US 3854275 A
Method and apparatus for automatically removing filled bobbins from spindles spaced apart along the length of a spinning machine. The bobbin handling apparatus includes a carriage that moves along the length of the spinning machine and in timed sequence removes a plurality of filled bobbins from their spindles, transfers the filled bobbins to a rack or bobbin transporter, picks up a plurality of empty bobbins, transfers the empty bobbins to the previously doffed spindles, and then travels to the next position, where the process is repeated. The carriage includes guide means to position precisely the rack with respect to the spindles.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Dec. 17, 1974 1 MECHANIZED BOBBIN HANDLER  Inventors: Thomas J. Bethea; Joe L. Ritchie,
both of Rock Hill, S.C.
 Assignee: Celanese Corporation, New York,
221 Filed: Nov. 12, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 415,286
Related US. Application Data  Division of Ser. No. 147,951, May 28, 1971, Pat. No.
3,411,281 11/1968 Guido et a1. 57/34 R 3,503,198 3/1970 Goldammer et al. 57/53 3,651,628 3/1972 Harmon 61 a1. 57/[ R Primary ExaminerJohn Petrakes Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Thomas J. Morgan; Robert J. Blanke [5 7] ABSTRACT Method and apparatus for automatically removing filled bobbins from spindles spaced apart along the length of a spinning machine. The bobbin handling apparatus includes a carriage that moves along the length of the spinning machine and in timed sequence removes a plurality of filled bobbins from their spindles, transfers the filled bobbins to a rack or bobbin transporter, picks up a plurality of empty bobbins, transfers the empty bobbins to the previously doffed spindles, and then travels to the next position, where the process is repeated. The carriage includes guide means to position precisely the rack with respect to the spindles.
2 Claims, 22 Drawing Figures PATENTEJ 316 I 7 I974 SHEET Q 0F 7 MECHANIZED BOBBIN HANDLER This is a division, of application Ser. No. 147,951, filed May 28, 1971, now US. Pat. No. 3,765,160.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to textile apparatus, and more particularly, to apparatus for replacing filled bobbins with empty bobbins in spinning machines, or similar machines.
In the production of synthetic yarns, a plurality of filaments emerge from the extrusion cabinet and pass over a feed roll and are then twisted together and wound on a bobbin. Typically, as many as a hundred spindles, or more, are mounted vertically in a row that extends longitudinally of the machine frame below the extrusion cabinet. A plurality of filaments are looped around the feed roll and conducted through a balloon guide and a ring traveler and are wound on the bobbins. Each bobbin is rotated by a drive mechanism connected with the spindles. A clutch and brake under each spindle allows the spindles to be individually stopped.
In accordance with conventional practice, doffing of the filled bobbins is done manually by doffing operators. The operator is paced by a timing chain which runs the length of the machine frame. The chain has a plate which projects sufficiently to engage a brake lever which is provided on each spindle assembly. As the timing chain moves progressively down the machine frame, the plate strikes the brake levers sequentially, causing the spindles to stop rotating. The chain driven plate, which is known as a pacer, moves continuously along the machine frame and the doffing operator follows the pacer to carry out the doffing operation at each spindle assembly, when the bobbin stops rotating. The pacer assures that approximately the same amount of yarn is wound on each bobbin, and since only a few spindles are stopped at a time, very little yarn is wasted while the bobbins are being changed.
At each spindle assembly, the doffing operator raises the hinged balloon guide, cuts the yarn at the ring traveler and lifts the filled bobbin off the spindle pin and places it on a rack or bobbin transporter. The transporter is a wheeled dolly having a plurality of inclined pegs projecting from a vertical panel. The filled bobbins are received on the pegs. An empty bobbin is removed from another peg on the transporter and is inserted over the spindle pin. The brake is released manually and while the bobbin is rotating, the yarn is threaded through the traveler ring. During the doffing operation, the feed roll continues to rotate, the filaments continue to pass from the extrusion cabinet to the feed roll and are accumulated on the surface of the feed roll. Subsequently, the accumulated filaments are removed by the doffing operator.
