US 3861019 A
A cross member having a perforated wall is securely joined by the machine to a base element having a malleable projection which fits through the perforation. At a first station a base element is loaded onto a support nest. A cross member is interlockingly fed transversely onto the base element at a second station with portions of the cross member extending laterally outwardly on both sides. Nest support means on each side of the base element are adapted to support and resiliently resist movement of a mounted cross member against the base element. A swaging punch at a third station deforms the base element projection to lock the cross member in place; stripper elements acting in opposition to the lateral nest support means hold the cross member at a desired spatial orientation in contact with the base element. The nests are moved progressively from station to station, and finally to a discharge station where the joined member and element assembly is removed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Choate et al.
[451 Jan. 21, 1975 MACHINE FOR JOINING A CROSS MEMBER TO A BASE ELEMENT  Inventors: Richard V. Choate, Hanson;
Leonard W. Williamson, Lexington, both of Mass.
 Assignee: The Gillette Company, Boston,
22 Filed: Aug. 24, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 391,269
 US. Cl 29/208 E  Int. Cl 823p 19/04  Field of Search 29/208 F, 208 D, 200 B, 29/211 D, 200 D, 208 E  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,393,439 7/1968 Shriver 29/208 F 3,606,66l 9/1971 Schoepe et al. 29/208 F Primary Examiner-Thomas H. Eager  ABSTRACT A cross member having a perforated wall is securely joined by the machine to a base element having a malleable projection which fits through the perforation. At a first station a base element is loaded onto a support nest. A cross member is interlockingly fed transversely onto the base element at a second station with portions of the cross member extending laterally outwardly on both sides. Nest support means on each side of the base element are adapted to support and resiliently resist movement of a mounted cross member against the base element. A swaging punch at a third station deforms the base element projection to lock the cross member in place; stripper elements acting in opposition to the lateral nest support means hold the cross member at a desired spatial orientation in contact with the base element. The nests are moved progressively from station to station, and finally to a discharge station where the joined member and element assembly is removed.
The invention has particular importance in applications where it is desired to avoid stressing the cross member during mounting and joinder, and may be used to join a slide member to a back in the formation of a razor assembly.
35 Claims, 22 Drawing Figures PATENTED JAN21 I975 SHEET 1 or 7 FIG I FIG 2 PATENTH] JANZI I975 SHEEIZOF? FIG 5 PATENTEU JANZ! I975,
SHEET 3 0F 7 FIG. 7
PATENTED JANZ 1 I975 SHEET t 0F 7 FIG 8 l B F PATENTEU JANE! I975 sum 50 1 FIG I2 PAIENTED 3.861.019
sum war 1 MACHINE FOR JOINING A CROSS MEMBER TO A BASE ELEMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the joinder of solid elements, and more particularly to a machine for joining a cross member transversely to a base element.
A known solution to the problem of joining two such pieces is to provide a projection on one piece that fits through a perforation on the other, and then deform the projection by a swaging operation when the pieces are interlocked. Several problems may arise during such an operation. For example, the cross member may become dislodged from a desired position before or during deformation of the projection and thereby cause the pieces to be joined ot of proper alignment. If a cross member is held rigidly in place with respect to the base element, however, there may be a danger of damaging the cross member because of the relatively large force generally required to deform the base element projection. For example, if a solid cross member support is provided, repeated swaging may deform the support and cause subsequent cross members to be bent or broken.
Precision in swaging is also an important consideration, as too shallow an impression may result in a loose joint, while an unduly deep impression may produce a weak or broken joint. In a large scale operation, there must in addition be a capability of moving the parts rapidly into and out of the operating area, at the same time ensuring the machinery is capable of withstanding frequent and repeated swaging impacts.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To solve the above-stated problems, the present invention provides a machine for accurately and repetitively joining cross members having a perforated wall transversely to base elements which have a malleable projection, by deforming the head of the projection where it is fitted through the perforation. It is an object of the invention to provide a novel and improved machine to perform such an operation without imposing damaging stress to the cross member when the projection is deformed. Another object is the provision of a joining machine with a novel and improved means for aligning a cross member with respect to a base element and for maintaining the alignment during the joining operation. It is another object to provide a novel and improved machine capable of rapidly and continuously joining a large number of cross members and base elements. Still another object is the provision of a novel and improved machine to deform a base element projection by means of a swaging punch, and having means to non-destructively absorb the impact of the punch.
Other objects relate to particular features of the invention and include the provision of a novel and improved support nest to securely hold a base element v ment of the parts, and novel and improved means operating in conjunction with the said nests for removing the joined pieces.
In the accomplishment of the above objects, a plurality of support nests are moved through a number of operating stations, preferably by means of a turntable supporting the nests along the upper surface with the operating stations arranged around the periphery. Each nest includes an anvil to carry a base element with its projection facing outward and to receive the impact of a swaging operation. Cross member support means are disposed laterally to each side of the anvil and provide a yielding resistance to movement of a supported cross member against the anvil. In a particular embodiment, the lateral support means comprises cross member support bars slidably carried in the nest above compressible spring means, and provides a balanced resistance to downward movementof the support bars. The base element is held on the anvil by a spring operated clamp mechanism.
At a first station base elements are loaded one at a time onto the nests. According to one feature of the invention, the station includes an open bottomed receptacle to vertically stack a plurality of base elements over a discharge gate at the lower end, the gate being actuated by the presence of a nest below the receptacle to release a single base element onto the nest and to prevent the release of further base elements until the arrival of other nests. In a particular embodiment the gate includes a lower base element blocking surface and an offset but overlapping upper base element blocking surface, the gate in a closed position supporting all the base elements on the lower surface, and in an open position supporting all but the bottommost base element by the upper surface. With this arrangement the upper gate surface engages the base elements before the lower surface becomes disengaged. The gate is mounted on a pivotable arm actuated by cam means on a rotatable shaft, a striker arm moving with each nest being adapted to rotate the shaft and thereby open the gate. The shaft also includes a lever to open base element clamps on the nest when the shaft is rotated, and means are provided to restore the shaft to an initial position when the nest has passed.
