US 3861018 A
An overall automatic apparatus for attaching a connector to the end of a wire cut in a predetermined length from a long continuous supply thereof, including a wire shifting device comprising a rotatable wire holder capable of rotating such that the wire catching seat thereof is displaced in at least three angularlyspaced positions about an axis parallel to the path of angularly-spaced supply, wherein in the first position said wire holder receives said cut wire and holds it for a period of time during which the conductor in the opposite end of said wire is uncovered; in the second position a connector is attached to said uncovered conductor and in the third position the thus-finished wire is removed from said wire shifting device.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Matsuura et al.
451 Jan. 21, 1975 [5 APPARATUS FOR ATTACHMENT OF A 3,710,483 1/1973 Morgan et a]. 29/203 P CONNECTOR TO AN END OF A WIRE  Inventors: Yukito Matsuura; Yasushi Primary Examiner-Thomas Eager Kakiwaki, both of Osaka; Takashi Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Stewart & Kolasch, Ltd. Yoshizaki, Kyoto; Takeshi Tanaka, Osaka, all of Japan 57 ABSTRACT Assignee? Nippon Acchflkutanahi Sell An overall automatic apparatus for attaching a con- Kflbllshiki Kaisha, Osaka, Japan nector to the end of a wire cut in a predetermined  Filed: Jam 10 1974 length from a long continuous supply thereof, including a wire shifting device comprising a rotatable wire PP NOJ 432,159 holder capable of rotating such that the wire catching seat thereof is displaced in at least three angularlys- 52 us. Cl. 29/203 29/203 P 81/95 R Paced Pmitio"S paralel the Path of  int. Cl .1 u01r 43/04 angularly'spaced Supply wherein in first Pmifio  Field of Search 29/203 DT 5 P 203 HT said wire holder receives said out wire and holds it for 253/203 81/95 a period of time during which the conductor in the opposite end of said wire is uncovered; in the second po-  References Cited sition a connector is attached to said uncovered conductor and in the third position the thus-finished wire UNITED STATES PATENTS is removed from said wire shifting device. 3,363,309 l/l968 Logan et al 8l/9.5 X 3,455,006 7/1969 Reem et a1. 29/203 DT 3 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures Z6 7 Z az 2' f [I .5 2 /4 id 2/ 3/ /4/ n [Z3 Z4. azay 1 2) l Q l r: I
i l u l 4/ r 4 5 lL frileinlW z 3% 4 44 I6 f9 )9 u 17 J7 I I I I I gui l if an a/ PATENTEB JAHZI I975 SHEET 01 0F 12 PATENTEB AH $861,018
SHEET 030F 12 FIG. 3.
PATENTEB JAN 21 I975 SHEET on 0F 12 PATENTED 2 1915 531861 .018
SHEET OSUF 12 FIG. 5.
PATENTEDJANZHQYAB 3,861,018 SHEET near 12 PATENTEB JANZ] I975 SHEET U7UF 12 PATENIED S v 3.8615018 SHEET [MP 12 PATENTEU m2] I975 I saw llUF 12 FIG. 72.
SHEET 12 0F 12 FIG. 13.
APPARATUS FOR ATTACHMENT OF A CONNECTOR TO AN END OF A WIRE BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an overall automatic apparatus adapted for attaching a connector to the end of a wire covered with insulation. More particularly, the present invention relates to attaching a connector to the end of wires of predetermined length cut from a long continuous supply.
Apparatus well known in the art contain the following elements: a measuring and supplying device wherein a long continuous wire is intermittently advanced a predetermined length; a cutting device constructed alongside the wire supplying path; an uncovering device which removes insulation from the wire at the terminal conductor; a wire shifting device which shifts the out line of wire to a place where a connector is attached to the end thereof, under pressure; and a pressure effecting device which secures the connector to the uncovered conductor.
The present invention is directed to improvements in the wire shifting device referred to above, and has as one of its objects insuring a rapid and secure performance of the overall process with a highlyincreased efficiency in uncovering the conductor in the end of the wire, attaching a connector thereto, and unloading the finished wire outside the unit. The present invention also reduces the size and cost of construction.