Conventional hand doffing imposes a psychological strain on the operator to maintain the rate that is set by the pacer. If the operator gets too far behind the pacer, excessive waste yarn accumlates on the feed rolls and the quantity of yarn wound on the bobbins is not the same for all the bobbins because the yarn is being wound on some bobbins for a longer period of time than other bobbins. Another factor contributing to the fatigue of the doffing operator is the weight of the filled bobbins. These bobbins may weight between five and twenty pounds depending upon the size of the bobbins and the quantity of yarn being wound on the bobbins.
Although previous attempts to mechanize the doffing operation, such as the apparatus disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,374,616, have achieved some improvement in the handling of filled bobbins, such machines do not operate rapidly enough to improve the efficiency of the doffing operation sufficiently to justify the costs of the machine. Also, attempts have been made to mount such automatic doffing machines on tracks extending along the floor in front of the winding machine. The tracks, however, interfere with the movement of personnel and equipment across the floor and often do not cause the doffing machine to be located accurately with respect to the spindles on the winding machine. An automatic doffing machine must be capable of operating over a long period of time without mechanical failures and must operate precisely so that there is no chance of failing to pick up a filled bobbin from every spindle on the winding machine.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the disadvantages of manual bobbin doffing, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved bobbin doffing machine to relieve the doffing operator from at least a major portion of the manual effort presently required.
Another object of this invention is to provide improved mechanized bobbin handling apparatus which permits filled bobbins to be removed and replaced with empty bobbins more rapidly.
A further object of this invention is to provide improved mechanized bobbin handling apparatus which is capable of transferring relatively heavy filled bobbins from a row of spindles in timed sequencewithout failing to complete each doff successfully.
These objects are accomplished in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention by bobbin handling apparatus which includes a carriage or movable frame which is suspended from an overhead rail extending along the length of a spinning machine, such as a metier in which the spindles are mounted vertically in a row extending from one end of the machine to the other. The suspended frame is guided precisely along the metier by a horizontal guide rail on the metier. Actuators on the frame cooperate with locating devices spaced along the front of the metier adjacent the guide rail for controlling the position of the frame relative to the spindles on the metier. A traction motor suspended from the rail is connected with the frame to drive the frame along the length of the metier. The frame includes means for supporting a bobbin transporter or rack containing storage receptacles for empty and filled bobbins, and includes a swinging arm which moves in timed sequence to grasp a plurality of filled bobbins and place them in a selected receptacle, and then remove a plurality of empty bobbins from another receptacle and replace them on the spindles. The apparatus also includes means for applying the brake to each spindle as the machine moves along the length of the metier. An arm is preferably provided to move the balloon guide to facilitate removal of the filled bobbin.
The method of this invention includes precisely positioning the carriage relative to the spinning machine, and moving the transfer arm along a programmed path relative to the carriage to pick up filled bobbins from the spindles of the spinning machine, placing the filled bobbins in a rack on the carriage, picking up empty bobbins from the rack and placing the empty bobbins on the spindles from which the filled bobbins were removed. The carriage then advances to the next doffing station where the process is repeated.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS This preferred embodiment is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the bobbin handling apparatus in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of the apparatus, showing schematically a spindle on the metier;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the metier, showing four spindles;
FIG. 4 is an elevational view, as in FIG. 2, but showing the transfer arm aligned with the bobbin spindles;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view, partially in crosssection, showing the relative positions of the bobbin spindle and the grasping device on the transfer arm prior to engagement with the bobbin;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view, as in FIG. 5, but showing the clamp device engaging the bobbin;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the grasping device, showing the tubular guide in cross-section;
FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of the bobbin transport;
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the transfer arm and frame along the line 99 in FIG. 10;
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the transfer arm and frame along the line 10-10 in FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a detail elevational view of the slide and pin assemblies;
FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the slide along the line l2l2 in FIG. 11;
FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the slide along the line 1313 in FIG. 11;