A second station feeds cross members transversely onto base elements held in the nests. The provision of positioning means to accurately place the cross members with the base element projections extending through the cross member perforations and the cross members supported by the lateral nest support means is another feature. The feed station in a particular embodiment includes a hatchway adapted to receive and hold single cross members, and a plunger above the hatchway movable in a downward stroke to grippingly engage a cross member and force it through the hatchway onto a nest below. A cross member is supported at the station on a pair of pivotal jaws, the plunger including a pusher to force the member between the jaws and spread them apart, guide means on the pusher engageable with wall surfaces on the cross member to pilot the cross member onto the nest, and a pair of spring biased arms to grip the cross member during a downward stroke. Spring means reclose the jaws at the bottom of the stroke to disengage the cross member when the plunger is retracted. The station also includes in this embodiment an arm adopted to move into engagement with the base element to insure the location of the base element in the nest while the plunger is lowered.
At a swaging station the head of the base element projection extending through the cross member is swaged and deformed to lock the two pieces together. The station includes a swaging punch and means for moving the punch towards the nest anvil by a distance sufficient to impart the necessary deformation. Proper alignment of the cross member is ensured by lateral stripper elements acting concurrently with the die to exert a force upon the cross member in opposition to the lateral nest support means, and to hold the cross member in contact with the base element at a desired spatial orientation. Any potentially damaging force transferred from the punch to the lateral portions of the cross member are absorbed by the yieldable lateral supports, thereby preventing injury to the cross member. In a particular embodiment the punch is provided with a plurality of impact surfaces to deform the projection at a plurality of locations and thereby create a more stable joinder of the two pieces. In the case of a base element having a projection comprising a pair of prongs, the punch is provided with a head having a plurality of impact surfaces in alignment with each prong, each of the impact surfaces including inclined side walls to push prong material outward toward the cross member, and a flattened apex between the inclined walls for limiting the penetration of the impact surface into its associated prong.
Another feature of the invention deals with apparatus for moving the nests between the above-mentioned stations and comprehends a turntable support for the nests and a stationary table below and in close proximity with the turntable. According to this feature, a thrust plate extends upward from the stationary table in vertical alignment with the swaging station to absorb the impact of the swaging punch. An annular keyway is formed in the lower portion of the turntable to accommodate the thrust plate when the turntable is rotated.
A discharge station located subsequent to the swaging station includes means for discharge a joined cross member and base element from the next, employing in a particular embodiment a split jaw adapted to balance a joined assembly. A reciprocating arm moves the jaw between the nest location and a drop off point, with means provided to move the jaw to a first position during a forward stroke of the arm to engage a cross member in a nest and lift the assembly up and out of the nest. Means are also included to move the jaw to a second position during a return stroke at the drop off point to release the assembly from the jaw.
Other objects, features and advantages will occur to one skilled in the art from the following description of a particular embodiment of the invention, taken together with the attached drawings thereof, in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of an overall layout of a machine embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view in side elevation taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a support nest, showing the arrangement of a base element and cross member thereupon;
FIGS. 4 and 5 are respectively plan and side elevation views of the nests shown in FIG. 3 and mounted on a turntable;
FIG. 6 is a partial view in side elevation of the base element and cross member of FIG. 3 after joinder by the present machine;
FIG. 7 is a top view of the cross member of FIG. 3;
FIGS. 8 and 9 are respectively sectional plan and side elevation views of a base element loading station;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a gate employed in the station of FIGS. 8 and 9;
FIG. 11 is a side elevation view showing the release mechanism of the gate shown in FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a partially cut away view in side elevation of a cross member feed station;
FIG. 13 is a sectional view in frontal elevation taken along the lines 13-13 of FIG. 12;
FIGS. 14a and 14b are respectively frontal and sectional side elevation views showing the device of FIG. 13 feeding a cross member onto a base element;
FIG. 15 is a partially sectional view in side elevation showing a swaging station;
FIGS. 16a and 16b are respectively sectional frontal elevation and bottom views of a swaging punch taken along lines l6a-16a and 16b-l6b of FIG. 15;
FIG. 17 is an enlarged perspective view of the lower portion of a swaging punch;
FIG. 18 is an enlarged view of the junction site of a cross member and base element after swaging with the punch shown in FIG. 17;
FIG. 19 is a section view of a swaging station stabilizer arm taken along lines 19-19 of FIG. 15 showing the stabilizer arm engaging a base element held in a nest;
FIG. 20 is a plan view of a station for discharging a joined cross member and base element from the machine;
FIG. 21 is a view in side elevation of the discharge station of FIG. 20, showing the initial engagement of a joined assembly and in dashed lines the assembly drop off; and
FIG. 22 is a frontal elevation view of a moveable carrying jaw employed at the discharge station.
DESCRIPTION OF A PARTICULAR EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a machine embodying the present invention for repeatedly, accurately and securely joining cross members to base elements without damage to the joined pieces. In the general layout shown, a plurality of support nests 2 are equidistantly disposed in a circular pattern on the upper surface of an aluminum turntable 4. A drive shaft (not shown) is provided to synchronously rotate the turntable 4 and drive the various stations described below, with the turntable 4 momentarily pausing as each nest arrives at a station. Base elements are stored in a loading station 100, replenished from storage bin 102 along vibrating track 104 which arranges the base elements in a proper orientation described hereinafter for loading onto a nest 2. A cross member feed station 200 is supplied with cross members from storage bin 202 along vibrating track 204. The station 200 feeds a cross member onto a base element held in a nest 2 after the turntable 4 has rotated the nest in a counterclockwise direction from load station 100. Proceeding counterclockwise, a swaging station 300 locks the two pieces together by means of a swaging punch 304 held at the bottom of ram 302 and driven in a vertically reciprocating stroke. Discharge station 400 is provided between the swaging station 300 and load station to clear a complete assembly from the nest following swaging, leaving the nest ready to proceed through another cycle. Detection devices 500-508 are provided to check for proper machine operation.
