US 3836135 A
A fixture is disclosed having a frame containing a plurality of combs grouped into sets within the frame. Each of the comb sets is adjustable laterally so as to accommodate a variety of different length, relatively thin plates. Such plates find application in electronic air filter cells. The plates are inserted between the fingers of the combs. At least one individual comb is movable with respect to a stationary comb in the comb set. The plates are held securely and spaced properly for later processing by shifting the movable comb so as to lock the plates between the movable and stationary comb in each comb set.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ 51 Sept. 17, 1974 United States Patent [191 Wightman 2,741,842 4/1956 Shapin 30/212 3,711,948 l/l973 Ford et a1. 30/212 3,778,970 12/1973 Swimmer et 55/138 X PLATE SPACING FIXTURE FOR ELECTROSTATIC AIR CLEANERS  Inventor: Lawrance W. Wightman, St. Louis,
 Assignee: Emerson Electric Co., St. Louis, Mo.
Primary Examiner-Roy Lake Assistant Examiner-Craig R. Feinberg Attorney, Agent, or FirmPolster and Polster Jan. 26, 1973  ABSTRACT A fixture is disclosed having a frame containing a plu- 21 Appl. No.: 327,083
rality of combs grouped into sets within the frame. Each of the comb sets is adjustable laterally so as to accommodate a variety of different length, relatively ble comb so as to lock the plates between the movable and stationary comb in each comb set.
thin plates. Such plates find application in electronic air filter cells. The plates are inserted between the fingers of the combs. At least one individual comb is movable with respect to a stationary comb in the comb set. The plates are held securely and spaced properly for later processing by shifting the mova 23 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures S7 52 XX 38 CM333H 23 432 6 I c m D9 3 O6 334.i 32 2 4 6 m m 433 S mm 3m 113 T "n 3 3y4 N b E 7 w T I 3 4 wA I n /C/ t. "a 9 9 G u" 6 2 n" 0 5 S 2 S 4 e o 1 H 15 CT "3.1. "A w mT an 2 .mSLE E53 2& Haw m m NHH 0 53 nag tw mm 0 1 1 1 10 18 6 34 55 5 37 [.1 1.
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PLATE SPACING FIXTURE FOR ELECTROSTATIC AIR CLEANERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to equipment useful in the manufacturing of cell assemblies and in particular to a spacing and clamping fixture for the manufacture of electronic air filter cells. While the invention is described in detail with respect to such electronic air filter cells, those skilled in the art will recognize the wide applicability of my invention to other cell assemblies and uses.
Methods and apparatus for the construction of electronic air filter cells are well known in the art. Conventionally, an electronic air filter cell has a plurality of spaced parallel plates attached alternately to at least one of two metal tubes. The plates generally are rectangular in plan and have at least one relatively large and one small diameter opening punched at each end of the substantially rectangular plate. By rotating sequential plates one hundred and eighty degrees, a passage through a series of plates is provided along each end of the plate series comprising sequential large and small diameter openings. The tubes, which function as electrical conductors, are inserted through the passage and freely pass the small diameter openings in the plates. Thereafter, the metal tubes are expanded by any convenient means. After expansion, the tubes engage alternate plates along the small diameter openings. Expansion conventionally is all that is required to form the integral structure of plates and tubes. It is possible to charge alternate plates to opposite polarities by applying a voltage across the tubes. Application of these opposite polarity plates is well known in the art of electronic air filters. Commonly, air is the only insulation between the oppositely charged plates. Proper operation of the cell requires that the plates remain parallel to and sufficiently spaced from one another to prevent electrical interaction between the plates.