FIG. 14 is a side elevational view, showing schematically the position of the transfer arm at the beginning of the doffing cycle;
FIG. 15 is an elevational view of .the transfer arm as in FIG. 4 before the filled bobbins are picked up;
FIG. 16 is an elevational view of the transfer arm showing the bobbins grasped by the respective clamps on the transfer arm;
FIG. 17 is an elevational view of the transfer arm as in FIG. 16, but showing the bobbins lifted off of the spindles;
FIG. 18 is an elevational view of the apparatus showing the transfer arm returned to the position shown in FIG. 14 with the filled bobbins;
FIG. 19 is an elevational view of the apparatus showing the transfer arm moving downwardly into alignment with the bottom row of pins on the transport;
FIG. 20 is an elevational view of the apparatus showing the filled bobbins being placed on the bottom row of pins of the transport;
FIG. 21 is an elevational view of the apparatus showing four empty bobbins being removed from the second row of pins on the transport; and
FIG. 22 is an elevational view of the apparatus showing the transfer arm in position to move into alignment with the spindles.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The bobbin handling apparatus is designed to be used with spinning apparatus of the type used in the continuous production of a plurality of filaments in an elongated cabinet with as many as or more spindles spaced along the length of the cabinet. As shown in FIG. 3, there is associated with each spindle a yarn guide 2 through which a plurality of filaments 4 emerge from the extusion cabinet 6. The filaments are wrapped on a metering roll 8 of a ring spinning machine 10 which is coextensive with the cabinet 6. The filaments 4 pass around the metering roll 8 and through a guide (not shown) which is located behind the metering roll.
From the metering roll 8, the filaments 4 pass through individual guides 12 to a ring traveler 14 which twists the filaments and winds the filaments on a rotating bobbin 16. The bobbin is mounted on a'spindle assembly 18 which is driven by means of a drive belt 20. A clutch and brake is provided in each spindle assembly 18 and is operated by means of a brake lever 22. The spindle assemblies 18 are equally spaced along the length of the metier 10, but to simplify the illustration, only four spindle assemblies are shown in FIG. 3. These four assemblies constitute one doffing station for the bobbin handling apparatus of this invention.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the bobbin handling apparatus of this invention includes a carriage 24 which is suspended from an overhead rail 26 by a pair of trolleys 28 which engage a flange extending along the bottom of the rail 26. The trolleys include side wheels which serve as guides to maintain the carriage 24 centered on the rail 26. A tractor 31) is also suspended from the rail 26 by trolleys 32. The tractor 30 includes a rotary hydraulic motor 34 and a drive wheel 36 which engages the bottom flange of the rail 26. A towbar 38 connects the tractor 30 with the carriage 24.
The carriage 24 includes a frame 40. The bottom of the frame is spaced above the floor 42. Power for operating the bobbin handling apparatus is supplied by an electrical cable (not shown) that is suspended from the overhead rail 26. Since the spinning operation which produces the continuous filaments is conducted in an inflammable atmosphere, the electrical current supplied by the cable drives a pump for hydraulic fluid which is used to provide power for operating the components of the apparatus. Electrical controls for the apparatus are enclosed within an explosionproof case 44. The carriage 24 moves toward the right as it is being operated along the length of the metier and the operator stands in front of the case 44 at the rear of the carriage. Controls on a panel on the case 44 are readily accessible to the operator.
A bobbin transport or rack 46 is supported at the front of the carriage 24. The bobbin transport, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 8, has a frame 48 with wheels 50 mounted on the bottom of the frame. The frame 48 has bobbins 16 are shown in FIG. 8 as mounted on the pegs 52. The bobbins 16 are of conventional construction and each bobbin is provided with a knob 54 to permit the bobbin to be grasped for lifting the bobbin off of the metier spindles.
A bail 56 is secured across the top of the frame 48. A hoist is mounted on the frame 40 for lifting the transport and attaching it to the carriage 24. The hoist 58 includes an arm 60 pivotally mounted in a bracket 62 on the frame 40. Power for swinging the arm 60 upwardly and downwardly is provided by a double-acting hydraulic ram 64. A hinged plate 66 is mounted on the end of the arm 60 and supports a grooved roller 68 which serves as a hook to engage the bail 56. In order to provide the proper alignment of the transport 46 with the frame 40, a bracket 70 is provided at one side of the frame 48 adjacent the top of the transport. At the bottom of the transport, a pair of alignment plates 72 are secured on the frame 48. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the frame 40 has an alignment pin 74 projecting forwardly from the frame. At the bottom of the frame 40, there are a pair of locator plates 76 in position to engage the alignment plates 72 on the transport 46. As the arm 60 lifts the transport off of the floor 42, the pin 74 enters the vertical slot in the plate 70 to provide lateral guidance and when the alignment plates 72 engage the locating plates 76, upward movement of the transport stops. The three points defined by the pin 74 and the two plates 76 provides a secure and stable connection between the transport 46 and the frame 40. Fluid pressure in the ram 64 maintains the transport locked in the position shown in FIG. 1.