Relatively large swaging forces are necessary to ensure a secure joint, the razor apparatus described below requiring a swaging pressure in the order of about 1,600 psi. Apparatus for safely absorbing this concentrated force includes a stationary table 6 immediately below turntable 4 and separated therefrom by a gap of approximately 0.06 inch. Hardened steel thrust plate 8 is lodged in the stationary table 6 and extends above the upper surface thereof in vertical alignment with the swaging punch 304. The thrust plate 8 is accommodated in an annular keyway 10 in the lower portion of turntable 4, serving to absorb the swaging impact and thereby prevent damage to the turntable 4.
The remaining drawings show particular aspects of the machine described in general above. A support nest 2 for securely holding the two pieces in proper alignment during the swaging operation and that effectively removes the danger of damaging the pieces is shown in FIGS. 3-5. The design of the nest is somewhat dependent of course upon the particular shape of the pieces sought to be joined. As the invention has been found useful in locking a slide member 12 onto a back 14 piece to form a complete base assembly for a razor, a nest adapted to support these pieces is illustrated. The base element (back) 14 comprises an elongated handle 16 with a small inclined portion 18 at the upper end and a pair of prongs 20 projecting upward from the topmost surface of portion 18. Cross member (slide) 12, also shown in FIGS. 6, 7, 14a, 14b, and 18, includes a central bottom wall 22 having a pair of perforations 24 through which prongs 20 extend when the razor pieces are coupled, and lateral bottom walls 26 each having a longitudinal slot 28. Outward extending lips 30 run along the top edge of the cross member 12 and are advantageously employed at the feed station 200. Typical dimensions for a cross member are approximately as follows: 0.03 inch wall thickness, 1.5 inch long, 0.20 inch wide at the bottom, 0.275 inch wide across the lips 30, and 0.2 inch high. Perforations 24 are 0.11 inch long and 0.05 inch wide, with prongs 20 approximately the same cross-sectional size.
The nest includes a raised anvil 32 with an upper surface conforming to the rear of the base element 14 for supporting the base element with prongs 20 pointed upward and the lower end secured by stop 34. The portion of anvil 32 below prongs 20 extends as a continuous piece of metal to the bottom of the nest, thereby providing a solid base for swaging. On each side of anvil 32 is a generally triangular section 36 having a narrow inclined upper ledge parallel to and somewhat below the upper surface of the anvil, and a rear vertical wall located slightly forward of the back of the anvil. A vertical block 38 is located just to the rear of the anvil 32 and is of equal height. The forward walls of block 38 flank the anvil and together with the rear walls of sections 36 form a pair of shallow vertical channels 40, with the anvil 32 forming the rear channel wall. Anvil 32, sections 36 and block 38 are joined to the nest base, which includes side flanges 42 having screw holes 44 through which the nest may be screwed onto the upper surface of turntable 4, and also a lower nest extension 46 adapted to fit securely within a corresponding slot provided in the turntable. The forward portion 48 of extension 46 reaches down to the stationary table 6, while the remainder 50 of the nest extension 46 is foreshortened to allow for passage over thrust plate 8.
A pair of matched support bars 52 sit within the channels 40 upon springs 54, each of which is bottomed below the channels in a shallow recess 56 in the nest base. The upper ends of the support bars 52 are notched to receive a cross member 12, with the bottom notch walls 58 located slightly above the base of prongs 20 and directly to each side when the pieces are assembled in the next. Retainer plates 60 traverse the outsides of channels 40 and are held in place on one side by screws 62 passed through openings 64 in the plates and into tapped screw holes 72 in block 38. Support bars 52 are thereby capable only of vertical movement when seated upon springs 54 in the channels 40. Dowel 74, extending through slots 76 in the support bars 52 and a corresponding slot in the anvil 32, is fixed between indentations 78 formed on the inner surfaces of plates 60, and holds the support bars 52 within the channels 40. A base element clamping mechanism consisting of a pair of spring powered clamps 80 are attached to either side of the anvil 32 above sections 36 by screws 82 passing through holes 84 in the clamps and into tapped screw holes 86 in the anvil. Biasing springs 88 are interposed between the heads of screws 82 and the clamps 80 to resiliently force the clamp mechanism to close upon and hold in place a base element seated upon the anvil 32. An extension 90 extends inwardly from the foot of the clamp 80 that faces forward as the turntable rotates, and is engaged at the base element loading station to open the clamp for reception of a base element. A striker arrnm 92 is mounted on the turntable 4 is from of each nest by screws 94, the forward end of the striker arm extending out beyond the edge of the turntable to actuate the base element loading station as will be described hereinafter.
When a base element 14 and cross member 12 are mounted on the nest 2 and ready for swaging, the cross member 12 will generally be seated on support bars 52 slightly above the upper surface of base element extension 18, the springs 54 providing a balanced and yielding resistance to downward movement of the cross member. A balancing force that tends to align the piece correctly is thereby applied to the cross member at all times, while intimate contact between the cross member and the base element by the compression of springs v 54 is made possible during swaging. Should the swaging force itself be unbalanced, the cross member is permitted to rotate slightly in a vertical plane and thereby avoid harmful stresses, saving the pieces if the misalignment is within the allowed tolerances of the final assembly.
