US 3877653 A
A dual position takeup apparatus with spaced parallel axes of rotation includes facilities for automatically loading empty reels and unloading reels full of strand material. The full reels are removed from the takeup positions and prepared for movement from the apparatus in a manner such that essentially all the strand material is wound on the reels with no loose ends extending therefrom.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Foltyn et al.
[4 1 Apr. 15, 1975  Assignee: Western Electric Company,
Incorporated, New York, NY.
 Filed: Feb. 6, 1974  Appl. No.: 440,231
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 228,595, Feb. 23,
 US. Cl. 242/25 A; 242/79  Int. Cl. B65h 67/04  Field of Search... 242/25 A, 25 R, 18 A, 18 R,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,546,637 3/1951 Robson 242/25 A 3,174,700 3/1965 Lemaire 242/18 A 3,197,017 7/1965 Ungerer 242/79 X 3,345,011 10/1967 Martin, Sr.... 242/79 X 3,348,785 10/1967 Cocker 242/79 X 3,822,044 7/1974 Riekkinen 242/79 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,118,061 11/1961 Germany 242/18 R 1,136,881 9/1962 Germany 242/25 A Primary Examiner-Stanley N. Gilreath Attorney, Agent, or Firm-E. W. Somers  ABSTRACT A dual position takeup apparatus with spaced parallel axes of rotation includes facilities for automatically loading empty reels and unloading reels full of strand material. The full reels are removed from the takeup positions and prepared for movement from the apparatus in a manner such that essentially all the strand material is wound on the reels with no loose ends extending therefrom.
A conveyor associated with each of the takeup positions advances incrementally empty reels along a path of travel parallel to the axis of rotation of, and into proximate alignment with, the associated one of two takeup positions. A load-unload arm is moved into engagement with a leading one of the empty reels on the conveyor and then turned pivotally to move the leading one of the reels up a ramp into the associated one of the takeup positions. While strand material is distributed upon the reel in the one takeup position, the load-unload arm associated with the other takeup position is operated to permit the full reel therein to move down the associated ramp, desirably without any substantial rolling, until the full reel is received on the conveyor associated with the other takeup position. Then the full reel is turned rotatably in the direction of takeup to wind any loose ends of strand material extending therefrom. The conveyor is operated to move the full reel toward an unload position and the leading one of the empty reels into proximate transverse alignment with the other takeup position. The arm is controlled to engage the empty reel and move the empty reel up the associated ramp to the associated other one of the takeup positions.
19 Claims, 22 Drawing Figures PATENTEBAPR 1 5 m5 SHEET 01m 1 877,653
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PATENTED 19 3, 877. 653 sum 10 0F 13 MATCH LINE "6 [EA-LS9 REEL WIND 306,5 MOTORS FOR RIGHT 950/- RIGHT CONVEYOR INDEX -TRANSLATE FOR LE FT LEFT CONVEYOR INDEX-TRANSLATE FIG. /7C
HANDLING REELS IN HIGH-SPEED TAKEL'P CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-impart application of application Ser. No. 228.595. filed Feb. 23. 1972. now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to handling reels for taking up elongated material, and. more particularly. to methods of and apparatus for automatically supplying empty reels to two takeup positions and removing full reels therefrom with improved facilities for eliminating the extension of free end portions of the strand material from the full reels.
2. Technical Considerations and the Prior Art One of the problems associated with the taking up of strand material has been the loading and unloading of reels. Many of the earlier takeups supported the takeup reels on a common axis of rotation. In at least one such apparatus. a leading one of a supply of empty reels is rolled into alignment with a takeup position and an elevator is controlled to raise the empty reel into the takeup position. After the reel is full. the elevator lowers the reel to a roll-off position where the fully wound reel is rolled from the elevator onto the floor. Adjustable inclined runways leading from the takeup positions to the manufacturing floor have been used in order to permit the easy removal ofa full reel of strand material without manually having to lift the reel.
The use of two takeup reels arranged on a common axis has involved certain drawbacks. For example. at cutover. the strand material being taken up is directed to span across two snaggers. one associated with each of the takeup positions. This causes an undue amount of shock to the strand material and has been the source of wire breaks in the past. Moreover. common axis takeups have never been conducive to the higher line speeds used today. In high speed takeups. it is not uncommon to mount the takeup reels on spaced parallel axes. A takeup apparatus of this type is exemplified by that shown in US. Pat. No. 2,546,637, issued Mar. 27. 1951, to Duer C. Robson.