Since the bobbin transfer apparatus is mounted on the carriage 24, it is necessary to provide means for accurately locating the position of the carriage relative to the bobbin spindles on the metier'l0. Lateral spacing of the carriage from the spindles isprovided generally by the position of the rail 26, but since the carriage is suspended from the rail, it is necessary to guide the bottom of the carriage to assure that the proper lateral spacing is maintained. For this purpose, a horizontal guide rail 78 is provided on the metier l0. Movable clamps 80 extend outwardly at the front and rear of the carriage frame 40. While the clamps 80 are in engagement with the rail 78, the spacing between the frame 40 and the spindles is accurately controlled.
It is necessary to stop the carriage 24 at the proper position along the metier to allow engagement of the bobbin transfer means on the carriage with the bobbins on the spindles. For this purpose, a pair of cams 82 and 84 are mounted on the metier immediately above the guide rail 78. The lower cam 82 cooperates with a cam follower 86 which controls the flow of hydraulic fluid to the tractor motor 34. As the follower 86 rides up the rise at the left end of the cam 82, the flow of fluid to the motor is decreased, causing the motor to advance the carriage at a slow rate. A second cam follower 88 is in position to engage the cam 84. The follower 88 operates a microswitch which actuates a hydraulic brake to the wheel 36. Since the carriage is moving slowly at the time the brake is applied, the carriage stops immediately and allows positioning of the carriage within a tolerance of one-eighth inch relative to the spindles on the metier. When the filled bobbins have been replaced with empty bobbins, the controls automatically override the switches controlled by the followers 86 and 88 to cause the carriage to progress to the next doffing station. A set of cams corresponding to cams 82 and 84 is provided at each doffing station which consists of four spindles.
The bobbin transfer means 90 which is mounted on the carriage 24 includes a transfer arm 92 which is secured on a vertical column 94. The arm 92 slides vertically along the column 94 and the position of the arm is controlled by a recirculating ball screw jack 96 (FIG. 2). The recirculating ball screw jack 96 is driven by a hydraulic motor to cause a ball screw nut retained in the carriage 24 to translate vertically along the column 94. The column 94 and the screw 96 for the jack are both supported at their upper ends in a rotary turret 98 that is mounted in the frame 40 and at their respective lower ends in a corresponding rotary turret. The upper turret 98 is driven by a hydraulic motor to cause the arm 92 to swing about a vertical axis relative to the frame 40. Suitable controls are provided in the case 44 to program the exact vertical position of the arm 92 relative to the screw 96, and the rotational position of the arm relative to the frame 40. The transfer arm 92 can be rotated to the left side of the frame 40, as viewed in FIG. 4 for doffing bobbins from a metier adjacent the right side of the carriage, or may be rotated to the corresponding position on the right side of the frame 40 for doffing bobbins from a metier extending along that side of the carriage. Right or left hand doffmg may be selected by the operator before the start of the doff process, the selection being made by means of a switch disposed in the case 44.
The transfer arm 92 includes a pair of arm members 100 which are spaced apart from each other, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. The arm members 100 support a rotary motor 101 which drives a swivel plate 102 having a pair of spaced bearing plates 103. A swinging frame 104 is supported on the bearing plates 103 for swinging about a shaft 106. The frame 104 includes a sleeve bearing 108 journaled on the shaft 106 and a pair of le vers 110 rigidly secured on the sleeve 108. The frame also includes a pair of transverse rods 112 which are rigidly secured on the levers 110. A pair of spacer blocks 116 and 118 are rigidly secured on the ends of the rods 112 and 114, respectively. The blocks 116 and 118 support a pair of guides 120 at each end of the frame 104. The lower end of each guide 102 is welded or otherwise secured in a brace 122 which extends across the bottom of the frame 104. Additional bracing in the form of metal plates may be applied to the opposite ends of the frame 104, if desired.