Referring now to FIGS. 8ll for details of the base element loading station 100, base elements 14 are carried along track 104, down chute 106 and into narrow stacking receptacle 108, the interior front-to-back length of which is slightly less than the length of the base elements and results in the base elements being stacked on an incline with the extensions 18 inclined down and to the front. Gate 110 at the lower end of the receptacle 108 supports the stacked base elements, and includes a lower blocking surface 112 upon which the extension 18 of the lowermost base element rests. To ensure proper orientation, the first base elements 14 may be hand fed into the stacking receptacle 108, after which the remainder are introduced from chute 106 and automatically assume the correct position. The gate 110 is carried at one end of an arm 114 which is mounted at its other end on pivot shaft 116, a spring (not shown) being wound around the pivot shaft 116 urging the arm 114 to close the gate 110. When arm 114 is rotated away from the receptacle 108 to a stop 118, lower blocking surface 112 is removed from a blocking mode and permits a base element to fall out from the receptacle onto a nest 2. Gate 110 further includes an upper blocking surface 120 located above and offset from lower blocking surface 112, the upper surface 120 overlapping the lower surface 112 to block all but the bottommost base element from leaving the receptacle when the gate is opened. During the transition from a closed to an open gate position, the upper blocking surface 120 engages the upper base elements before the bottommost base element is released from lower blocking surface 112. After the bottommost base element has been released, spring wound pivot 116 rotates arm 114 to close the gate; the next base element supported by surface 120 thereupon drops down to surface 112 and is ready to be released from the gate 110 when another nest moves into position.
Synchronous operation is provided to open the nest clamp when a base element is released from gate 110 and to close the clamp after the base element is in position on the nest by vertical shaft 122 which is rotatably mounted on stationary table 6 adjacent arm 114. Control devices associated with the shaft 122 include a cammed surface bearing against arm 114, a first lever 126 extending outward from the shaft in line with a nest striker arm 92, a spring 128 mounted between a post 130 and lever 126 to resist clockwise rotation (as viewed from above) of the shaft 122, and a second lever 132 extending outward from the shaft in line with the extension 90 of a nest clamp 80. As a nest 2 is moved into the base element loading station area by counter-clockwise rotation of turntable 4, striker arm 92 strikes the first lever 126 to rotate the shaft 122 clockwise against the force of spring 128 and open gate 110 by the action of cammed surface 124 rotating against arm 114. At the same time the second lever 132 is rotated against clamp extension 90 to open the nest clamp 80. The turntable 4 pauses momentarily when gate 110 opens, allowing the bottommost base element 114 in receptacle 108 to fall out onto the now stationary nest 2. The end of the base element near extension 18 first strikes the nest just behind anvil 32, followed by the base element flipping down onto the anvil between open clamps 80 to rest against stop 34. When turntable 4 resumes rotation striker arm 92 disengages from lever 126, shaft 122 rotates to reclose gate 110 under the action of spring 128, and clamp 80 is released by lever 132 and recloses to hold the base element securely on the nest.
The station 200 for feeding a cross member onto a base element held in a nest is shown in FIGS. 12-14b. Support arm 206 is mounted on stationary table 6 and holds enclosure 208 at its end, within and below which the station apparatus is housed. The station includes a pair of jaws 210, 212 pivotable at their upper ends about horizontal axes 214 and forming a hatchway 216 at their lower ends. A bolt 218 extends through the intermediate portion of the jaws 210, 212 and is held at the outside of jaw 212 by a bolt head and at the outside of jaw 210 by washer 220, with a compressed spring 222 lodged between the washer 220 and a bolt head 224 applying a closing force to the jaws. Inward facing ribs 226, 228 are formed at the bottom of each jaw, with upward and outwardly inclined upper surfaces 230, 232. The jaws are separated by a blocking piece 234 interposed between their upper ends, the blocking configuration being designed to separate the opposed faces of ribs 226, 228 by a distance slightly greater than the width of the main body portion of a cross member 12, but less than the width of a cross member across the lips 26. The distance between the jaws immediately above the ribs 226, 228 is slightly greater than the width of a cross member across the lips 26. Operating rod 236 extends through housing 206 in line with nest block 36 and is driven in-a vertical reciprocating stroke in synchronism with swaging station 300 by a shaft 238 that is connected at its other end to swaging ram 302. Brackets 240 attached on either side of the operating rod 236 below the housing 206 support a plunger 242 between jaws 210, 212. As best shown in FIGS. 13, 14a and 14b, the plunger 242 has a central slot 244 to accommodate bolt 218, and moves between an elevated position just above ribs 226, 228 and a lowered position in which it extends down between the ribs. A pusher 246 at the bottom of plunger 242 has a pair of downward projecting guides 248 that pass through cross member slots 28 when the plunger 242 is lowered, the inclined inward facing walls of guides 248 contacting the inner walls of slots 28 and serving to pilot the cross member 12 onto the base element 14. A pair of cross member gripping arms 250 are partially rotatable abot pivots 252 on each side of the plunger 242 and are biased outwardly by compressed springs 254. The lower ends of the gripping arms 250 are also formed to pass through cross member slots 28 when the plunger is lowered, and are provided with hooks 256 that snap outwards on the underside of the cross member 59 to prevent it from falling off while the plunger is lowered.
Upper surfaces 230 and 232 of ribs 226 and 228 are in line with the cross member supply track 204 to receive and support a cross member 12 by its lips 26, with the body of the cross member hanging between the ribs. Stop 258 on the other side of the plunger 242 from track 204 prevents the cross member from overshooting. When rod 236 is lowered, the attached plunger 242 is also lowered, pusher 246 engaging the cross member and forcing the jaws 210 and 212 apart by the downward pressure of the cross member lips 26 against the inclined upper rib surfaces 230 and 232. At the same time gripping arms 250 lower and pivot inward slightly as they pass through the cross member slots 28, then snap outwards so that the cross member is held onto the plunger by hooks 256 as it is lowered further into the nest support bars 52. Gripping arms 250 also block other cross members on vibrating track 204 from entering the plunger area when the plunger is lowered. Jaws 210 and 212 close on the plunger when the cross member has been pushed through and is seated on the nest with the base element prongs 20 projecting through cross member perforations 24, the closed jaws serving to hold the cross member down on the nest when the plunger is retracted, as illustrated in FIG. 14b. Control pins 260 at the lower end of operating rod 236 align with nest block openings 96 when a nest is properly located under the cross member feed station; improper alignment will prevent a full downward stroke and deposit of a cross member, the lack of which can be detected at a subsequent control point.