Other objects and further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter; it should be understood, however, that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.
The overall automatic apparatus of the present invention comprises an arrangement wherein a wire cut in a predetermined length is angularly displaced from one location to another, said locations being angularly spaced around an axis in parallel with the path of wire supply. At the first location, the cut wire is held for uncovering a conductor in the end portion thereof; at the second location the connector is attached utilizing pressure; and at the third location a finished wire is unloaded for collection.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given hereinbelow and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus are not limitative of the present invention and wherein,
FIG. 1 is a front view of the overall automatic apparatus according to the present invention, with some elements being omitted;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a right-hand side view of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged front view showing the cutting and uncovering devices incorporated in the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, partially broken away to show some of the internal construction thereof;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the apparatus taken along line II in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is 'an enlarged side view showing the wire holding device incorporated in the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the apparatus taken along line II-II of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the apparatus taken along line III-III of FIG. 7.
FIGS. 9 and 10 show a plan view of the wire holding device illustrated in FIG. 6, while it is in operation;
FIG. 11 is a side view of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 shows the cutting and uncovering processes of the present invention utilizing the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 4, and
FIG. 13 is a diagram showing a combination of pneumatic pressure devices incorporated in the apparatus of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The overall automatic apparatus of the present invention comprises a measuring device 2, a wire delivering device 3, a cutting and slitting device 4, an uncovering device 5, a wire holding device 6, and a connector attaching device 7, wherein the wire holding device also functions as an uncovering device with respect to the opposite end of the wire in association with a pneumatic cylinder for uncovering, which will be more particularly described hereinafter. The devices mentioned above are appropriately arranged alongside the path of the wire supply on a mounting frame I.
A wire 10 supplied in a continuous state from a reel,
not shown, is initially introduced into the measuring device 2 where the wire passes through a wire-end detector 20, a straightener 21, and then through two pairs of rollers 22, 23 and 24, 25. After the wire 10 has passed through the measuring device 2, it is further conveyed along the path of wire supply into the uncovering device 5, the cutting and slitting device 4, and then into the wire holding device 6.
The delivery roller 24 is constantly driven by an electric motor 26, and the mating roller 25 is situated adjacent to the roller 24 such that the roller 25 is readily biased into contact with the driven roller 24 in response to a signal, thereby exerting a driving friction upon the wire 10 by virtue of the frictional contact of the two rollers 24 and 25. During the advance of the wire 10, the measuring device 2 measures the predetermined length of the wire through the measuring roller 22, and said measurement is transmitted to the roller 25 so as to disengage said roller from the power-driven roller 24, thereby setting the wire 10 free from the friction drive. In this manner, the wire is intermittently advanced a predetermined length.
The preferred apparatus utilizes each device in pairs, with the exception of the measuring device 2. The paired devices are substantially symmetrically arranged alongside of the path of the wire so that two wires 10 can be simultaneously processed in each line of the devices. The explanation will be given with respect to one of said pair of devices, but it should be understood that the other of said pair of devices has the same construction and function.
As best illustrated in FIG. 4, the uncovering device 5 is provided with a guide tube 27 extended along the path of the wire supply, and a clamping pneumatic cylinder 28 built halfway on the extension of the guide tube. The pneumatic cylinder 28 is connected to the piston rod 31 of an uncovering pneumatic cylinder 30, so as to ensure the unitary rearward movement of the pneumatic cylinder 28 and the piston rod 31 when the uncovering pneumatic cylinder is actuated. Thus the wire 10 passing through the guide tube 27 is equally shifted rearwards as it is being clamped by the piston rod 29 of the clamping pneumatic cylinder 28.