With the trend toward higher line speeds of 4.000-5.000 feet per minute and even more. while retaining conventionally sized standard reels. the frequency of reel changes becomes a problem of more concern. To achieve manufacturing economies, it becomes necessary to incorporate an automatic handling feature requiring minimum space into the high-speed takeup so as to be able to supply empty reels to the takeup positions while removing the full reels.
In one commercially available high-speed takeup. the reel positions having parallel spaced axes are serviced by a conveyor and elevator arrangement. There. empty reels are moved along an inclined track or ramp along a path of travel transverse of the parallel spaced axes into alignment with and beneath one of the takeup positions. An elevator lifts the leading one of the reels upwardly into alignment with the one takeup position. After the reel in the other one of the takeup position is full. the full reel is lowered from that takeup position by an elevator to the track below and rolls down an inclined track to a loading pallet. Then, the next successive one of the empty reels is moved into alignment with the other one of the takeup positions and elevated into that takeup position in anticipation of cutover.
In this. empty reels are advanced in one direction into one side of the takeup apparatus into both takeup positions. and the full reels are removed from those positions in the same direction but exit from an opposite side of the apparatus. This requires considerable floor space in order to have an acceptable supply of the reels backed up behind the takeup positions. Also. as the full reels are lowered by the elevators from the associated takeup positions to the inclined ramp or track to permit the reels to roll toward the pallet. half the reels tend to roll so as to unwind the convolutions of the strand material.
In the transfer of the strand material from one takeup reel to the other takeup reel. the one severed end portion of the strand material is held by the snagger associated with the empty reel. When the rotation of the full reel is discontinued. the snagger is designed to release the free leading end of the strand material. The accumulation of dirt and grease or conductor scraps may cause a malfunction of the snagger release. In that event. a full reel may be removed from the takeup position with an end of the strand material extending to the snagger. This could cause further malfunctioning of the apparatus.
Another problem relates to the free trailing end portion of the strand material wound on the full reel. This end is desirably contained within a cover which has priorly been moved over a portion of the full reel including the flange. Frequently. the trailing portion of the strand material escapes from the confines of the peripheral cover and forms a loose stock end of formidable length which whips around in uncontrolled fashion until the reel comes to a stop. A loose end spinning around with a full reel usually hits and rebounds more or less sharply from some part or parts of the takeup and becomes marred or otherwise damaged. Moreover. damage is frequently sustained by the top layer of the wound strand material on being hit in whip-like fashion by the severed end portion. This undesirable occurrence leads to what is referred to in the art as "slapnicks."
The prior art discloses facilities for averting any whipping of a loose end of strand material against the convolutions of strand material wound on a takeup reel in a common reel axis type takeup. Shields are used which are in the whip path of a loose end of strand material and which extend generally around the reels. These serve as fixed tracks which intercept and lead the loose ends harmlessly around the full reel until the latter comes to a stop. The shield is provided with a gap in the cutover and wind-on regions so as to not obstruct the admission of strand material onto the reel and of the crossover sections of the strand material to the snaggers of both reels. but over the width of which a loose strand end is free to whip outwardly. A length of one shield immediately following the gap in the drive direction of the reel is substantially linear and leads tangentially into the remainder of the shield which is of substantially circular shape. Any loose strand material passing through the shield gap whips against this straight portion and is dragged harmlessly thereover. Facilities equally as effective must be provided in highspeed parallel axis takeups.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A method of taking up successive sections of an elongated material on reels and which embodies certain principles of this invention includes moving empty reels along a path of travel to position successive leading ones of the reels into a transfer position associated with a takeup position. moving each successive leading one of the empty reels from the path of travel of the empty reels into the takeup position. supporting each successive leading one of the empty reels for rotation in the takeup position, rotating the reel in the takeup position while advancing and guiding elongated material transversely reciprocally across a winding surface of the reel in the takeup position to distribute the elongated material in successive layers on the reel. and then discontinuing the rotation of the reel in the takeup position when the reel is full of the elongated material. Then each of the full reels is removed from the takeup position to a path of travel associated with the full reels while regulating turning of the full reel to insure that each of the full reels to be advanced subsequently along the path of travel thereof has substantially all the elongated material wound thereon and that there are substantially no loose tails of elongated material extending therefrom.