The cross member feed station 200 also includes means to hold a base element 14 in the nest in proper position for a cross member 12 to interlock with prongs 20. A sickle shaped arm 262 is pivotable at its upper end about a pin 264 that is held in the housing 206. A spring actuated piston 266 urges the arm 262 towards the nest position, the arm movement being controlled by the moving contact between a cammed arm surface 268 and a roller 270 that is rotatably mounted on pin 272 held in operating rod 236. The arm 262 swings into the nest with an arm head 274 engaging and pressing the base element 14 into stationary contact with the nest as the operating rod 236 is lowered.
At the swaging station 300, shown in FIGS. 15-l9, a ram 302 is driven in a vertically reciprocating motion off the drive shaft by the fly wheel-mounted eccentric of a conventional press. A swaging punch 304, held at the lower end of ram 302, includes a platform 306 lodged in a recess 308 formed at the top of an interior chamber 310 in the ram 302, and a punch head 312 connected to the punch platform 306 by a neck portion 314 that extends through the ram chamber 310 and an access bore 316. Stripper elements 318 are mounted on a stripper base plate 320 in ram chamber 310, and are in slidable contact with opposite sides of the swaging punch neck 314, with a compressible spring 322 between the punch platform 306 and the stripper base plate 320 biasing the stripper assembly downward. In a relaxed position between swages, the punch head 312 extends below the lower surface of stripper elements 318 by a small amount such that during a downward swaging stroke the stripper elements 318 contact the upper surface of cross member lips 26 before the punch head 312 reaches prongs and hold the cross member 12 down in alignment with the base element 14 while swaging takes place. Spring 322 and support bar springs 54 allow some tolerance for the cross member to rotate in a vertical plane on the in a element should the swaging force be off-centered, but otherwise the cross member is securely held in place. The swaging impact is thereby absorbed directly by the nest anvil 28, with a minimum of swaging force being transmitted to support bars 52. If one or both of the support bars 52 should become worn, the compression of the corresponding spring 54 will be lessened during swaging to compensate for the amount of wear, so that a cross member will still be properly positioned. Stripper elements 318 momentarily hold the stamped cross member down under the influence of spring 322 when the ram 302 is withdrawn, permitting the punch head 312 to disengage from the swaged razor pieces 12, 14 without dislodging them from the nest 2.
Punch head 312 comprises four separate impact surfaces 325 in a configuration that reduces the chance of damaging the relatively fragile base element prongs 20, while producing a tight and reliable joint. As best shown in FIG. 17, each impact surface 324 includes a pair of lower side walls 326 that are inclined at an angle of approximately 60 from vertical and converge to a narrow flattened apex 328, the width of which is in the order of one-third to one-fourth the width of prongs 20. Two impact surfaces 324 are aligned with each prong 20 to produce a swaging impression as shown in FIG. 18, in which material 330 on each side of aprong under inclined impact walls 326 is deformed and pushed outward and downward to bind the base element 14 to the cross member 12. The prong portion 332 directly beneath each impact apex 328 is left as a solid block, penetrated only to the impact depth of walls 326.
A destructive swage is prevented should the nest be out of position by the provision of control pin 334 on the ram 302. The pin 334 moves downward with the ram 302 and fits into nest opening 96 when the nest is properly positioned. Otherwise the pin strikes the upper surface of the nest block 36 and is pushed upward against spring 336, closing an electrical contact to shut down the machine.
Driven in synchronism with the swaging punch, by an eccentric mounted on the main drive shaft, a base element clamp assembly 338 includes a narrow vertical central plate 340 that is adapted to fit into the interior portion of base element 14 and is slidably held in guide track 342, a drive arm 344 connected to drive the plate 340 through a spring 346, a U-shaped member 348 lodged in an interior plate opening 350 with forward extending sides 352 flanking the plate 340, spring 354 urging member 348 against the front end of opening 350, and retainer plates 356 bolted to each side of plate 340 to hold member 348 and spring 354 in place. When a nest 2 is in position at the swaging station, arm 344 moves plate 340 forward until sides 352 contact the base element 14. The plate 340 continues to be moved forward, pushing U-shaped member 348 back into the plate opening 350 against spring 354; the front of plate 340 then contacts the interior of the base element 14 and is further pushed by spring 346 to ensure that the base element is lodged firmly against nest anvil 32 in preparation for the application of swaging punch 304. After swaging the drive arm 344 withdraws the assembly, U-shaped member 348 bearing against the base element l4,during the initial withdrawal stage to assist in freeing the front end of plate 340 without pulling the base element 14 out of the nest 2.