Again referring to FIG. 4, the cutting and slitting device 4 is provided with a pair of cutter holders 33, which are mounted opposing each other in the upper and the lower portions of a cutter head 32. In addition, a cutting pneumatic cylinder 34 (FIG. 5) is provided which enables the cutter holders 33 to move up and down with respect to the path of the wire supply. The cutter holders 33 are slidable in the cutter head by rotating an adjusting bolt 36 through an adjuster 37. Each adjuster is rigidly connected by a connecting bar 38 with the piston rod of the cutting pneumatic cylinder 34. The cutter holder 33 is provided with an appropriate number of spaced apart parallel grooves 39 containing the pair of cutting blades 40 and the two pairs of slitting blades 41 such that the slitting blades are equally spaced from the cutting blades as best illustrated in FIG. 12. Thus each group of blades consisting of the cutting and the slitting blades is mounted on opposite sides of the path of wire supply. The length of the conductor to be uncovered is previously controlled by changing the positions of the blades 40 and 41. In the apparatus illustrated the conductor can be uncovered in the range of 0 to 50mm. The cutter head 32 is provided with guide bushings 42 and 43 at opposite sides, and the guide bushing 42 has the guide tube 27 of the uncovering device 5 slidably inserted therein.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 6, the wire holding device 6 is provided with a supporting block 46 secured in a side frame 45 erected on a base 44; a rotor 48 carried on the supporting block 46 through a bearing 47; four wire guide tubes 49 arranged with 90 angular displacement and disposed in the circumference of the rotor 48; and chuck means 51 provided adjacent to the opening of the guide tube 49. As best illustrated in FIG. 7, the wireguide tube 49 is an elongated cylinder provided with a longitudinal slot 50 along the entire length thereof. Each wire-guide tube 49 is mounted in parallel with the rotating axis of the rotor 48, which is, in turn, arranged in parallel with the path of wire supply. The rotation of the rotor 48 is controlled by an index wheel 53 attached on the end face 52 thereof, so as to enable one of the guide tubes 49 to coincide with the path of the wire supply. As illustrated in FIG. 8, the index wheel 53 has a central axle hole 54, a staged round cavity 55 concentric with the axle hole 54, indexing bores 56 produced with 90 angular spaces around the center of the axle hole 54, and projections 57 having engaging edges 58 extending radially through the axis of each in dexing bore 56. As illustrated in FIG. 7, one of the indexing bores 56 is adapted to receive a pin 59 which is capable of advancing and withdrawing under the action of springs 61 mounted in holes produced in the circumferential portion of the supporting block 46. Normally, the pin 59 is caused to protrude by virtue of the spring 61, whereby the pin engages one of the indexing bores 56 ,in the course of the rotation of the rotor 48. As a result, the rotor is stopped with one of the wireguide tubes 49 coinciding with the path of the wire supply.
The rotor 48 is rotated by an input shaft 62 having a journal 64 carried in the axle hole 54 through a bushing 65. The input shaft is additionally provided with a pawl holder 63 having a discshape and loosely fitted in the staged round cavity 55 of the index wheel 53. The main body of the input shaft 62 is carried in a lid 66. The rim of the pawl holder 63 is provided with a groove 67 in which a generally-flat triangular pawl 68 is pivotally supported by means of a pin 69. The acute tip portion of the pawl 68 tends to rise under the influence of a compressed spring 70 housed in the pawl holder 63, thereby enabling the tip portion of the pawl to come into engagement with the engaging edge 58 of the projections 57 as illustrated in FIG. 8. Hence, with the pawl 68 maintained in engagement with the engaging edge of the projection 57, the index wheel 53 can be rotated only when the input shaft 62, and therefore, the pawl holder 63, are rotated in the direction indicated by the arrow in FIG. 8. This causes the rotor 48 to rotate in the direction indicated by the arrow in FIG. 6. In contrast, when the input shaft 62 is rotated in reverse, the pawl 67 is disengaged from the engaging edge 58, thereby failing to transmit the motion of the input shaft 62 to the rotor 48.