An apparatus for taking up elongated material on reels which embodies certain principles of this invention includes facilities for moving a plurality of empty reels along a path of travel to position successive leading ones of the reels into a transfer position associated with a takeup position, facilities for moving each successive leading one of the empty reels from the path of travel of the empty reels into the takeup position, facilities for supporting rotatably each successive leading one of the empty reels in the takeup position, facilities for advancing and guiding successive sections of elongated material transversely reciprocally across a winding surface of the reel in the takeup position to distribute the elongated material in successive layers on the reel. and facilities for rotating the reel in the takeup position during the distribution of the elongated material thereon and for discontinuing the rotation when the reel is full. Facilities are provided for removing each of the full reels from the takeup position to a path of travel associated with the full reels and regulating turning of the full reel to insure that essentially all the elongated material is wound on the reel and that there are no loose tails of elongated material extending therefrom.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
FIG. I is a perspective view of an apparatus for taking up strand material embodying certain principles of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in elevation of the apparatus of FIG. 1 and taken along the lines 2-2 thereof and showing facilities for the automatic loading and unloading of the takeup positions;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view ofa distributor carriage and traverse mechanism for distributing successive layers of convolutions of the strand material on a reel supported in a takeup position;
FIG. 5 is a view of a snagger and reel drive facilities associated with one of the takeup positions and showing a deflector arm for use during cutover from a full reel to an empty reel;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged view in elevation of the snagger shown in FIG. 5 and taken along lines 6-6 thereof;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of a portion of the snagger shown in FIG. 5 taken along lines 7-7 thereof;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view ofa prior art shroud used in a takeup apparatus;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged front elevational view showing an improved shroud design for each of the takeup positions;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged side elevational view of the shroud in FIG. 9 taken along lines 10-10 and showing the shroud relative to the reel takeup position;
FIG. 11 is an enlarged perspective view of portions of the conveying facilities shown in FIG. 1 and illustrating a device for indexing the conveyor to advance successive ones of the reels;
FIG. 12 is an enlarged elevational view of a portion of the conveying facilities shown in FIG. 11 associated with each one of the takeup positions;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged end view of the conveyor shown in FIG. 11 and taken along lines 13-13 thereof;
FIG. 14 is an enlarged end view of the conveyor shown in FIG. I1 along lines 14-14 and showing facilities for turning the full reel;
FIGS. l5, l6 and 16A are elevational views of alternate embodiments of apparatus embodying the principles of this invention;
FIGS. 17A, 17B and 17C are schematic views of an electrical circuit for controlling the operation of the apparatus shown in FIG. I; and
FIGS. 18 and 19 are graphical views of a table indi- A eating a sequence of operations of the circuit shown in FIGS. 17A, 17B and 17C.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION General Overall Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an apparatus, designated generally by the numeral 20, for taking up a strand material 21. Strand material 21 is advanced into a takeup mechanism, designated generally by the numeral 22, which includes an accumulator, designated generally by the numeral 23, and then past a distributor. designated generally by the numeral 24, which distributes the strand material in convolutions on a reel 26 supported in either of two takeup positions, designated A and B. The distribution is conducted cyclically, first on a reel 26 in one of the takeup positions and then on a reel in the other takeup position. A takeup position is to be construed as the position of the reel supported for rotation and for the distribution of strand material thereon. A plurality of empty reels 26-26 are advanced along an associated one of a pair of identical conveyors, each designated generally by the numeral 27. Successive leading ones of the reels 26-26 are moved by load-unload facilities, designated generally by the numeral 28, from the conveyors 27-27 into an associated one of the takeup positions A or B.
After the reel 26 currently having the convolutions of the strand material 21 wound thereon is full, and after cutover has been effected to the empty reel in the other one of the takeup positions. the associated load-unload facilities 28 are controlled to move the full reel onto the associated conveyor 27. Then the conveyor 27 is indexed to advance the next successive leading empty reel 26 into lateral alignment with the takeup positions. The associated load-unload facilities 28 are controlled to move the now aligned next successive leading one of the empty reels 26-26 from the conveyor 27 and into the associated takeup position A or B.
Subsequent to the accumulation of a predetermined number of full reels 26-26 of the strand material 21 downstream of the takeup mechanism 22, an operator moves a dolly. designated generally by the numeral 29, between the conveyors 27-27. The full reels 26-26 are rolled from the conveyors 2727 onto a pallet 30 supported on the dolly 29 and the dolly is then moved to other phases of the manufacturing operation.
