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Publication numberUS3918473 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 11, 1975
Filing dateJun 10, 1974
Priority dateJun 10, 1974
Publication numberUS 3918473 A, US 3918473A, US-A-3918473, US3918473 A, US3918473A
InventorsRamsey Henry R
Original AssigneeWebster Spring Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Coil transfer apparatus
US 3918473 A
Abstract
Coil transfer apparatus for receiving coils from a coiler and presenting them at a predetermined uniform spacing relative to each other to an assembler, comprising an elongate channel along which the coils are moved by continuously moving belts, successively rotated about their longitudinal axes to present all the knots in the same direction, successively arrested at said desired predetermined spacing and then the first of the coils of the procession of coils rotated about its longitudinal axis to reverse the position of its knots.
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United States Patent [191 Ramsey [451 Nov. 11, 1975 COIL TRANSFER APPARATUS 75 Inventor: Ramse D (H M I Primary Examiner-Lowell A. Larson 1 y u ass Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert T. Gammons [73] Assignee: Webster Spring Co. Inc., Dudley,

Mass 57 ABSTRACT [22] F'led: June 1974 Coil transfer apparatus for receiving coils from a [21] Appl. No.; 477,592 coiler and presenting them at a predetermined uniform spacing relative to each other to an assembler, comprising an elongate channel along which the coils [2%] }J.S.((:Ill .z 140/3 CA, 140/928 are moved by continuously moving belts successively 'l BZIF 27/16 rotated about their longitudinal axes to present all the l 1 o arc 40/3 knots in the same direction, successively arrested at said desired predetermined spacing and then the first [56] References cued of the coils of the-procession of coils rotated about its UNITED STATES PATENTS longitudinal axis to reverse the position of its knots. 3,631,960 l/l972 Spuhl 140/927 I 3.774.652 11/1973 Sturm 140/3 15 Chums 10 D'awmg F'gures US. Patent NOv.11, 1975 Sheet30f3 3,918,473

FIGS FIG.IO

COIL TRANSFER APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF INVENTION belts, structures which impose limitations on the speed of operation. In contrast, the apparatus of this invention is designed to receive the coils in horizontal positions and transfer them directly without change of position to the assembler thereby eliminating any structure that interferes with the speed of operation and further to simplify the overall construction and operation of the apparatus.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION Coil transfer apparatus comprising a channel having a bottom support and spaced parallel side supports for receiving at one end coils from a coiler with their ends engaged between the side supports, continuously moving belt means along one side support of the channel for advancing the coils presented to the channel at said one end toward the other, means at that side for rotating the coils about their longitudinal axes to position all the knots in the same direction, a gutter along the other sidesupport with which the end loops at the ends of the coils are slidingly engaged as the coils are advanced for holding the coils with their axes at right angles to their direction of movement, positioning means at the other end of the channel for stopping the first coil of a group of predetermined number of coils advancing along the channel at a predetermined position, means at said position for rotating the first coil to reverse the position of the knots and projecting a second positioning means into the channel to stop the next coil in succession at a predetermined distance from the first coil and means for successively projecting additional positioning means into the channel in succession to stop the coils at predetermined positions to form a procession of a predetermined number of coils. The belt means comprise a pair of vertically spaced belts supported on longitudinally spaced spools with runs parallel to and in sliding engagement with the inner side of the channel. The means for rotating the coils about their longitudinal axes comprises a rotating tooth wheel mounted to rotate about a horizontal axis in a plane coinciding with the plane of the end loops of the coils so as to engage .the knots in the end loops. The first of the positioning means is normally held extended into the channel to stop the first coil in the procession of coils and the second and succeeding positioning means are successively moved into the channel and comprise pins which are projected into the channel by solenoids, the latter being controlled by sensing means distrubuted along tthe channel and wired so that the means sensing the first coil actuates the solenoid for projecting the positioning pin into a position for intercepting the second coil in the procession, etc. The last of the sensing means in succession operates to initiate operation of the assembler transfer arm which take the coils from the channel and presents them to the lacing mechanism of the assembler. The means for rotating the first coil as it reaches its predetermined position comprising a pair of discs supported for rotation about a vertical axis with their planes substantially in the plane of the bottom of the gutter and with their edges spaced apart to receive between them the end loop of the coil. There is means for yieldably pressing the discs in engagement with the end loop of the coil and means for effecting rotation of the discs while engaged with the end loop of the coil to rotate the coil about its longitudinal axis to reverse the position of the knots at the ends of the coil. The entrance end of the channel is so positioned with respect to the coiler arms that the latter rotate upwardly toward the underside of the channel and there is means for receiving the ends of the coils delivered thereto in horizontal positions by the coiler arms compressing the coils axially, stripping them from the coiler arms and pressing them firmly into the channel.