Because of their relatively simple construction, there long has been a desire to automate electronic air filter construction. Automation of cell construction enables the original manufacturer to increase output and lower unit cost. A variety of apparatus and methods for manufacture have been devised for this automated construction. One particularly advantageous method is disclosed in the copending Wightman, et al US. application, Ser. No. 327,081 filed Jan. 26, 1973. It is desirable, in automated cell construction, to provide a fixture for receiving and holding the plates as those plates are manufactured. Assuming, for example, that a conventional punch press is used to fabricate the plates, means must be provided to receive the plates as they come from the punch press. It also is desirable to provide a single fixture both for receiving the plates from the punch press and for the several constructional steps following plate manufacture. The prior art exhibits a number of fixtures useful in electronic air filter cell construction. An example of prior art fixtures is shown and described in the US. Pat. to Aitkenhead, No. 3,581,470, issued June 1, 1971. While these fixtures work well for their intended purposes, they have proved inadequate in a number of important features. At best, prior art fixtures generally are not designed to permit use of a single fixture with a variety of cell plate sizes. Nor are the fixtures designed to automatically lock the plates in position for the succeeding operations necessary in cell construction. Nor are the fixtures designed to receive pairs of plates in abutting relationship.
My invention eliminates deficiencies found in prior art fixtures by providing a simply constructed, yet efficient plate receiving fixture. By placing pairs of plates between the fingers of the combs disclosed herein, several major advantages are possible. First, as later explained in detail, the spacing between adjacent fingers of an individual comb can be increased. Second, the strength of each of the fingers also can be increased, enabling the fingers to withstand the forces encountered in the tube expansion manufacturing step, for example. Finally, the overall size and weight of the fixture can be reduced substantially.
One of the objects of this invention is to provide a plate receiving fixture which is adjustable to accommodate a variety of plate sizes.
Another object of this invention is to provide a fixture which provides automatic and proper plate spacmg.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a fixture having positive and automatic plate locking features.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a plate receiving fixture which enables later insertion and expansion of metal tubes through the channels defined by the plurality of plates, without additional plate positioning, once the plates are placed within the fixture following plate manufacture.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a fixture which holds a predetermined number of plates in fixed relationship.
Other objects of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the following description and accompanying drawings.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with this invention, generally stated, a plate receiving fixture is provided having at least two comb sets. Each comb set includes a plurality of combs having spaced teeth. In the preferred embodiment, two combs in each set are movable reciprocally with respect to the remaining stationary combs of the set. The comb sets in turn are adjustable laterally to accommodate a variety of plate length sizes.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings, FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of plate assembly fixture of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of one comb set utilized in the fixture illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view in side elevation of the comb set shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a view taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the frame illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view, partly broken away, taken along the line 66 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged plan view of a cam plate utilized in conjunction with the fixture of FIG. 1;
FIG. 8 is a view in side elevation taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged view about the area 9-9 of FIG. 5, and
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, reference numeral 1 indicates the plate spacing fixture of this invention. Fixture 1 includes a frame 2 having a plurality of comb sets 3 mounted to it. The frame 2 has a first end 4 and a second end 65 which delimit the boundary of the generally rectangular frame 2. Frame 2 includes a front plate 5, a rear plate 6, and side plates 7, 8, 9 and 10.
Front plate 5 generally is a rectangular steel plate having a top wall 11 and a bottom wall 12. The side plate is mounted to the plate 5 along the top 11 by any convenient method. Welding, or conventional threaded bolt-type fasteners inserted into openings in the plates 10 and 5 indicated generally by the numeral 60, work well. Front plate 5 has a central opening 33 in it, and a pair of openings 90 and 91 spaced from and on opposite sides of the opening 33 through it. The purpose and use of the openings 33, 90 and 91 are later described in detail.
The side plate 10 is a rectangular metal plate. In the embodiment illustrated, a projecting part 14 extends outwardly from a surface 61 of the side plate 10. Projecting part 14 is not described in detail as its function is concerned with transfer of the fixture 1 between various operational stations not directly concerned with the invention disclosed herein. Likewise, a pair of clamp brackets 13 are mounted to the top 11 of the plate 5, outboard of the side plate 10. The clamp brackets 13 find application in certain operational positions of the fixture 1. While a particular design is shown for the brackets 13, other similar brackets are compatible with the broad aspects of this invention. The brackets themselves form no part of the invention and are not discussed in detail.