The frame 104 is capable of rotating about the shaft 106 relative to the arm members 100. The bearing plates 103 each have a recess 124 which is engaged by the rod 114 when the frame 104 is positioned vertically. Power for swinging the frame 104 counterclockwise about the shaft 106, as viewed in FIG. 9, is provided by a hydraulic ram 126. The ram 126 is mounted on the plates 103 by trunnions. The piston road of the rain is connected with the levers 110 by a crossbar 128.
A pair of slides 130 are journaled on the guides 120 for sliding movement from the position shown in FIG. 10 downwardly to a position. as shown in FIG. 4, in which the lower end of each slide 130 is adjacent the brace 122 and the upper end of each slide is adjacent the spacer blocks 118. The slides I30 are joined together by a pair of rods 132 and 134. The slides 130 are selectively displaced along the guides 120 by a double- 7 acting hydraulic ram 136 (FIGS. 9 and 10). The cylinder of the ram 136 is mounted between the levers 110, while the piston rod of the ram 136 is connected with the slides 130. When the piston in the ram cylinder is displaced outwardly, the slides 130 are displaced downwardly to the position shown in FIG. 4.
The slide assembly is shown in greater detail in FIGS. 11, 12 and 13. Four pin assemblies 138, 140, 142 and 144 are mounted on the connecting rods 132 and 134. Each pin assembly is provided with upper and lower bearing blocks 146 and 148 having transverse bores through which the rods 132 and 134, respectively, extend. The pin assemblies are capable of sliding on the rods 132 and 134. Since the pegs 52 on the bobbin transport 46 are spaced closer together than the spindles on the metier 10, it is necessary to change the position of the pin assemblies 138-144 to allow the pins to be used for picking up the filled bobbins from the spindle assemblies 18 and depositing the bobbins on the pegs 52.
This adjustment of spacing between the pin assemblies is accomplished by a pair of hydraulic rams 150 and 152. The head ends of the respective ram cylinders are secured on the slides 130 and the rod ends of the cylinders are secured in a bracket 154 on a mounting plate 156 that extends between the rod 132 and 134. The piston rod 156 of the ram 150 has its end secured in a bracket 158 on the first pin assembly 138. Thus, as the piston in the ram 150 moves toward the left, as viewed in FIG. 11, the pin assembly 138 slides along the rods 132 and 134 from the position shown in FIG. 11 until it engages an outer stop 160 on the rod 134.
Similarly, the piston rod 162 of the ram 152 is secured on a bracket 164 on the fourth pin assembly 144. When the piston in the cylinder of the ram 152 moves toward the right, as viewed in FIG. 11, the pin assembly 144 slides along the rods 132 and 134 until the lower block 148 engages an outer stop 166. A compression spring 168 is compressed between a bracket 170 on the second pin assembly 140 and the bracket 154, as shown in FIG. 11. A corresponding bracket 172 is provided on the third pin assembly 142 to compress a spring 174 against the side of the bracket 154. Another spring 176 is compressed between the bracket 158 and the bracket 170. When the spring 176 is compressed to the extent shown in FIG. 11, it exerts a force on the pin assembly 140 that is greater than the spring force of the spring 168, thereby displacing the second pin assembly against the center stop 178 that is secured on the rod 134. A spring 180 corresponding to the spring 176 is compressed between the brackets 164 and 172 to urge the third pin assembly 142 into engagement with its center stop 182. Intermediate stops 184 and 186 are secured on the rod 134 to limit displacement of the first and fourth pin assemblies by their respective rams 150 and 152 toward the center of the slide assembly.
