by structure including a circular plate 70 fixed on the bearing housing 42 in spaced relation within shell 54 and adjacent the annular plate 52 carrying shell 54. The periphery of this circular plate 70 is flanged annularly at 72 toward the inner face of the annular plate 52 of drum 12 and nested there,
closely but freely again, between a second pair of conmounting and circular plates 36 and 70 to form the pre- I viously mentioned partition elements 14 that partition the space within the rotating drum 12 into the suction and pressure chambers 16 and 18 while leaving drum 12 free to rotate.
It should be noted that the partitioning and sealing arrangements described above for the suction and pressure chambers 16 and 18 permit some leakage, as indicated by the directional arrows at the extending ends of partition elements 14 in FIG. 1, but that the leakage which takes place is insignificant in relation to the operating function of chambers 16 and 18 to grip strand material S at the periphery of drum 12 for feeding and to release it at and beyond the point of tangent alignment with piddler 10.
It should also be noted that the cover sleeve 62 forming the peripheral surface of drum 12 is said above to have relatively small perforations therein in the sense of employing perforations of such size that the strand material S will have no tendency toward snagging or disrupting deformation therein under the gripping influence of the suction chamber 16. In the illustrated embodiment, the perforations are seen to extend throughout the width of sleeve 62 because stock material was used to form the sleeve 62 for that embodiment and a width sufficient to space the sleeve edges well away from the strand material S was desired. The stock material used was 22 gauge sheet steel having a staggered pattern of 0.050 inch diameter perforations on 0.078 inch centers so as to provide 189 perforations per square inch with no margins.
The sleeve 62 was formed of this material in a width of 6% inch and a length suited for a shrink fit on a 40 inch drum shell 54 after securing the lengthwise ends by welding. The installed sleeve 62 was polished smooth and was found to provide an excellent surface for the drum 12. Fixing of the sleeve 62 on the drum shell 54 can also be accomplished effectively by spot welding it in place at the edge adjacent the annular plate 52 if desired, and it would, of course, be satisfactory to perforate sleeve 62 only where it crosses the apertured groove 56 in drum shell 54, if special rather than stock material is used, although the width of sleeve 62 should be maintained at about the same order so only about 37 Percent of its area is open across the shell groove 56 and its edges are spaced well to each side.
The relatively large apertures 58 formed at the bottom of shell groove 56, as mentioned above, were in turn sized in the illustrated embodiment with a major axis coextensive with a groove width of 2% and having rounded ends on 5 inch radii providing a minor axis width of 1% inch and these apertures 58 were spaced circumferentially about the 40 inch drum shell 54 on 6 centers, while the shell 54 was provided in a 5% inch wall thickness and the groove 56 was cut /9 inch deep with the ribs 60 being equally spaced therein and standing Vs inch high at a inch width. Such an arrangement has proven to transmit the influence of the suction and pressure chambers 16 and 18 through the cover sleeve 62 quite effectively, although it will be apparent that the particular arrangement is not critical as long as this result is accomplished while maintaining adequate structural strength in the shell wall at the aperture series.
The previously mentioned elevator tube 32 through which the strand material S is supplied to the rotating drum 12 for feeding is arranged for this purpose at an inclination so that an arcuate notch 82 formed sidewise therein may be nested closely over the surface of rotating drum 12 at the beginning portion of suction chamber 16 and in line with the series of drum shell apertures 58 through which the suction influence is exerted. Also, the adjacent top end of the elevator tube 32 is closed, as at 84, so that this suction influence not only acts to grip the supplied strand material S on the rotating drum 12 for feeding but additionally serves to induce and maintain a suction draft in elevator tube 32 that has been found sufficient in handling representative tow strand to cause lacing and continued travel upwardly in the elevator tube 32 to the drum 12. If particular strand material is found to require supplementing this suction draft for lacing purposes or otherwise, this may be readily done by providing aspirating means (not shown) at the bottom end of elevator tube 32.
Upon gripping at the perforate surface of rotating drum 12 by the suction draft applied from suction chamber 16, the strand material S is carried forward in the direction of rotation to the point of tangent alignment with the axis of piddler where the adjacent partition element 14 within drum 12 effects a transition to an applied pressure draft from the pressure chamber 18 at and beyond this tangent point that not only releases the strand material S from the drum surface but further acts to prevent any portion of it, such as individual filaments of a tow strand, from lapping on drum R2.
The thus released strand material S is received freely and directed to the piddler 10 by a tubular member 86 of sufficient diameter for this purpose that is disposed in alignment with the axis of piddler lit) and reaches thereto from a location adjacent the drum tangent point where it is formed with a flared end portion 88 that has a sidewise segment removed, as at 88', for clearing the periphery of drum 12. In the FIG. 1 arrangement, the illustrated tubular member 86 is also formed with a relatively short lower end portion 90 of enlarged diameter at which the entrance end of a piddler tube 92 is nested for rotation about the previously mentioned axis of tangent alignment with the rotating drum 12. Rotation about this axis is provided for by mounting the piddler, tube 92 on frame structure 1% at a bearing 94 with an adjacent pulley drive connection 96 running thereto from suitable drivemeans at 98, so that the lower canted portion of piddler tube 92 may be revolved to effect the desired coiling delivery of strand material S.