At the discharge station 400 a jaw 402 is pivotally mounted on pin 404 in forward and backward reciprocable arm 406. A cocking lever 408 extends through a longitudinal slot 410 in a housing 412 for the intermediate portion of reciprocable arm 406, and bears against a driving arm 414 that is pivoted about pivot 416 in synchronism with the other stations to drive the cocking lever 408 backward to the rear of the slot 410. A tensioned spring 418 held between post 420 at the top of housing 412 and a spring mount 422 at the rear of reciprocable arm 406 urges the arm 406 forward in opposition to the force of driving arm 414. A lever 424 extends forward from the pivot area of jaw 402 and is provided at its forward end with a small inward facing detent 426 that mates with a small cavity 428 on the side of reciprocable arm 406. The jaw 402 straddles arm 406 and, when detent 426 is free from cavity 428, is held in a closed position against the underside of the arm 406 by a spring 430 that is mounted between the top of the jaw 402 and a mounting block 432 at the front of arm 406. A bar 434 extends forward from the housing 412 above arm 406, with bumpers 436 and 438 mounted on opposed faces of forward and rear orthogonal flanges 440 and 442. A jaw pivot lever 444 extends upward from the jaw 402 in line with the bumpers and serves to pivot the jaw upward to a first position when the arm 406 moves forward and the jaw lever is struck by forward bumper 436, and to pivot the jaw downward to a second position in which detent 426 mates with cavity 428 when the reciprocable arm 406 retracts and the jaw pivot lever 444 is struck by rear bumper 438. Drive arm 414 reciprocates through an are large enough to cause the jaw 402 to be pivoted against the bumpers at each end of its travel.
After striking the rear bumper 438, the jaw 402 is in an open position with respect to the underside of arm 406, as indicated by the dashed line representation in FIG. 21. When the reciprocable arm 406 is moved forward by spring 418, the split jaw halves 446, 448 engage the underside of a previously assembled cross member 12. As the arm completes its forward travel, jaw 402 is pivoted closed to its first position by bumper 436, lifting the joined cross member-base element assembly 450 out of the nest and holding the cross member in shallow transverse channel 452 in the bottom of the arm. The razor assembly 450 is then carried backward as driving arm 414 pushes against cocking lever 408, the jaw being pivoted open to its second position by bumper 438 at the end of the return stroke to drop the joined assembly 450 onto split discharge track 454, the assembly then sliding down the track to a collection point.
Various control devices are positioned between the stations to detect malfunctions and initiate appropriate control functions, generally shutting the machine down until the malfunction is rectified. As shown on the general layout of FIG. 1, a first device 500 is located after the base element load station 100. This device includes a swinging gate that is struck if a base element is sticking out of its nest, and electrical apparatus to convert the motion of the swinging gate into an electrical control signal. A spring finger electric sensor 502, also between stations 100 and 200, checks for the presence of a base element in the nest. Between the cross member feed station 200 and the swaging station 300 photocells 504 check for the presence of a cross member on the nest. After swaging an electrical probe 506 tests for the presence of the joined assembly in the nest, while a swinging gate 508 located after the discharge station 400 checks for the proper removal of the assembly before the nest is brought again to base element load station 100.
The operation of the machine will now be described by tracing the path of a single base element and cross member. It should be understood that at any given time a plurality of such pieces will be at various stages of assembly within the machine, and that for greatest efficiency a full complement of nests will be employed in a continuous production. At the first stage of assembly a nest 2 is rotated by turntable 4 into position at base element loading station 100 to receive one of the base elements stored in receptacle 108. Striker arm 92 on the turntable hits lever 126 to rotate shaft 122, thereby pivoting arm 114 backward to open gate 110 and in addition rotating lever 132 against clamp extension 90 to open the nest clamp 80. The turntable halts momentarily as a single base element 14 falls onto the nest anvil 32, the remaining base elements being held off by the upper gate blocking surface 120 until the gate recloses. The momentary turntable halt also permits the action of the other stations to take place, whereby all the station actions involving a nest take place during the same time interval. The nest is then rotated to cross member feed station 200, clamp 80 closing on the base element to hold it in place and gate 110 closing with the stacked base elements again supported by lower blocking surface 1 12.
At station 200 a cross member 12 has been fed onto ribs 226, 228 of pivoted jaws 210, 212 and is held therebetween by the cross member lips 30. When the nest is in position, plunger 242 moves downward with pusher 246 engaging and forcing the cross member downward to spread the jaws apart, guides 248 piloting the cross member to interlock with the base element, and gripping arms 250 pivoting against springs 254 to snap onto the cross member and hold it onto the plunger. Jaws 210, 212 reclose under the influence of spring 222 after the cross member has cleared to prevent the cross member from being carried upward on gripping arms 250 when the plunger is retracted. Concurrently with the downward plunger movement, arm 262 moves against the base element to ensure that it is properly positioned within the nest to receive the cross member. At the end of the feeding operation the cross member is centred on the base element and supported on each side by nest support bars 52.
The nest then rotates to swaging station 300, where swaging punch 304 is lowered by a predetermined amount during the nest halt. Stripper elements 318 first contact the cross member and hold it against the base element as swaging punch 304 continues downward to deform prongs 20 and create a tight joint between the two pieces. Clamp assembly 338 slides forward just before swaging takes place to hold the base element stationary within the nest, plate 340 pressing against the interior of the base element and member 348 against its sides. Unbalanced swaging forces are absorbed in the nest by support bars 52 sliding downward against springs 54 to relieve strain from the cross member. After swaging the punch 304 is retracted, stripper elements 318 stripping off the joined pieces. The nest now rotates to discharge station 400 where drive arm 414 is released and reciprocable arm 406 moves forward under the force of spring 418 to bring jaw 402 into engagement with the assembled product, which is lifted out of the nest and held against the underside of reciprocable arm 406 as the jaw closes under the upward pivoting action of bumper 436. Arm 406 is then withdrawn, bumper 438 opening the jaw at the rear of the stroke to drop the product onto discharge track 454 and leave the jaw in position to operate on the next nest. Nest clamp closes when the assembly is removed, and the nest is rotated to station to begin another cycle.