The side plates 7 and 9 also are rectangular plates and each are attached to front plate 5 and side plate 10 at the end 4 of the frame 2 and to the rear plate 6 and side plate 8 at the end 65 of the frame 2. The side plates 7 and 9 are parallel and oppositely opposed to one another in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1. The plates 8 and 10 also are parallel and oppositely opposed to one another, and their combination forms the frame 2 which in turn circumscribes an opening 22. Both of the plates 7 and 9 have a notch formed in them at each of their respective ends. The notch 15 enables flush mounting of the plates 7 and 9 to the plates 5 and 10, and to the plates 6 and 8 at the respective ends 4 and 65 of the frame 2, as is best seen in FIG. 6. Each of the plates 7 and 9 also have an opening 16 through them at their plate 5 attaching end, the purpose of which is described in detail hereinafter.
Rear plate 6 is a rectangular plate having a top 17 and a bottom 18. The plate 8 is mounted to the top 17 of the rear plate 6 and extends perpendicularly upwardly therefrom. A pair of clamp brackets 19 are mounted to and extend upwardly from the top 17. The clamp brackets 19 are similar to the brackets 13 discussed above. Both the brackets and the side plate 8 may be attached to the rear plate by any convenient method. Either welding or conventional bolt-type fasteners work well, for example.
Referring now to FIGS. 5 through 8, it will be observed that the front plate 5 has a cam actuator 34 extendingthrough the opening 33 which is operatively connected to a bar 35. The cam actuator 34 also is operatively connected to a drive cylinder 62 by a drive means 63. Drive means 63, in effect, is a connector having a first end and a second end 80. The end 70 of drive means 63 has an open mouth channel 64 in it, which engages the cam actuator 34 in the operation of the fixture 1. The end of drive means 63 is attached to a piston rod 81 of the cylinder 62. The drive means 63 is free to move reciprocally in response to motion imparted by the cylinder 62 along ways 71, shown partly broken away in FIG. 5. Ways 71 are conventional and are not described in detail. They are utilized merely to insure left-right travel, with reference to FIG. 5 of drive means 63.
The connection between the cam actuator 34 and the bar 35 may comprise a variety of conventional connectors. In the preferred embodiment, the actuator 34 is attached to the bar 35 by any convenient method and extends through the opening 33. Motion is imparted as described hereinafter. Bar 35 is rectangular in plan having an upper surface 36, a lower surface 37, a first side 38 and a second side 57. The actuator 34 is attached along the surface 37 side of the bar 35. The bar 35 has a plurality of openings 72 in it which are important in mounting the bar 35 to the front plate 5. In the embodiment illustrated, the bar 35 has four of the openings 72 through it.
A first cam plate 23 is mounted to front plate 5 over the opening 91 in the plate 5. A second cam plate 24 is mounted to the front plate 5 over the opening in the front plate 5, as is best seen in FIG. 5. The cam plates 23 and 24 are identical and only a single illustrativee cam plate 23 is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 and discussed in detail. Referring now to these Figures, and also to FIGS. 9 and 10, it is observed that cam plate 23 is a rectangular plate having a front 25, a back 26, a first side 27, and a second side 28, a top 83 and a bottom 86. The plate 23 has a pair of mounting openings 66 through it, along each end of the plate 23, which are utilized to attach the plate 23 to the front plate 5. Attachment may be made by any convenient method. Conventional threaded fasteners work well. When threaded fasteners are utilized, the opening 66 may have complimentary threads along their internal surfaces. Cam plate 23 also has two irregular shaped openings 29 and 30 though it, which in turn define cam surfaces 31 and 32 respectively.
A cam follower 39 is mounted through an opening 72 of the bar 35, along each end of the bar 35. The follower 39 includes a threaded shank portion 55 and a follower portion 56. The follower portion 56 rides within one of the openings 29 and 30 in the cam plate 23. In the embodiment illustrated, the follower 56 is positioned in the opening 30, however, either opening may be utilized. The shank portion 55 of the cam follower 39 extends above the upper surface 36 of the bar 35 and is secured along that surface by a conventional hexagonal nut fastener 58. A shoulder bolt 85 also is mounted to the bar 35 through an opening 72 in the bar 35.