Takeup Mechanism Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown the takeup mechanism 22 which includes the two reel takeup positions designated A and B having spaced parallel axes of rotation. The strand material 21 is advanced over a sheave 31 and into engagement with the accumulator 23 positioned within an enclosure 32 supported on a frame 33. Of course. the enclosure 32 is provided with appropriate access windows and doors (not shown) which are used for observation and maintenance purposes, respectively. The strand material 21 is passed alternately around ones of a plurality of sheaves 34-34 which are mounted rotatably on a spin dle 36 fixed with respect to the frame and around ones of a plurality of sheaves 37-37 which are mounted on a shaft 38 extending from a support block 39 that is mounted slidably on a pair of spaced rods 41-41.
The accumulator 23 also includes a cylinder 42 having a piston rod 43 extending therefrom between the rods 41-41 and connected to the support block 39. The cylinder 42 extends or retracts the piston rod 43 to move the support block 39 slidably along the rods 41-41 to maintain a predetermined tension in the loops of the strand material 21. After the strand material 21 has been passed alternately between the sheaves 34-34 and the sheaves 37-37 of the accumulator 23, the strand material is passed over a sheave 44, then around a sheave 46, both of which are mounted on a block 47 attached to the frame 33, and then into engagement with the distributor 24.
As can best be seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the distributor 24 includes a carriage 50 which may be moved adjacent either of the takeup positions. The carriage 50 is comprised of a distributor head 51 having a pair of spaced distributor rollers 52-52 mounted freely rotatably between two side plates 53-53 and on associated ones of a pair of parallel guide rods 54-54 which extend through the side plates. The guide rods 54-54 are supported at the ends thereof in a block 55 and a block 56 which are mounted on a guide rail 57 and a lead screw 58, respectively. The guide rail 57 and the lead screw 58 are mounted to the frame 33 such that the guide rail and the lead screw are parallel and support the blocks 55 and 56 adjacent the outwardly facing surfaces of the flanges of the reel 26.
Moreover. the lead screw 58 is connected to a pulley 59 around which is passed a timing belt 61. As the timing belt 61 is advanced in a first direction. the lead screw 58 is turned to move the block 56 and hence the carriage 50 in a first direction transverse of the axes of rotation of the reels in the takeup positions. On the other hand. when the timing belt 61 is advanced in an opposite direction, the lead screw 58 is turned rotatably in an opposite direction to move the carriage 50 in a second direction. opposite to the first direction.
In order to distribute the strand material 21 on the reel 26. the head 51 is mounted for transverse movement between the blocks 55 and 56 and parallel to the axes of rotation of the reels 26-26. A stepping motor 62 is mounted external to the block 55 and is connected through a rack 63 and pinion gear (not shown) to a rod 64 attached to one of the side plates 53-53. The stepping motor 62 is controlled to cyclically reverse the movement of the distributor head 51 along the rods 54-54. Of course. a conventionally used hydraulic cylinder (not shown) may replace the stepping motor with the movement of the head 51 being controlled by limit switches (not shown) set at the limits of head travel in each direction.
In the past. it has been somewhat conventional to have the distributor 24 assume a position along the lead screw 58 during takeup which is intermediate the reels 26-26 in the takeup positions A and B. The distributor 24 of the apparatus 20, embodying the principles of the invention, assumes alternately either of two positions, each of the positions being associated with one of the takeup positions A or B. The distributing position associated with each one of the reel takeup positions A and B is located intermediate the centerline between the two reel positions and the one reel position. The carriage 50, as seen in FIG. 2, is in a distribution position for the takeup position A. In this way. the carriage 50 is desirably during distribution as close as possible to the layers of convolutions of the strand material 21.
As can best be seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, the takeup mechanism 22 includes facilities for supporting one of the reels 26-26 in each one of the takeup positions A or B. Each of the facilities 80 associated with one of the takeup positions A and B includes a first springloaded cone 81 which is adapted to be received in one of the hub openings of one of the reels 26-26 and a second cone 82 adapted to be received in the other one of the hub openings. A reel clamping cylinder 83 is controlled to move the second cone 82 into the hub opening of the reel 26 to move the reel into seating engagement with the first cone 81.
As can best be seen in FIG. 4, the first cone 81 is connected to one end of a spindle 84 having an enlarged end 87 and which is slidably mounted in a housing 86. A compression spring 88 concentrically disposed about the spindle 84 between and engaging a shoulder 89 biases the spindle to the right as viewed in FIG. 4.