The structure and operation of the pin assemblies 138, 140, 142 and 144 is illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, as represented by the first pin assembly 138. The pin assembly 138 includes a tube 188 that is fixed in the supporting blocks 146 and 148, previously described. A pin 190 is slidingly received within the tube 188. A compression spring 192 is compressed between a flange on the pin and a cap 194 on the tube to urge the pin 190 downwardly toward the position shown in FIG. 5. A head 196 engages the cap 194 to limit downward movement of the pin. A clamp 198 having pivoted jaws 200 is mounted on the pin assembly 138. The jaws are pivoted toward and away from each other by a hydraulic actuator 202 which is secured on the tube 188. In FIG. 5, a bobbin 16 is shown mounted on a spindle assembly 18 with the spindle 204 extending through the center of the bobbin. With the jaws 200 open, as shown in FIG. 5, the slide 130 moves downwardly along the guides by operation of the hydraulic ram 136 (FIG. 9). The lower end of the pin 190, which is centered over the bobbin l6 enters the central bore of the bobbin and engages the upper end of the spindle 204. Continued downward movement of the slide 130, displaces the tube 188 downwardly relative to the pin 190, until the slide reaches the position shown in FIG. 6. The jaws 200 are positioned below the flange 206 on the knob at the upper end of the bobbin 16. The actuator then closes the jaws to allow the jaws to grip the knob under the flange 206, as shown in FIG. 6. If the jaws 200 close at a distance below the flange 206, upward movement of the slide merely allows the jaws 200 to slide along the knob until they engage the flange 206. The
jaws 200 do not grip the shank of the knob tightly When the slide 130 is lifted upwardly from the position shown in FIG. 6, the clamp 198 carries with it the bobbin 16, progressively transferring the bobbin from the spindle 204 to the pin 190. When the slide 130 returns to the position shown in FIG. 5, the pin extends through the bobbin 16, coming to rest in a recessed position above the bottom of the bobbin.
The operation of the bobbin handling apparatus in accordance with this invention is illustrated schematically in FIGS. 14 to 22. Initially, the bobbin transport 46 is filled with empty bobbins on all ofthe pegs 52, except the bottom row of pegs. The transport 46 is picked up and locked on the carriage 24. With the carriage 24 positioned at the end of the spinning machine, and the clamps 80 in engagement with the guide rail 78, the operator initiates the sequence of operating for doffing the filled bobbins. The tractor motor 34 advances the carriage 24 toward the right, as viewed in FIG. 1, along the overhead rail 26, until the follower 86 engages the cam 82 on the side of the metier 10. Movement of the carriage slows down until the microswitch follower 88 is operated by the cam 84 to apply the brake to the wheel 36 of the tractonThe carriage 24 is, therefore, aligned with the four spindles of the first station that is to be doffed by the bobbin handling apparatus.
In moving from one station to the next, apparatus on the carriage 24 may be utilized for automatically operating the brake lever 22 of each spindle assembly 18 and for swinging the yarn guide 12 to an offset position where it does not interfere with the removal of the bobbin 16. The brake operating mechanism includes a lever 206 (FIGS. 1 and 2) which is pivotally mounted between brackets 208 on the side of the frame 40. A bell crank on the lever 206 is attached to the piston rod of a double-acting hydraulic ram 210 for swinging the lever 206 from the position shown in FIG. 1 to the position shown in FIG. 2. When the lever 206 is extended, as shown in FIG. 2, it is in position to engage the lever 22 of each spindle assembly 18 and, as the carriage moves along the spinning machine, the brake for each spindle assembly is operated before the movement of the carriage is stopped by the cams 82 and 84. The transfer arm 92 is positioned to extend outward from the frame 40 a sufficient distance to engage the ends of the yarn guides 12. The arm 92 is raised sufficiently so that the frame 104 does not engage the top of the bobbins 16. A plate 212 on the side of the frame 104 engages the yam guides for each of the spindle assemblies as the carriage moves along the spinning machine. The yarn guides 12 pivot out of the way as the plate 212 passes. Thus, when the carriage 24 stops in alignment with the station, the brakes 22 have been applied and the spindles have stopped rotating. The. filaments 4 then accumulate on the rotating metering roll 8 during the doffing operation.