The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional coil in which the end loops are tied by means of knots;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the coil transfer apparatus shown in relation to a coiler and assembler only parts of which are shown;

FIG. 3 is a top view of FIG. 2 to somewhat larger scale, showing an arm of the coiler but omitting the assembler;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevation to much larger scale at the entrance to the channel showing the stripping means for removing the coils from the coiler arms and the means for rotating the coils about their longitudinal axes to dispose the knots at their forwardly moving sides;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevation taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3 showing the positioning pins and sensing devices;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged transverse section taken on the lines 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged transverse section taken on the lines 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a horizontal section taken on the lines 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary elevation showing the first coil in the procession of coils in relation to one of the two discs which by engagement with the end loop rotate the coil about its longitudinal axis to reverse the position of the knots in the end loops; and

FIG. 10 shows the position of the first coil when reversed.

Referring to the drawings, the apparatus comprises a transfer structure 10 which receives coils from a coiler l2 and and transfers them to an assembler 14. The coiler 12 may be of the kind shown in the patents to Wunderlich, U.S. Pat. No. 2,836,305 and Nelson, U.S. Pat. No. 2,759,500, wherein there are a plurality of coiler arms 16 supported for rotation about a horizontal axis 18 for receiving coils in horizontal positions from a coiling mechanism, not shown herein, and delivering them one by one to one end of the transfer structure 10 at the left end as indicated in FIGS. 2 and 3 for movement therealong, while still horizontally disposed, to the assembler. The assembler 14 is of the kind provided with a plurality of arms 20 arranged vertically above the transfer structure for taking the aligned and spaced coils from the transfer structure, setting them in upright positions and presenting them to the lacing mechanism of the assembler.

The transfer structure with which this invention is specifically concerned comprises, FIGS. 2 and 3, a horizontally disposed channel having a horizontal bottom support 22 and spaced parallel side supports 24-24. The bottom support 22, FIG. 6, is narrower than the distance between the side supports so that a coil disposed within the channel will rest upon the bottom support with the loops at the opposite ends projecting downwardly below the bottom support. The side support 24 at the right side as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 comprises vertically spaced upper and lower angle sections 24a, 24b so as to provide a gap therebetween extending lengthwise of the channel. Side support 24 at the left side comprises vertically spaced upper and lower angle sections 24a, 24b, and a plate 240 welded to the inner side thereof.

The arms 16 of the coiler turn in a counterclockwise direction about the axis 18 as disclosed in FIG. 2 so that they sweep the coils upwardly from the underside of the channel directly to the open end of the channel and to assist in guiding them into the channel there are converging parallel guide plates 26-26 at the entrance to the channel which compress the coils slightly into engagement with the inner sides of the channel. A pair of spaced parallel inclined stripper plates 30-30 are also mounted at the entrance to the channel in the path of movement of the coiler arms for stripping the coils as they are moved upwardly from the under side of the channel and forcing them forwardly into the channel.

There is means for continuously moving the coils along the channel comprising a pair of endless conveyor belts 32-32 mounted in vertically spaced relation on a pair of transversely spaced pulleys 34-34 supported for. rotation about vertically spaced shafts 36-36. The belts are located on the pulleys so as to have one longitudinal run in sliding engagement with the inner sides of the side supports 24a, 24b, at the right side of the channel side support above and below the gap 38. The pulley 34 at the right hand end of the coiler is driven by a suitable constant speed motor M which may be adjusted to provide for the desired rate of speed. At the opposite side of the channel, that is the left as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, and at the inner side and below the level of the bottom support there is a rail 40 which provides, in conjunction with the side support, a gutter 42, FIG. 6, for receiving the end loop of the coil at that end and slidingly guiding it along the channel as the coil is moved by the endless belts from the one end toward the other end. The gutter 42 prevents skewing of the coils so that they slide easily along the channel by the compulsive force of the endless conveyor belts.