Shoulder bolt 85 includes a head 86, a follower por tion 87 and a shank portion 88. The shank 88 is threaded for intermounting with complimentary threads in the opening 72 of the bar 35. The follower 85 rides within the opening 29 of cam plate 23. The head 86 projects beyond the back 26 of cam plate 23,
with the opening 91, and is sized radially so as to maintain bar 35 in sliding contact with the cam plate 23. The attachment of the bar 35 along the opening 90 cam plate 24 end of the bar is similar to that just described. It will be apparent that the follower 39, lock nut 85 location with respect to the openings 29 and in the cam plates 23 and 24 may be reversed, if desired.
It may be observed, particularly by reference to FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8, that motion of cam actuator 34 is transformed by the interaction of the cam follower 39 and the openings 29 and 30 in the cam plates 23 and 24 into a multi-directional movement. That movement, referenced to FIG. 5, includes a motion component that moves the bar upwardly or downwardly and a motion component that moves the bar 35 left or right, which movement is controlled by the slope of the open ings 29 and 30. As previously indicated, the side plates 7 and 9 have an opening 16 in them along that end of the side plates 7 and 9 joining the plate 10. The openings 16 are provided to enable the bar 35 to move full scale along the cam surfaces 31 and 32. Other embodiments of my invention, particularly those permitting increased fixture 1 sizes, may eliminate the use of the opening 16.
While the shoulder bolt 85 primarily functions to prevent the bar 35 from raising upwardly away from the cam plates 23 and 24, the follower portion 87 also can act as a cam follower, similar to the follower portion 56 of the cam follower 39, during movement of bar 35.
Side 38 of bar 35 is utilized to engage a portion of the comb set 3 as described hereinafter. This use tends to cause wear of the bar 35 along the engaging portion. A hardened metal plate, not shown, may be attached to the side 38 of the bar 35 in order to give long life characteristics to the bar-plate combination. Thereafter the plate may be replaced when required by wear without necessitating replacement of the bar 35.
The comb set 3 is best illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4. As there shown, the preferred embodiment of the comb set 3 includes a pair of movable combs 40 and a plurality of stationary combs generally indicated by the numeral 41. A pair of the stationary combs 41 are mounted on either side of a spacer 42. Two of the comb 41-spacer 42 combinations are placed adjacent one another and supported on a backbone structure 43, along the central part of the structure 43. The comb 41- spacer 42 combinations are attached to the structure 43 by any convenient method. For example, the combs 41 may be placed on each side of the spacer 42 and two of these combinations may be attached to the structure 43. Conventional screw type fasteners work well for this attachment.
The backbone structure 43 of the combs set 3 is a rectangular metal plate having a first end 44 and a second end 45. The end 44 of backbone structure 43 is intended for mounting on the front plate 5 end of the frame 2. A pair of threaded mounted openings 46 is provided in the structure 43 to permit structure 43 attachment to the front plate 5. Conventional screw type fasteners work well for this attachment. End likewise has a pair of threaded mounted openings 47 which is used to attach the end 45 of structure 43 to the rear plate 6. In the embodiment illustrated, the backbone structure 43 runs the entire length of the comb set 3.
The backbone structure 43 has a series of channels 48 formed in it. The channels 48 are utilized to accommodate a bridge member 49. Bridge member 49 is U shaped in side elevation. Each of the members 49 has a pair of oppositely opposed, inwardly turned faces 68 along the open mouth of the U-shape, as is best seen in FIG. 4. The movable combs 40 are mounted to the bridge member 49 along the face 68 of the members 49. Each bridge member 49 inturn is slidably mounted to the backbone structure 43 by any convenient method. For example, it is convenient to provide at least one cylindrical pin in the channel 48 parallel to the longitudinal axis of the structure 43. Openings are provided in the bridge members 49 which receive the cylindrical pins in a free, slip fit. The interaction of the pins and bridge members 49 permit the members 49 to move reciprocally along the pins in response to imposed force stimuli.