At the beginning of the doffing operation, as shown in FIG. 14, the pins 190 project downwardly from the pin assemblies 138 and the jaws 200 are opened, as shown in FIG. 5. A programmed signal operates the motor in the turret 98 to swing the arm 92 approximately 90 degrees to position the pins 190 directly over the filled bobbins 16, as shown in FIG. 15. The slides 130 remain raised to the upper end of the guides 120. Then, as shown in FIG. 16, the slides 130 move downwardly by operation of the ram 136, causing the end of the pin 190 of each of the pin assemblies 138-144 to enter the hole in the respective bobbins l6 and contact the spindle 204. As the slides 130 continue to move downwardly, the pins 190 are displaced upwardly, compressing the spring 192 until the jaws 200 of the clamp 198 are positioned below the flange 206 of the respective bobbins 16, as shown in FIG. 6. The actuator 202 of each pin assembly is then operated to close the aws.
Referring to FIG. 17, the slides 130 are raised by operating the cylinder 136. Since the jaws 200 grasp the knob of the filled bobbin, the bobbin is lifted off of the spindle 240. thereby allowing the pin 190 to drop through the bore of the bobbin to provide lateral support for the filled bobbin. Rotation of the column 94 by the turret motor 98 swings the arm into the center of the frame 40 opposite the bobbin transport 46, as shown in FIG. 18.
After picking up the filled bobbins, as shown in FIG. 17, and prior to inserting the filled bobbins on the pegs 52, the cylinders 150 and 152 are operated to retract their respective pistons, thereby drawing the outer pin assemblies 138 and 144 toward the center of the slide assembly to the position shown in FIG. 11. The compression springs 176 and 180 displace the middle pin assemblies 140 and 142 toward the center stops 178 and 182, so that the spacing between the respective pins 190 corresponds to the spacing of the pegs 52.
Operation of the tilt cylinder 126 then rotates the frame 104 to an inclined position in alignment with the slope of the pegs 52, as shown in FIG. 19. Rotation of the screw jack 96 (FIG. 2) lowers the arm 92 to the bottom row of pegs 52 on the transport 46. It is also necessary to compensate for the lateral offset of the pegs on the transport, as shown in FIG. 8. The bottom row of pegs 52 is shown as being offset toward the right. as viewed in FIG. 8. In order to move the pin assemblies into alignment with the pegs 52, the transfer arm 92 is rotated by the turret motor 98 through a relatively small angle, of the order of 7 degrees, from a position parallel to the spinning machine in a direction away from the spinning machine from which the bobbins were removed as shown in FIGS. 15, 16 and 17. In order to compensate for the angular motion of the frame 104 with the transfer arm 92, the rotary motor 101 rotates the swivel plate 102 back through an angle approximately 7 degrees so that the frame 104 is substantially parallel to the row of pegs 52.
As shown in FIG. 20, the slides are displaced toward the pegs by operation of the ram 136. The respective pins 190 extend into, but not through. the hole in the bobbins 16 and allow the bobbins 16 to center on the pegs 52 and continued motion of the slides 130 transfers the filled bobbin 16 from the pins 190 to the respective pegs 52. When the bobbin 16 is fully supported on the peg 52, the actuators 202 of each pin assembly are operated to release the clamps 198. The slides 130 are then displaced to the upper end of the frame 104 to separate the end of the respective pins 190 from the peg 52 of the bottom row. The screw jack 96 is then operated to raise the arm 92 into alignment with the second row of pegs. Due to the lateral offset of the pegs in the next row from the pegs in the bottom row, the arm 92 swings toward the spinning machine approximately 7 degrees with the center line of the frame 40. At the same time, the rotary motor 101 is operated to swing the frame 104 back into alignment with the row of pins 52. The slides 130 are then displaced toward the pegs 52 of the second row until the jaws 200 are in position to grasp the knob of each empty bobbins 16. The slides 130 are then displaced outwardly from the pegs 52 to draw the empty bobbins onto the respective pins 190, as shown in FIG. 21. The jack screw 96 then raises the arm 92 to the position shown in FIG. 22 and the tilt ram 126 rotates the frame 104 to a vertical position with the empty bobbins l6 suspended by the clamps 198.
The pin assemblies, each supporting an empty bobbin. is positioned as shown in FIG. 17, directly over a corresponding spindle assembly.