The coils are delivered to the receiving end of the channel by the arms 16 of the coiler with the knots 44 at the ends of the coils at the leading sides of the coils in the direction of their movement along the channel and situated above the longitudinal axis of the coils as shown in FIG. 4. It is desirable to rotate the coils about their longitudinal axes to bring these knots down to substantially the level of the longitudinal axes of the coils and so there is provided at the right side of the channel as viewed in FIGS. 6 and 7, a sprocket or toothed disc 46 which is mounted on a shaft 48, FIG. 3, journaled in a gear box 50 fastened to the outer side of the side support 24 at that side. A drive shaft 52 extending from the gear box has on it a pulley 54 and a belt 56 entrained about this pulley and a pulley 58 mounted on the shaft 36 provides for rotating the toothed disc. The toothed disc is mounted as shown in FIG. 2 so that its plane is parallel to the side support and spaced therefrom sufficiently so that the end loops of the coils pass between it and the upper conveyor belt and operates to strike the knots 44 and by repeated impact to rotate the coils so as to depress the knots 44 to a position substantially at the level of the axis of the coils as shown in FIG. 4.

The coils, in contrast to prior transfer apparatus which are positioned by indexing conveyor belts, in this case are advanced by the continuously moving conveyor belts and are stopped in predetermined positions and at predetermined spacings with respect to each other by means of positioning pins. There is a first positioning pin 56 at the far end, that is the right end, of the channel as shown in FIG. 3 and 6 which normally 0c cupy a position projecting through gap 38 between the conveyor belts into the path of movement of the coils. The positioning pin 56 is slidably mounted in a bar 58 fastened to the outer side of the side support by means of a bracket plate 60 mounted by means of a gib 62 on a rail 64 parallel to the side support. Screws 66 provide for clamping the gib against the rail 64 and for releasing it so as to enable adjusting the bracket plate 60 and hence the bar 58 along the channel to adjust the position of the positioning pin 58. The other end of the positioning pin 56 is secured to a plate 68 and the plate 68 in turn is connected to the plunger 70 of a solenoid 72. A spring 74 disposed in an opening 76 in the bar 58 at the inner side of the plate 68 normally yieldably holds the positioning pin 56 withdrawn from the channel when the machine is shut down. The coil 72 of the solenoid is energized by supplying power to the machine to project the positioning pin 56 into the channel in a position to commence the operation. There are preceding the positioning pin 56 along the channel, positioning pins 56a, 56b, 56c, etc., corresponding to the number of coils to be assembled. The positioning pins 56a, 56b, 56c, etc., are connected to solenoids 72a, 72b, 72c, etc., and in contrast to the positioning pin 56, the positioning pins 56a, 56b, etc., are held withdrawn from the channel by their springs, the solenoids being unactivated by supplying power to the machine and only activated to project the positioning pins into the channel in succession as coils are moved into position by sensing means 74, 74a, 74b, 740, etc., as shown in FIG. 3. The mode of operation is such that when the first of the coils of a predetermined number of coils are advanced along the channel and moves into engagement with the end most positioning pin 56, passage of the coils by the sensing device 74 actuates the solenoid for the next preceding pin, to wit, the solenoid 72a, which then projects the positioning pin 56a into the channel to stop the next coil in line and as this coil moves into engagement with the positioning pin 56a, it passes the sensing device 74a whereupon the solenoid 74b is energized and projects the positioning pin 56b into position, and so on, until the last of the coils has moved into position. The last sensing device to be operated initiates operation of the arms 20 of the assembler to cause them to remove the aligned and spaced coils from the channel.

As previously explained, the coils are advanced along the channel with the knots 44 at their forward sides in the direction of movement. It is desirable to have the knots in the first coil, which in the assembly of coils would be on the outside, rotated to reverse the position of the knots, that is, to dipose them on .the inner side and so there is provided at the position of the first coil, at the bottom of the channel, means for rotating the first coil about its longitudinal axis. This means comprises, as shown in FIG. 7, a pair of mating discs 74, 76 mounted on vertically disposed shafts 78, 80 with their peripheral edges 82, 84 spaced apart to receive between them the lower part of the loop at the left end of the coil as shown in FIG. 7. To provide for a good grip on the end loop of the coil the discs contain peripheral grooves 86, 88 the cross sections of which correspond collectively with the cross sections of the wire of the coil and to retain the loop the peripheral surfaces of the discs above the grooves are inclined toward each other. Rotation of the discs 82, 84 in engagement with the end loop turns the coil about its longitudinal axis and rotation is effected by a gear 90 fastened to the shaft 78 which meshes with a rack 92, the latter being supported or backed by a supporting block 94 fastened to the frame of the machine and reciprocated by an air piston 96, FIG. 8. Actuation of the sensing element 74 by movement of the first coil into engagement with its positioning pin 56 operates a solenoid valve, not shown, to supply pressure to the air piston 96 to cause the rack to be advanced and retracted. The disc 84 is normally held spaced from the disc 82 to permit the end loop to pass between it and the disc 82 and is moved toward the disc 82 to grip the wire by an air piston 98 which is also supplied with air by means of a solenoid operated valve energized by actuation of the sensing device. The disc 84 is moved toward the disc 86 to grip the end loop simultaneously with the forward stroke of the rack and is withdrawn simultaneously with the retraction of the rack. The shaft 80 is driven from the shaft 78 by meshing gears 100, 102 and is mounted so that it can be moved relative to the shaft 78 a slight amount necessary to permit gripping the wire of the loop without interfering with the mesh of the gears 100, 102.