Mounted internally of the channels 48, opposite the pins on which the bridge members 49 ride, are a plurality of springs 50, shown in phantom lines in FIG. 3. The springs 50 are operatively connected to the bridge members 49 and are biased to urge the bridge members 49 in a first direction of movement. That is, each spring 50 is mounted within the channel 48 so as to exert a force in a first direction, which force is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the backbone structure 43. The number of springs 50 utilized in an individual comb set 3 and their placement in the comb set 3 may vary with embodiments of my invention. In the embodiment illustrated, a pair of springs 50 are arranged parallelwise at each end of the comb set 3 and are adapted to urge the movable comgs 40 toward the left, as the comb set 3 is viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3.
Each of the combs 41 are constructed identically. They are metal frames having a plurality of spaced teeth 51 formed in them. The movable combs 40 also are constructed identically and include metal frames having a plurality of spaced teeth, also indicated by the reference numeral 51, formed in them. The stationary combs 41 and the movable combs 40 are aligned in at least one relative position so as to define a plurality of grooves 52 which traverse the comb set 3, as best observed in FIG. 2. The major difference between the combs 40 and the combs 41 is that the movable combs 40 each have protrusions 53 extending outwardly from them. The protrusions 53 inturn each have a roller 54 rotatably mounted to them, clevis fashion. The rollers 54 abut side 38 of the bar 35 when the comb set '3 is mounted within the frame 2.
The fixture l is extremely simple to use in the manufacturing process. For example, in the cell plate operation described above, each of a predetermined number of the comb sets 3 is placed within the opening 22 of the frame 2 and each is secured to the front and rear plates 5 and 6 respectively. A hole pattern 69 is provided in the plates 5 and 6, enabling the combs 3 to be mounted adjustably in a plurality of lateral positions for accommodating a plurality of plate sizes. The fixture l is then placed in an operating station for receiving the plates which eventually form the cell. Bar 35 is actuated by the cam actuator 34, which action drives the bar 35, and in particular the follower 39, to a lower position along the surfaces 31 and 32 of the cam plates 23 and 24, the lower position 75 being taken with reference to FIG. 7. This action drives the bar 35 towards the rear plate 6 in the transitional motion described above. The operational engagement of side 38 and the rollers 54 likewise force the movable blades 40 toward the rear of the plate 6, bringing the blades 40 into alignment with the stationary blades 41, in turn opening the grooves 52 and compressing the spring 50. In this open position of the fixture 1, plates may be inserted in the grooves 52. It is convenient to insert two plates between each of the teeth 51. The purpose of dual plate placement is explained below. However, single plates may be inserted in the teeth 51, if desired. The plates, as will be understood by those skilled in the art, are manufactured identically and each plate has a predetermined hole pattern punched in it. Alternate plates are rotated with respect to the immediately preceding plate in the cell so that a channel through a plate series is provided, comprising alternate large and small diameter openings. After a predetermined number of plates are inserted in the grooves 52, the bar 35 is moved by the cam actuator 34, in response to the drive means 63 so that the followers 39 move to an upper position 76 of the surfaces 31 and 32. It may be observed, by reference to FIGS. and 6, that this motion moves the bar 35 toward the front plate 5. Movement of the bar 35 permits the movable combs 40 to shift towards the front plate 5, which movement is aided by the action of the springs 50 acting on the combs 40. Movement of the combs 40 disaligns the grooves 52 and locks the plates between the movable combs 40 and the stationary combs 41. Thereafter, all later constructional steps necessary to form the parallel plates and metal tubes into an assembly may be performed, without removing the plates from the fixture 1. For example, the metal tubes may be inserted through the channels in the plates and expanded. As previously described, expansion is all that is required to attach the tubes and the plates. Since the plates have alternate sized hole patterns in them, each tube will engage an alternate plate. After expansion the now integral unit may be removed from the fixture l by returning the bar 35, again by the action of the actuator 34, so that the followers 39 are driven to the lower position 75 of the surfaces 31 and 32, bringing the grooves 52 in alignment. Thereafter, the now integral plate-tube combination can be removed by any convenient method.