The spindle 84 functions as an eject mechanism for the reel 26. To accomplish this, a push-off cylinder 91 attached to a stanchion 92 supported on the frame 33 has a piston rod 93 extending therefrom and aligned with the axis of the spindle 84 (see FIG. 4). The piston rod 93 has a contacting element 94 attached to the end thereof for engaging the enlarged end 87 and transmitting forces from the cylinder 91 to the spindle 84 to move the cone 81 to the left as viewed in FIG. 4. When the push-off cylinder 91 is controlled to retract the piston rod 93 and disengage the contacting element 94 from the enlarged end 87. the compression spring 88 urges the spindle 84 to the right as viewed in FIG. 4. to reposition the cone 81 in a reel support position.
A reel 26 supported in one of the takeup positions A or B is turned rotatably about the axis of rotation by a frictional drive which includes a pad 96 (see FIG. of material. e.g.. rubber cork material. having a high coefficient of friction. The pad 96 engages with the radial surfaces of the reel flange adjacent the support cone 81 when the reel is supported on the support cones. The pad 96 is mounted on a plate 97 attached to a shaft 98 (see FIG. 4) disposed concentrically about the spindle 84 and extending through the housing 86. The shaft 98 has a pulley 99 attached thereto and over which is passed a belt 101 for turning the pulley.
The second cone 82 is mounted for movement colin early along the axes of the spindle 84 and the piston rod 93. The cone 82 is attached to one end ofa rod 102 extending through a housing 103 and connected to a piston rod (not shown) of the reel clamping cylinder 83.
Facilities are also provided for effecting a cutover of the strand material between takeup positions. As is best shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5, a deflector arm 106 positioned intermediate the takeup positions A and B is mounted for pivotal movement in a plane parallel to the axes of rotation in the takeup positions A and B. The deflector arm 106 is attached to a clevis 105 which is pinned to a bearing 107. The deflector arm 106 is moved by a cylinder 108 pin-connected to the frame 33 with a piston rod 111 extending from the cylinder and connected to the clevis 105.
The cutover facilities associated with each of the takeup positions A and B includes snagging facilities, designated generally by the numeral 116 and best shown in FIGS. 5. 6 and 7. The snagging facilities 116 includes an annular member 117 mounted on the plate 97 and including diametrically opposed snaggers, each designated generally by the numerals 118ll8.
Each of the snaggers l18-118 includes a tooth 119 projecting outwardly from the annular member 117. The tooth 119 is designed to form an opening 121 between the tooth and an enlarged end 122 ofa lever 123 mounted pivotally about a fulcrum 124. The other end of the lever 123 includes a housing 126 adapted to receive a compression spring 127 which is in engagement with the annular member 117. The spring 127 tends to bias the lever 123 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 6.
The compression spring 127 is selected so that when an empty reel 26 is positioned in the takeup position, the reel flange engages the housing 126 (see FIG. 6), overcomes the spring and urges the lever 123 in a clockwise direction to form a captive slot between the tooth 119 and the enlarged end 122. At cutover, a portion of the strand material 21 is gripped therebetween so that takeup may proceed.
The snagging facilities 116 associated with each of the takeup positions A and B positively mechanically releases the end portion of the strand material therefrom at the conclusion of the rotation of the takeup reel. The operation of the eject facilities to move the reel 26 through the distance d shown in FIG. 4 causes the reel flange to become disengaged from the housing 126 (see FIG. 6). This permits the spring 126 to urge the lever 123 in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 6, and enlarge the opening between the tooth 119 and the enlarged end 122 of the lever. This causes the strand material 21 to be positively released.
Still further improvements have been made to the cutover facilities for transferring the takeup of the strand material from say position A to position B. Customarily, during cutover in a takeup arrangement such as this, the distributor 24, assuming the takeup of strand material is nearly complete on a reel 26 in the takeup position A. is moved transverse of the axis of rotation through the position B and to the external side thereof. Subsequently, the deflector arm 106 is moved to engage the strand material and move the strand material toward that portion of the empty reel adjacent the snagging facilities 116.
Just prior thereto. a slidably mounted shroud (see FIG. 8) aligned concentrically with the snagger plate 97 is moved to cover the snagger plate as well as the reel flange engaged by the snagger pad 96. This arrangement is necessary in order to prevent the snagging facilities 116 associated with the full reel from engaging the strand material 21 at cutover. The rotation of the full reel 26 of strand material 21 in one direction, clockwise. and the rotation of the empty reel 26 in an opposite counterclockwise direction, causes the strand material to be broken and the new leading end to be snagged by the facilities 118 associated with the empty reel.