While a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown and described there are modifications thereof which will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and therefore it is not intended that the invention be limited to the disclosed embodiment or to the details thereof, and departures may be made therefrom within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A machine for joining a cross member transversely to a base element with portions of said cross member extending laterally outward beyond the sides of said base element, the cross member characterized at the site of juncture by a perforated wall having upper and lower surfaces, the base element provided at the site of juncture with malleable projection adapted to fit through said perforation from the lower surface of said cross member wall with the head of the projection extending beyond the upper surface of said wall comprismg:
a plurality of support nests, each of said nests including an anvil adapted to carry a base element with its projection facing outward, and vertically moveable support means disposed laterally on each side of said anvil to support a cross member mounted transversely on a base element, said lateral support means adapted to yieldingly resist downward movement of a mounted cross member,
a station to load base elements one at a time onto said nests,
a station to feed cross members transversely onto base elements held in said nests, including positioning means to emplace a cross member with the base element projection aligned with said cross member perforation and with said outwardly extending cross member portions supported by said lateral support means,
a swaging station including a swaging punch, means for moving the punch towards said nest anvil a distance sufficient to deform the head of said base element projection and thereby lock the cross member on said base element,
a discharge station including means to disengage a joined cross member and base element assembly from a nest, and
means for moving said nests progressively from said base element load station to said cross member feed station to said stamping station to said discharge station.
2. The machine of claim 1, wherein each of said lateral nest support means is vertically moveable independent of the other.
3. The machine of claim 1, useful in the formation of a razor assembly by joining a slide member to a razor back.
4. The machine of claim 1, wherein-said nest moving means comprises a turntable, with said stations arranged around the periphery thereof, and wherein said nests are mounted on the turntable in alignment with said stations.
5. The machine of claim 4, further including a stationary table below and in close proximity with said turntable, a thrust plate extending upward from said stationary table in vertical alignment with said swaging punch, said thrust plate adapted to absorb the impact of said swaging punch, and said turntable provided with an annular keyway in the lower portion thereof to accommodate said thrust plate during rotation of said turntable.
6. The machine of claim 1, including an open bottomed receptacle at said base element loading station for stacking a plurality of base elements, a gate at the lower end of the receptacle having a closed position at which all the base elements are held in the receptacle and an open position at which all but the bottommost base element are held in the receptacle, means for opening said gate when a support nest is at the station in a position to receive a base element, and means for closing said gate when the support nest has left the station.
7. The machine of claim 6 wherein said gate includes a lower base element blocking surface and an upper base element blocking surface, the upper surface offset from but overlapping the lower surface, said gate being mounted on a pivotable arm, a rotatable shaft at said base element loading station, cam means on said rotatable shaft operable on said pivotable arm to movesaid gate between a closed position at which all the base elements in said receptacle are supported by said lower blocking surface and an open position at which all but the bottommost of said base elements are supported by said upper blocking surface, said upper and lower surfaces arranged whereby said upper surface engages said base elements during the transition from a closed to an open gate position before said lower surface disengages from said base elements, a striker arm moving with each of said nests and adapted to partially rotate said shaft and thereby open said gate, and means to restore said shaft to a position at which said gate is closed when a nest has left said base element loading station.
8. The machine of claim 1, including a spring operated clamp on said support nest to hold a base element on said anvil.
9. The machine of claim 8, further including a rotatable shaft at said base element loading station, a lever extending outwardly from said shaft a distance sufficient to engage said spring operated clamp when a support nest is present at said station, and a striker arm moving with each of said nests and adapted to partially rotate said shaft, said outward extending lever adapted to open said clamp to admit a base element onto said nest when said shaft is rotated by said striker arm.
10. The machine of claim 1, wherein said cross member feedstation includes a pair of moveable jaws forming an adjustable hatchway therebetween, the jaws in a first position adapted to receive and support a cross member and in a second position spread apart to permit a cross member to pass through the hatchway, spring means urging the jaws towards said first position, a plunger moveable in a downward stroke between said jaws, said plunger including a pusher engageable with a cross member supported on said jaws during a downward plunger stroke, said jaws adapted to spread apart to said second position when said plunger acts downwardly on a supported cross member, said downward plunger stroke terminating at a point at which said cross member is deposited on said nest with said cross member perforation in position for engagement by the malleable projection of a base element held on said nest, means associated with said plunger to hold on a cross member during a downward stroke, and means for releasing the cross member from the plunger after said cross member has been deposited on said nest.
11. The machine of claim 10, including pivot sup ports for said jaws above said hatchway, and opposed horizontal ribs on said jaws forming said hatchway, the upper surfaces of said ribs inclined upward and outward from said hatchway and adapted to support a cross member when said jaws are in said first position.
12. The machine of claim 10, wherein said cross member is further provided with wall surfaces lateral to said juncture site, and wherein said pusher includes guide means engageable with said wall surfaces to pilot said cross member onto said nest.
13. The machine of claim 10, wherein said plunger cross member holding means comprises a pair of pivotable spring biased gripping arms, said arms including hooks on their lower portions adapted to engage the underside of a cross member when the plunger is lowered.
14. The machine of claim 10, wherein said cross member feed station further includes an arm adapted to move against a nest positioned at said station, a head provided on the end of said arm to engage said base element in said nest, and means actuated by a downward stroke of said plunger to move said head into engagement with said base element to press said base element against the nest.
15. The machine of the claim 10, wherein means are provided to retract said plunger following a downward stroke, and wherein said spring means close said jaws sufficiently to release a cross member from the plunger when the plunger is retracted.
16. The machine of claim 1, wherein spring biased stripper elements are provided at said swaging station lateral to said swaging punch, said stripper elements moveable downward concurrently with said punch to exert a force upon a cross member held on a nest in opposition to the lateral nest support means, and said cross member held during swaging between said stripper elements and said lateral nest support means in contact with said base element and at a desired spatial orientation thereto.
17. The machine of claim 16, wherein said stripper elements are positioned to contact said cross member before said swaging punch contacts said base element projection, and exert a force against said cross member while said swaging, punch deforms said base element projection.