In the normal operation of the apparatus supplying power to the machine projects the first positioning pin 56 into the channel whereupon when the stacking operation is started the coiler delivers coils to the channel which are advanced continuously by the conveyor belts along the channel with their ends respectively engaged with the sides of the channel, with the end loops of the coils at the right side, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, between the conveyor belt and the sprocket wheel and the end loops at the other ends of the coils in the gutter. As the coils are engaged by the sprocket wheel their knots are displaced downwardly to the level of the longitudinal axis of the coils and remain in this position as -they are advanced toward the far end of the channel.

When the first coil of a predetermined number of coils reaches the endmost positioning pin 56 it is stopped by the projecting positioning pin 56 and immediately rotated about its longitudinal axis to position the knot on the inner side with respect to the direction of the movement of the coils. Simultaneously the next preceding positioning pin is actuated to intercept the preceding coil and so on until the predetermined number of coils are present whereupon the last sensing device actuates the assembler 14 to cause the arms to withdraw the coils from the channel, the timing being such that the next coil in line will then be moved along into space vacated by the removed coils to set up the next procession of coils for assembly.

The structure is designed to enable adding to or subtracting from the channel, positioning pins, their actuating solenoids and sensing devices so as to increase the number of coils which may be assembled or to decrease them, depending upon the size of the spring assembly to be made, and the side supports 2424 of the channel as shown in FIG. 6 are mounted on screws 104-104 so that the spacing between the side supports may be increased or decreased depending upon the axial length of the coils.

It should be understood that the present disclosure is for the purpose of illustration only and includes all modifications or improvements which fall within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Coil transfer apparatus comprising a channel having a bottom support and spaced parallel sides for receiving at one end horizontally displaced coils from a coiler with the ends engaged between the sides, continuously moving belt means along one side for advancing the horizontally displaced coils presented to the channel at said one end toward the other end, a gutter along the other side with which the end loops at the ends of the coils are slidingly held engaged as the coils are advanced for holding the coils in a predetermined position, positioning means at the distal end of the channel for stopping the first coil of a group of a predetermined number of coils to be advanced along the channel at a predetermined position, means at said position for rotating the first coil about its horizontal axis to reverse the position of the knots and projecting a second positioning means into the channel to stop the next coil in succession at a predetermined distance from the first coil, and means for successively projecting additional positioning means into the channel in succession to stop coils at predetermined positions to form a procession of a predetermined number of coils.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising means at one side of the channel for rotating the coils delivered to the channel about their horizontal axes to present the knots at the ends at a predetermined position at the forward sides of the coils in the direction of movement.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said gutter is formed by a rail mounted to the inner side of the channel at said other side in parallel relation thereto and below the bottom so as to receive the end loops of the coils resting on the bottom support.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the gutter is below the level of the bottom of the bottom support.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the belt means comprises a pair of vertically spaced belts supported on longitudinally spaced spools with runs parallel to and in sliding engagement with the inner side of the one side of the channel.

6. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the means for rotating the first coil as it reaches its predetermined position comprises a pair of discs supported for rotation about a vertical axis with their planes substantially in the plane of the bottom of the gutter and with their edges spaced apart to receive between them the end loop of the coil.

7. Apparatus according to claim 6, comprising means for yieldably pressing the discs into engagement with the end loop of the coil.

8. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said positioning means comprise pins supported at substantially the level of the longitudinal axis of the coils.

9. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising means at the entrance to the channel for rotating the coils as delivered thereto to position all of the knots in the end loops in the same direction.

10. Apparatus according to claim 9, wherein said means at the entrance to the channel for rotating the coils to position all of the knots in the same direction comprises a toothed wheel mounted to turn about a horizontal axis in a plane corresponding to the plane of the end loops of the coils such as to engage the knots in the end loops.

11. Apparatus according to claim 10, wherein the toothed wheel is supported at the one side of the channel at the inner side of the belt means.