As stated above, the rotor 48 is rotated a given angle by means of the motor 71, which is the swingable type including a rotary pneumatic cylinder, and which is mounted on the bracket 45' erected opposite to the bracket 45. The shaft 72 of the motor 71 is keyed in a fixing hole 73 to the input shaft 62 so as to ensure an associated relationship therebetween.
Referring to FIG. 6, the chuck means 51 consists mainly of a pair of arms 75 having holder pawls 74 at the top end thereof. Each of the arms is pivotally supported'on one face of the rotor 48 by means of pivots 76 such that the holder pawls open and close adjacent to the open end of the guide tube 49, wherein the opposing faces of the pawls are knurled so as to avoid slipping therebetween. The arms 75 are connected to each other by means of a spring 78 hooked at both ends by pins 77 such that the arms can be urged to close or open by the spring 78 in accordance with the size of the gap produced between the pawls 74. In addition, a pair of pinions 79 are provided concentrically with the pivots 76, respectively, so as to ensure synchronous pivotal movement of the arms 75 in opposite directions. It is necessary that the arms 75 be driven by power to open and close in a manner to be described hereinafter.
The arms 75 are forced to open by a wedge 80, which is connected to the piston rod 82 of a pneumatic cylinder 81 for the chuck means 51, so as to move radially with respect to the rotor 48. When one of the chuck menas 51 coincides with the path of the wire supply, the wedge is forced between the arms 75, in the course of which the lower portions thereof are gradually opened. Accordingly, the pawls 74 are caused to close. In this case, the smooth sliding of the wedge 80 is ensured by a pair of rollers 83 provided in the lower portions of the arms 75. The closed pawls 74 are opened through a knock-pin 84, which projects on either of the top ends of the arms 75 so that it can be retained by a roller (FIG. 1 1) located between the second position (a connector attaching position") and the third position (an unloading position) along the rotary track of the chuck means 51. The closed pawls 74 are forcibly opened through the retention of the knockpin, which will be more particularly described hereinafter.
As best illustrated in FIG. 1, the base 44 of the wire holding device 6 has a fixing block 86 in each corner of its bottom surface, said blocks being provided with sliding bars 88 passing therethrough so as to enable the base 44 as a whole to move to and fro along the sliding bar 88. The end portion of each sliding bar is supported by brackets 87 fixed to the mounting frame 1. The sliding of the base 44, and thus the wire holding device 6 as a whole is effected by the piston rod 91 of a pneumatic cylinder 90, wherein the piston rod 91 is pivotally connected to an end plate 89 projecting from the bottom surface of the base 44. Thus, the wire holding device 6 is permitted to reciprocate along the path of the wire supply.
Thus when one of the chuck means 51 in the wire holding device 6 coincides with the path of the wire supply, the wire holding device 6 functions as a conductor-uncovering unit with respect to the opposite end of the cut wire in association with the uncovering pneumatic cylinder 90. This function takes place synchronously to the uncovering device 5 referred to above having the uncovering pneumatic cylinder 30 and the clamping pneumatic cylinder 28.
When the wire-guide tube 49 in the periphery of the rotor 48, and the chuck means coincide with the path of the wire supply, the situation will be referred to as the first position or wire-holding position. A location displaced 90 from the first position will be referred to as the second position or connector attaching position. The third position or unloading position is further spaced from the second position by 90. On the extension of the wireguide tube 49 located at the second position (connector attaching position"), there is provided a die unit 92 constituting the connector attaching device 7, which is driven by a conventional electric pressing machine 93. Thus with respect to the connector attaching device 7 and the pressing means 93, no further explanation need be made.
A reel 94 is provided for supplying connectors therefrom in the form of a band, said reel being carried on a spindle 96 supported in the lower part of a supporting arm 95 which extends from the side of the mounting frame 1. This arrangement enables the connectors in the form of a band to be unreeled into the connector attaching device 7.