As indicated above, preferably two plates are placed in each of the grooves 52. Dual plate placement enables the fixture 1 to be smaller in its overall dimensions that would be the case where a single plate is placed in each groove. In addition, teeth 51 of the combs 40 and 41 can be enlarged so that they are able to withstand expansion forces in the remaining operational steps of cell construction.
Proper spacing between plates is accomplished after tube insertion and expansion. That is, the metal tubes are inserted and expanded and the integral cell unit is removed from the fixture l. Thereafter, the ends of the tubes are adjusted. Since the plates are attached only to certain of the tubes, adjustment of the tube ends automatically gives proper plate spacing.
Numerous variations, within the scope of the appended claims, will occur to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing disclosure and accompanying drawings. Thus, the comb sets 3 may be varied. For example, the stationary combs 41 may be placed on the outside of the comb set 3 while the movable combs 40 are positioned along the center of the backbone structure 43. Likewise, while the stationary comb 4l-spacer 42 combinations were described as separate units, they may be constructed integrally. l find it convenient to construct combs 40 and combs 41 alike, thereafter making modifications in the combs 40 required for their operation. However, each of the combs 40 and 41 may be manufactured initially with their various differences. Although the preferred embodiment described above has the combs 40 and 41 grouped in sets, other embodiments of the fixture 1 may eliminate the sets, having the individual combs attached to the front and rear plates individually, for example. The shape or aesthetic design of the fixture 1 may be varied. For example, a stylized enclosure may be provided about the frame 2 to enhance its appearance. These variations are merely illustrative.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
l. A fixture for holding a multiplicity of spaced, parallel plates comprising:
at least two comb sets mounted to said frame, each of said comb sets including a plurality of combs at least one of which is movably mounted with respect to the remaining combs of said set, said comb sets being parallel and spaced apart along said frame, the combs within each comb set being aligned in at least one of two positions during operation of the fixture, said aligned position permitting insertion of said plates in said fixture;
means for moving each of the movable combs of said comb sets simultaneously between at least a first position and a second position, the movable combs of each of said comb sets being aligned with the remaining combs of each set in one of said first and said second positions and disaligned with respect to the remaining combs of each set in the other of said first and said second positions, said moving means being carried by said frame; and
means for biasing the movable comb of said comb set toward said disaligned position, said biasing means being carried by said comb set.
2. The fixture of claim 1 wherein each of said combs of said comb set comprises a base strip and a plurality of spaced teeth extending upwardly from said base strip.
3. The fixture of claim 2 wherein said movable comb of said set is further characterized by a roller mounted to said base strip on at least one end of said base strip.
4. The fixture of claim 2 wherein each of said comb sets comprises:
a back structure;
a first comb mounted to said back structure;
a second comb mounted to said structure; and
means for operatively connecting said first comb to said back structure so that said first comb may be moved reciprocally with respect to said second comb.
5. The fixture of claim 4 wherein said means for operatively connecting said first comb to said back structure includes a bridge member reciprocally mounted to said back structure, said first comb being mounted to said bridge structure.
6. The fixture of claim 5 wherein said biasing means comprises a spring biased between said bridge member and said back structure.
7. The fixture of claim 6 wherein said frame has a first and a second end, and said comb sets are mounted to said frame between said first and said second ends,
said frame having a plurality of openings in it along said first and said second ends permitting a plurality of mounting positions for said comb sets.
8. A comb set, comprising:
a back structure;
a first comb mounted to said back structure, said comb having a plurality of spaced teeth defining grooves therebetween;
a second comb mounted to said back structure, said comb having a plurality of spaced teeth defining grooves therebetween;
means for movably mounting said first comb with respect to said second comb between a first position having the grooves of said combs aligned and a second position having the grooves of said combs disaligned; and
means for biasing said first comb toward said second position, said biasing means being carried by said comb set.