The trailing, newly established free end of the strand material 21 on the full reel 26 may, if not properly contained, be whipped around the reel 26 prior to deceleration and ultimate stopping of the reel, thereby engaging other parts of the apparatus and causing damage to the free end. Also, the free end whips into engagement with the topmost layer of convolutions and causes damage to the insulation thereof. Additionally, the free. whipping end of the strand material 21 may interfere with the functioning of the distributor 24.
Priorly used equipment has not been entirely satisfactory in containing the loose end of the strand material on the full reel to remain within the shroud 140 and be dragged harmlessly therearound during deceleration. There is illustrated in FIG. 8 a typical prior art shroud. The shroud 140 there has a flared out portion which begins at approximately three oclock when facing the shroud as viewed in FIG. 8. The shroud 140 decreases gradually in width as measured parallel to the reel axis of rotation and beginning at approximately nine oclock assumes a generally constant width. At cutover, the loose end of the strand material 21 is first engaged by the entrance portion at the three oclock point.-
Since the strand material 21 is severed generally in the vicinity of the deflector arm 106, the loose end must whip around the reel for approximately one-half revolution before engaging the shroud 140. This causes damage to the loose end and, moreover, decreases the probability that the loose end will be captured within the shroud 140. This is especially true if the cutover occurs, other occurs adjacent the inner reel flange.
An improved shroud 141 (see FIGS. 5 and 9) includes a reduced width portion 146 with a lead-in or guide section 147 at approximately eight oclock when viewing the shroud as shown in FIG. 9. The width of the top portion of the shroud 141 as viewed in FIG. 9 and 10 and beginning at approximately 9 oclock assumes a generally constant width. In this way, when the strand material 21 is broken, the loose end is engaged by the shroud 141 almost contemporaneously with the breaking. As before. and as is shown in FIG. 10, the shroud 141 is mounted on a plate 148 connected to a pair of slidably mounted support rods 149-149. The shroud 141 is moved into an extended position covering the reel 26 by actuating an air cylinder 142 to extend a piston rod 145 connected to the plate 148. After cutover. the operation of the air cylinder 142 is reversed to retract the shroud 141.
It should also be pointed out that further modifications of the shroud 141 may be made within the scope of this invention. The shroud 141 (see FIG. may be mounted on either the spindle side of each takeup position or on the clamping cone 82 side. Because of space limitations. a shroud mounted on the cone 81 or spindle side is not sufficiently large to cover the full reel completely. These space limitations are not present on the cone 82 side. Hence. the shroud 141 shown in FIG. 10 could be mounted on the cone 82 side and be large enough to cover substantially the entire width of the reel when moved thereover by the cylinder 142.
Handling Facilities In order to automate the handling of reels 26-26, the apparatus is provided with the conveyors 27-27 and the load-unload facility 28 associated with each one of the take-up positions.
Each one of the conveyors 27-27 includes an elongated track 151 (see FIG. 1) and is designed to move the reels 26-26 along a path parallel to the axes of rotation of the takeup positions. The track 151 (see FIG. 11) includes two plates 152-152 upstanding from a base 153. A top edge surface 154 of each of the plates is beveled to support the reels 26-26 straddled thereacross (see FIG. 13).
Facilities are provided for indexing the reels 26-26 along the track 151. A longitudinally extending rod 156 having a plurality of pins 157-157 projecting laterally therefrom (see FIG. 11) is supported rotatably in bearings 158-158 extending between the plates 152-152.
The conveyor 27 is designed so that reels 26-26 span across the plates 152-152 such that the lowermost portions of the flanges are spaced slightly above the rod 156 (see FIG. 13) but below the tops of the pins 157-157. Moreover, the pins 157-157 are spaced along the rod 156 such that one of the reels 26-26 may be received between each adjacent pair ofthe pins (see FIG. 12).
One end 155 of the rod 156 is mounted in a bushing 159 attached through a plate 161 to a piston extension 162 connected to an air cylinder 163. It should be observed that the end 155 of the rod 156 is held within the bushing 159 such that the rod may be moved rotatably within or with respect to the bushing but may not be moved longitudinally with respect thereto.
The other end 164 of the rod 156 has a sleeve 166 attached thereto (see FIG. 11) with the sleeve attached through a linkage 167 to a piston rod 168 ofa pivotally mounted cylinder 169. Upon actuation of the cylinder 169, the piston rod 168 is withdrawn within the cylinder to turn the sleeve 166 to turn the rod 156 and rotate the pins 157-157 to the position as shown in phantom in FIG. 13.