The operation of the apparatus thus constructed is as follows: The explanation will be given with respect to devices aligned on the same side although each one of the devices can be mounted in pairs. The wire 10 covered with an insulation material is introduced through the straightener 21, the measuring device 2, and the delivering device 3. The wire is then advanced through the wire-guide tube 27 into the cutting and slitting device 4 and then into the wire-holding device 6, where the wire 10 is passed through the tube 49 in the open chuck pawls 74. After a predetermined length is measured by the measuring device 2, the advance of the wire 10 is automatically stopped. At this moment the wire 11, having already been cut in a given length and being bare of insulation at the opposite ends thereof, is held in the second position by the pawls 74 as it is retained in the tube 49. The top terminating end 12 of the wire is inserted into position in the connector attaching device 7 where a connector is attached, as illustrated in FIG. 9. Immediately before a subsequent portion of wire 10 of predetermined length is supplied, a connector 14 has been attached to the end 12 of the wire 11 by the connector attaching device 7. In this way the measuring of the subsequent portion of wire, and the connector attaching of the forward portion of cut wire are completed at the same time. Then the clamping pneumatic cylinder 28 and the chuck effecting pneumatic cylinder 81 start to hold the wire 10 at given points adjacent to the opposite ends of the cuttingand slitting-device 4. The pneumatic cylinder 34 is then actuated to enable the cutting blades 40 to cut down the wire 10, and the slitting blades 41 to make slits in the insulation coverage 13 of the wire as illustrated in FIG. 12(8). As described above, the slitting blades v41 are equally spaced from the same cutting blades 40. When the slits are thus produced in the insulation coverage of the wire 10, the uncovering pneumatic cylinders 30 and are actuated to effect the uncovering of the conductors in the wires 10 and 11. The pneumatic cylinder 30 pulls the subsequent portion of the wier 10 in a reverse direction to the wire supply, whereas the pneumatic cylinder 90 pulls the forward portion of the wire 11 already separated from the main supply of wire in the direction of the wire supply. In the course of the backward and forward pulling of the respective wires the insulation coverage 13 is removed from the conductors with the waste pieces 13 being removed as shown in FIG. 12C. The waste material 13' drips between the cutting blades 40 and the slitting blades 41, and is removed by suction.
When the uncovering operation is finished, the pneumatic cylinders 34 and 81 start to withdraw the respective piston rods to their original positions, whereas the clamping pneumatic cylinder 28 is maintained to hold the wire 10 in the path of the subsequent supply. Even after the chuck effecting pneumatic cylinder 81 is caused to return its piston rod completely to its original position, the pawls 74 continue to hold the forward portion of wire 11 under the action of the spring 78. When the respective piston rods of the pnuematic cylinders 34 and 81 are returned, the uncovering pneumatic cylinder 30 is caused to return its piston rod to its original position, thereby resuming the advance of the subsequent portion of wire 10 in the direction of the wire supply to tighten up the loosening wire 10. After the wire 10 is slightly advanced and straightened up, the pneumatic cylinder 28 is caused to release the wire from itsholding and return its piston rod to the starting position in preparation for a subsequent process of measuring and delivering.
As soon as the uncovering cylinder 38 starts its returning movement, the motor 71 is energized to rotate the rotor 48 by 90 in the direction indicated by the arrow in FIGS. 3, 6, 8 and 11, thereby displacing the forward portion of wire 11 from the first position to the second position. The further forward portion of wire 11', already having a connector 14 attached to the end thereof, is equally displaced from the second position to the third position as it is held by the chuck means 51 through the tube 49. During the shifting of the wire 11 to the third position, the knock-pin 84 of the pawl 74 is retained by the roller 85, thereby forcing the pair of pawls to open. Consequently, the wire 11' drops when it reaches the third position, and is removed through slot 50 of the tube 49.
When the rotor 48 is started by the motor 71, the uncovering pneumatic cylinder 90 is simultaneously caused to return its piston rod to its original position, whereby the wire holding device 6 is moved as a unit to the starting position so as to locate the extreme end 12 of the wire 11 at the connector attaching position in the connector attaching device 7, while the wire 11 is held by the chuck means 51 in the second position on the rotor 48. In this position, and immediately before the measuring and delivering of the subsequent wire supply is finished, as described above, pressure is applied to the end 12 of the wire for attaching the connector.