12. In an apparatus for transferring knotted coils from a coiler to an assembly unit wherein the coiler embodies a plurality of radially arranged coiler arms which travel about a horizontal axis relative to coiling and knot typig mechanisms, a channel arranged to receive coils from the coiler with its receiving end adjacent the path of movement of the coiler arms at the ascending side in the direction of rotation of the arms such that the arms travel upwardly along an arc from the underside of the channel, inclined stripping means adjacent said receiving end of the channel for intercepting the coils as they travel upwardly to the level of the bottom support of the channel and disengaging them from the arms so that they become deposited at the bottom of the channel, continuously moving belt means along one side of the channel for advancing coils presented to the receiving end of the channel toward the other end, a gutter along the other side with which the end loops of the ends of the coils are slidingly held engaged as the coils are advanced for holding the coils with their axes right angularly disposed with respect to the direction of movement of the coils along the channel, positioning means at the distal end of the channel for stopping the first coil of a group of a predetermined number of coils to be advanced along the channel at a predetermined position, means at said position for rotating the first coil of the group of coils about its horizontal axis to reverse the position of the knots and projecting a second positioning means into the channel to stop the next coil in succession at a predetermined distance from the first coil and means for successively projecting additional positioning means into the channel in succession to stop coils at predetermined positions to form a procession of a predetermined number of coils.

13. Apparatus according to claim 12, wherein there are transversely spaced guide plates extending from below the channel upwardly for receiving and compressing the ends of the coils as they are moved upwardly by the coiler arms to the level of the bottom support of the channel.

14. A coil transfer apparatus comprising an elongated channel having a bottom support and spaced parallel sides for receiving at one end coils from a coiler with the ends engaged between the sides, a gutter extending along one side below the bottom support for slidingly receiving the end loops of the coils, means at the other side adjacent the one end for rotating the coils about their longitudinal axes to dispose the knots at the forward side of the coils in the direction of movement, substantially at the level of the horizontal axes of the coils, means at said other side for continuously moving the coils along the channel from the one end toward the other, a plurality of positioning means mounted along the channel at uniformly spaced intervals comprising an endmost positioning means projecting into the channel for stopping the first coil of a predetermined number of coils, a plurality of positioning pins arranged to be successively projected into the channel to stop successive coils, and means operable to engage the first coil at its position of engagement with the endmost positioning pin and rotate said coil about its longitudinal axis to reverse the position of its knot.

15. Apparatus according to claim 14, comprising means for withdrawing the endmost positioning pin.

UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK GFFIFTE @ERTEHQATE GE PATENT NO. 3 9lb lw3 DATED November ll, 1975 INVENTOR(S) Henry R. Ramsey 5% is cv itified thai error appears in the ab0ve-identified pat-m? '3 21.

aye hereby corrected as shown below:

Correct the address of the Assi -inee p0 Teai:

Oxford, Massachusetts" Signed and Scaled this Q twenty-third Of March 1976 [SEAL] Arrest:

RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Alfs ing Offit (ummissiuncr of Patents and Trademarks

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3631960 *Sep 24, 1970Jan 4, 1972Spuehl AgApparatus for conveying helical wire springs
US3774652 *Jan 21, 1972Nov 27, 1973Wells F CoSpring transfer apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4406391 *Apr 16, 1982Sep 27, 1983St Clair Albert RSystem for accumulating and handling strips of pocketed springs
US4667806 *Sep 5, 1985May 26, 1987Siegmund KumethApparatus for the singling and orientation of tension coil springs
US5579810 *Mar 3, 1995Dec 3, 1996L&P Property Management CompanyCoil spring interior assembly method and apparatus
US6155310 *Sep 11, 1998Dec 5, 2000Sealy Technology LlcMachinery for automated manufacture of formed wire innerspring assemblies
USRE36809 *Dec 1, 1998Aug 8, 2000L&P Property Management CompanyCoil spring interior assembly method and apparatus
CN104624873A *Dec 2, 2014May 20, 2015宁波市望春姚氏床垫机械有限公司Spring conveying mechanism
DE19542845A1 *Nov 17, 1995May 22, 1997Spuehl AgDevice for straightening and laying out of springs
WO2000015369A1 *Aug 31, 1999Mar 23, 2000The Ohio Mattress Company Licensing And Components GroupMachinery for automated manufacture of innerspring assemblies
WO2000047348A1 *Jan 31, 2000Aug 17, 2000Spühl AG St. GallenDevice for turning and positioning springs produced on a spring winding machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification140/3.0CA, 140/92.8
International ClassificationB21F33/00, B21F33/04
Cooperative ClassificationB21F33/04
European ClassificationB21F33/04