18. The machine of claim 1, wherein said swaging punch includes a plurality of impact surfaces.
19. The machine of claim 18, useful with a base element having a projection which comprises a pair of prongs, wherein said swaging punch includes a punch head having a plurality of said impact surfaces in alignment with each said prong, each of said impact surfaces including inclined side walls to push prong material outward toward said cross member, and a flattened apex between said inclined walls for limiting the penetration of the impact surface into its associated prong.
20. The machine of claim 1, wherein said swaging station includes means to clamp a base element to a nest during swaging, said clamping means including an inner clamping plate, a member having a pair of forward extending sides flanking said clamping plate, means to move said plate and member against said base element, said plate and flanking member slideable with respect to each other along the axis of the moving force, and spring means urging said flanking member forward against said base element with respect to said plate.
21. The machine of claim 1, wherein said discharge station includes a jaw mounted on a reciprocable arm, said jaw including a pair of spaced apart lifting members to engage the underside of the cross member of a joined assembly carried in a support nest during a forward stroke of said arm, means to move said jaw to a first position during said forward stroke and thereby lift said joined assembly from the support nest on said lifting members, means to maintain said jaw in said first position during an initial portion of a return arm stroke, means to move said jaw to a second position during the remainder of said return stroke to release said assembly from said jaw, and means to maintain said jaw in said second position during a portion of a subsequent forward stroke prior to engagement with a cross member.
22. The machine of claim 3, further including a pair of spring operated clamps on either side of said'anvil of each nest to hold a razor back element therebetwen.
23. The machine of claim 22 and further including loading apparatus at said razor back loading station comprising: an open bottomed receptacle adapted to hold said razor backs in a stack, a gate at the lower end of the receptacle having a closed position at which all the razor backs are held in the receptacle and an open position at which all but the bottommost razor back are held in the receptacle, means for opening said gate when a nest is at the station in a position to receive a razor back, and means for closing said gate when the nest has left the station.
24. The machine of claim 23, wherein said gate includes a lower element blocking surface and an upper element blocking surface, the upper surface offset from but overlapping the lower surface, said gate being mounted on a pivotable arm, a rotatable shaft with cam means thereon operable on said pivotable arm to move said gate between a closed position at which all the razor backs in said receptacle are supported by said lower blocking surface and an open position at which all but the bottommost of said razor backs are supported by said upper blocking surface, said upper and lower surfaces arranged whereby said upper surface engages said razor backs during the transition from a closed to an open gate position before said lower surface disengages from said razor backs, said rotatable shaft includling rotation means to open said gate by the movement of a nest into position at said element loading apparatus, and means to restore said shaft to a position at which said gate is closed when a nest has left said razor back loading station. I
25. The machine of claim 24, wherein each said nest has a spring operated clamp mechanism to hold a razor back, and further including a rotatable shaft at said razor back loading station, and a lever extending outwardly from said shaft a distance sufficient to engage said spring operated clamp mechanism when a support nest is present at said apparatus, said outward extending lever adapted to open said clamp mechanism to admit a razor back therein when said shaft is rotated by the movement of a nest into position at said razor back loading station.
26. The machine of claim 25 wherein said slide member feed station comprises a pair of moveable jaws forming an adjustable hatchway therebetween, the jaws in a first position adapted to receive and support a slide member and in a second position spread apart to permit a slide member to pass through the hatchway, spring means urging the jaws towards said first position, a plunger moveable in a downward stroke between said jaws, said plunger including a pusher engageable with a slide member supported on said jaws during a downward plunger stroke, said jaws adapted to spread apart to said second position when said plunger acts downwardly on a supported slide member, means associated with said plunger to hold on a slide member during a downward stroke, and means for releasing said slide member from said plunger and thereby deposit the slide member on said razor back.
27. The machine of claim 26, including pivot supports for said jaws above said hatchway, and opposed horizontal ribs on said jaws forming said hatchway, the upper surfaces of said ribs inclined upward and outward from said hatchway and adapted to support a slide member when said jaws are in said first position.
28. The machine of claim 26, wherein said slide member is provided with a plurality of spaced apart wall surfaces, and wherein said pusher includes guide means engageable with said wall surfaces to pilot said slide member onto said support.
29. The machine of claim 28, wherein the slide member holding means on said plunger comprises a pivotable pair of spring biased gripping arms, said arms including hooks on their lower portions adapted to engage the underside of a slide member when the plunger is lowered.
30. The machine of claim 29, further including means to retract said plunger following a downward stroke, and wherein said spring means close said jaws sufficiently to release a slide member from the plunger when the plunger is retracted.
31. The machine of claim 30 and further including spring biased stripper elements at said swaging station lateral to the swaging punch and moveable downward concurrently with the punch to exert a force on the slide member in oposition to said lateral support means, the slide member held during stamping between the stripper elements and the lateral support means in contact with the razor back and at a desired spatial orientation thereto.
32. The machine of claim 31, wherein said stripper elements are positioned to contact said slide member before said swaging punch contacts said base element projection, and exert a force against said slide member while said swaging punch deforms said razor back projection.
33. The apparatus of claim 32, wherein said swaging punch includes a plurality of impact surfaces.
34. The machine of claimm 33 wherein said swaging punch includes a punch head having a plurality of said impact surfaces in alignment with each said prong, each of said impact surfaces including inclined side walls to push prong material outward toward said slide member, and a flattened apex between said inclined walls for limiting the penetration of the impact surface into its associated prong.
35. The machine of claim 34 wherein said discharge station includes a jaw mounted on a reciprocable arm, said jaw including a pair of spaced apart lifting members to engage the underside of the slide member during a forward stroke of said arm, means to move said jaw to a first position during said forward stroke and thereby lift said joined razor assembly from the support nest on said lifting members, means to maintain said jaw in said first position during an initial portion of a return arm stroke, means to move said jaw to a second position during the remainder of said return stroke to release said razor assembly from said jaw, and means to maintain said jaw in said second position during a portion of a subsequent forward stroke prior to engagement with a slide member.