Additionally, and as can best be seen in FIGS. 11 and 14, the conveyor 27 includes a pair of spaced rollers 171 and 172. The rollers 171 and 172 are mounted rotatably in the reel transfer position associated with each of the takeup positions A and B. Each of the rollers'171 and 172 is connected through belts 173 and 174, respectively. (see FIG. 14) to a shaft 176 which is driven through a gear arrangement (not shown) by a motor 177.
It should also be observed that when the reel 26 is supported between the rollers 171 and 172 that each of the flanges of the reels is supported along a line which is coplanar with one of the beveled surfaces 154-154 on the upstanding plates 152-152 which form the track 151 of the conveyor 27.
It should be noted that the conveyor 27 as depicted in FIG. 11 is associated with the takeup position B. The orientation must be such that the rollers 171 and 172 be adjacent the takeup position with bearings -175 therefor being disposed on opposite sides thereof (see FIG. 14). This will facilitate ones of reels 26-26 being moved from the track 151 into engagement with the remainder of the load-unload facilitates.
The takeup apparatus 20 also includes load-unload facilitates for transferring successive leading ones of the empty reels 26-26 from the conveyor 27 to the associated takeup position and full reels from the takeup position to the associated one ofthe conveyors 27-27. The load-unload facilities 28 (see FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 11) include a pivotally mounted arm 181 which cooperates with a loading ramp 182 associated with each of the takeup positions.
The loading arm 181 is mounted pivotally on a shaft 183 of a rotary motor (not shown). The loading arm 181 associated with the other one of the takeup positions is mounted to be turned pivotally in an opposite direction. The motor (not shown) is controlled by an electrical control circuit 200 to move the arm in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction through an opening 186 (see FIG. 1) in the enclosure 32. The arm 181 is moveable between two limiting positions as determined by counting pulses if, for example. the motor is a stepper motor (see motors 3M and 4M. FIG. 17C).
The width of the arm 181 is sufficient to span across the reel flanges to move the reels up and down the associated one of the ramps 182-182. Moreover. the arm 181 is constructed to include a flange 192 (see FIGS. 1 and 14) along that edge of the arm which is on side of the arm opposite that side adjacent the associated support cone 81. The flange 192 acts as a guide as the arm is controlled to move the reel 26 along the ramp 182.
The flange 192 serves the dual function of being a stop to limit the movement of the reel 26 to the left. as viewed in FIG. 4, by the eject facilities. The other side of the arm 181 must be unobstructed to permit the eject facilities to move the reel 26 off the cone 81 transversely of and into alignment with the arm. This also permits sliding off one of the empty reels 26-26 from the arm 181 into clamping position between the cones 81 and 82.
The ramp 182 comprises a channel track of a width sufficient to accommodate the outside flange-to-flange dimensions of the reels 26-26. The ramp 182 associated with each of the reel positions defines an arcuate path from a position adjacent to and aligned with the rollers 171 and 172 upwardly to a position below the associated takeup positions A and B. Moreover, the lower portion of each of the ramps 182-182 is at the same level as the topmost portion of the path of travel of the rollers 171 and 172.
The length and arcuate shape of the arm 181 and the ramp 182 are designed so that one of the reels 26-26 is moved by the arm 181 up the ramp until the reel axis is aligned colinearly with the axis of rotation of the takeup position. At that time. the reel 26 is aligned axially such that the reel is spaced slightly, e.g.. onequarter inch from the closest portion of the driving side cone 81. The reel 26 must be moved approximately I inch from the ramp 182 into a clamped position between the cones 81 and 82 with the cones extending into the hub opening.
Some commercial takeup apparatus permit empty reels to roll into alignment with the takeup positions and full reels to roll out therefrom. This has led to the undesirable unraveling of the strand material 21.
The apparatus is designed to minimize the rolling of the reels 26-26. It is important that the reel 26 not be rolled along the ramp 182 but merely be guided thereby and moved by the arm 181. This does not become an important consideration in the upper reaches of the ramp 182 since the arm 181 approaches a generally horizontal position and the reel 26 is supported solely by the arm 181.