The spacing between the ends 190 is then-adjusted to correspond to the spacing between the spindles 204 on the spinning machine. This is accomplished by operating the rams and 152 (FIG. 11) to displace the outer pin assemblies 138 and 144 into engagement with the stops and 166. This allows the compressed springs 168 and 174 to slide the metal pin assemblies 140 and 142 outwardly against the stops 184 and 186. The slides 130 are then displaced downwardly by the hydraulic ram 136 until the bobbins engage the upper end of the spindle 204 of each assembly. Continued downward movement of the slides 130 transfers the empty bobbin onto the spindle and when the clamps 198 are released, the slides 130 may be retracted upwardly, leaving the empty bobbin on the spindles. The transfer arm 92 is then rotated by the turret motor 98 back to the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and the tractor-motor 34 is started automatically to advance the carriage 24 to the next station, where the cycle is repeated. When the machine completes doffing of the last station. it is programmed to stop for further instructions from the operator.
The operator follows the carriage along the spinning machine, pivoting the yarn guides back to the position shown in FIG. 2, releasing the brake levers 22 and making the throw-ons, as in conventional manual doffing.
An important feature of this invention is the provision of means for precisely positioning movable components of the system relative to each other and relative to the fixed locations on the spinning machine which provide the necessary tolerance to allow the parts to fit together easily without binding or other failure. For example, in picking up the bobbins with the clamps 198, the jaws 200, as shown in FIGS and 6, are in the form of thin plates, while the shank of the bobbin knob spaces the flange 206 a substantial distance above the body of the bobbin. Thus, a variance of as much as an inch in the vertical position of the slides 130 when the jaws 200 close around the knob of the bobbin is permissible. Another feature is the use of the pins 190 which have a diameter that is smaller than the bore of the bobbins 16. Also, the entrance of the bobbin bores usually flares outwardly and the lower end of the pins are chamfered to guide the pin into the central bore of the bobbins. This allows a tolerance of as much as one-half inch in the lateral position of the pin 190 relative to the bobbin 16. Also the entrance to the bottom of the bobbin bores usually flares outwardly and the upper ends of the spindles and transport pegs are chamfered to allow the bobbin to guide onto the spindle or transport pegs without interference from the pins 190 which are recessed inside the bobbin during the transfer operation. A further means of obtaining alignment between movable components is the use of a guide rail 78 along the spinning machine to maintain the accuracy of the space between the spindles and the frame 40 on which the transfer arm 92 is supported. The combination of hydraulic throttling valve and the brake application of the tractor motor, as actuated by the followers 86 and 88, cause the carriage to stop within a tolerance of about one-eighth inch. This tolerance is less than the tolerance required to align the pins 190 with the bobbins on the spindles 204.
While this invention has been illustrated and described in accordance with a preferred embodiment, it is recognized that variations and changes may be made therein without departing from the invention as set forth in the claims.
hat i c at i 1. In combination, bobbin handling apparatus and a spinning machine having a plurality of bobbin spindles uniformly spaced along the length of the machine, means for propelling the bobbin handling apparatus along the spinning machine and positioning the apparatus in registration with the spindles, said bobbin handling apparatus including a carriage suspended from an overhead rail extending longitudinally of said spinning machine, said propelling means comprising:
a. tractor means having a wheel engaging said rail and a fluid motor driving said wheel;
b. brake means for selectively stopping said wheel;
c. a pair of cams on said spinning machine, a first follower on said carriage operable to reduce power transmitted from said tractor motor to said wheel when said follower engages one of said cams, and a second follower on said carriage operable to apply said brake means when said second follower engages the other of said cams, said cams being arranged on said spinning machine to engage said first follower prior to engagement of said second follower by the other cam as said carriage progresses along said rail, whereby the first cam causes the speed of the carriage to be reduced and engagement by the second follower with the other cam applies the brake means while the carriage is moving slowly, resulting in an immediate stop at the desired position relative to the spinning machine.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1 including a guide rail extending longitudinally of said spinning machine, clamp means on said carriage engaging said guide rail and positioning said carriage relative to said spinning machine, said cams being adjacent said guide rail, and additional cams spaced at uniform intervals along the length of said spinning machine.