In this way the same procedures are continually repeated, and in the course of one cycle a wire is cut down to a predetermined length, the conductors in both ends of the cut wire are uncovered, i.e., the insulation is removed, a connector is attached to the conductor at the desired side, and the finished wire is unloaded from the unit. The cyclic performances are automatically carried out, and one cycle is normally finished in about 1.25 seconds.
In the foregoing description, the operation of the different but linked pneumatic cylinders have frequently been referred to. In order to ensure a better understanding of the associated operations among them, reference should be made to the diagram in FIG. 13, in which the actions of these cylinders are illustrated for each cycle. In the framework A of the diagram the shaded portion indicates a period of time during which the supply of wire is suspended, and in the framework (c) the dotted lines indicate that the piston rods of each cylinder are returned by gravity.
When a prepared amount of wire has been exhausted, a signal is made by a bell (not shown) through the detecting device 20. Preferably, a counting device may be provided so as to stop the operation of the overall apparatus when a desired number of wires have been completed. A buzzer can be additionally used to acoustically indicate that the operation has been stopped.
In the preferred embodiment illustrated, at least three wire holders in the form of chuck means are constructed in the periphery of the same rotor so as to shift their working places from a first position through a second position in accordance with the rotation of the rotor. In the course of said operation, at least three different processes are simultaneously performed for uncovering the conductors, attaching a connector, and unloading a finished wire. However, various modifications and changes to the present invention are, of course, possible within the spirit of the invention. For example, it is also possible that a single wire holder may be used in the wire holding device, such that the intermittent constant-angular displacements thereof are achieved around a certain axis in parallel with the path of wire supply, thereby treating the wire held therein differently at each displacement.
According to the present invention, it will be appreciated that a certain number of operations are safely performed at angularly-spaced places with respect to the corresponding number of wires, without possible obstructions among the different processes, thereby increasing the efficiency of processing a long continuous supply of wire. As a further advantage, it is arranged that the angular displacement of a wire holder takes place in a relatively restricted space around the axis adjacent to and in parallel with, the path of wire supply, thereby reducing the size of the overall construction. A still further advantage of the apparatus of the present invention is that the wire is held straight throughout the processes without incurring the same detrimental distortion, thereby producing a smooth handling of tinished wires.
The invention being thus described, it will be obvious that the same may be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An overall automatic apparatus for attaching a connector to the end of a wire cut in a predetermined length from a long continuous supply thereof, including a wire shifting device comprising a rotatable wire holder capable of rotating such that the wire catching seat thereof is displaced in at least three angularlyspaced positions about an axis parallel to the path of wire supply, wherein in the first position said wire holder receives said out wire and holds it for a period of time during which the conductor in the opposite end of said wire is uncovered; in the second position a connector is attached to said uncovered conductor and in the third position the thus-finished wire is removed from said wire shifting device.
2. An overall automatic apparatus for attaching a connector to the end of a wire cut in a predetermined length from a long continuous supply thereof comprising a supplying and measuring device, a cutting device, an uncovering device and further including a wire shifting device comprising a rotor having at least three wire receiving seats angularly-spaced along the periphery thereof, said rotor being capable of rotating around an axis parallel to the path of wire supply such that each of said wire receiving seats is sequentially positioned at predetermined working positions, said rotor being movable along said axis until one of said wire receiving seats coincides with the path of wire supply, thereby ensuring the uncovering of the conductor in the opposite end of the wire held therein, wherein in the first displacement of said rotor, said wire is equally displaced from the position coinciding with the path of wire supply to a second position where a connector is attached to the uncovered conductor, and wherein in the second displacement of said rotor, said wire having a connector at the end thereof is equally displaced to a third position where the thus-finished wire is removed from said wire shifting device.
3. The device of claim 2, wherein the rotor contains four wire guide tubes disposed in the circumference of the rotor and mounted substantially parallel with the rotating axis of the rotor.