9. The comb set of claim 1 wherein said back structure is generally rectangular in plan, said mounting means comprises a bridge member mounted to said back structure outboard of three peripheral dimensions of said back structure, and said biasing means comprises a spring biased to urge said bridge structure in a first direction, said movable comb being mounted to said bridge structure for movement therewith.
10. A plate receiving and spacing fixture, comprising:
means for receiving a plurality of plates mounted to said frame, said receiving means comprising at least two comb sets mounted to said frame in spaced relationship to one another, each of said comb sets including a plurality of combs, said combs having a multiplicity of spaced teeth defining slots therebetween, at least one of said combs being movably mounted with respect to the remaining combs of said set, said combs defining a plurality of aligned grooves traversing said frame in a first position of said combs;
means for moving said movable combs of said comb sets between a second disaligned position and said first aligned position, said last mentioned means being carried by said frame; and
means for biasing the movable combs of said comb sets toward the disaligned position.
11. A fixture for releasably holding an article, comprising:
a frame having a first end and a second end;
a plurality of individual combs mounted to said frame, each of said combs having a plurality of spaced teeth defining slots therebetween, said comb plurality including a first comb movable in relationship to a second comb in said mounted position of said comb plurality, each of said combs being arranged parallel to and spaced from one another so that said teeth define a plurality of grooves extending across said frame in an aligned position of said combs, each of said grooves being designed for receiving an article;
means for moving said movable combs into said aligned position from a disaligned position, said last mentioned means being carried by said frame; and
means for biasing said movable comb toward said disaligned position of said comb.
12. The fixture of claim 11 wherein said comb plurality is arranged in comb sets, at least two comb sets being mounted to said frame, each of said comb sets including a plurality of combs at least one of which is movably mounted with respect to the remaining combs of said set, said movably mounted comb being operatively connected to said moving means.
13. The fixture of claim 12 wherein at least one of said comb sets is movable laterally with respect to the other of said comb sets.
14. The fixture of claim 11 wherein said frame includes a front plate and a rear plate, said combs being mounted to said fixtures between said front plate and said rear plate. D
15. The fixture of claim 11 wherein said moving means comprises an actuator bar removably mounted to said front plate.
16. The fixture of claim 15 further characterized by a first cam plate and a second cam plate mounted between said actuator bar and said front plate.
17. The fixture of claim 16 wherein each of said cam plates have a pair of irregular shaped openings in them, said openings defining a first position and a second position for said actuator bar with respect to said front plate.
18. The fixture of claim 16 wherein said front plate has a central opening in it and said actuator bar includes a cam follower mounted to said bar on a first end of said actuator, said actuator having a second end extending through said central opening.
19. The fixture of claim 18 wherein said front plate and said rear plate have a plurality of openings defining a plurality of lateral positions for said comb sets.
20. A plate spacing fixture for holding and spacing a multiplicity of plates, comprising:
a supporting structure;
means mounted to said supporting structure for releasably holding a plurality of plates, said holding means including at least a first part and a second part movable relatively to one another so as to define an aligned first plate receiving position and a second disaligned plate holding position;
first means for placing said holding means in said first plate receiving position, said first means including an actuator operatively connected to said holding means and adapted to drive the movable ones of said first and said second parts of said holding means from said second disaligned plate holding position to said first plate receiving position; and
second means for placing said holding means in said second disaligned position upon deactivation of said first placing means, said second placing means including biasing means for maintaining said holding means in said second disaligned position under the influence of said second placing means until reactivation of said first placing means.
21. The fixture of claim 20 wherein said holding means comprises at least one comb set, said comb set including:
a back structure;
a bridge member movably mounted to said back structure, said bridge member traversing the width of said back structure;
a pair of combs mounted to said bridge member and movable therewith; and
at least one stationary comb mounted to said back structure intermediate said movable comb pair.
22. The fixture of claim 2 wherein said holding means 23. The fixture of claim 21 wherein said second placcomprises at least two of said comb sets, at least one of ing means comprises a spring biased between the said comb sets being adjustably mounted to said supbridge member and the back structure of said comb set.