A notable feature of this arrangement of the piddler mechanism 10 in FIG. 1 is the fact that it operates without any application of aspirating air, so that coiling delivery of the strand material S is effected simply as a result of the centrifugal force generated as the strand mass issues from the revolving piddler tube 92. Operation in this manner is made possible according to the present invention by the free release of fed strand material that is effected by the rotating drum l2, and is entirely practicable as long as the strand material being handled has sufficient unit mass for generating the necessary centrifugal force. In instances where the strand mass is not adequate for this purpose an aspirated piddler mechanism 100, such as is shown in FIG. 3, is
readily substituted, in which case the lower end of the tubular receiving member 88 is terminated short of an aligned piddler entrance tube 102 that is fixed in an aspirator housing 104 .in which a piddler tube 106 is also mounted for rotation while forming an annular aspiration orifice at the lower end of entrance tube 102 as disclosed in the previously mentioned copending application Ser. No. 78,872.
In any event, the strand material S being handled is fed to and delivered through the piddler mechanism under much less tension than is normally required and is consequently handled a good deal more gently than is usual, as well as being prevented from lapping at the feeding means so as to eliminate a troublesome operating difficulty that has been a common incident of prior practice.
Additionally, the 40 inch rotating drum l2 employed in the illustrated embodiment of the present invention, and which can be accommodated easily in space comparable to that required by previously used feeding arrangements, provides the significant advantage of presenting a circumference somewhat in excess of a meter so that a feeding rate somewhat greater than a meter per revolution is obtained and considerably increased operating speeds are therefore possible.
The present invention has been described in detail above for purposes of illustration only and is not intended to be limited by this description or otherwise to exclude any variation or equivalent arrangement that would be apparent from, or reasonably suggested by, the foregoing disclosure to the skill of the art.
1. The combination with a piddler mechanism, oper able about an axis for coiling delivery of continuous strand material, of means for feeding said strand material to said mechanism comprising a rotatable drum having a perforate periphery aligned in tangent relation with the piddler mechanism axis, means for impressing a suction within said drum at a portion of said periphery ahead of the point of tangent alignment with said piddler mechanism and for maintaining a pressure within said drum at an adjacent peripheral portion beyond said tangent point, and means formed by a tubular member of sufficient diameter for receiving strand material freely beyond said tangent point and directing it to said piddler mechanism, said tubular member being disposed in alignment with said piddler mechanism axis and reaching to said piddler mechanism from a location adjacent said tangent point.
2. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said strand material is supplied to said feeding means through a tubular member that is arcuat ely notched sidewise for nesting closely over the perforate periphery of said rotatable drum at a portion thereof at which said suction impressing means is arranged to act, and in which the end of said tubular member adjacent said sidewise notching is closed.
3. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said rotatable drum is formed by a cylindrical shell that is open at one end and closed at the other with means fitted centrally at said closed end for rotatably mounting said drum, the wall of said cylindrical shell having an exterior circumferential groove formed therein with relatively large apertures extending through the shell wall in spaced relation at the bottom of said groove, and a sleeve having relatively small perforations therein disposed in covering relation on said shell across said groove. 7
4. The combination defined in claim 3 in which said circumferential groove is formed with at least one series of circumferentially directed ribs extending between said spaced apertures at a height corresponding to the depth of said groove for bracing the portion of said sleeve that crosses said groove.
5. The combination defined in claim 3 in which the centrally fitted means for rotatably mounting said shell is a shaft extending inward from the closed end thereof and is journaled on amounting plate disposed adjacent the open end of said shell, and the adjacent face ofsaid plate carries a pair of concentrically spaced annular flanges between which a circumferential end portion of said shell at said open end is nested closely while remaining freely rotatable with respect thereto.
6. The combination defined in claim in which the journaling provided for said shell shaft includes a tubular bearing housing fixed on said mounting plate and extending at both faces thereof with the extension at said adjacent face reaching adjacent said shell closed end and carrying a circular plate thereat in spaced relation within said shell, the periphery of said circular plate being flanged annularly toward said shell closed end and the interior face of said closed end carrying a second pair of concentrically spaced annular flanges between which said circular plate flange is nested closely while remaining free for rotation, and the adjacent face extension of said bearing housing further carrying diametrically opposed radial partition elements extending therefrom and fixed between said mounting and circular plates to partition the space within said drum while leaving the latter free to rotate.
7. The combination defined in claim 6 in which said mounting plate has a pair of openings formed therethrough in respective communication with the partitioned spaces within said drum at each side of said partition elements, and a blower unit is arranged with the suction leg thereof connected at one of said mounting plate openings and the pressure leg at the other.
8. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said tubular member has an end portion adjacent said tangent point that is flared with a sidewise segment of said portion removed for clearing the periphery of said drum.
9. The method of feeding continuous strand material to a piddler mechanism operable about an axis for coiling delivery of said strand material, which method comprises gripping said strand material by a suction draft at the periphery ofa rotating cylindrical surface aligned in tangent relation with the piddler mechanism axis, carrying the gripped strand material forward on said surface to the point of tangent alignment with said piddler mechanism axis, releasing said strand material from said surface at and beyond said tangent point by a pressure draft, and directing the released strand material freely to said piddler mechanism.