On the other hand, as a full reel of strand material approaches the-lower, generally horizontal, end of the ramp 182, there has been a tendency for the reels to roll a slight distance, thereupon unraveling a short length of the strand material 21. In order to overcome this. the lower portion of the ramp 182 may be covered with a material such as TEFLON which has a low coefficient of friction. This insures that the reel 26 slides without substantial turning thereof about the hub axis, thereby avoiding undesirable rolling.
These provisions for insuring that each final package of strand material 21 does not have loose ends extending therefrom are supplemented by the rollers 171 and 172. Should there be a slight turning of the full reel 26 or should a loose tail be held at some point in the takeup position. e.g., a malfunctioning snagger release, the turning of the rollers causes the reel to wind up any loose strand material 21.
Portions of the strand material 21 adjacent the free trailing end tend to become unwound from the reel 26, especially with particular insulation materials. If the conductor is covered with tougher stiffer materials such as polypropylene, the final layer of convolutions tend to become loose or unraveled after takeup. This is generally not true with the more flexible insulative materials.
Alternate Embodiments The principles of this invention may also be used in a common axis takeup. An input conveyor for moving empty reels may be positioned on one side of the takeup positions parallel to the axis of rotation and with a full reel conveyor positioned on the other side of the takeup positions. Four arms 181-181 could be used, two being on each side of the takeup positions. One of the arms may be used to load empty ones of the reels into one of the takeup positions along an associated ramp while a second arm associated with the one takeup position may be used to remove full reels of the strand material 21 to the full reel conveyor.
Also, it is within the scope of the invention to use a parallel-spaced axes of rotation arrangement as described in the preferred embodiment of the invention with a single conveyor positioned intermediate the takeup position and with a single arm having forked portions extending in opposite directions to alternately move reels to and from selected ones of the two takeup positions.
The conveyor 27 could be modified as shown in FIG. 15. There the rollers 171 and 172 are mounted for reciprocal movement. As is shown in the left portion of that figure. after the full reel is returned to the conveyor 27 associated with the takeup position A, the rollers 171 and 172 are moved upwardly to disengage the reel 26 from the plates 152-152 and then turn the reel. This permits the use of an unbroken track 151.
Another embodiment of a takeup apparatus embodying the principles of this invention is shown in FIG. 16. There, the conveyors 2727 are located vertically below each of the takeup positions. Elevator arrangements employing nonrotating cylinder rods move the empty reels 26-26 to the takeup positions and return full reels to the conveyors without rotation. This embodiment also, desirably, includes the rollers 171 and 172 to wind up any loose ends of strand material 21 extending from the reels 26-26 because of, for example. a malfunctioning snagger release.
Of course, the rollers 171 and 172 could be modified as shown in FIG. 16A. The rollers there are generally cylindrical with tapered ends. The topmost portion of each tapered end is slightly above the top of the associated side plate 152. The indexing of the reels 26-26 causes a reel to be moved up along the tapered ends and onto the enlarged centerportions for turning. In this embodiment, the rollers need not be interposed between sections of the track, but could be positioned adjacent thereto as shown in FIG. 15. The use of tapered ends avoids having to raise the rollers 10 turn the reel 26. Since the reel 26 indexed onto the enlarged portions is raised above the beveled tops 154-154 of the plates 152-152, turning of the reel supported on the rollers may be accomplished.
Operation In carrying out the principles of the methods of this invention, an operator periodically loads empty ones of the reels 26-26 at the upstream end of each of the conveyors 2727 associated with each of the takeup positions A and B. Also, the operator moves one of the reel dollies 29-29 into a receiving position intermediate the downstream ends of the conveyors 2727 as shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIGS. l7A-17C, there is shown in schematic an electrical circuit, designated generally by the numeral 200, for controlling the operation of thetakeup apparatus 20. It is assumed hereinafter that the operation will begin with the left side of the apparatus 20. In order to initiate the operation of the apparatus 20, the operator depresses a pushbutton 201 on the overall line control which causes a line run relay 202 (see FIG. 18) and a controlled stop relay 203 connected across a main power supply to be energized. The energization of the relay 203 closes a normally open contact 203-1 (FIG. 17A) in a line between main branch lines 204, 205 and 206, closes a normally open contact 203-2 (FIG. 17B) and opens normally closed contacts 203-3 (FIG. 17B) and 203-4 (FIG. 17A).
The circuit also includes relays 305, 306 and 311 which are sensing relays and which function to indicate in which takeup position the strand material 21 is being wound. A limit switch lLS is a memory limit switch. If
the carriage 50 is in position over the right reel or 'B